Customer service management in a post-pandemic era

Pandemics have a way of bringing world-wide economies to their knees. One just has to take a look at the state of economies and local businesses in the wake of COVID-19 to see that. As businesses struggle to their feet and try to take up their place at the forefront of consumer markets once more, one glaringly obvious problem presents itself. In the absence of business, customer services have taken a dip and along with it the ability to implement customer service management systems that truly work.

Some businesses have grasped the opportunity and thrived while others seem to have dropped the ball and been left standing around, looking confused.

It’s not that customers have used the pandemic as an excuse to become wishy-washy in their wants and needs. In fact, for many years, consumers have been looking to businesses to see how they plan to step up their online presence and offer innovative changes that meet the ever-growing expectations of consumers. The pandemic has simply highlighted these expectations and forced big business to bring their planning forward a few years.

For brick and mortar stores, the world of online shopping has opened up, real-time communications had to be made a real “thing”, and deliveries of anything and everything in the speediest possible fashion had to become the norm for any local business to survive these challenging times.

Even businesses already offering their services online have had to shine their shoes and get their teams into line as more and more consumers seek out their services from a remote environment. Things have needed to change for all kinds of businesses and a very bright spotlight has recently been shining on the topic of customer service management.

2021-proof your customer service management

The need for better and more robust customer service management is more obvious now than it’s ever been before. Contactless engagements and shifts towards a more digital-focused business model have meant that staff member’s roles have changed over the past weeks and months and that means more training and of course more upskilling.

So, just how do you go about creating a customer service management plan that wows the socks off consumers in your particular target market? Here’s how to strategise for customer service management excellence.

  • Find out what makes your customers tick for the sake of retention – Find out where your customers’ needs are being met and where they are not so that improvements can be implemented. There is software available online to do this type of market research.
  • Provide your customer service agents with a wealth of support – Your customer service agents can only be as good as you have taught them to be. Upskill your staff members, so that they know how to make use of all new systems and provide the best possible digital services to your customers.
  • Provide quick and easy access to product information and company services –This is where cloud computing becomes of paramount importance. Customer service agents with quick and easy access to documents and information can provide better service delivery than a staff member that has to scramble and hunt for information.
  • Provide data security peace of mind – Collecting a customer’s data has become an area of concern of late. Customers are fearful of what might happen with their personal data once it is collected. Where is it stored and is it safe? Can it be hacked? While nothing in life is guaranteed, by assuring your customers that their data is encrypted and stored securely off-site in the cloud, you can provide them with much-needed peace of mind that their personal particulars are not going to end up in the hands of a third party.

the time to boost your customer service management is now!

There’s no time to waste when it comes to boosting your customer service management efforts. Most businesses are well on their way to transforming how they provide their services – you don’t want to be left behind.

To learn more about providing better data security peace of mind to your customers, chat to us at Soteria Cloud about our data encrypted backup service today.

Changing the way we work remotely in the Cloud

Remote Cloud working is not new to the business world, but it is taking a while to reach “lift-off” in South Africa. Cloud computing comes with a plethora of perks and advantages attached, so why are South African businesses lagging behind?

Recent probes uncovered several reasons why Cloud computing plays a role in the business environment but, as yet, doesn’t see enough employees working remotely or making use of flexible working:

  • Mistrust between management and employees (management worry that employees won’t be working responsibly if they aren’t on-site).
  • A lack of technological infrastructure and hardware and softwareb –  companies just don’t have the right technology in terms of Cloud computing systems that support remote or flexible working.
  • The fear of cybersecurity risks that are a result of human error.
  • A lack of understanding of the business benefits of Cloud computing and flexible/remote working systems.

For some, the statistics could be seen as bizarre. This is particularly so when you consider that 93% of respondents (in a Cloud computing survey involving 250 IT decision-makers in South Africa), said that they do believe flexible working, paired with the right technology, could significantly increase staff productivity and boost positive outcomes.

