Enhancing Your Lab: A Guide

Regardless of the type of work you do in your laboratory, the time will come to think about enhancing your existing setup to cater for your growing needs. Perhaps you are taking on new technical staff, or require a large amount of new technical equipment to service a new client, or maybe you are just simply running out of space. With all those boxes of equipment, notes and samples, you’ll need some efficient storage (rather than cluttering the work surfaces that you actually need to work on). With that in mind, this article will look at a few considerations for when you want to upgrade your laboratory safely and effectively.


Plan Ahead

Redesigning your lab is a job that, ideally, you’ll only want to do once, so make sure you plan ahead before reaching out to builders, designers and architects. You need to decide exactly what functions you need your lab to perform going forward; for instance, how much space will be needed to accommodate not only your staff but the type of work you might be undertaking? What processes will be used? What types of materials might be used? One size does not fit all, so plan forward to get the perfect layout for your needs.


Consult with Your Team

It won’t just be you using this space, but your wider team, too, so make sure that everybody is on-board with the lab enhancement plan. Ensure you communicate your ideas to your staff and listen to their feedback; encourage a forum for ideas because the people that work in that space every day will almost certainly want some input in terms of how the space is going to be used. They could also raise some valid, and perhaps previously un-considered points.


Equipment and Storage Space

If you are enhancing your lab, there’s a good chance you’ll also be investing in new equipment to diversify your work type; therefore, it might be a good idea to spend some time maintaining your existing lab equipment (especially the items that benefit from continued care, like your akta system, for example). With all that new equipment, don’t waste the opportunity to upgrade your lab’s storage facilities; a laboratory will always benefit from new cupboards, drawers and closets, especially the specialist storage units required for chemical and hazardous waste. Not to mention, getting all those boxes off the floor and safely out of the way will reduce those health and safety risks significantly.


More generally, make sure you plan ahead for how each space within the lab might be used. You need your working areas, but you also need to think about where meetings can be held, where staff might eat and personal working desk space. It is always wise to keep these spaces separate, for both safety and productivity reasons.


Be Future-Proof

Most importantly, as you put together plans for your newly enhanced lab space, don’t forget to incorporate a future-proof plan; try to predict the likelihood of taking on new staff, new equipment even new types of work, and try to create a flexible workspace that not only caters for today’s needs, but ensures you have a safe, efficient, flexible laboratory for many years to come.

How To Deliver Excellent Customer Experience

A smart business owner will always consider the customer experience, and try to find ways to make improvements. This is critical to success, as you will never retain customers or benefit from their referrals if they have a bad experience when using your brand. Fortunately, it can be relatively straightforward to improve the customer experience, and this should start to deliver noticeable effects almost immediately.

So, if you are just starting out, or if you feel as though you could be providing a better experience for your customers, then be sure to read on for a few ideas for ways in which you can make improvements.

Get A Clear Understanding Of Target Customer

It is difficult to know how to improve the customer experience if you do not have a clear understanding of who your target customer is. Look closely into your target group and think about what they want when they interact with a brand.

Make Communication Easy & Varied

Communication is key to success in all areas of business, particularly when it comes to your business. You need to make it easy for your customers to get in touch with your business, and you should always be replying swiftly and professionally – there are few things more frustrating than being unable to reach the company that you are doing business with. There should be a few ways for people to contact your business as some prefer certain forms of communication and dislike others. This means that you should have the following options:

Easy-To-Use Website

Websites are what customers greatly rely on, so you must make sure that this is easy-to-use, stylish, and functional. Nothing will deter a visitor more quickly than a clunky website, irritating ads, a chaotic layout, or a website which loads slowly. For the best results, it is worth using the services of a professional web design agency who will be able to deliver a modern, stylish and easy-to-use site which is a positive reflection of your brand.

Use Customer Satisfaction Tools

Without seeking feedback from your customers, making changes can be pure guesswork. So, a key strategy is to seek feedback from your existing customers so that you can learn what is working well and what is not. Customer satisfaction tools like those provided by HappyOrNot are highly effective for gauging how successful the customer experience is and allows you to identify ways in which you could make improvements.

