5 Reasons Why Live Chat is The Untapped Potential for Your Business
The trouble with online shopping is that many customers are disconnected from someone who can answer their questions in real time with precision. Rather than watching potential customers click away from their e-commerce sites, many businesses have been adding live chat support. As it turns out, live chat has the ability to provide the convenient answers that customers want, while also adding significant benefits to the staff and bottom line of companies.
1. Live Chat is Convenient for Customers
- Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online.
- Having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.
- An online chat system provides customers immediate access to help. Wait times are often much less than a call center, and customers can easily multi-task while waiting. Additionally, the pain of having to dial a 1-800 number and navigate through a maze of numeric options is non-existent.
2. Live Chat Cuts Down on Expenses
- Live chat reduces overall contact center costs by lowering average interaction costs.
- Increases efficiency by allowing live chat representatives to handle multiple chats simultaneously, thus reducing the need to hire more representatives.
With employees spending less time on the phone, they can multi-task during chat conversations and cut the waiting queue to a fraction of its former size when compared to a call center. Not only is this a process improvement but it increases the chances of overall sales .
3. Live Chat Increases Sales
The general trend among users in marketing forums and on blogs is that live chat on a website can generally lead to improved sales numbers.
The key is that customers have someone who can immediately walk them through a sale if they become confused or have a question that can make or break a sale. This helps eliminate bounces away from retail websites and ensure that full shopping carts make it through check out.
4. Live Chat Gives You An Edge of Your Competition
Many top retail businesses are not offering chat. If you want to gain an edge on the competition, live chat is a key feature that websites must have in order to be competitive and to hopefully rise to the top. In fact, live chat provides a simple way to connect with customers who spend a good deal of their money online.
The cost savings and convenience for both staff and customers makes live chat not only a viable option for businesses today, but an essential tool for any company that thrives on providing excellent customer service.
5. Live Chat Taps into Customer Pain Points
A customer’s frustration or need that has yet to be filled is called a pain point, and marketing teams mine social media and message boards for these pain points. Armed with these pain points, we can either write new content (for a blog or for an article) or create benefits/advantages for our advertising. In addition, pain points can turn into sales opportunities with customers.
Live chat provides immediate access to customers’ pain points. When customers use live chat, they’ll try to ensure that a product will perform as advertised or that a promotion will provide the discount they want. In addition, as live chat representatives talk to customers, they can find out ways to improve a company’s products and services.
Tips on Making Live Chat go the Extra Mile for Your Business
Live chat can obviously increase your business potential, but only if it’s executed correctly. Here are some important tips to ensure you make the most out of live chat software:
- Train your team! Your live chat representatives have to be extremely knowledgeable about your inventory and website navigation. Provide cheat sheets and FAQs to improve their performance and to make it easier for them to answer your customer’s questions quickly.
- Be aware of your shopping hours. If you own an online soccer shop in California, there is a chance that most of your visitors are international. Use analytics to determine when most of your visitors are using your site. Don’t assume 9 to 5 chat hours will work.
- Don’t be too robotic. The whole point of having live chat available is to provide warm, human help to a customer’s shopping experience. Having robotic greetings or responses can kill the effectiveness of live chat.
- Consider hiring people with sales experience. For the most effective use of live chat, consider using inside sales people and not just customer service representatives. People who have sales experience will more likely lead customers towards sales and increase the possibility of upselling.
- Don’t forget to boost your social. When your live chat representatives receive positive feedback from online visitors and customers, consider instructing your representatives (or sales people) to nicely remind your visitors to Like your Facebook page and leave a comment on it.
- Be prepared for surges in chat volume. Customers need to understand that they are in a queue and a representative will be with them shortly, if not immediately.
- Give your customers helpful chat features. Customers will also need to be able to modify the font size and to request a transcript of the chat.
Live chat is different from a phone call, since all replies must be short sentences that get right to the point. Long paragraphs don’t work in live chat. There is an art to knowing when to ask a question and when to offer solutions or additional products.
