Buffalo Wild Wings: Turning Guests’ Passion in the Moment into Meaningful Change

Buffalo Wild Wings has always used in-restaurant experience as one of their main tools to drive satisfaction and loyalty. If something isn’t perfect, they fix it on the spot.

We had the great pleasure of hosting Brooks Goldade, VP of Digital Experience and Innovation at Buffalo Wild Wings, as a keynote speaker at our first-ever Customer Love Summit. The Buffalo Wild Wings digital teams bring their unique in-store philosophy to their digital guest experiences, driving a new kind of restaurant experience in the digital world, and had the opportunity to hear about what’s worked and what hasn’t from the expert. In his presentation, Brooks shares some of the experiences his focuses on and the tools that help them turn customers’ passion into meaningful change.

Brooks Goldade, VP of Digital Experience and Innovation at Buffalo Wild Wings

Specifically, Brooks’s talk covers:

  • Tips to understand your mobile customer by learning who they are, what they want, and what persona they fit into.
  • Four steps to a better mobile app, including gathering feedback, embedding two-way conversations, engaging customers, and measuring outcomes.
  • Insight into driving real-time feedback from mobile fans, from a restaurant perspective.
  • Discussion around mobile leading the restaurant industry’s digital transformation, and tips to get your mobile experience to deliver just like the real world.

If you prefer to read rather than watch, we’ve included the transcription below the video.

Transcription

“Wow. Well, good morning everybody. It’s great to be here in Seattle. Thank you Robi and the team for asking us to participate in this first Customer Love Summit.

I have to admit, when I went to my team back in Minneapolis, which is where Buffalo Wild Wings is centered, and said I’ve been asked to speak at the Love summit, there was a lot of like, “Huh? What is that?” Of course, we’re from the Midwest, which is a little unusual because the Midwest is typically thought of as a pretty conservative place. But it is also the home of some really great brands like Seattle. So you think of Target, Best Buy, you think of companies like General Mills who makes food. And then amongst that are restaurant brands like Buffalo Wild Wings. So, excited to be here, excited to be amongst people who are also excited about customer experience, particularly in the mobile age. And we’re gonna try and get out of here this morning.

So I don’t know if I drew the long straw or the short straw, but I am gonna kick it off and we’ll see if we can keep you awake. We’re gonna talk a little bit about kind of the restaurant industry in Mobile and we’ll talk a little about how we’re trying to use that in at Buffalo Wild Wings to enhance our experiences. So, I’m pretty casual. If something strikes in the head and you wanna shout out a question, please feel free to do so. Otherwise I’ve been told I’ve got 25 minutes, then I got to get the hell off the stage and let somebody else come up and talk, so…

Restaurants are interesting. So I spent 10 years in the retail business before I joined the restaurant industry. And for those of us who have come out of the retail business, they went through their digital transformation starting in, let’s call it, the early mid 2000s. And when I was there we used to complain all the time that we were about 10 years behind the e-commerce guys, so we were looking at the Amazons and the Zappos and we’re thinking, “Oh man, well, they got started way before we did. Of course they’re farther along than we are.” Well, if that’s true, when I landed in the restaurant industry we were easily 10 years behind the retail industry.

A couple of unique things have come up that’s gonna be different for us than was different for them, particularly in terms of customer experience. One is we meet an audience that’s already been trained on how to do things, and we’ll talk a little bit about that today. But there’s some really inherent advantages in the restaurant industry, and that is the first one is that there’s lots of them, they’re everywhere. There’s over 1 million places that eat in this country. That’s an amazing start, because if you look at the top players in the restaurant industry they own less than 10% of those facilities. So most of the restaurant industry deals with very small micro areas.