The numbers show that;

  1. Only 59% of businesses interested in incorporating Cloud computing into their business model are doing so to introduce remote and flexible working opportunities to their employees.
  2. 74% indicated that they were interested in Cloud computing for the improved data security and better document management that it ensures.
  3. 61% indicated that their interest in Cloud computing was solely based on saving business costs.

Do Staff Want Flexible and Remote Working Opportunities in SA?

Staff members were also put in the spotlight and asked how they feel about remote and flexible working in a recent survey.

The result was that; 58% of staff felt they were more productive working remotely/flexibly, whereas 32% said they have the same productivity levels whether in the office, on the go, or working from home. There is, of course, the 7% of respondents that indicated that working from home might prove difficult and affect their productivity levels negatively. These percentages do give business owners something to think about…

4IR – South Africa Needs to Get on Board with Digital Transformation

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, and while the rest of the world soars ahead with flexible and remote working made possible with Cloud computing, South Africa seems to be lagging instead of welcoming the change. Companies need to keep up with the global digital transformation, but they also need to provide a working environment that inspires productivity and loyalty from staff members.

When companies in South Africa embrace Cloud computing to change the way they work, they will reap the benefits. For instance, Cloud computing enables employees to collaborate better. It also allows them to connect and share information with greater ease. Cloud computing makes document control, sharing, and management so simple. What’s not to love?

Last Word

If your business is being left behind in the global digital transformation; perhaps now is the time to consider Cloud computing. Take the time to find how it can benefit you, your business and of course, your employees. Cloud computing is changing the way the world does business – be a part of that change!

New communication channels and cloud computing changing the way we work

Things have changed in the business landscape over the years, and it’s all thanks to IT development. Gone are the days when a consumer reached for a landline phone to make contact with a store or service provider. Nowadays, consumers turn to mobile phones, iPads, tablets, laptops, and even desktop computers before they give their old landline (if they still have one), a second thought.

Nowadays, consumers prefer to make contact on social media platforms or by using messenger services such as WhatsApp. And, before anyone even thinks about making a phone call to reach out, they send an SMS or an email.

Is this the end of the line for the landline? Probably! Especially when you consider that only 10% of broadband installations include the installation of a landline at the same time (current stats uncover this stat).

What IT changes are affecting the way we work and communicate?

5G will make a big impact, especially in South Africa. In all likelihood we will have to wait until 2020 for 5G,but it will be well worth the wait when voice services, data management and storage spans become so much easier, and five times faster! And what’s more, it should be reliable and affordable.

Why pay for a landline service when you can do everything on your mobile phone for a whole lot less in terms of cost?

Blockchain is also making its way in the telecoms field, and it is said that, when it makes its official debut, it will offer user conveniences such as easy number portability and number blocking.

Cloud based services are also something worth a mention as they have brought about a mammoth change in communications and business operations. It’s not only data encrypted backups that on offer, but complete business systems that operate in the Cloud. Never before have businesses been able to get quite so much done without having a single person in the office. But that’s nothing new – Cloud services have been around for quite some time now.

The change is happening now

The fact that consumers are looking for more convenient ways to communicate – in fact, they are demanding it – and the fact that technology provides everything required to provide these conveniences means that businesses are being forced to change the way they work in order to keep up.

You will have noticed the change in your own life, and there’s little doutb that it has been beneficial in some way.

The next time you make enquiries about a product on social media, realise that you too are part of the change. And, if you are gearing up towards ensuring that your business is moving with the times to be better able to communicate with, and serve, your consumers in the modern ultra-connected ways they are looking for, make sure that you are protecting the data and interests of your business at the same time. You can read a few of our safety tips here.

In need of more advice on how to protect your business in an advancing market place? Get in touch with us at Soteria Cloud today.

Cloud Migration – Is it what your business needs?

Have you been concerned that your business is lagging behind because it hasn’t migrated to the Cloud yet? Well, you might have made an excellent decision for yourself in the long run. Being slow to adopt Cloud business systems might have saved you a lot of money and frustration after all.

