A Phone Answering Service – 3 Ways It Makes Your Business Look More Legitimate

Article By Herb Kimble.

If your business relies on customers, you can see some huge benefits from a phone answering service. No matter how small your business is, having a team of people to answer the phone can make your company look more legitimate. If you are not sure what a phone answering service can do for you, consider these 3 benefits:

A phone answering service provides your clients with customer service 24/7

By having virtual help desk services, you can rest easy knowing that your calls are never going unanswered. A good phone answering service has teams of people that work 24 hours a day answering calls for their clients. You can hire a phone answering service to answer your calls anytime you cannot get to the phone – whether you’re in a meeting, on vacation, or asleep in the middle of the night.

By having a fully-staffed virtual phone answering service, you do not have to hire a full-time receptionist, or have to worry about answering calls at all hours of the day or night.

A phone answering service can be a life saver for a doctor’s office

If you own a small doctor’s practice, a medical answering service can give your patients peace of mind anytime you are not available. The people who work at your medical answering service can be trained to ask specific questions, so that the most important middle-of-the-night phone calls get patched directly to you, or so that a patient with only minor symptoms can be told what to do until morning rolls around.

Nothing is worse than being sick and scared in the middle of the night or during the middle of the weekend – when it seems like there is no one available to help you. By getting a medical answering service, your patients will never have to feel that way.

A phone answering service can help troubleshoot problems

People want to know that the company they’re dealing with has a way to provide a customer service solution if they ever need it. By hiring a phone answering service, you can give your customers impeccable service anytime. Even if someone needs assistance with a simple issue, your virtual help desk services can provide it for them.

By having valuable help desk services, your customers will never feel ignored – which can go a long way towards getting you repeat business!

About The Author:

Herb Kimble was perhaps the most famous outbound call center CEO and the best sales trainer in the Philippines. Herb Kimble is co-founder of CineFocus Productions, a movie production and soundstage rental company.

Basic web design checklist

A website is a lot of moving parts, there is the design, then there is input from the UX/UI personnel, and then there is the content from the writers. All this needs to fit together into one seamless whole, and that is the objective of the designer. Here is a basic checklist from Rack Alley that will help narrow down some of the things that you will need to keep an eye on:

The goal

The first step is to make sure that someone with enough authority defines the goal of the website. The decision needs to be come from management, and that will form the basis of everything that goes into it. We want all the teams pulling in the same direction.

First impression

There is research that shows that it takes only 0.05 seconds for a visitor to make a judgment about a website. The first impression is critical, and do everything, including the use of images, text, headers, calls to action etc. that will keep your visitors around a little longer.

Mobile version

Surveys show that more than half of web traffic is now from mobile devices, making it critical that you have a mobile version of your site, and that it is as fully functional as the desktop version. Forcing a mobile user to seek a desktop to complete certain tasks is asking for trouble.

There are many other factors, list hosting at a Los Angeles data center, etc, but the above three should give you an idea of how to approach and create your own checklist.

Airplane Battery Maintenance

Summary: Carelessness and neglect are two reasons why batteries aren’t pumping out an optimal stream of electricity.

If you’re a proud owner of an airplane, then you’re more than likely to come across one of the most common maintenance issues that plague nearly everyone – battery issues.

Most owners tend to leave their plane idling for longer than they would like. Naturally, doing so will allow the battery to naturally discharge a bit each day it’s left running. Furthermore, connecting the battery to an automotive battery charger could result in a loss of water within the electrolytes. Instead, consider utilizing a ground power unit, as it will essentially give your internal battery a much-needed break.

How to Notice a Dead Cell

If you take off the cap of a flooded battery, take a second to look at the innards. If nearly every cell is bubbling rapidly, they’re functioning properly. More so than often, you’ll notice that there are a few cells that are stagnant. These indicate that they are more than likely to be dead. As stated before, utilizing either a diesel electric hybrid GPU or any other type of ground power unit will prevent many of these issues from occurring. Although batteries are built to last in this day and age, carelessness can result in the death of a brand new battery. Keep yourself disciplined when it comes to the maintenance of your airplane – you already know that it isn’t the cheapest of things when it comes to repair costs.