I think last night I had some friends take me to a local place here called Poquito’s. I don’t know if that’s a local chef entrepreneur that’s got a few different places or if that’s a single operator, But those are the kinds of experiences that drive most of this industry. I also think of dining and taking out is a, what I call, real-time, full-contact experience, right? So I got up this morning and I was trying to get my coffee from the local corner Starbucks. I gotta be honest, I thought there’d be more of them here. A little disappointed. I had to walk a block. So I was kinda mad about that. But you know, I stood in line and the guy in front of me was like, you know, three attempts at trying to get his coffee just perfect, and I was reminded that, yeah, in this industry everything we do is in real time, and they’re all one to one experiences that get built out all day long. I’m not making a coffee that’s a finished good that you just walk in and swipe off the counter as you go by. We’re making your coffee just the way you like it, or at Buffalo Wild Wings we’re making the wings exactly the way you want them, not the way I thought they’d be good, so…and then that speaks to the real-time nature of it. So really, we think customer is our gain. This is restaurant’s heritage.

Customer experience is kind of what we’ve done from the very beginning, so it lends itself really well to this idea of customer love – excuse me, I’m gonna put down my paper – which is the heart of what we do. If we look at how often people do it, it’s a ton. So Zaget did this study last year in 2016, they have something they call an avid diner. An avid diner eats out four half times a week. Now as a quick sample, how many here… And when I say eat out, I mean either stop and pick prepared food and bring it home or stay and eat at the table. How many here think you do more than this? How many people think this is pretty reflective of you? And how many are way less than this? Okay. So for the last group, you’re just slow. You haven’t figured it out yet, right?

Life in this country is accelerating at rates we just can’t even express in words and the idea that we are gonna stop and make dinner is becoming more and more antiquated everyday. So we know that in the restaurant industry we need to supply this demand. And four and a half times a week is the national average. If you look at the study, at the very top was LA, they eat out almost six times a week. Now think about that. That’s six days out of the week you’re eating somewhere else. I don’t even know why they have grocery stores, right? Like, what are they gonna do with those? Counts everything. Yep, counts everything.

And ironically, when you survey those people you say, “What’s the number one irritant when you’re eating out?” It’s not food, it’s service. So food is actually number five on the list. So again just reinforcing the idea that the restaurant business for us, the food business, is really about service and food is what we provide as part of that experience.

So at the risk of having somebody who’s way more qualified than I talk about mobile, because I know all you are in mobile that’s why you’re here, I did bring a stat of my own and we use this around our office quite a bit. This is from the Pew Internet org. We all know mobile phone ownership in this country is way off the charts, 95%. I actually think it’s 100%, the 5% just couldn’t hear the question right. And of those 95% more than three quarters now are smartphones, which is amazing, right? That means smartphones are everywhere. Everybody’s got one. And if they use a smart phones, the mental models and expectations that are driven or that are expected in that environment is driven by the physical world, because unlike the traditional desktop being used in a chair on a desk, this is things we use as we walk around in the real world. So we want them to work just like the real world does, which means that customer demands are really high. And we had Buffalo Wild Wings hear about it all the time.

Now, we seat in our restaurants… Maybe a quick side note. We have almost 1300 restaurants. Last year we opened a new Buffalo Wild Wings somewhere in the world, once every four and a half days. Our latest opening was just in the Ho Chi Minh City. Turns out that chicken and beer and sports is one of those beloved things all over the globe. So we’re gonna take advantage of that. But we see somewhere between 50 and 75 million people a year in our restaurants. Now that pales in comparison to, say, how many people probably walk through a Starbucks or how many people might walk into a grocery store, but we think it’s a pretty good number, and that drives a lot of conversation. And in the digital world, now we’ve layered in Apptentive, as you might imagine, into our mobile apps and we hear things like this, “That chick is good.” Now, out of B-Dubs, we assume it’s for the chicken, but I don’t know, could be something else. But every now and then it comes through like this, “It won’t let me reset my password. I’m trying to order some food. Frowny face.”

Now I wanna take a minute to talk about the difference between the digital world in retail and the digital world in restaurants. So in the retail world we’re dealing with a lot of wants. I want my shoes, I want a new TV, I want a new couch, I wanna hang drapes in my living room, and it’s a long sale cycle. In the restaurant industry we deal with needs. Everybody needs to eat, so when you are trying to order food you need food. You’re not gonna delay it till tomorrow, right? And so when our mobile platforms don’t perform in the way that they expect them to, we’ve not only let them down emotionally.