When Cloud computing first came about, businesses clamoured for it because it promised cost-effective data storage and a convenient way to connect everyone within an organisation. With Cloud computing systems, documents could be shared, and projects could be worked on, without having to set foot outside of your office, or be physically in the office – regardless of whether your business is local or global.

Not every cloud has a silver lining for everyone

Unfortunately, Cloud computing hasn’t really been “all of that” for businesses looking to cut back on costs. Perhaps what those businesses were looking for was a data storage solution. These businesses would better benefit from Cloud backups and storage, instead of the Cloud computing business systems that were touted as “the thing to have” by the industry at the time.

Data security is a problem that some Cloud-based businesses are currently struggling with. It comes as no surprise that online data breaches have cost many businesses millions of rand. And that again is where Cloud backup and storage may outshine a Cloud storage business system. Let’s face it, Cloud migration and business operations in the Cloud cost money and of course, whoever you are “hiring” your Cloud space from is going to limit just how much space you get. You basically have the very same problem you had before, except now it is in the Cloud.

The fact of the matter is that the Cloud offers businesses, and individuals, great conveniences – that cannot be disputed, but it’s not always going to be the most viable option for every business.

How Cloud Backup & Storage Makes for a More Viable Alternative

With Cloud Backup, you can have backups automated on your business devices to transfer data to the Cloud and remove local copies (if you feel this is safer). Now your data is safely stored. Best of all, Cloud backups offer data encryption, which eliminates the risk of a Cloud data breach. You could save yourself a lot of time, money, and security risks by opting for secure encrypted regular data backups, instead of moving your entire business to the Cloud.

Get in Touch

Have you transferred your business to the Cloud? How did you find the experience? We would love to know – share your experiences.

How Cloud Plays a Huge Role in the Always-On Economy

Instant gratification, 24-hour service, exceptional customer care… Call it what you want, but in today’s modern economy, it is essential to be “always-on” and immediately ready and available to serve the needs of your customers. If you aren’t, you are going to miss out on a share of your market.

The business technology and software of 20 years ago simply couldn’t support around-the-clock approach to business. Nowadays, with Cloud computing and advanced data management tools, a business can be operational 24/7/365

Along with the convenience and efficiency of an “always-on” business comes the responsibility of data security, and ensuring that the company is compliant with online legislation and regulations. In layman’s terms – an “always-on” business is a handful.

The Role of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is about more than just functionality. Most people recognise just how efficient business processes can be when Cloud systems are used. Some benefits include:

  • Data management processes are automated and simplified
  • Productivity is greatly increased
  • IT management processes are improved while being simplified

The role of Cloud Computing in an “always-on” business environment is about more than just functionality, though. It’s also about improving the customer experience and ensuring reliable data security that grows with the business. And because of this, industry expects to see Cloud computing playing a far more significant role when it comes to providing, managing, and protecting data that is required for the following upcoming trends that are expected to become most prevalent in the near future:

Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence data management)

AI is changing both societal norms and the “normal” business processes as we have come to know them over the years. To ensure competitiveness, companies will need to adjust their approach and learn new skills and methods in terms of AI and Augmented Analytics. Artificial Intelligence will help businesses take great leaps and bounds in terms of creating an exceptional customer experience. Of course, there will be a mammoth amount of data involved in using AI, and so companies must pay attention to implementing safe and secure systems.

Accelerated Cloud Adoption

Massive adoption of Cloud Computing is expected in the very near future as businesses want more reliable access to data, flexibility and of course, secure and dependable disaster recovery.

Regulatory Compliance

Cloud Computing providers generally take care of all the regulatory compliance for business. When managing data, companies will need to meet with standards and regulations already in place, or face fines or even business closure. Data protection and management has become an essential focus for any business. It’s a particularly tricky situation for the likes of banks, insurance companies, financial investment companies and IT companies as the data they deal with is highly sensitive.

