Become an Influential Blogger?! :)

Well… influence is often thought of as popularity. But in reality, popularity is simply the side-effect of another aspect of blogging.

How do we get people to pay attention to what we write?

A blog catches on just like any other idea spreads—it must somehow speak to people in a way that they want to hear.

Your posts must fill a human need, and that will most often be at an emotional level, no matter how practical we think our subject matter is.

The following are five components that I think are essential for a blog to gain traction and influence with its intended audience.

1. Simple

Ultimately, the idea behind your blog must be easy for your target audience to immediately grasp. Your readers must be able to quickly communicate what you and your blog are all about in order for your ideas to spread.

2. Unexpected

Something about what you have to offer must be out of the ordinary. Providing valuable information that seems to be against your own self-interest, like a Realtor blog that details how to sell your own house, may provide that spark that gets people talking (or linking). Or maybe it’s just a completely new perspective on a topic, or a combination of two seemingly unrelated concepts into something fresh.

3. Useful

The information an influential blog provides must be useful to your intended audience. There’s a reason “how to” posts are so popular.

4. Credible

Credibility is crucial to any successful blog, and it’s easier to lose it than it is to earn it. People must not only feel that you know what you’re talking about; they also want to know they can trust you.

5. Story

Here’s how all of the above is communicated and the emotional element that connects with the reader gets added to the mix. The story of your blog must be simple, have an unexpected hook, reflect concrete benefits, and inherently state the credibility of the blog owner, all while triggering an emotional response.

How you say it is important.

But what you say is critical.


If your blog is not performing at the level you desire, or even if you’re simply trying to maintain the success you have and perhaps take it to the next level, keep these five elements in mind.

The Different Types of Customer Service

The Different Types of Customer Service

With so many different ways to offer customer service, whether it be via email, live chat, social media, phone, or self-service, it might seem like there’s an overwhelming amount of types of customer service your business can offer. Each channel could be considered a different type of customer service, but in reality, there are only two types of customer service your business can offer: proactive and reactive. This article will cover various types of customer service, from different support channels to offering proactive and reactive support.

Email

Email is the classic, common, and widespread way customers communicate with companies. With the right software, email can be one of the easiest ways to organize, prioritize, and delegate customer support interactions in one place. What’s so great about email? It’s hard to find someone without an email account, and People can reach out anytime to log an inquiry. Email is also usually the first form of support a business will offer.

Email can also often serve as an internal form of support. Instacart, for example, dedicated internal instances to better support their employee base. The Human Resources, Payroll, and IT teams also use Zendesk Support to handle issues or answer questions for full- and part-time employees.

Live Chat

Live chat

Offering real-time communication as a channel can create a personal connection with customers looking for immediate support. With chat and messaging abilities, agents can engage customers over websites, mobile apps, and even popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and LINE. That means you can build the best customer experience on the channels that your customers actually prefer in a fast and effective way—without interrupting their experience.

Chat as a channel can help businesses anticipate customer questions and offer help when—and where—they need it most with chat support. In fact, The number of U.S. online shoppers who use live chat has increased from 38% to 58% over the last five years. More than 2.5 billion consumers use messaging apps, and according to a 2016 Nielsen study, 56 percent of Facebook Messenger users would rather message a business than call.

Instant communication is trending in customer support—especially when more than 53% of shoppers abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer. Real-time communication in addition to traditional email support can help prevent customers from churning, and, it enables agents to help more customers in less time, which means happier customers.

Customer Service – Social Media

Social media

Social media customer service is the practice of providing consumer support through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. If your customers are writing about you in social media and those interactions are falling through the cracks of your support infrastructure, it’s time to invest in a solution—because these days an unhappy customer is likely to lodge a complaint on your Twitter or Facebook. Not investing in a solution, or treating social media as outside traditional customer service, can cause companies to lose out on opportunities to engage or respond to public complaints.

The success of social media customer service, like all other types of customer service, depends on the quality of care provided. However, it’s important to remember that social media customer service often takes place in public or near-public environments. Extra care must be taken because these interactions can be broadcast to a customer’s friends and followers, and even their friends and followers. Communications from agents should be timely, accurate, sensitive, brief, and friendly. For more social media tips, read this.

Customer Service – Phone

Customer Service Support Assistance Service Help Guide Concept

Phone

A phone conversation remains a powerful way to solve problems—even in the age of email and social media. When customers get help over the phone, agents can resolve complex issues faster and deliver detailed, personalized support.

Phone support can be expensive when it comes to agent time—however, software with integrated insights can help you better understand how to staff, how many calls agents take, and how ticket volume from your phone channel compares to other channels. With the right software, you can also have the benefit of full customer history, automatic ticket creation, call recording and other time-saving tools.

To offer the best phone support, you’ll need to consider the hours your agents are available to answer calls, greetings and hold music, and routing rules. You can conquer any fears you might have about phone support here.