How to Boost Traffic to Your Brick and Mortar Store

Summary: A lot of purchases are now made online but a number of people still visit physical stores. Finding unique ways to draw people to your business can help drive profits up.

The convenience of online shopping has driven many customers away from standard brick and mortar stores but plenty of people still enjoy the experience of checking something out before making a purchase.

How you get people interested in visiting your store is entirely up to you but there are some techniques you could implement to increase your chances of making a sale.

Data Analytics

The increase of information flowing around the internet can help you make better decisions. By sending out surveys and researching how consumers behave, you can get a better grasp of what your customers want. A system put in place by companies can help you create charts and graphs with your data to determine how long to keep products in your store for, what kinds of sales to have, and what kind of products people like the most. Use this data to your advantage by sending out offers and exclusive deals.

Interesting Store Front

An additional way you can get more people to stop by your store is to come up with an interesting store front. What people see when they walk by your store could influence whether or not they will actually walk in. An LED display wall for announcements, product visuals, and advertisements can grab someone’s attention and get them interested in what you have to offer. The goal with creating an interesting store front is to design something that will get people interested without being too forward. A design that is too flashy could steer potential customers away.

How Command Centers Can Make Operations Smoother

Summary: Implementing a command center into your organization can make operations run more smoothly.

In a free market the price you sell your goods or services at, compared to the price you paid to make said goods or services, will determine how much of a profit your company will make. This is a very simplified statement that does not go into the nuances of running a complex organization but it shows that, if a company wants to increase the money they make from each sale, they need to either increase the price they sell at or decrease the costs of producing.

More Knowledgeable Employees

An area where command centers really shine is in the delivery of information. Since mission critical consoles can take information from a number of sources, such as external sites or internal databases, and display them in a format that is both easy to access and easy to understand, employees who utilize their organization’s system can become more knowledgeable about what is going on. This level of transparency can help employees understand what is going on across the board, which can influence how they approach the work in their own department.

Giving Viewers More

If you run a broadcast company, for instance, then a command center workstation from a company can help you give your viewers more information with less effort. Things that were tough to provide before, such as different angles, more statistics and more relevant information, can be given with relative ease. More features can help your broadcast stand out among the other providers, which some users will be willing to pay for.

Video Games of the Past

There are more than 24,000 video games available today in the market according to the VideoGameGeek.com. Since the introduction of Arcade games in 1975, the video game industry has reinvented itself to include games played on smartphones, handheld devices, PCs, and consoles.

This post has been sponsored  by CamElectronics.com.
Cam Electronics offers sound reinforcement products including rock speakers, Bogen amplifiers, music sources, audio mixers, paging equipment and PA systems.

In 1975, there were only 24 video games available to play on large arcade screens. But by 1980, the field of video games branched out to include Atari, Apple II and others in addition to arcades. In the 1990s many other systems came and gone leaving Windows dominating the market in 2000s. Others included Xbox just entered the market, PlayStation and PlayStation 2, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64 and GameCube.

Today, Windows still a prominent platform for development of video games. The iPhone and iPad comes in close second and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 just behind. In 2011, 737 iPhone games were released, more than any other platform. In 2007, there were only 26 games released for iPhone. It is hard to say what will happen to Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Wii U and Nintendo DS. Web Browsers and Macintosh are also maintaining their share of the video game market.

App Ideas for a Small Business

Small businesses can gain big benefits from getting involved in the latest hot technology trend: app development. Whether a small business wants to develop an app that complements or highlights its products or services, or one that simply helps to better brand the company and get it noticed, iPhone app developers Los Angeles can open the door to a whole new audience and functionality.

Small Business App Ideas: Complementary Apps

Some businesses have services and products that naturally lead to apps. For example, a cleaning service could create an app with cleaning tips, to-do lists, and appointment-making options. Or a flower shop could create an app that gives decorating suggestions, color palette advice and ordering capabilities.