What is Malware?
Malware is short for malicious software.In case of website, it is also called a website infection.When a website is infected, all the visitors to that particular website can potentially catch the bug and further spread the malware. Websites are very vulnerable, they are much more exposed than normal users. They are directly connected to the world wide web and are continuously serving content to anonymous users, furthermore they are processing many requests, some of which might be malicious. New malware has now emerged that takes advantages of bugs in frameworks and their plug-ins; popular frameworks like WordPress and Joomla have vulnerabilities that allow them to be exploited and used as virus-serving mechanisms. Sometimes malware does not infect a website automatically, but a hacker breaks into the site and implants the malware manually.
If your website gets infected the damage can be devastating. Your website can be restored, but the trust of your users and customers can easily be destroyed. Furthermore, if you are discovered serving malware your site will be blacklisted in hundreds of blacklists worldwide. Removing yourself from these blacklists is a very lengthy and difficult task, so even after you have cleaned the virus, the damage will continue to linger for a long time.
Google started tracking malware in websites a few years back as part of Google webmaster tools. Malware (at that time) was known mostly as something installed in your website designed to deliver a payload unknowingly to the website visitor (also like a virus, trojan, program, script, etc.). Now, the term is used to cover nearly any compromised website wither it delivers an actual payload, redirects the user to a rogue website, or just plain contains simple SEO spam.
How do websites get infected with malware?
Often people have a perception that there are actual people (or hackers) trying to break into websites. That’s not really the case, it’s an automated process. Hackers, spammers, and criminals write scripts to seek out and search for websites with specific vulnerabilities they can use to break in. They watch the latest security holes patched in WordPress itself, as well as themes and plugins. They also look for other software with holes, such as Joomla, Mambo, Drupal, phpBulletin, Simple Machines forum, phpBB, and anything else they can find. Often scripts are written to break in through one hole, and then just infect all PHP files, all sites in a hosting account, or just all WordPress installations at once.
These automated scripts look for security holes in WordPress itself, themes, and plugins. If your website (or themes or plugins) are out of date – you might be open to one of these attacks looking for a way in. But this isn’t the only way.
Another way websites can be compromised (any website, not just WordPress) is by using an insecure connection to either login to FTP, your wp-admin dashboard, or your web hosting account. If your PC is compromised and you connect to your WordPress website, your connection information could be sent to a remove PC by a keylogger or trojan. Even is your PC is clean, if you connect to any of these by an insecure connection such as Starbucks connection, public wifi in a hotel or airport, the same thing could happen (same if your home wireless router isn’t secured).
Yet another way your WP website can be infected is through your webhost itself. Maybe your account is managed with cpanel or Plesk control panel and your webhost hasn’t applied the latest patches for that software. Hackers can get in through those security holes. What if an exiting employee from a webhost steals the password files (which has actually happened) – you could be compromised. What if someone external breaks into your webhost and steals your login information (which has also happened at multiple webhosts multiple times), you can also be broken into.
How to Protect WordPress from malware?
Now that you know what malware is, and how websites get infected, it’s time to find out how to protect your own website from malware (infections). While we can’t give you complete step by step instructions, we can give you some great points to follow which will make your website more secure and hardened than it ever has been.
- Reset your password(s): regularly reset your WordPress admin, FTP, and web hosting control panel passwords every 30-60 days. Be sure to use a 12+ character strong password from somewhere like strongpasswordgenerator.com. Never use the same password at multiple websites or for multiple accounts.
- Update everything: as previously mentioned, be sure to keep WordPress itself updated, and all plugins and your theme as well at all times. Check to see if your theme has an update available if you purchased it from a developer or a theme house. Have it reviewed by a competent WordPress developer once per year for vulnerabilities if it was custom coded.
- Remove unused and outdated items: The worst security holes are the ones that you forget about. Always remove all themes and plugins that are unused and inactive. In addition be sure to remove (or at least have an expert check out) any plugins that haven’t had an update in 12-18+ months or more.