Customer Service – Self Service

Self-service

Support teams know a lot about customer issues—and the best way to solve them. Unfortunately, more than 20% of agent time is spent looking for info. A collective knowledge base can help tap into that institutional knowledge and aid agents with the information they need to better serve customers. It can also help your business to understand and fill the knowledge gaps your company might have.

Besides, 76% of customers prefer self-service because it offers the least amount of interaction friction. By letting customer help themselves through a help center, online community, or customer service portal, you can reduce customer friction while also improving efficiency and faster resolution. Offering self-service is the new baseline for customer service and a great self-service experience can boost customer satisfaction, reduce support costs, and increase internal agent engagement. According to the experts at Gartner, setting up self-service can reduce support costs by up to 25%.

Omnichannel as the ultimate customer service solution

As seen above, there are various types of customer service your business can offer, and these days it doesn’t cut it to just offer one channel. Now more than ever, companies are offering omnichannel support as their customer service solution. When channels are connected and conversations are seamless, agents are more productive, and information can be shared across your company—and customers have the option to reach out on the channel they prefer most.
In a recent study by Dimensional Research, 28% of customers said multiple communication options are part of a good customer experience and 27% said not being able to contact customer service with their preferred channel contributed to a bad customer experience. Furthermore, 85% said they will use a different contact method if they don’t receive a response from their initial inquiry and 51% said they wait less than an hour before trying another contact method if they haven’t heard back. Customer’s, especially Millennial’s, needs are changing, and good customer service organizations should respond. This means providing current and future customers with the right self-service tools and communication channels.

Proactive vs. reactive support

Channels are important, but the mindset your business has around customer service is more important. Do you wait for customers to come to you with problems, or do you get in front of those issues and proactively solve them?

Reactive support has been the standard: you wait for a customer to contact your business with an inquiry or issue. Proactive engagement, however, is becoming a crucial type of customer service—it means anticipating your customers’ issues and addressing them before your customers do. This can be done through FAQs and self-service pages to emailing your customer about a delay in their shipment. The results? Your customer satisfaction doesn’t dip because your customers stay in the know. See a customer hesitating with items in their cart? Offer help via live chat on your checkout page. Proactive customer support is about identifying and resolving customer issues before your customers have to reach out and before their satisfaction dips.

Customer service is more than the channels you offer

The type of customer service your business offers is more just than just the types of channels on which customers can contact your company. The type of customer service a business can offer has grown to mean how seamlessly connected your agents and your channels are and if you’re offering support before your customers know they need it. In reality, the future of customer experience and the type of customer service you offer is a support team that’s empowered to deliver proactive service on any channel.

Pondering a great many things!

“‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” Joel 2:12-13

Whether the elements that batter your heart come from someone else suddenly ripping apart your roof of protection, or from your own tearing off of those tiles, there is a helplessness that comes from exposure. That same helplessness often renders us unable to see how to even navigate the storm, let alone cause it to subside.

It is rare that a marriage hits a crisis point as the result of one move of one person. The dance of a marriage is not a dance of one. Intentional or unintentional, malicious or thoughtless, planned or impulsive, both partners are continually making moves and taking steps that either add to the beauty of the dance or choreograph chaos.

When we are at the point of crisis — analysis of moves, assigning blame or demanding change are generally without effect. When the roof has been removed, there is one place to go for covering, to the Lord.

While returning to the Lord rather than facing into the circumstances may feel counterintuitive, it is the covering of His grace, compassion, patience and love that steadies us and gives us wisdom and hope.

In Joel we see the call to come to Him “with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” If the storm within us, the brokenness and repentance, is not commensurate to the storm without, we are unlikely to know or to seek the shelter we need.

Father, sometimes I want to fight, sometimes I want to fix everything, sometimes I just want to run away. Give me the wisdom and the strength to run to You, You who stand in the midst of the storm with me. Give me a heart that is willing to repent and be instructed, and give me the grace to trust Your heart.

A hopefilled Prayer to Heal Broken Marriages

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV)

These verses and our marital promises look perfectly applicable and fulfillable in the gold script of our wedding programs and pictures that hold the smiles and love that permeated the day we said, “I do.” Though no one walks down the aisle intending for it all to fall apart, marriages are shattered daily. Paul’s advice to the Ephesians is hard to live out in daily life, especially when reality doesn’t align with the pages of marital bliss we read through while planning our futures.

When the bottom falls out, and our trust is wiped off the map of our marriages, these verses look like impossibilities and unrealistic expectations. Putting another person in the light of this verse knocks if off-skew. We were never meant to worship another person, nor seek safety and completion in one. Two become one in marriage, but marriage itself is a reflection of God’s love for His church. His love for us. Christ in us comes first, and when it doesn’t, the rest of our relationships are set up to derail.

There are no perfect solutions to fix broken marriages. We live in a broken world full of broken people, broken promises, and broken trust. But there is One who can be trusted. One Whose promises are always fulfilled. One who loves us for who we are, right where we are …brokenness and all. In moments of marital agony, heartbreak, and suffering, we are never alone. One day at a time, one prayer at a time, He will pull us through to the future we cannot see.