Learn From Mistakes

Even the best companies drop the ball from time to time when it comes to the customer experience. What separates the best companies from everyone else is the fact that they will learn from these mistakes, and then find ways to avoid it happening again in the future. Additionally, it is important to own up to mistakes and do what you can to appease the customer (free products, discounts or anything else) – it is frustrating as a consumer when a brand does not acknowledge their error or show any empathy.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to provide a greater customer experience which will be key for retention and boosting your reputation.

The Omnichannel Contact Center of the Future — Is Your Organization Ready?

For large and enterprise businesses, the ability to see into the future of technology is critical for continued success, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction (CSat). Contact centers have gone through a major transformation in the past 10 years, and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will soon be commonplace and part of customer service expectations. The call center software you implement and the customer data you collect and store will help improve the omnichannel experience and keep you ahead of the curve.

What Is Omnichannel Call Center Software and Why Should Your Company Use It?

Omnichannel call center software integrates inbound voice, outbound voice, seamless omnichannel interactions and self-service solutions for a robust contact center system that delivers consistent, cohesive customer service across multiple channels. It enables real-time data sharing between channels, databases and agents.

In the traditional multichannel call center, information was kept in data silos, frustrating customers who had to keep repeating themselves as they were transferred between agents or changed communication channels. An omnichannel solution provides cross-channel integration, creating a more consistent brand experience and greater CSat.

Customer satisfaction is of critical concern for enterprise organizations. Studies have shown that for users who engage with two or more channels for a single inquiry, CSat is 39 percent greater (67 percent) with a seamless omnichannel experience than with a non-seamless multichannel experience (28 percent). A positive experience enhances their perception of the business and builds customer loyalty.

What Will the Omnichannel Experience Look Like in 2020?

According to a government report on emerging technologies in contact centers, less than one-third of customers use the phone to contact a call center. It is predicted that by 2022, cloud-based technologies such as chatbots, mobile messaging and machine learning will power up to 70 percent of customer interactions, and that AI will be handling 20 percent of customer service interactions.

This rapid adoption of emerging technologies by contact centers is driven by the expectations of savvy customers who are accustomed to short, productive communications with smartphone and home AI systems like Siri and Alexa. They will expect seamless integration between voice, text, live chat and other channels with lightning-fast interactions and issue resolution. The modular design of today’s omnichannel call center software lets companies add what they need when they need it, and it adapts well to a rapidly changing communications environment.

What Data Should Businesses Be Collecting and Storing to Improve the User Experience?

With call center software, various data can be collected from customer interactions through different sources. This data can be correlated, analyzed and used to enhance the customer omnichannel experience, identify consumer trends and provide insight for future product and service development. This goldmine of information is used by sales, marketing and customer service teams to improve business operations and boost ROI.

Businesses should be capturing:

  • Personal and account information
  • History of communications with company agents and past transactions
  • Issue details and concerns
  • Most recent company website pages that the user visited
  • Communications via organization’s social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Most recent mobile app transactions
  • Web-based sales and/or abandoned carts; order history and preferences; product questions

Where to capture data:

  • Voice and SMS messaging
  • Social media conversations
  • Live chat sessions
  • Email correspondence
  • Posts on community forums
  • Inquiries on company website
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software data
  • ePOS and POS systems

Plan for the Future of Customer Interactions

Customers want multiple communication platforms, knowledgeable answers to their questions and fast-issue resolution. To meet customer expectations, your call center software must be robust. It should provide an omnichannel system that lets companies seamlessly integrate all communication channels to improve the customer experience; a modular omnichannel system for your contact center can nimbly adapt as new technology arrives; and it should start collecting valuable customer data so that your company can continually improve the omnichannel customer experience for maximum CSat and strong, lucrative customer connections.

What You Can Do with a Degree in Computer Science

If you have already graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar field and you’re looking for the next step in your career, you might be considering what jobs are out there that you can apply for and what advancing your education even further with a master’s could do for you. After graduating, finding a job can be difficult, but thankfully there are many doors and options that a degree will open up for you; here are just a few.

Apply for further education

Graduating with a degree is a fantastic achievement for many, but for those that are looking to expand their skills further before applying for jobs, you might find that enrolling at a university to study a masters in computer science online is perfect. It gives you the opportunity to find a specialty that you love within the computer science industry and the chance to figure out what next steps to take in terms of your career.  