In essence, we think we’ve let them down physically, like at their very core, right? If you do the studies on kind of how we choose where we’re gonna eat, they talk a lot about these glands up here and I know I’m gonna get a little weird here, but when you see something you’re hungry for, you kind of salivate. That’s a physical reaction. And so when you show up and you’ve looked at a picture of my wings or my burger or whatever it might be, your body is literally craving at that moment the thing that I’m trying to show you. And in that moment if I can’t deliver it to you, you’re not only mad your body’s let down. So we take this stuff pretty seriously, I guess is the point.

So we started down our digital journey two years ago. Amazingly enough, as I said in the beginning, the restaurant industry’s at least 10 years behind retail, which means that Buffalo Wild Wings didn’t even have a full-time employee working on digital until the robust year of 2015. I know, amazing right? People always go, “Huh? How could that be? How could a brand as large as Buffalo Wild Wings survive that long without a dedicated digital person?” I don’t know the answer, but we did. I joined them in 2015 and immediately started thinking about what do we need to do for this brand, and it’s guests, and we call them fans. So we don’t think of ourselves as a restaurant as much as we think of ourselves as the greatest place to watch sports in the United States, and soon to be the world. So we call them guests, we call them fans. We never call them customers. And we are the fan’s biggest fan.

So our mission is to provide you with experiences around sports that happen to include wings and beer and other people. But we had to change that a little bit because in digital there’s already plenty of places you can go get sports information. You can stream from ESPN and CBS Sports and NBC. So I mean, you name it, there is a plethora of things. Our job was more about fueling your experiences where you wanted to enjoy the sports, and so we cut against the grain a little bit here for the brand and we decided to focus on mobile.

So we use three pillars to try and drive this. The first one is we want to drive real-time guest feedback. So we wanted it to be just like it was in the physical world. If you go back to what we were talking about, which is if something is not right with that order of wings or the burger or the beer is not cold enough for you, I fix that in real time. I don’t give you a free shipping label to return it to me to then say that you want it back two weeks later, right? It’s like it’s gotta get resolved right away. And we wanted to rally around every guest. If you say to me in the restaurant, “Hey, there’s not enough sauce on my wings,” the server doesn’t stand up and yell, “Is there anybody here who doesn’t have enough sauce in their wings? I’m gonna go back to the kitchen now and I’ll take them all at once!” Right? No, I fix it for you in that moment.

We also knew that because everything we do has to be done in a restaurant, we had to build strong operational partnerships within the organization. Now I don’t know how many here are from large brands where digital still kind of lives on an island, but in retail what I learned is that they tend to do like, you know, hire a digital person give them a desk somewhere in the corner and then they just kind of went and did their thing. They’d build their team and everybody was like, “Oh yeah, that’s the digital team over there.” Not very integrated. So we from the very beginning started out by saying, “No no no, we’re not gonna do that, we don’t sell finished goods. We have raw goods that become finished,” and so we need to bring them along as partners from the very beginning.

So we focused on our primary apps. We have two apps. On the left is the B-Dubs ordering app, where you can go and… Well, has anybody used the B-Dubs ordering app? It’s okay if you haven’t. This is really centered on one thing and one thing only, and that’s ordering food. Its goal is to be as easy and convenient as possible for you so I can embed myself in the habits and the daily routines that you have. We actually treat this the same way that, say, Starbucks or Domino’s or other brands do.

Digital has a way of flattening everything, right? So I like to talk about the reason Best Buy could sell you a TV and Amazon could sell you TV and Amazon was actually just as good at it as Best Buys because on the Internet it all gets flattened, it’s all 2D. It’s very hard to differentiate experiences. And so in our world, when you’re trying to order food digitally, you know, opening a Domino’s up or opening a B-Dubs app, we think should be as easy and convenient. It shouldn’t look any different, even though there are some really important differences between those two food brands.

On the right is our loyalty app. And we were talking about this last night, we had some people got together and we were talking about, I think, a decision that if I could go back in time and change, this would be it. We have two apps and I know there’s kind of two sides of this coin. Some people think it’s great because then loyalty doesn’t clutter the ordering, and the ordering is really easy and convenient, you can get to it quickly and we’re not trying to force you into doing something you don’t want to. But I can tell you that when we launched the two apps, our guests had been through our platform Apptentive and other areas have been loud and clear. They don’t like it, they don’t like us taking up two spots on their phone, they want one. But we’ve got it, we’ve got a road map, we’re gonna try to bring them together, but in the meantime we’ve got two.