- Get rid of common WordPress elements: Your WordPress installation shows what version you are running in the meta generator tag of every HTML page it displays sitewide. Use a security plugin like Secure WordPress or Better WP Security to suppress this from being displayed in your public pages. You can also remove, hide, or limit access files like readme.txt which also display WP version information.
- Limit Access: Limit and give admin access to only those with a “need to know” basis within your WordPress website. You should be able to count full site admins on one hand (preferable one or two fingers). Give the rest lesser user roles as needed.
- Setup alerting and monitoring: There are all kinds of free services (some by web hosting companies) that will alert or monitor you if your website is down (or if certain pages have changed in content)
- Register with Google Webmaster Tools: If you register with Google Webmaster Tools and they find malware in your website, they will notify you via email. Keep in mind (in our experience) by the time they notify you, your website could have been infected for days or weeks (or longer)
- Monitor changed files: There are many free plugins that will monitor your website for changed files, Better WP Security is one of them.
- Update wp-config security salts: Since before version 3.0 the wp-config.php file of every WP installation has contained “security salts” and a URL to get random ones to update the file with. Be sure to update your wp-config file.
- Install and configure a security plugin: Setup and configure an all-inclusive security plugin, something like Better WP Security or Secure WordPress
- Setup and test a backup solution: By all means, make sure that in the event something does happen you have a disaster recovery plan. You can use a free plugin, premium solution, or web based service to backup your website to an offsite location for recovery in case you are hacked, or something at your web host goes down. This is even protection against issues if you upgrade WordPress or plugins and a conflict takes your website down. At least with an option like this, if you are taking regular versioned backups, you can easily revert to the last known good version
With just these few bullet points, your website security can be improved by nearly 95% (or more). Be Safe.
Benefits of using Google Places
Reach millions of Google users, quickly and for free, with Google Places
More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, so it’s important to make sure your local business listing can be easily found on Google.com and Google Maps. With Google Places, creating a great listing takes just a few minutes and doesn’t cost a thing.
Edit your listing and speak for yourself
Your business probably already shows up on Google, but you should still verify your listing and make sure its details are accurate and thorough. Your improvements will start appearing soon after you verify them through Google Places. Also, you can add notifications
Practical and easy to manage
Your Google local business listing is an easy way to maintain an online presence even if you don’t have a website. You can visit Google Places anytime to edit your information or see how many people have seen and clicked on your listing.
Premium options, all for free
Make your listing really shine with photos and videos; custom categories like your service area, brands you sell and how to find parking to encourage customers to make a first-time or repeat purchase.
Create your listing today using Google Places.
This tutorial is in continuation to Get Optical Character Reader – English. Please go through this tutorial to Download, Install and Use Tesseract OCR Engine and gImageReader.
Now we should add English Dictionary for spell check.
2. UnZip the en_Us.zip
3. Copy the Dictionary to Appropriate Folder
Go to Windows Start ,
Select All Programs,
Open gImageReader Folder
and Select Spelling Dictionaries.
A Folder will open, copy the en_US.dic and en_US.aff files from the Extracted Folder to this folder.
4. Dictionary is Installed!!
5. How to use the Dictionary
You will need to reopen the gImageReader to See the dictionary into action.
Now when you Recognize a Document, the Output Panel will highlight the incorrect spelling with a red underline.
If you right click on the incorrect spelling, alternate suggestions will be given.
You can also add the word to the dictionary.
You are ready to use the OCR with the English Dictionary
This tutorial will show you how to use Tesseract OCR and gImageReader to read (Recognize) text from a PDF file or Image File.
Steps to Implement Optical Character Reader (English)
The Tesseract OCR engine was one of the top 3 engines in the 1995 UNLV Accuracy test. Between 1995 and 2006 it had little work done on it, but since then it has been improved extensively by Google and is probably one of the most accurate open source OCR engines available. Combined with the Leptonica Image Processing Library it can read a wide variety of image formats and convert them to text in over 40 languages.