Studying for a master’s in computer science will provide you with the extra knowledge you need to be successful in particular job roles. As a bonus, it will not only provide you with the skills you need to theoretically succeed in the industry and in your dream position, but it will also provide you with connections you need to actually succeed.

One of the best things about studying a master’s degree is that it immediately shows potential employers that you are passionate and dedicated to your field of work and study; you’re ready and willing to go the extra mile to learn the skills you need and that you are willing to do the same in the position you’re going for!

Career Options You Have

1.    Computer Scientist

It comes with the name and it is probably the first position you think of when you think of pursuing a career in computer science. This type of career is versatile; you could work for virtually any company or organization that requires a software system to operate. If you have a strong passion alongside your interest in all thing’s computers, you can combine the two as a computer scientist and feel fully content in your career. Algorithms, databases, and software will be your key to success in these kinds of roles.

2.    Application Developer

Particularly for mobile phones and tablet devices, application developers are growing in demand as the growth of mobile applications and games continues to skyrocket. Apps are essential for growing businesses because of their significant and increasing popularity all across the globe.

To succeed as an application developer, you will need to be an expert with various programming tools and keep in mind that it is all about the user experience on the other end of the app.

3.    Database Administrator

If you know your way around databases and other related programs like they are the back of your hand or know that you could learn to with a further degree, then it would be worth pursuing a role such as this one. As a database administrator, you can also flex your creative skills and mind when planning and designing database applications. Put your own spin on the database you’re working on, fix a bug or user error that’s been plaguing your organization; it’s all in a day’s work in this role.

4.    Web Developer

If you find yourself looking at websites and thinking that you could create something similar if not better, then consider following this drive and becoming a web developer. Design, build and maintain websites; you can choose what you want to specialize in. If you love designing and creating something beautiful and pleasing to look at, you could make the perfect front-end developer by designing the layout and content of websites and making them both stunning and user-friendly.

If you prefer to work behind the scenes, you could take on the role of a back-end developer, ensuring that the site runs smoothly and works on a technical level. Both of these roles are important in their own ways, especially in the digital age our society is in, and require the knowledge that a master’s in computer science can give you.

5.    Computer Systems Analyst

If you have a knack for fixing technical things and solving software problems that seem to boggle and confuse everyone else around you, then just by simply developing your skills it could lead you to a career as a computer systems analyst. In this type of role, you would constantly use your problem-solving skills on the job, help to ensure that software operations continue to work effectively, and assisting when issues do arrive.

You will also have the chance to improve how the systems currently operate; if you have some hotshot ideas that you think can revolutionize an operating system, program or database, then this career is your opportunity to test your solutions and improvements.

Make Connections

While a career goal is no doubt what most people focus on, and for others it is about furthering their education, it is important to make the most of the connections within the industry that the university can offer you, especially when landing a role in your dream job is so difficult nowadays.

Your immediate connections, being your professors and your classmates, will have connections within the computer science industry outside of the institution, whether this is organizational connections or personal connections, and these are all very useful when you are trying to get your foot in the door to one of these previously mentioned positions.

Knowing the organization or someone who works within the organization is extremely valuable when you are applying for positions in an industry filled with talented and capable candidates.

— Choosing what to do after you have graduated is a momentous decision that can impact the rest of your life, and it is not to be taken lightly. It can open up many career opportunities and further education options that you may not have had the chance to pursue beforehand, which of course makes it valuable to you, but it also makes you valuable to potential employers.

How to Keep Your Network Marketing Business Organized

Network marketing is plagued with misconceptions and myths, despite being a multi-billion-dollar industry that’s full of success stories. It’s a great alternative for anyone looking to start their own home-based business, be their own boss, or find a supplementary income that has the potential of growing into a full-time gig. 

Many people who are just starting out fall into the same trap where they don’t see their new multi-level marketing (MLM) business as a business and, therefore, don’t treat it as such. However, successful network marketers, such as the marketers at tonivans.com, know that social network marketing is a great way to earn a sustainable income over the long-term if done right. This means realizing that you are indeed running a business from scratch. The key to doing anything the right way is to dedicate the right amount of time to it and, more importantly, stay organized. 

Here are some tips on how to organize your network marketing business. 