So we talked about in here we wanted to gather feedback during the experiences that count. So again going back to the restaurant analogy, I don’t ask you how your meal is before the food got there. I don’t ask you if your food’s right if I haven’t delivered it yet. So I need to inject the question “How are we doing?” at the right moment. I need to ask the question when it matters, not just somewhere along the journey. I need to embed that as a two-way conversation so I’m not just gathering. I wanna gather and I wanna send back, and then I’m gonna monitor and engage it. So we’re gonna talk to a real-life example here in a minute, but this means that we’re gonna monitor it in real time, as in like actually somebody’s watching those comments come in and then trying to do something about it. And then we’re gonna measure our outcomes because of course we wouldn’t be digital people if we didn’t measure what we were doing, right?

So let’s talk a little bit about what we’ve learned so far. One is that in the mobile environment we can’t always know what’s happening before our customers. Now, I’ve got lots of engineers who’ve said, “Oh, I got a tool that could, you know, an agent that could run on the server and it could ping this and it could synthetic that,” right? They have this dream that somehow robots will always be able to catch before the customer the thing that’s wrong before the customer does. That day may be coming, I tell them I have no idea, but it’s not here today.

Today in our world at Buffalo Wild Wings, the customer often knows way before I do if something’s going wrong. So we want to give a real experience of how we use this tool, Apptentive, to monitor and engage in real time and then make changes. So the scenario is we created what’s called a virtual service manager role. You might have an actual service manager, ours is a cut-out of, I think, Yoda that sits by the desk, and then we all have access to this inbox and we take turns, the roles trade off, right? You kind of take a shift and you’re watching for messages coming in on the platform, and the inbox on the 7th of July came in with this one singular message, “Delayed and stops working.” Now if you’re a digital person you know that’s not good, that doesn’t sound right. And you might have, “Oh I’ll see, maybe there’ll be a few more that come in, maybe there’s something going on, maybe it’s just the dumb customer that can’t figure out how to use their phone,” right?

Well again, remember we rally on every customer, every single customer, so this one actually kicked up some dust with that. Wow, that’s interesting. Now a little setup for you. We want a highly complex environment, or high complexity as I like to call it. We connect to every restaurant in order to fulfill your order in real time, and you’ve been in restaurants. Our restaurants are full of beer and wing sauce and who knows what else that’s been spilled on servers and keyboards and all kinds of things. But with 1200 locations, each one with its own unique kind of tweaked menu, I sell avocados in California, I sell old base seasoning in New England, right? I don’t sell any of that stuff in the Midwest. I need to know which restaurant you wanna go to, which Buffalo Wild Wings you are gonna come and eat at. Then I have to look at its raw goods, I have to know do I have it in stock, can I make it, do I have the people to make it and when do you want it, am I available to have it piping hot, sitting in the window when you arrive. So we rely on a lot of first and third-party infrastructure to handle all that zing and back and forth. And we deal in high-conversion platforms. So we run regimented day parts, that’s kind of a fancy way of saying everybody’

Celebrating Our Customer Love Award Winners: Erika Englesby and Laura Kelso

Changing an organization internally to be customer-centric is extremely hard. Earning buy-in for the customer love philosophy and convincing your team that listening to customers is important is challenging. To do so requires getting people to understand business results that might not be clear, requires working with many different teams, and driving people towards behaviors that don’t necessarily have near-term results that are measureable or manageable.

We’ve had the honor and privilege to work with two people who have done this not once, not twice, but three times. In three different organizations, they have been a champion of the customer, of treating customers extraordinarily well, of the idea that customers should love you, and that companies should listen to their customers and build emotional connections with them.

To honor these two very talented and customer-driven people, we created the Customer Love Award. We were proud to present the inaugural awards to Erika Englesby and Laura Kelso during our first-ever Customer Love Summit on July 19th. Erika and Laura have taught all of us how to create customer-centric organizations before being customer-centric was as sought-after as it is today.

