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CRM made cool with Rapportive

I have recently been searching for applications that could improve my productivity within Gmail. Whilst searching through the Google Chrome store, I came across an extension called  “Rapportive”.

The extension to my Gmail immediately created a new look to my email, and caused me to think “cool”. What was so cool about it for me?

  • On the right side of the email window appears the profile of your contacts. A bird’s eye view of their online portfolio. How cool is that?
  • The best part  was when I received an email from someone for the very first time. I was dealing with a company, but more then one contact person from that company emailed me with updates related to my query. Immediately, the profile pictures of the new contacts popped up on the right side, and it provides me with details of their roles, and all the social media sites they subscribe to.
  • By having instant access to your contacts’ details, make communicating for the first time so much more easier and personal. Even though you have never talked over a phone, you know exactly what the other person looks like. Isn’t that cool?
  • And then I realised that rapportive allows me to make notes within my email regarding the correspondence I had with my new contact. And what note did I make? I identified the new contact as a new lead for future business and partnership. So, I typed a note to remind me that the new contact is a possible lead.
  • Another important aspect is that I was able to connect with my contacts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and whatever other accounts they have on the Internet. Once I have done that with selected contacts, I could immediately view their activity (posts, tweets, updates) within my Gmail account.

The Gmail extension presents a great opportunity for clients to connect and  expand their  marketing communications and customer relationship commitments. I have yet to explore every possible opportunity rapportive presents.

So have you already tried any Gmail extension with CRM features?

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JamiiX: Social Hub for Customer Communication

JamiiX was recently identified as one of the top 5 mobile innovations in Africa by the Vomo website. In its simplest form, JamiiX is an online or cloud-based solution that allows businesses and organisations to communicate and engage with their clients across different chat platforms.

The technology was initially build to provide online counselling to teenagers affected by drugs, alcohol addiction and HIV/AIDS, on the Cape Flats in Cape Town.  Through JamiiX, over half a million people were already counselled or helped by RLabs.

Currently, the solutions offered by JamiiX are being utilised by sectors such as Health Care, Non-Profits, Business, Marketing, and Education (SA University).

As an Instant Messaging Platform, it offers obvious benefits such as low-cost (instead of SMS),  and real-time communication with clients and partners.

Key solutions provided by the platform are:

  • Client/Customer support (Contact Centre)
  • Bulk Instant Messages
  • Surveys (Marketing etc.)
  • Alert/Feedback/Notification systems
  • Mobile Counselling
Along with the platform’s FREEmium offering. it also offers PREmium, Customised and Enterprise Packages.


Like it! Peoples Pies.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to one of three co-owners of a Food company specialising in making pastries. The company was established in 2001  and employ a small amount of staff who appear to be very happy to work there.

The owners are confident that there pastries is of a high quality in texture and taste. Prior to establishing Peoples Foods, all three owners were employed by another Pastry businesses. One would assume that the owners have learned from their prior experience on how to make a better product. After having had a pepper steak pie and soda for lunch, I had to admit
that it was extremely tasty and presentable. I had the sense that the
owners and staff take great pride in the products and that they adhere
to standards. Below are details of there products.

Product Range

Pies Puff Pastry
  • Steak &Kidney
  • Plain Steak
  • Pepper Steak
  • Beef Mince
  • Chicken & Mushroom
  • Chicken Tikka
  • Rich Curry
  • Sausage Rolls
  • Samoosas
  • Cocktail Pies for Special functions/Occasions
  • Puff Pastry 1kg rolls
  • Puff Pastry 400 g rolls
Usage of Puff Pastry

  • Home maid Pie
  • Pie Toppings
  • Cocktail Snacks

Ideal for special Occasions

  • Special lunches/Family meals
  • Weddings
  • Birthday parties

Factory Address (Cape Town)

37 Range Road,

Verno Industrial Park

Unit 16, Blackheath

Tel: 021 905 4668

Who are your BRAND CHAMPIONS?

Recently, I had a very interesting conversation with a person who has been working for a company for almost a decade. “I do not really care about the company, I just do what I am supposed to do and I do it well.” was the statement coming from the above mentioned person. Knowing this person caused me to think about possible reasons why a dedicated, well experienced and resourceful individual would make such a comment.

I asked myself a few questions that are critical for managers to consider.

  • What percentage of workers thinks the same as the person identified in the case study?
  • What contribution did this individual make to the department and organization?
  • Does the manager know what motivates the employee to always deliver high quality outputs?
  • Are employees committed to an organization (A system), or to individuals within the organization?

The ability to answer the above questions could surprisingly unlock deep insights. One revelation would be that within organizations you would always find individuals who deliver high quality work largely due to their value systems. They take pride in their work and are content when their mission is accomplished. It is an internal drive and motivation, thus the need for external motivation from a manager is of no specific value to them.