2. Install Tesseract OCR Engine
- Double Click on the downloaded exe to install the Tesseract OCR Engine
- Allow the setup to install the Tesseract Engine
- Click Yes for Do you want to install Tesseract-OCR 3.0.1?
- License Agreement
- Check I accept the terms of the License Agreement
- Click Next
- Choose Components
- Keep the settings as it is
- Click Next
- Choose Install Location
- You may change the destination folder or just keep it as it is.Just Note down the destination folder for later
- Click Install
- Let the Setup Install all the files
- Completing the Tessaract-OCR 3.01 Setup Wizard
- You may check or uncheck Show Readme
- Click Finish
We have Downloaded the OCR Engine. This Engine process the pdf files. however, for ease of use, we still need a Graphical Interface for OCR
- Double Click on the Downloaded Setup exe to install the gImageReader
- Welcome to the gImagereader Setup Wizard
- License Agreement
- Read Me
- Choose Components
- Keep the default settings
- Click Next >
- Choose Install Location
- You may change the destination folder. Note down the destination folder for future
- Click Install
- Let the Setup install all the files
- Installation Complete
You are ready to use the OCR. To read a pdf file, follow the following steps
- You can Open a originally scanned pdf file or image file.
- Or can Acquire by selecting your scanner
- After you select the file, Click Recognize All
There you go! Simple and useful. Tell me if you find this useful.
Currently, we have not added English Dictionary. I will soon post a tutorial on adding the English Dictionary
With an increase in the usage of mobile phones,an equally high rate of its thefts take place every year.Unfortunately,the victim,whose mobile phone is stolen,accepts it as either his fate or his carelessness and monetarily calculates his loses with reference to the price of the stolen mobile.However,it is not only the pecuniary loss that matters but one needs to also take into consideration the loss of data in terms of contact details in the phone-book,the downloaded music,photographs,videos and other information that was stored in the mobile.In case the mobile was of a higher version with latest technology,internet access,etc;the loses would mount further.With mobile becoming a part of one’s daily necessity,it loses would further result in the person becoming crippled without its access.Though few may be lucky enough to retrieve their phones back in case they are merely misplaced at public places and land in the person’s hand who believes ‘Honesty is the best policy.’;yet such chances are very less.However,in case one permanently loses his mobile here are a few tips to handle the aftershocks.These tips indirectly buzz about the possible threats of a lost mobile:
- Generally mobile phones are not insured.However,it is necessary to file a first information report/FIR at the local police station when the mobile phone is stolen.However at times when reporting FIR,the word,’misplaced’ is used by the police instead of ‘theft’. Though it ultimately means loss for its owner,it officially saves the time and energy of investigating the accused.
- It is very important to inform the respective service provider to immediately discontinue the service of the stolen mobile phone.Failing to act on this instantly would extend the financial loss further as the bill amount of the phone calls made by the thief before deactivation of service will have to borne by the ex-owner.In case of prepaid scheme the losses will be limited only to the extent to which it is recharged,while in case of post-paid services,it could be unlimited.
- In case mobile banking is activated,it is important to inform the bank officials to stop sending SMSes to avoid fraudulent use.The service can be restarted after the new mobile phone is bought and a new number is activated.
- In case the thief is smart enough to destroy the SIM card and thinks he can make himself and the stolen phone in accessible,the mobile technology is smarter.Each mobile handset is equipped with an excellent feature known as International Mobile Equipment Identity/IMEI. The IMEI is an unique 15 digit number given to each handset which makes it geographically traceable by its service provider at any given point of time .To find out the IMEI number press *#06# and the number is immediately displayed on your mobile.Note this number on future reference in case need be.
- Unfortunately,the service providers do not make an effort to trace the handsets under the pretext of not invading one’s privacy as it involves extra efforts and expenses at their end.