Customer Love Awards

Introducing our Customer Love Award Winners

Erika Englesby

Erika Englesby, Senior Product Manager, Consumer Innovation, Providence Health and Services

In addition to making customer-centricity a top priority at Providence Health and Services, she did so at Nordstrom and Starbucks as well. She’s been instrumental in making all three apps best in their class.

Here’s what colleagues in her field had to say about working with Erika:

“What’s most impressive about Erika is her ability to see the big picture in any decision she makes and her attention to detail no matter how big or small the project is. She comes to meetings prepared and has thought through the full customer experience, including all possible scenarios. Our time together is always productive, enlightening and continues to highlight the same theme: she is super smart.” Christy Culp, Head of Customer Success at Apptentive

“Erika brings joy and enthusiasm to her work, and treats everyone, customers, coworkers and whomever comes across her path as a friend and trusted partner. Her openness and eagerness to take in feedback and turn it into a high quality product is invaluable.” Sarah Ramsay, Senior Director of Consumer Strategy and Innovation at Providence Health & Services

Laura Kelso

Laura Kelso, Director of Mobile Products at RetailMeNot, Inc.

Laura is responsible for driving customer-centricity at RetailMeNot, Allrecipes.com, and Whole Foods Market. She led the charge on creating best-in-class mobile apps at all three companies—no small feat.

Here’s what colleagues in her field had to say about working with Laura:

“I think it took us 2 years after meeting Laura to hire her at Whole Foods. She’s one of those people who when you meet, you remember. Laura is a great product manager. She is someone who encourages you to look at things differently and is committed to great customer experiences. She makes those around her and the organizations she works with better.” Jon Dorch, former Sr. Global Director of Experience Design, Product Management and Mobile at Whole Foods Market

“Laura Kelso has accomplished several successes for RetailMeNot while consistently finding ways to make the company more productive. She has recommended, implemented, and guided the use of Apptentive, which provided us customer feedback, and drove our app rating to five stars in under 2 weeks.” Rahul Jain, Senior Product Manager, Mobile Apps at RetailMeNot

“It could be her first day, or first week at a new company, and she makes it clear that she’ll do everything in her power to do whatever she can to represent the customer – even if it means going against the grain.” Red Russak, Senior Account Executive at Apptentive

Customer Love Awards winners

Congratulations to Erika and Laura on being our first Customer Love Award winners!

The post Celebrating Our Customer Love Award Winners: Erika Englesby and Laura Kelso appeared first on Apptentive.

Progressive Web Apps: The Next Mobile Experience?

progressive web apps future

You may not have heard of them yet, but Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are about to change the mobile landscape. While introduced in 2015 by Google, PWAs have gained popularity this year. So before it becomes all the rage, what are Progressive Web Apps exactly?


What is a PWA?

what-is-a-pwa

In the most simple sense, PWAs are mobile apps delivered through the web. This technology allows PWAs to deliver an app-like experience on your browser. It feels like a native app due to the use of an app-shell that provides app-style navigations and gestures. Since progressive apps are built on the web, they are not tied to specific devices. A PWA displays seamlessly and identically on all devices, including desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever comes next.

ios-android

What’s more, service workers enable a Progressive Web App to load instantly, regardless of network quality. In other words, this web app is designed to work offline and in areas of low connectivity. With the help of pre-caching, it stays up-to-date, serving the user with the newest content upon launch. Similar to an app, the user is able to save the PWA to their home screen to access it at any time. Making it installable, without the hassle of downloading it from the app stores.

 

PWA vs. Native Mobile App

 

native-vs-pwa

While native mobile apps provide the highest quality user experience, they come with friction for both the user and the developer. One of the biggest differences between PWAs and native apps is the presence of the “app store middleman”. For Progressive Web Apps, this middleman is completely taken out. For app developers, no app store means you are no longer restricted by iOS and Android’s rules and guidelines. A developer will not have to go through an approval process, allowing the app to be used as soon as it’s ready. There is also no need to manually update the app, as the revised app version will instantly and automatically be available to everyone.

From the perspective of the end user, they are able to access the PWA without having to download it from an app store. Instead, a PWA is linkable, which means anyone can launch the app straight from a URL. You can share it on social media, email, text message, online ad, or link it to a QR code, and the user will instantly be immersed into an app.