Before finding your company for mobile application development Los Angeles, consider the types of applications that complement the products and services offered by your small business and the utilities your customers could use in order to more easily order your services.

Small Business App Ideas: Branding

Some small businesses prefer to build apps that help to brand their business and don’t necessarily lead directly to purchases. Consider a temp agency that develops a time management app or an accounting firm that develops an app with an up-to-date tax FAQ. These apps help to promote the business while providing an actual utility that prospective clients can use.

No matter which approach you want to use for your small business, make sure you find an app development Los Angeles service who understands your needs, goals and priorities.

5 Computing Tips That Will Stay Relevant

Article Submitted by: Pierre Zarokian

With rapid advances in technology and computing these days, hardware seems to get faster while operating systems acquire new features as well.

Yet there’s computing advice that continues to remain relevant as it was 10 or 20 years ago. So, here is a list of 5 tips that can be considered as timeless advice for users:

#1: Use the internet to find solutions to system errors or other problems

There’s every chance that you will find users who have had the same errors or issues if you type the error message in Google. An excellent alternative when the help resource at your device manufacturer’s site is of no assistance.

#2: Back everything up

Don’t get caught with just one copy of files. Back them up as well as backups for these back up files as well. Some of the options to do this consist of the use of external hard drives and a cloud storage device.

#3: Keep Your Software up-to-date

While it might seem annoying when you receive those ‘Software Update’ notifications, the benefits of keeping your software up-to-date can be added functionality that the software has to offer as well as security patches that can prevent data loss and crashes.

#4: Say ‘No’ to cookies

Look for the ‘Do Not Track’ feature on your browser and enable it. This will prevent website from installing cookies in your browser which will also track your movements on the Web.

#5: Don’t depend on your battery

Don’t depend on your laptop or tablet’s battery to work for forever but instead carry your power cables with you or invest in secondary and backup options.

About the Author: Pierre Zarokian is a tech geek. He is also the CEO of a leading reputation management company. Connect with Pierre Zarokian at Facebook.


How LCD Screens Function, and How They are Built

Today’s computer enthusiast takes his monitor for granted. Higher refresh rates, lower blue colors and other features help to lessen eye strain and provide a smoother experience. Thanks to new manufacturing technology, these monitors are also getting progressively more affordable. That puts better technology in the hands of people who will utilize that tech to its fullest potential.

Impact of Manufacturing

With thin film evaporation, manufacturers can build extremely precise objects, with very specific measurements, enabling cell phones and handheld gaming systems to display hundreds or thousands of colors. The thin-film aspect is important, because these devices manufacture objects without any kind of defect or imperfection on the surface.

LCD screens are made of liquid crystal, which is manipulated by electric current. A few things need to happen for this to be possible:

  1. The current must be able to pass through the surface of the screen in order to create the colors we see.
  2. A covering must be applied that doesn’t mash against the LCDs and create problems with the display.

Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, or PECVD, helps manufacturers create a thin film that won’t press up against the screen covering.  A polarizing film is then added to the equation, which changes how the light is reflected or displayed. The result is a display that changes as a current is applied.

Creating the World’s Most Basic LCD

The first step to creating the most basic LCD screen possible is to find two pieces of polarized glass. Once you have the glass, apply a thin film vacuum coating of polymers that create microscopic grooves in the glass. A coating of liquid crystals is also added, but only to one of the glass filters. The grooves basically force alignment so that the film and colors are displayed properly. This is why some TVs appear darker if viewed from the side. Once you have your glass/liquid crystal sandwich, you need electrodes to help display certain images or colors.

The electrical charge untwists the liquid crystals, which helps to adjust the angle of light that passes through the glass. So true black is basically blocking light from passing through the LCD screen. That’s why your TV needs a constant flow of energy, which it uses to manipulate electrodes around the screen in order to display the image that is being fed to you.

External Hard Drives: The Ultimate Buying Guide for the Novice

Summary: External storage drives can save the most important data if a fatal crash were to occur to your computer or laptop.