Write everything in a planner

Investing in a high-quality planner is a wise idea, because it can dramatically improve your productivity. Having a physical planner, rather than keeping digital notes scattered around, helps your brain unpack information and focus better on the tasks at hand. 

If you think digital planning is for you, there are plenty of digital planner apps that can organize your business. Google Calendar is one example where you can input meetings, reminders, and any tasks on your daily to-do list, and it conveniently syncs across all your devices to keep you on track.

Have a separate notebook dedicated to customers and prospects

Separating your daily operations from your customers and prospects is a must. It’s imperative for network marketing to keep contact information at the ready so you can follow up or reach out at a later time for updates, ‘thank you’s, and sharing testimonials. Include your prospect or customer’s name, the date you connected, their contact information, how you connected with them (i.e. in person, on social media, etc.), and briefly write out what action was taken when you connected (i.e. shared a link to buy, scheduled a meeting, etc.). 

Use a bookkeeping service to stay on top of finances

Managing your costs and profits is a basic part of running an at-home business. Not everyone is a finance expert, so if you want to keep it simple and organized, make use of bookkeeping software that you can easily manage yourself. Be sure to keep track of the sales you make directly, the sales your downlines make that you get a portion of, as well as any expenses from travelling or buying supplies. 

Utilize an email marketing system Keeping a connection to all of your customers and prospects can be difficult, especially as your network grows. Over the long run, connections you have made may fade out of your close network and communication may slowly dwindle. You can avoid this from happening by having an email marketing plan. You can include product updates, team updates or accolades, and testimonials. It’s also a good opportunity to send out thank you emails or follow up with prospects to keep them in the sales funnel. 

4 Tips on Creating a User Friendly Online Business

Having a successful small business model is heavily dependent on creating a desirable and marketable product, designing services that will appeal to your target market and being a dedicated entrepreneur who is able to see their vision through into realization. However, another really important aspect of the success of a business is making sure that your company is as user-friendly as possible, a factor which is especially important for businesses that operate mostly digitally.

Ensuring that your clients are satisfied when interacting with your company online is one of the main factors that will contribute to their continued custom; so, here are four tips that may help you to create a more user-friendly online experience.

A well designed website

Your website is the main source of information that potential customers will refer to, in order to decide whether or not they are interested in your products and services. Therefore, you must ensure that your website is home to all of the necessary information about you and your business that you would want consumers to know.

The information on your website should be in-depth enough that customers are able to find answers to any questions they have, while still being concise so that they aren’t forced to scroll through endless amounts of useless text.

Additionally, your website needs to be easily-to-navigate, and have well placed call to action buttons, so that if they are interested in booking your services or purchasing products from you, they can easily get in touch or shop right there and then. 

Online chat services

Online chat services are one of the quickest and most convenient ways for customers to get in touch with a business if they have any concerns or queries. The quicker that you can answer any questions a potential customer has, the more likely it is that they will go on to shop with you, as your attentiveness will show that you value their custom, and also that your business is reliable.

Additionally, if any pre-existing customers have any issues or complaints, these too must be dealt with swiftly to avoid your business obtaining a bad or damaged reputation.

Streamlined e-commerce

If you are a business that sells products, then e-commerce is one of the most efficient ways to sell your wares on a larger scale, especially if you are able to ship products to a broader geographical area. Companies such as CoSource can design and build dedicated e-commerce solutions that are tailored to your individual businesses needs, in order to create a more enjoyable customer experience which will help to boost your profit margins.

Utilizing social media

Social media is one of the most effective tools for creating a positive business reputation and connecting with your customers. It is important customers that they feel a business is accessible, approachable and attentive to their needs, as it makes them feel valued as a customer and shows a business to be a positive part of their community. Therefore, make sure to create a consistent and positive online presence and regularly interact with any followers you may connect with through these platforms to encourage regular custom.

How to Streamline Your Business

Inefficiency in business is a big problem and when it’s left for too long, it can quickly spiral out of control and affect productivity. When you’re trying to keep the business on track, it can feel like there is no time to step back and make sense of the chaos.

Luckily, there are many ways in which you can improve operational efficiency, but this article outlines some of the most effective and low-cost ways to streamline your business and improve your productivity. It’s important to remember that making any change to your business needs research, testing and evaluation to ensure it has a positive impact.