By removing all this friction, it will be much easier for users to have access to the app. As the diagram below shows, with every step of the native app download process, 20% of users are lost. Consumers find it tedious having to find the app in the app store, wait for it to download, and worry that it’ll use up all their storage space before they can start using the app. Because PWAs drastically reduce the amount of steps they need to take (essentially making it a one-step process), there is a much higher chance of people actually using the app. In fact, we use 4x as many websites as mobile apps, resulting in a much larger potential user base with a web based app.

pwa-flow

Another major difference for app developers is that they will not have to adapt their app to iOS or Android. The fact that PWAs use web technology means they work cross-platform, on most browsers, taking the operating system out of the equation. You can build one Progressive Web App and it will look and perform the same across all devices. Users will have a cohesive experience on any device they choose to launch the app on.

Finally, PWAs are highly discoverable. This means they are easily identified by search engines, allowing them to come up in the search results just like any other web content. PWAs will be treated with traditional SEO, so it gets indexed for more than just the app name, but also the content within the app. It will not be treated as an app specifically, but as a piece of content that can “answer” someone’s “question.”

To put this into context, 60% of searches are now from mobile devices and this number continues to grow. People are actively using their mobile devices to find content, so imagine your PWA coming up in those search results. For example, someone might be looking for a salon in the area, so they use the Google search bar to start their inquiry. The search results will most likely show directories like Yelp and salon websites. If you own a salon business, your PWA could rank in these searches, driving customers straight from the search results to your app. This first touch is an opportunity to convert your customers. An app-like experience will allow customers to schedule a salon appointment from a UI built for mobile. It’s a seamless process starting with a web search and ending with a completed task in the app.

 

PWA vs. Mobile Website

PWAs are a hybrid of native apps and mobile websites, but how do they differ from responsive websites? Unlike “old school” mobile websites, PWAs are fast. Note that 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. PWAs load instantly, regardless of network state, and provide fast-to-respond interfaces. This eliminates their dependence on the network, as mobile websites do, ensuring an instant and reliable experience for users. A PWA also updates in the background, so users never need to wait for new content to load.

In addition, traditional mobile websites focus on static information, while PWAs are able to provide users with dynamic functionality. PWAs offer an immersive full-screen experience, allowing customers to place mobile food orders, participate in a loyalty program and contact a business. It can also re-engage users with web push notifications, similar to native push notifications.

 

Who Is Already Seeing Success?

lancome pwa

To drive both traffic and re-engagement, cosmetics brand Lancôme launched a Progressive Web App to deliver a fast, app-like experience to their customers.

Lancôme saw mobile traffic exceed desktop traffic for the first time in 2016. Despite a growing number of mobile site visitors, mobile conversion rates didn’t match those for desktop. 38% of shopping carts on desktop led to orders, while the conversion rate for the mobile web was only 15%. These numbers revealed that customers were experiencing significant obstacles when trying to purchase via their mobile device.

At first, Lancôme considered an e-commerce app as the solution. However, they understood that an app only made sense for customers who visited regularly. Mobile shoppers would not return to an e-commerce app weekly, let alone daily, so they wouldn’t see the value in downloading a Lancôme app. The company wanted to build the right user experience on all of their devices. According to Google, “The company needed a fast-loading, compelling e-mobile experience, similar to what they could achieve with a native app—but one that was also discoverable and accessible to everyone via the mobile web”. Enter the Progressive Web App.

The results are staggering:

  • 84% decrease in time until the page is interactive
  • 17% increase in conversions
  • 53% increase in mobile sessions on iOS
  • 18% open rate on push notifications
  • 8% of consumers who tap on a push notification make a purchase

All told, the PWA has been a tremendous success, helping the beauty giant make great strides into the mobile revolution.

 

What does the future look like?  

While native mobile apps are by no means going extinct, a PWA can provide the ideal solution for businesses looking to build a compelling and easily adoptable mobile experience for their customers. PWAs offer the best of both worlds, with all the shareability of the web and all the functionality of the native app. Bizness Apps has been working on web apps since 2011 and we are excited about this new technology. It finally gives us the ability to implement native features into our web apps. We will be part of the future of apps, where the mobile app and the mobile website become one.