How do managers then manage these individuals, and what benefit do these type of value- driven employees offer organizations?  These employees offer an amazing opportunity to be utilized as BRAND CHAMPIONS of the organization, extending their influence from within to the outside.

Managers may take these simple steps in working with employees as BRAND CHAMPIONS:

  • Acknowledge employees at all times,
  • create a space for them to be creative,
  • listen to them, and
  • reward them.

A follow-up blog will look at the value BRAND CHAMPIONS will add to your organization.

Messages brands communicate

I recently bought myself a very nice low rise and bootleg jeans at one of the Woolworths stores in Cape Town. Whilst fitting on the jeans, I noticed from the corner of my right eye a statement reading as follows: ” WHAT’S NEW? From our ‘fresh’ antibacterial finish on socks to our silhouette-slimming ‘magic’ range, we love making new discoveries and offering you innovative ideas.” The intitial set of words that caught my attention in this statement were “the antibacterial finish to our socks”. My mind could not grasp or see any picture as to how a pair of socks could have an antibacterial finishing. It however, still interested me to the extend that I was doing a little bit of background reading, as well as writing this post. I since learned from Woolworths website that the antibacterial socks are serving the purpose of keeping people’s feet fresh. How it does that, I still do not know. What I do however know, is that antibacteria has the ability to destroy germs and preventing it to grow. It would be realy nice to try on such a pair of socks in order to experience its antibacterial features. This would truly mean the “Difference” to me.

Brand Rejuvenation for CellC

 

 

Cell C for yourself, the power is in your hands.

A key aspect of CellC’s new brand promise is that the network provider will listen to its customers in order to deliver tailormade solutions that will improve their livelihoods. But where did it all start for the rejuvenated brand?

November 2001 marked the beginning of an official opposition mobile operator to Vodacom and MTN. From the headquarters the following words were proclaimed with great enthusiasm; “True competition is finally coming to South Africa’s mobile cellular market… We reiterate our commitment to affordability, choice and a level of personalised service not yet seen in this country”. Cell C introduced an innovative pricing structure such as per second billing, and launched an attractively hip branding campaign. The entire campaign was build around the letter C that was displayed in images used to communicate to the market. 

Then, it was said that the Cell C brand name is meant to represent “individuality, choice, simplicity, value, and attitude.”

Recently, Cell C which for the past nine years has been associated with a red logo and spotted “C”, revealed a refreshing new black and white logo with the “C” in the letter part of Cell C, placed in a solid circle. According to the company’s CEO, not Trevor Noah, the new corporate identity reflects the mobile operator’s vision of understanding its customers’ way of life better than anybody else. The intention is to tailor solutions that would enhance the lifestyles of its customers. According to the CEO, Reichelt, the new brand speaks to the changes the company is making to improve the experiences of its customers.

Other aspects of the new corporate identity are explained as follows:

  • The six-colour bar which represents the colours of the South African flag as a symbol that Cell C cares about South Africa.
  • Cell C intends to cater to all customers and not just those within specific LSMs.

It is reported that the rejuvenated brand resulted from changes taking place within the organization. And through the new brand, the company aims to appeal and inspire both its staff and customers. To live up to their new brand promise, Cell C undertook an important partnership with comedian Trevor Noah, who is the Customer Experience Officer (Officer), mandated to be a voice for Cell C customers. It’s a strategic move to promote transparency and engage with customers in order to gain their trust.

Summary

  • Cell C has connected all the dots and made the customer the centre of the new brand.
  • Its old brand’s focus of individualized service has matured. Customers are now able to co-create with the mobile service provider. Hence the phrase: “The power is in your hands”

Gauging from the more than three thousand responses to Cell C’s marketing campaign, involving Trevor Noah, it can safely be argued that the new or rejuvenated brand is very popular. However, it is a bit too early to measure the success of the new campaign. Time will tell. And Cell C’s customers will see for themselves whether their service provider is willing to listen, engage, and provide real solutions that will benefit their lifestyles and livelihood.

Encouragement and Success

How do you define success in the corporate world? Yesterday, I observed something very intersesting whilst waiting for my wife at a Retailer’s head office in Cape Town. Opposite me set two ladies, well dressed for an interview. The one lady freelly shared with the other her interview experience, and encouraged her to give her best shot. One of the comments made was:”Even if I do not get this job, i will accept that it was not meant to be, and that there will be the right job coming up”. I could see how they both find comfort in the conversation and in each other. I was encouraged by what i heaard and saw, but i wonder how much of this type of attitude persists in the workplace. So often we find colleques competeing  with each other at the expense of supportive relationships  and team or company success. Supportive and honorable relationships are critical if companies wish to reach their full potential. Can we thus assume, that even though many companies are perceived to be successfull, they yet have to reach success. They yet have to reach their full potential and accomplish all possibilities. But, if only greater relationships characterised by support and encouragement are present.

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