- According to human psychology,the person whose mobile is stolen would wish that his mobile should prove equally ineffective and incapable of being used by the thief.This can also be done by the service provider company,provided the IMEI code is informed them.
- Though the above remedial measures indirectly also portray the possible threats of losing the mobile due to either one’s negligence or being outsmarted by someone else,the bottom line is:either dig it,derive it or ultimately destroy it.
Few years a ago a website in flash or flash Content on website is considered to be trendy and upmarket, The Demand of flash was very high and website development & web designing companies in India were using flash extensively.
|Flash Support Vector Graphics|
|Extensive features||Features not as extensive as Flash|
|3D Capabilities||3D features are limited|
|Consistent appearance in supported browsers|
|Built-in UI & other features|
|Many free and Commercial tools available||Hundreds of free professional quality programs|
|More font options|
|Adobe Flash Software Licensing fee|
|Not compatible with all browsers including iPhone , iPad and most cell phones||Compatible with more browsers than Flash including iPhone, cell phones, PS3, PSP|
|Possible problems with users that have older versions of the Flash Player|
|Potentially large file size||Small size|
|Possible security issues with Flash Player|
|Tracking stats for Flash elements is limited|
|Can add interactivity to web page elements and tags|
|Skinnable Form Components UI|
|Complex features may not perform as quickly as flash|
|Source Code Not Protected|
In its simplest form e-commerce is the buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers over the Internet. People use the term “e-commerce” to describe encrypted payments on the Internet.
Sometimes these transactions include the real-time transfer of funds from buyer to seller and sometimes this is handled manually through an eft-pos terminal once a secure order is received by the merchant.
Internet sales are increasing rapidly as consumers take advantage of lower prices offer by wholesalers retailing their products. This trend is set to strengthen as web sites address consumer security and privacy concerns.
Benefits of E-Commerce
E-commerce can provide the following benefits over non-electronic commerce:
- Reduced costs by reducing labor, reduced paper work, reduced errors in keying in data, reduce post costs.
- Reduced time. Shorter lead times for payment and return on investment in advertising, faster delivery of product
- Flexibility with efficiency. The ability to handle complex situations, product ranges and customer profiles without the situation becoming unmanageable.
- Improve relationships with trading partners. Improved communication between trading partners leads to enhanced long-term relationships.
- Lock in Customers. The closer you are to your customer and the more you work with them to change from normal business practices to best practice e-commerce the harder it is for a competitor to upset your customer relationship.
- New Markets.The Internet has the potential to expand your business into wider geographical locations.
Why Page Speed is so important
- Web surfers are very impatient.Slow loading speeds cause them to press the back button.
So you are loosing money if the impatient web surfer (read Client/Customer) coming to your website hits the back button due to slow load time
- Slow speeds are used in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Which means that solwer the website, lower the Google Rank.You might never get to the first page in Google’s Search result.
How to check Page Speed?
Simple, ask Google. Go to Google Page Speed Online.
Remember, this tool measures pages, not entire websites. So, test and optimize each page (or the important and most visited ones) separately.
And Dont forget to test for Mobile
Google Page Speed also has feature to test your site for mobile devices. With more and more users using internet from their handheld devices, having slower internet connection, you cannot afford to ignore that.
How to Increase Page Speed
Note : The Steps to increase the Page Speed listed here are for WordPress Sites only.
Step 1: Get the Actual Page Score Before we start
Use Google Page Speed to analyse your page speed. We will analyse the Page Speed regularly. Please Note sometimes after we do the changes, the Page Speed is not imediately affected. You might have to wait for few minutes to see the change.
Now, to increase Page Speed, first of all I refered a Guide on WP Tuts + : The Ultimate Quickstart Guide to Speeding Up Your WordPress Site. The Major difference that I saw in my Page Speed is due to this guide. I am listing the steps provided in that guide here for your easy reference
Step 2: W3 Total Cache
If you are using any other caching plugin , Please deactivate it!