If you’re like most people, you’ve been slowly accumulating photos, video, music, and other data on your computer. Maybe you have numerous files for clients that carry sensitive data. Or, you might have 5,000 digital photos sitting in numerous files on your desktop. Either way, this media takes up precious space on your computer and needs to be allocated properly. External hard drives are the solution, and if you’re in the market for one, this guide will help you get the ball rolling.

Back Up Your Computer

Leaving content on a computer without backing it up is a definite no-no. For one, your computer will begin to slow down over time. And another, you risk losing everything in the event of a catastrophic hard-drive crash. A $3000 computer doesn’t mean you’re completely safe from crashes, it can occur to anyone at anytime.

Choose What Type You Want

There are essentially two different types of external hard drives: solid state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD). SSDs, while extremely fast, can be extraordinarily expensive. And, the higher the capacity, the more you’ll have to fork over. On the other hand, you have HDDs which are half the price but don’t have the exact speed that an SSD has. Although an SSD is much safer, an HDD also works, as long as you aren’t reckless with it. If durability is truly a concern, look for external drives that boast ruggedness. These drives are reinforced with a variety of materials to increase the overall protection of your drive. Take a look at the various models and see what fits your budget and preference the best.

Add and Set Ringtones on your Android Smartphone

If you have recently purchased an Android smartphone, you may be wondering how you can add additional ringtones, alarms and notification sounds to the phone. To clarify the three types of tones that can be added: ringtones are used for incoming phone calls, alarms are used by the alarm clock application, and notification sounds are used by applications such as email and SMS for alerting you of incoming messages. The three types of tones are available on separate lists so you cannot, for example, assign a tone from the ringtone list to an alarm.

Other applications may choose to use one list or the other for their sounds depending on what is appropriate for that app. There was probably no documentation that came with your phone that explained how to add these tones to your phone, but it is an easy task to accomplish. Some of the methods described below only apply to ringtones, others apply to all three types. The simplest application solution for adding a new ringtone is to use Android’s built-in audio player.

This will allow you to set any song you have installed on your phone as the current ringtone. While you have the audio player application open, pressing on a song will result in a popup menu being displayed. That menu contains an option to assign the selected song as the phone’s ringtone. This will not only add the song to the ringtone list but will make the song the current ringtone at the same time.

A drawback to this approach is that the built-in audio player will not let you add a song to the alarm or notification sound list. There are also many ringtone applications which can be found on the Android Market by searching the market for “ringtone”. Most of these apps can be downloaded for a small fee. Some of the ringtone applications allow searching and selecting from large directories of commercial ringtones, while others only provide a single ringtone or a small related set of them. These applications vary in whether they will allow installation of just ringtones or all three types of tones. Be careful to read the description of the application as well as the comments to understand exactly what is provided and what the costs are. Another approach is that offered by the free Ringdroid application.

Ringdroid allows you to select any song that is on your phone and then choose exactly which portion of the song you wish to use as your ringtone. You can then save that portion of the song to any of the three lists of alarms, ringtones, or notification sounds. This is probably the most flexible solution for creating and saving tones if you already have the song you are starting with on your phone.

You may already have existing ringtones on your computer or have received some via an MMS message or email. It’s possible to turn these sound clips into ringtones, alarms, or notification sounds, although it takes a bit more manual work than the approaches discussed above. The first thing you will need to do is create the appropriate directories on your phone’s SD card. If you’ve used Ringdroid or one of the other ringtone applications then the directories may already exist, but if that’s not the case there are two ways to create them: either using your PC or through a file manager application on the phone itself. In order to create these directories with your PC, connect the phone to your PC with the USB cable.

You should be prompted on the phone to mount the SD card, which will then make it available as an external drive on the PC. Once you’ve done that, you can access that external drive as a folder on the PC. What you will see in this folder is the contents of your phone’s SD card. Now you want create the following folders on your phone’s SD card, just like you create folders on your PC.

These folders may already be present and if so, just click into them in order to verify that all of the folders needed are present. At the top level of the SD card, create a folder named “media” and click into it. Within the media folder, create a folder named “audio” and click into that. Finally, within the audio folder you will need to create three folders: “alarms”, “notifications”, and “ringtones”.