Trust your employees

Your employees are often the people who know your business inside and out, especially if they have been working for you for some time. By trusting and empowering these people with important decisions (rather than micromanaging your team) you will not only motivate your workforce to take a more proactive role, but can free up your time to oversee the bigger picture.

Take yourself out of the decision making process where possible and you should see a real improvement in efficiency and productivity.

Introduce a cloud computing system

Cloud computing enables you to save your business data and documents in a virtual storage system rather than on physical computers. This enables your employees to save, edit and collaborate on the same documents wherever they are in the world as long as they have an internet connection.

Visit www.bytes.co.uk for more information on finding the best cloud computing solution for your business. This can also reduce the amount of paper your business uses which is not only more efficient, but can also reduce your costs and is better for the environment.

Choose a consolidated software solution

If your business is using several different software packages for different aspects of your business such as accounting, inventory, sales, etc., you may find that you are spending unnecessary time repeating data entry. This may even result in errors and confusion in different areas of your business. A consolidated software solution could integrate several areas of the business into one platform for efficiency and productivity.

Consider outsourcing some areas of the business

Businesses of all sizes can benefit significantly from outsourcing certain areas of their business. If there are elements of your operation which you don’t have the time, knowledge or experience to be able to perform well, you may be able to outsource to a third party. This could be social media management, content marketing, accounting or administration, for example. While you will be paying them for their support, the increased time and resource you have to focus on the areas of your business which you specialize in will be priceless.

Minimize utilities and cellphone charges

The everyday running costs of a business can be underestimated and overlooked but will quickly eat into a business’ budget. For example, you may be paying far too much for your utilities or cellphones. Most businesses can save money if they shop around, and compare prices as there is often a lot of competition in this area.

SEO Tips for an Electronics Website

E-commerce stores are everywhere, but the electronics industry is a fairly narrow niche. If you’re selling electronic parts and components online, you may be enjoying less competition than others, but search engine optimization is still more important than ever in ensuring that you’re driving organic traffic to your site and setting your brand apart. In addition, good SEO will help you build trust with your target audience and help to improve your reputation. Here are some SEO tips for electronics websites that you may find useful.

#1. Descriptive Product Pages:

Making all product pages as descriptive as possible is important for any e-commerce website, but even more so if you’re selling products such as electronic parts and components, where buyers may need even more specific specifications and information compared to others. Few businesses today think about unique content on product pages, but this is a mistake, as simply pulling the product information from a database can lead to duplicate content issues and harm your search engine ranking. It’s also a good idea to add user generated content, such as allowing customers to write their own reviews and share photos on each product page.

#2. List in Relevant Search Engines:

Another way to strengthen your electronics website’s SEO and gain a bigger online presence is to list your products in relevant search engines, such as how Multicomp Components products can be found at Octopart.com. This gives your brand a bigger chance of being found by users who are looking for the specific products that you are selling, along with giving you the additional trust and reputation boost that comes from working alongside a trusted brand in the industry. And, since your products will come up when searched for, you’re also improving chances of driving organic traffic to your site.

#3. Incorporate SEO into Web Design:

Bear in mind that, today, SEO isn’t all about keywords and quality content. While these are still highly important and shouldn’t be overlooked, you’ll also need to make sure that you are incorporating SEO into the design of your website, too. The sad truth is that no matter how much great content you have or how strong your link building game is, a badly designed website is never going to reach the top rankings. Think about mobile users when putting together your web design. A responsive, modern site is always going to gain more favor from Google. And, you should focus on the user experience by offering a clean, easy to use navigation system.

#4. Optimize Product Photos and Videos:

Selling electronic parts and components can be tricky because, it’s often difficult to get great product photographs of them. So, it’s important to spend some time optimizing product photographs and using product videos to help customers get a better idea of how a certain product can be used. Try to get interesting photos wherever you can; doing something unusual may be better thank sticking to generic, boring photographs, as photos that stand out have a higher chance of being shared to social platforms.

Did you find these tips useful? Leave a comment down below.

The Tech Everyone is Talking about in 2019

The tech-savvy and gadget-obsessed will undoubtedly be on the look-out for most notable tech and gadget releases of 2019. Below are a few examples of the most impressive tech to make its way onto the market this year, all of which have got people talking and hurrying to invest. Will you follow suit?