Don’t be quick to write the conclusion before He’s finished speaking, and know that even if the worst happens, He is still God. He is still good. And we are still loved.

Let’s pray.

Trust and Worship God

Father,

Sovereign, omnipotent, all-knowing. These are the big and complicated words that describe who You are. Never fully able to grasp how deep and wide and long Your love is for us, we humbly praise You today for who You are. Whether or not we meet you in moments of clarity or confusion, You are God. You are good. You are sovereign, omnipotent, all-knowing. When the world is unfair to us You are fair to defend us. As we unravel, You rewind the spool. What we cannot see, You have already gone before and prepared for us.

So good are You God, that even when no words or feelings of joy are flitting to the surface or permeating our minds, the Holy Spirit is faithful to stir in us three words of hope: “Don’t give up.”

Be Honest with God

Father, we understand that we live in a broken world, and sometimes marriage doesn’t flesh out in the way You purposed it to. We fail each other and fail You, so often. But miraculously, You love us no less. You never give up on us. It’s never too late, even when we feel it’s too late for our marriages. We’re feeling that way, today, Father – like it’s too late. We are ready to throw our arms in the air and give up. We feel given up on, misunderstood, and hurt beyond repair.

When trust has been broken into too many pieces to glue back together, how do we come back together?

The hurt and pain in our hearts threatens to squeeze our eyes dry of tears, and the misery of loneliness fills the air even when in good company. Chipped and stripped, lost and lonely, we revisit our wedding vows and weep for what has been tainted and torn. Peace seems to elude us. Harmony is on the run. All we have left is to run to Your capable arms and weep at Your feet for what to do next.

You have to Surrender Your Heart and Your Marriage to God

Today, we give our marriages to You. Forgive us for putting them and our spouses before You. Forgive us for putting ourselves as well as our desires and plans for the future before You and Yours.

Search our hearts, Lord. Convict us and clear out all the hardness and ick that is clogging up the flow of Love in our lives. Reset our relationship with You. Restore our hope in Jesus Christ and open our minds and hearts to the healing truth that only He can rush into our lives in these moments of madness.

Give us the strength to be brave. Replace the fear of what might happen and what the future might hold with Christ-centered courage. We can’t be strong right now. We are broken and barely breathing. But You, the living God, in us, are our strength.

Through the Holy Spirit of the One True God, empower us with humility, gentleness, patience, peace, and unity (Ephesians 4:2-3). Curb our anger from morphing into bitterness and hatred. Forgive us for the times we lose our tempers and our sanity towards our spouse.

Have Faith in God

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV)

Father, these things in Ephesians seem impossible right now. All of the things these verses say are things we cannot do apart from You. But we vow today, to have faith in You. We promise to trust You through the brokenness and heartbreak, trusting that it will not last forever. The process of forgiveness will begin in our hearts this very moment, but we will leave restoration and reconciliation in Your hands.

Take it all – our marriage and our lives. We have come to the end of ourselves and the ability to repair what has been broken in ourselves, our spouses, and our marriages. We are taking a backseat to Your sovereignty. Break it all if you must, in order to restore completely what has been lost. As we walk through the unknown state of our futures, we are believing You for who You say You are.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV)

Come Lord Jesus. Into our lives with miraculous healing.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

The ‘Write’ Practice

Advantages of keeping a journal.

There are many different reasons to keep a journal. Here are a couple of ideas why you should begin this daily practice and let it become a part of your daily routine.

Help Process Feelings and Ideas

When you keep thoughts in your head it can be hard to know how you think and feel. Writing down how you feel will help you process your emotions, as feelings become words, which can be then be edited.

Start with one idea in the center of your page and expand from that single thought. Write down anything that comes to mind. It may seem disorganized, but it will tell a story when the thought process is complete. While it may seem like you are adding extra steps to your journaling, it actually helps you decide what to write about.

Helps to Remember Details

No matter how good your memory is, recollection of your life’s events will probably fade as the years go by. My advice is to write these events down in a journal as they happen. You may have heard of journaling before; it’s similar to keeping a diary.

Some dictionaries make virtually no distinction between keeping a journal and a diary:

Definition of “journal”: a diary; a daily written record of (usually personal) experiences and observations.

There are many other reasons to journal. Pick your reason, and take a moment to write about it.

Another great idea is to write down your “Dreams” Keep a journal on your night stand, and if you have a dream, that wakes you, journal about it. It really is a great way to remember your dreams. And can be alot of fun.

Taylor Begins her Journey

Hello All,

this short story is about a little gal named Taylor, she is 10 years old, at the time the vidoc was created. Her dream, since very little, was to become a pilot. Her heart was in the Sky, her head, in the Clouds. Thank goodness for UPS to help fuel the fire to her dream. Love that.

How many of you can relate to Taylor. It is my belief that many pilots out there can relate to the Story of Taylor.

Watch the short Video Clip (try not to cry):

Taylor’s Story

Like stated before, love that UPS is helping fuel her dream. Yup, she is bit by the aviation bug.

Share your thoughts on this one…