Cloud Computing Simplifies & Secures Business Processes

The role that Cloud Computing plays in “always-on” businesses is major when you consider that while these systems save time and effort for users, they also consolidate various processes such as backups, recoveries, analytics, compliance, and cost savings. It’s safe to say that if a business wants to run at peak potential 24 hours a day without hassles, glitches, and security issues along the way, Cloud Computing is the best way to go.

What are your thoughts on Cloud Computing and its role in the future of your business? Let us know!

Effective Operating In The Cloud Still Requires Data Management Skills

It comes as no real surprise that Big Data Quarterly recently stated that cloud computing is changing the way businesses manage data environments today. In fact, cloud computing has become the number one solution for most businesses looking for an efficient way to manage their data, but what of data management skills? Continue reading Effective Operating In The Cloud Still Requires Data Management Skills

Cyril Ramaphosa vows to establish a digital revolution commission

It’s no real secret that South Africa is lagging behind when it comes to full digital industrialisation. This is easily seen when you compare the country with its international counterparts. Consider that SA has to grow at around 5% each year in order to create jobs and keep the economy growing. One then has to wonder why digital, which is one of the most lucrative industries in the world, has been largely untouched by Africa. Continue reading Cyril Ramaphosa vows to establish a digital revolution commission

Storage Decisions 2015 – What Attendees Learned About Cloud Storage

Storage Decisions 2015 was held in New York just last month. The panel of experts at the conference took the time to answer questions about how today’s data storage industry is affected by storage technologies, vendors and strategies. While the questions directed at the experts revolved around cloud storage, flash spinning disk and even tape storage technologies and methods, it became apparent that cloud backup and storage methods offer viable and reliable solutions to those looking for a safe, secure and easy way to back up data.

Let’s take a closer look at what the attendees learned about cloud storage at Storage Decisions 2015:

  • One particular expert, Ben Woo, advised attendees that cloud storage provides an essential disaster recovery method for businesses that place importance on flexibility, convenience and affordability.
  • Marc Staimer also stated that the real advantage of cloud storage is its flexibility. With cloud solutions in place, there’s no need to hire employees to handle file storage, maintenance, updating and similar. The system handles it for you – and that’s sheer convenience.
  • Jon Toigo made it clear that in order to operate your business successfully in the cloud; you need a reliable network and internet service. With reliable connectivity you can confidently operate your business smoothly and have access to info on demand.

It seemed to be a general agreement amongst the experts that hanging onto data for longer than necessary, or data that is no longer relevant or required by the business, is simply poor storage practice. This type of storage will cost the business money in the long run. If you want efficient systems and storage folders that only contain relevant and valuable data to the business, make sure that you analyse and update your storage files regularly and trash data that you no longer need. George Crump however, added that one should always be careful that the data being deleted is really no longer required.

It is without a doubt that business owners attending Storage Decisions 2015 left with a better understanding of cloud storage and how to deal with it for the best possible results and savings going forward.

If you would like to hear more about the advantages of cloud storage and how to use it successfully for your business, take the time to get in touch with us at Soteria Cloud. Learn more about our business cloud storage packages or the features of cloud storage with the help of Soteria Cloud today.

 Storage Decisions

Why there is no reason to fear cloud technology

Many Internet users have an unintended fear of using cloud technology, without even realising that they are already making use of it. If you stream or download music from iTunes, work in Google Docs, download Kindle books or similar, you are in fact interacting with the cloud – probably daily! When you consider the cloud in this manner you begin to realise just how seamlessly cloud computing has integrated into everyday life: so why do so many businesses show reluctance to migrating to cloud services? In most cases it is as simple as not understanding what cloud technology is, just how secure it can be and how much convenience it can bring to the average business.

To illustrate why there is no reason to fear cloud technology, we have broken it down for the business owner below:

Cloud technology is simple to understand and use!