Lenovo Smart Clock

Just when you thought that your smartphone had completely replaced any need for an alarm clock, the Lenovo Smart Clock hit the shelves in June 2019 – and has been flying off them ever since! This clever clock is equipped to operate Google Assistant, is capable of charging your phone, wakes you up with a gradually brightening clock face before setting off your alarm and, of course, tells time. Believe it or not, while the Lenovo Smart Clock’s specs are endlessly impressive, its real appeal lies in its minimalistic design which is reminiscent of an old-school alarm clock and is guaranteed to add a nostalgic charm to your bedside table.

New iPhone Cases

The new iPhone cases by Bodyguardz do so much more than simply protect your favorite device from damage. Many of these innovative smartphone accessories come with advanced technology for improved functionality and convenience. For example, some come with a wrist strap that can be easily removed or attached as needed. This wrist strap aids in reducing the risk of accidentally dropping your phone, whether you’re using your phone at home or out and about, therefore making it a top choice for runners and people who work on their devices while on the go. 

Waverly Ambassador Translator

Say good-bye to language barriers for good with the new Waverly Ambassador Translator. It’s an amazing little gadget that has the ability to translate speech on the spot. It has a hygienic over-the-ear design to allow for seamless sharing and has been programmed to translate dozens of languages and dialects, thus allowing you to communicate effectively with practically anyone and everyone at any time. While it is still in its very early stages of development, the reviews on the product are promising overall. So, if you’re someone who travels frequently or who deals with people from different countries for business purposes on a regular basis, it’s definitely worthwhile to give it a go and see if it works for you.

Ember 14 oz. Temperature Control Mug

Moms around the globe who are used to drinking their coffee cold after attending to the needs and demands of their children all morning long will certainly appreciate the masterpiece that is the Ember 14 oz. Temperature Control Mug. In essence, this mug utilizes internal heating technology to keep your beverage a specific temperature for up to an hour after making it. It allows you to adjust your ‘perfect’ temperature as you prefer it, from between 120°F – 145°F. The battery life lasts 60 minutes, or you can keep the mug on its charging coaster for all-day use. Furthermore, it’s safe to hand wash and you can control it with your smartphone!

Talk about awe-inspiring technology! Don’t forget to update your wish list.

The Benefits of Analytics Tools for any Business

Knowing your customers is one of the fundamental principles of marketing. For your efforts to be effective you need to know about your customers behaviour. If you are selling online then you will also need to know about how they react and engage with your online advertising and website. 

One of the ways you can gather this information is by using an analytics tool. A good analytics tool will allow you to see your website in a way you’ve never seen it before. You will be able to understand how customers got to your site, what they did when they got there and what factors influenced them in making a purchase. 

Top Website Analytics Insights

For websites in particular, it’s very important to be able to understand how your customers are behaving online. Where in a physical retail location you can see issues like when queues build up and when customers can’t find products. This kind of insight isn’t available online without the use of an analytics tool. Some of the most useful website metrics are covered off below.

Where Your Users Came From

People will find you website in a mixture of different ways. They may come through a search engine or they may come to your website directly. Knowing this is crucial because it will help you to identify which marketing channels are most effective and which are the best at converting. A tool like digivante.com will even be able to tell you which type of website browser is giving you a better conversion rate. 

Time Spent on a Page

As well as driving users to your website you want to know that when they get there you are providing them with the information they want. Looking at a metric like time spent on a page can be beneficial because it can help you to identify weak or irrelevant content on your website. It can also be a sign that you are attracting the wrong website visitors. 

New Website Visitors

Being able to see the percentage of new visitors to your website is hugely beneficial because without new users, you will have issues with making sales. If you keep getting the same repeat visitors to you site then you may have a problem with your marketing in that you are not attracting new customers to your site. A returning user metric on your dashboard will help you to identify where marketing budget needs to be spent to be the most effective. 

Data Driven Insights

In any retail environment be it online or in store, the customer is king. You therefore must be able to collect and utilize customer insights effectively so that you can grow your businesses successfully. Using an analytics tool in your business is one way to ensure that you are keeping the customer at the forefront of decision making. Providing them with a great customer experience will keep them coming back and will help you to win new business.