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VoIP Phone Service – Advantages And Disadvantages

VoIP Phone Service – Advantages And Disadvantages

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP phone is also known as broadband phone because it requires broadband internet connection to make and receive phone calls. VoIP technology allows the conversion of voice into digital signal. The signal is then transmitted over the internet and converted back to voice when it reaches the destination.

VoIP phone service has many advantages over analog phone line. The major advantage is the cost. Since the voice signal is transmitted over the internet and is considered as data service, VoIP phone service is exempted from long distance fees. Therefore, many VoIP phone providers can offer a very low rate for long distance and international calls.

Many VoIP phone providers also offer bonus services such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls for free. In contrast, you will have to pay extra for these services using analog phone companies.

Some broadband phone providers allow you to choose a virtual phone number with an area code different from where you live. For example, if you live in California and most of your friends and relatives live in New York, you can pick a virtual number for New York. When your friends and relatives call you from New York, they will only be charged for local calls and not long distance calls.

Nevertheless, VoIP phone service also has some disadvantages. VoIP phone service relies on broadband connection to transmit the signal, it will not work with dialup internet connection. The quality of internet connection also determines the quality of the calls.

VoIP phone service will not work if there is power outage and when the internet connection is down. It is safer to use it as a second phone line, or install a backup power supply and get a cellular phone as a backup.

The 9-1-1 service provided by VoIP phone service is also different from analog phone which is associated with a fixed address. The 9-1-1 emergency center may not be able to determine your location based on your virtual phone number. VoIP phone users should update their current address with their service provider to ensure that emergency help will be dispatched to your location promptly.

In summary, VoIP broadband phone provides great savings on long distance calls and is a low cost alternative for a second phone line. However, it also has its own limitations. Customers who wish to use VoIP service should ensure that they have a stable and high quality broadband connection. A primary analog phone or a cellular phone would be a good backup in case of power outage or internet connection problems.

The post VoIP Phone Service – Advantages And Disadvantages appeared first on Mobille Facebook.

VoIP Phone Service – Advantages And Disadvantages

VoIP Phone Service – Advantages And Disadvantages was originally published on: http://mobillefacebook.com

VoIP Phone Service – Advantages And Disadvantages

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP phone is also known as broadband phone because it requires broadband internet connection to make and receive phone calls. VoIP technology allows the conversion of voice into digital signal. The signal is then transmitted over the internet and converted back to voice when it reaches the destination.

VoIP phone service has many advantages over analog phone line. The major advantage is the cost. Since the voice signal is transmitted over the internet and is considered as data service, VoIP phone service is exempted from long distance fees. Therefore, many VoIP phone providers can offer a very low rate for long distance and international calls.

Many VoIP phone providers also offer bonus services such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls for free. In contrast, you will have to pay extra for these services using analog phone companies.

Some broadband phone providers allow you to choose a virtual phone number with an area code different from where you live. For example, if you live in California and most of your friends and relatives live in New York, you can pick a virtual number for New York. When your friends and relatives call you from New York, they will only be charged for local calls and not long distance calls.

Nevertheless, VoIP phone service also has some disadvantages. VoIP phone service relies on broadband connection to transmit the signal, it will not work with dialup internet connection. The quality of internet connection also determines the quality of the calls.

VoIP phone service will not work if there is power outage and when the internet connection is down. It is safer to use it as a second phone line, or install a backup power supply and get a cellular phone as a backup.

The 9-1-1 service provided by VoIP phone service is also different from analog phone which is associated with a fixed address. The 9-1-1 emergency center may not be able to determine your location based on your virtual phone number. VoIP phone users should update their current address with their service provider to ensure that emergency help will be dispatched to your location promptly.

In summary, VoIP broadband phone provides great savings on long distance calls and is a low cost alternative for a second phone line. However, it also has its own limitations. Customers who wish to use VoIP service should ensure that they have a stable and high quality broadband connection. A primary analog phone or a cellular phone would be a good backup in case of power outage or internet connection problems.

iOS 11: How to Prepare Your Mobile App

Earlier this week, we hosted a webinar to share what you need to know about iOS 11 and how you can make sure your app is prepare for it’s launch. If you missed it, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a recap below, along with a recording of the webinar.