What you should wind up with are three folders: “media/audio/alarms”, “/media/audio/notifications” and “/media/audio/ringtones”. You can also create these directories on the phone itself using one of the file manager applications available for Android phones, such as Astro or Linda. There are many of these applications available, but any of the highly rated ones should have the capability of creating folders on the SD card and then moving files to them. Once you have created these three folders you can copy your existing tones, stored as either mp3 or ogg files, into them. As mentioned above, there are three different selection lists of tones available: ringtones, alarms, and notification sounds. The folder you choose to put a sound file into corresponds to which selection list the tone will show up on.

If you want the same tone to show up in more than one of these selection lists you will need to copy it to each of the appropriate folders. If you have these tones on your computer, you can drag and drop them to the appropriate one of these three folders while your phone is connected with the USB cable. If you have the tones attached to a MMS or email message now, it may be a little more complicated. For an MMS message, you can usually press on the message to get an option to save the attached audio file to the SD card. Then you’ll need to find the file and move it to the ringtone directory.

If you are using the default text message application, then the file will probably have been saved to the “download” directory on the SD card. Similarly, if your tone is in email, the email program on your phone may offer a way of saving the attachment to your SD card. If it doesn’t, then simply access the email on your PC and save the audio file to the appropriate directory on the SD card while the phone is attached to the PC with the USB cable.

With the techniques described above, you should be able to set any song or sound clip you’d like as a ringtone, alarm, or notification sound on your Android smart phone. One thing to be aware of is that if you’ve set a tone to a sound file that is stored on the phone’s SD card, that sound file is not available to be used by the phone while the card is mounted to your computer as external drive. In that case, you will most likely hear a default tone in its place. You will need to disconnect the phone from the PC before the tones on the SD card are available for use.


Picking an eBook Reader

Dedicated ebook readers are hot sellers these days; prices are dropping and ebook files are readily available, so more consumers are taking advantage of dedicated readers. People like ebooks because they don’t require storage space, are instantly available when people make the purchase, and are easy to take out in public with an ebook reader or smartphone. Which reader should you buy? There are lots of manufacturers offering devices these days and each reader has its own pros and cons.

Before you invest your money in any of these offerings, consider these factors.

Screens. Not all manufacturers use the same technology. How important is the screen quality to you? Do you want to read outside, possibly in direct sunlight? Do you find that screen glare from “traditional” materials and technology strains your eyes? Also, screen size can matter. If you’re used to reading on a smartphone, getting a paragraph or two of text on the screen at onetime is standard. However, what if you want more text at once?

Battery life. If you plan on recharging your reader on a regular basis, this probably isn’t as important as other factors. However, long battery life can be great if you’re going on vacation or simply forget to recharge your device. Speaking of batteries, remember that some devices use internal batteries while others use plain, disposable types you can easily find and replace on your own.

Storage space. Some ebook vendors, like Amazon, will archive your ebooks; you can grab them whenever you want assuming you can connect to the service. Storage space isn’t top priority in this case, but what if you want to keep your collection on hand? What if you’re not planning on syncing your device in the near future? Some readers have external, removable storage, which might be important.

File compatibility. If you do most of your ebook shopping at Barnes & Noble’s website, you probably don’t want a Kindle, and will most probably get the Nook. Before you buy a reader, make sure you know which files will work on it so that you don’t have to buy another version of the same book or do without.

Extra features. Do you want a full keyboard for making notes? Does a color screen appeal to you? Do you like the idea of being able to walk into Barnes & Noble with your device and get coupons and other bonuses? Do you want to temporarily loan ebooks to friends and family? Read company information about each device you’re considering and decide which additional features are important to you.

Price. Even though prices are falling, an e-reader is still an investment. Finding a device that fits your budget and is expected to give you quality service for years is one way to make your dollars work hard for you.

Ultimately, the final decision depends on your budget, preferences, and needs. There are lots of devices on the market, just like there are lots of people reading ebooks, so you’re bound to find one that’s nearly perfect for you.