Cloud computing is basically the process of accessing services and systems that are remotely based or hosted. This means that the programs, files and systems that you are accessing are located on an external server and not on your actual computer or hard drives. With a user name and password along with an Internet connection, cloud users can access all their data at anytime, and from anywhere.

Cloud computing and technology offers your business a wealth of benefits!

The most important benefit of cloud computing is cited to be increased productivity from employees. Businesses making use of the cloud can enable their team members to access everything that they need on the move. This presents a huge convenience to the business as staff members can work remotely, from any computer, to access important files and information.  There is no longer a need to suffer rush hour traffic just to visit the office in order to update documents and files: it’s all instantly and digitally accessible.

Cloud technology also offers an added layer of security to the business in terms of downtime. If the business experiences a system crash, virus or data loss, it’s critical data is already saved to an external server, which means it won’t be at risk. There will be no time wasted on trying to recoup information and rebuild systems. Choosing a cloud computing service provider that offers data encryption as part of their business cloud backup package will also ensure that your sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands.

Migrating to cloud services is quick, easy and affordable!

Many business owners want to know if it’s costly to migrate to cloud services and the answer is a firm NO.  Migrating to the cloud can be done quickly and without disrupting your daily business activities. Once the system is set up, it can be set to automatically activate incremental backups. This ensures that backup of any edited files, folders and documents on devices and machines linked to the system is done according to your designated schedule. When choosing the right cloud data backup service provider, you can expect the rates to be most affordable and with no hidden costs. In most cases, having a cloud system in place of an IT department is a cost saving!

Want to learn more about cloud computing and technology? Contact us at Soteria Cloud or take a look at our business cloud backup solutions.

Cloud Computing

Does South Africa Need Cloud Technology to Compete Globally?

Cloud technology, cloud computing systems and even online cloud backups offer the business market a great deal.  While many companies have converted to cloud services, it would appear that there are still some who are unwittingly lagging behind!

In 2014 US Deloitte carried out a survey that gathered information from mid-market executives.  The aim of the survey was to determine market opinion on whether or not new opportunities are being created by the advances in cloud computing.  What was the result?  39% of participants felt that cloud technology had the best potential for growing their business’ productivity gains.  Now that’s saying a lot!  Why haven’t more of these businesses made the transformation to cloud services yet?  Have you?  Does your business currently operate in the cloud?

The question begs to be answered; does SA really need cloud technology to compete globally?  The answer is a resounding YES!  Just a few years ago the country’s local small and medium enterprises didn’t have access to the same tools and systems that cloud technology makes available today.  As a result, the country suffered in terms of being able to service a global or foreign market effectively.  Of course all that has now changed.

Cloud Technology Levels out the Playing Field

What exactly has cloud technology offered small to medium enterprises that has enabled them to compete with some of the bigger concerns on the global market?  The answer is fairly obvious.  Large corporate concerns have the funds and resources to set up big call centres and offices with prime locations, to service their global market.  SMEs simply couldn’t compete.

Cloud technology now makes it possible for small companies to host online / cloud based office spaces.  There’s no hefty property rental attached and personnel can gain access to the system, share information, edit documentation and safely store sensitive information, without having to actually go into the office.  In fact, employees of such setups could be spread across the globe with no negative impact to the efficiency and streamlined services of the business “office”.  What’s cloud technology done?  It’s brought people closer and made business administration and processes simpler.

Nowadays, small to medium sized enterprises are encouraged to compete with the larger concerns.  After all, cloud technology has made it possible for small business to acquire similar systems and processes as large corporations, at a fraction of the cost.  Now small enterprises can offer global customers a world-class service in the same field of play.

At Soteria Cloud we are part of the race to provide the business market with online cloud services.  Our cloud backup services for business and home environments offer a world of convenience to our clients.  Is your business currently making use of cloud technology?  Do you serve the global market with the help of cloud services?  We’d love to know!  Leave your thoughts and comments here.