The recap includes a quick overview of what’s new with iOS 11 and how Apptentive supports the changes. Prefer watching over reading? Watch the webinar below.

What’s new with iOS 11

There are two key changes to be aware of with iOS 11. First, third-party ratings prompts are not permitted in apps built on iOS 11. Apple wants publishers to use the provided API for requesting reviews and will reject apps built for iOS 11 that are using custom review prompts.

Second, you will have a choice to reset your ratings between app versions. Similar to the Google Play Store, an app’s rating won’t reset with each new version (unlike today). Instead, it will reflect the overall rating. You will have the ability to reset the app’s rating at your discretion.

These changes are specific to iOS 11, and will come in addition to the changes iOS 10.3 brought with it. Need a refresher on iOS 10.3? Read our blog post, What In-App Ratings in iOS 10.3 Mean For App Store Ratings & Customer Feedback.

Now that you know what’s new with iOS 11, how can you prepare your app?

How Apptentive supports iOS 11

We’re excited about Apple’s commitment to improving the customer experience. iOS 11 adds onto the improvements iOS 10.3 made, and we’re happy to continue building capabilities that support Apple’s new requirements. Specifically, our targeting capabilities and reporting dashboard give our customers more control over how they can leverage Apple’s rating method.

Targeting

Now that Apple limits rating prompts to three times per year, be cognizant of who, where, and how often you’re reaching out to customers.

First, consider who you’re sending ratings prompts to. If your customer is in the app, you want to make sure they’ve had sufficient time to use the app before you ask them to rate it. We always recommend focusing on the quality of interactions with customers. If someone has used the app once, and you ask them to rate the app, they probably don’t have enough experience to give you quality feedback.

Who targeting

Second, consider when you’re sending customers the Apple Rating Prompt. When you walk into Nordstrom, they don’t immediately ask if you’d like a fitting room. Instead, they wait until you have a couple of things in your hand first. While you might want to prompt someone who has made a purchase in the app, be considerate of when you’re sending the prompt. Instead of prompting them on the purchase confirmation screen, wait until they’ve hit the back button so that you don’t interrupt their experience.

Where targeting

Third, be cognizant of how often you’re prompting customers. This plays into Apple’s limitations on the number of prompts app publishers are allowed to send customers per year and their desire to make each interaction with customers a meaningful one. We recommend waiting at least 120 days after sending a customer Apple’s Rating Prompt before doing so again.

How Often targeting

Tracking results

In addition to reporting how many customers you’ve shown the Apple Rating Prompt to, we also keep track of the number of times the Apple prompt was called but not shown.

Apptentive dashboard

When the prompt is called but not shown, it is because of one of three reasons; the customer could’ve reached their threshold of three views per year, they could’ve opted out of receiving ratings prompts all together (a feature Apple introduced in iOS 10.3), or the customer hasn’t updated to the iOS version that’s required to show the prompt.

Early results of Apple’s SKStoreReviewController API

Apple launched their new in-app rating prompt with the release of iOS 10.3. We have a number of customers who have already adopted the method and are seeing positive results. The median number of app ratings have increased by 20% since moving to apple rating prompt. The increase is likely due to the ease in which customers are able to leave reviews with the Apple Rating Prompt since they don’t have to leave the app and sign into the app store to leave a rating.

The increase in the volume of ratings with the SKStoreReviewController API is a result of a 10-15x increase in efficacy. In other words, our customers are prompting less people and receiving more reviews. This improvement is ideal, because it allows our customers to diversify the way they’re talking to their customers by adding more interaction types without overloading consumers.

Get started today

We’re excited for you to use the latest version of the Apptentive iOS SDK (find it here) to prepare your app for iOS 11’s launch.

We hope you make the most out of Apple’s new capabilities, and we look forward to helping more of you deliver #CustomerLove. If you have more questions about what iOS 11 means for your app, or how you can best prepare, don’t hesitate to ask! Reach out to us at info@apptentive.com or leave a comment below.

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