Life in a Multi-channel, Multi-media world. How do you cope/thrive?

Life in a Multi-channel, Multi-media world. How do you cope/thrive?

Life used to be so easy in the old world (10 years ago). A client wanted you and they rang up. If you were not available, they went through to VoiceMail or got an engaged tone. If they emailed you, then you replied to them in a reasonable time. About the worst that happened was someone ringing on your mobile while you were on a landline call. All was good.

Now, you can be on a Zoom call and your phone rings… what do you do? Do you break the meeting to answer the call, or just let the call go through to VoiceMail? Answering while on the Zoom call just seems rude, unless it is super-important.

In a worse case scenario, you can have ‘live calls’ on telephone/FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Google Meetings, Video conference, Google Hangouts. At the same time, you can have messages coming in from SMS (text), WhatsApp, FaceTime messenger, Signal, Telegram, Slack, Chatter and email.

How do you keep track of all of those?

It is a challenge and I don’t think there is a simple solution.

For a start, so that our clients get their help requests dealt with in a reasonable time, we get people to email our special support email address. As our team expands, this allows other people to monitor this. An email sent to an individual can easily get lost.

Most of our ‘live calls’ are booked. In other words, if you want to speak with someone you have to book a timeslot. I don’t like the formality of this, as it detracts from the spontaneity of fixing a problem on the spot. However, it is frustrating for clients if we don’t answer the phone… but we cannot if we are simultaneously on a Zoom call.

Fortunately, we operate in a ‘distributed’ fashion… so you cannot hear other Zoom calls going on in our office. However, that is a big problem for many companies. While you are on a Zoom call, the person you are talking to can overhear other Zoom calls in your office. It is not just annoying, but could reveal sensitive information. Perhaps we will have to move away from open plan offices! (Hurray – biggest barrier to work that I know of.)

So our solution is: email in for help requests.
Book calls to avoid disappointment. We will still answer if we can!
By limiting things in this way, we hope to offer the best possible service. We are open to suggestions!
However, I am fed up with putting down one caller in order to answer another call and finding out it is another scammer!

But there is more…
To help improve our service, we will be rolling out a Salesforce Experience portal. This will enable our clients to log and track the progress of their support queries and projects.

Let us know about suggestions for improvements.

Making your Transactional Emails less…errm… Transactional

Making your Transactional Emails less…errm… Transactional

Do you ever look at a friend, who you think has been the same for for many years, and suddenly think… they look older/fatter/thinner/different? For so long they look the same. You see them every day. They always look the same. Then you notice that there has been a huge shift. It has happened over many years, but you notice it as a single jump?

Well, I noticed that with my emails. For many years we have been sending out our Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) questionnaires through Salesforce Classic templates. They do the job, but they are ‘transactional’. Meaning that they are just barely good-looking enough to be sent to clients. It is possible to create anything with them, as they are HTML, but at some effort and expense.

On the other hand, we send out our ‘marketing’ emails through Campaign Monitor. This has a lovely editor that makes producing beautiful emails a joy. However, they are marketing emails, so if people have not given us permission they do not receive them. For many years, Campaign Monitor has had ‘Transactional Emails’, but the coding to get them to work seemed to be a lot of effort.

Then, like noticing the change in a friend, I noticed that the integration we use has a feature called ‘Smart Emails’. This gives the ability to use Campaign Monitor for our transactional emails EASILY.

In a few minutes, I created a Campaign Monitor template and replaced our outdated CSAT email. A thing of beauty! Even better, it registered a task against the client every time one of the questionnaires was sent out. Instead of a horrible link to click, the client is presented with a beautiful button.

Our CSAT response rate has improved since switching to the new transactional emails

As everyone knows, with emails response rate is one of the most important metrics.

Techy bit: even mapping fields from Salesforce to the emails is a cinch!

Our transactional emails now look as beautiful as our marketing emails!

If you would like to find out more (and use Salesforce and Campaign monitor, or would like to), let me know on this form

Let’s join the party!

Let’s join the party!

When I searched for ‘Create a Buzz’, this photo was not what I was after. On the other hand, it is fun so it will probably get you to engage.

There is a problem on the internet. How do you get people to engage and follow you?

Well, a friend of mine has come up with a brilliant idea.

It is a party. 

What sort of party?

Fancy dress? Come as you were? 


It is a LinkedIn Party. A group of you get together. (OK, you all share a WhatsApp conversation.)

You all post on LinkedIn.

You all copy the link to the post into WhatsApp.

You then open all the posts of the other people, react to them (on LinkedIn) and reply (on LinkedIn).

Just do it for an hour a week, all at the same time.

You will have created a Buzz.

Now, if only this idea were mine, but it isn’t.

This great idea is another fun and effective technique from Adam Brooks of SkineeRino.

Pop over to his website and find out more of his brilliant madness! 

Will your emails be delivered? and all that SPAM!

Spam canOne of the internet’s terrifying statistics is that in 2014 72% of emails were spam. (Source

In other words, nearly three quarters of emails sent were rubbish.

In 2016, it is down to about 55%, but it is still too high.


Big email providers, such as Google and Microsoft have been working hard to reduce this still further. To this end, they have been introducing several standards (SPF, DKIM & DMARC). 

Some of them have been widely implemented for a number of year (e.g. SPF)

But with the coming of DMARC, you may find that your emails do not get to their intended recipients.

You need to be using an email provider that supports these modern standards. That is why we recommend Office 365. It supports all these standards and will continue to work into the foreseeable future.

Many low cost solutions may fail.

You will not be aware that your emails are not getting through until you phone the recipients.

If you need more information, contact us!

Google Apps no longer free

I received some bad news today! Google Apps is no longer to offer its free product to new customers. Until now, it was possible, after the initial trial of Google Apps for Business to downgrade to Google Apps Standard, which was free.

At Cloud Genius we see great benefit in the Google Apps product – we use it ourselves.

This policy change at Google will affect our offerings – we can still set up Google Apps for you as part of one of our great website offerings. We will even set it up for you as a standalone product. Unfortunately, after the first month you would have to pay Google a fee. Currently that starts at £3.30 per user per month (less if you pay annually). It is still a great product.

Exact pricing details are at: Google Apps Pricing

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