Head over to your “Add new” plugins section within the WordPress, search “W3 Total Cache” , install it and activate it
Once W3 Total Cache is switched on you will see a new sidebar tab called “Performance”, click it.
Let’s first look at the “General Settings”, you will want to tick the following boxes (to enable):
- Page Cache (select “Disk: Enhanced” in the drop down) – Caching pages will reduce the response time of your site and increase the scale of your web server.
- Minify (Select “Manual”, leave the other settings) – Minification can decrease file size of HTML, CSS, JS and feeds respectively by ~10% on average.
- Do not tick Database cache (we will sort this later via a different method)
- Object cache (select “Disk” in the drop down) – Object caching greatly increases performance for highly dynamic sites (that use the Object Cache API).
- Browser Cache – Enable HTTP compression and add headers to reduce server load and decrease file load time.
- Leave CDN, Varnish & cloudflare untouched. (again to do this quick upload the settings file included in the “source files” via the option at the bottom of the “General Settings”)
Step 2B: Get Cracking with Minify
- Click the “Minify” tab/link at the top of the W3 panel/page. In the “HTML & XML” section make sure that the first three boxes are checked.
Then click the “Help” button at the top.
- Jquery files
- Google ads (or any ads for that matter)
- Any stats.wordpress.js files (you will have these if you have jetpack installed
However for CSS you can pretty safely select all of them. Now this isn’t an exact science as this is minifying your theme files (Don’t worry it’s non destructive) and there are alot of different themes all employing a wide range of different files, plugins and functions. Basically preview your changes before submitting them.
Minify is one of the biggest improvements you will be integrating, once you have selected all your files (and done the same with every theme, if you are using more than one) then click “Apply & close”, directly followed by “Save all settings” (Deploy it if your site still looks/works the same).
Step 2C: Head Over to Browser Cache…
Once your in the “Browser Cache” tab/page you will need to change the “Expires header lifetime” to 691200 seconds. This will immediately boost your ySlow score.
Now head back to “General Settings” and click “empty all caches”, then go to your homepage and run the ySlow test again, you should see a nice improvement.
Step 3: Install Database Manager Plugin
In the Same tutorial, I also followed the Step 3: Let’s get back to that pesky Database optimization.
You will need to Install and Activate WP-DBmanager
Below the “Performance” sidebar tab in the WordPress backend there should be another tab with the name “Database” (if not then go back and activate it).
Now this is very simple you need to do three things, backup, repair, optimize.
To backup click the “Backup DB” then at the bottom click “Backup” (Don’t worry about gzipping).
Next up we want to repair your database (just incase) so go to the “Repair DB” in the sidebar. Click the “Repair” button at the bottom.
Lastly, optimize it. Click the “Optimize DB” sidebar button & yep you’ve guessed it, click the “Optimize” button at the bottom.
To avoid this process again pop into the “DB Options” sidebar tab. At the bottom there will be an “Automatic Scheduling” section. Ensure that backups are done EVERY DAY (you can’t be too careful) then set it to optimize say every few days and repair once a week. Then save the changes.
Step 4: Time for Image Compression
Large Images really slows done your site. Lossless Compression can come to rescue. I used Image Compressor 2008
However, there are many other good compressors available that you can use.
Step 5: Leverage Browser Caching
This Step is from another Great Guide How to Leverage Browser Caching in WordPress via htacces
Open up your htacces file and paste in the following directives at the top of the file:
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
ExpiresActive OnExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 2 days"
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
Step 6: Do the Housekeeping
- Removing “broken links”, or requests that result in 404/410 errors, avoids wasteful requests.
- Remove unnecessary Plugins. And Keep the Plugins upto Date
- Upgrade to latest version of WordPress as and when new version is released
This covers pretty much everything…. Now is the time to check the Score.
Dont Forget to reply below with the change in speed you observed in your site