Larry Keating, president and CEO of Keating Technologies, was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award on September 18th. The award was presented by His Honour David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, in recognition of Larry’s long time contributions to Ontarians through his volunteer work and charitable efforts, especially concerning aboriginal computer literacy.
The award was established in 1998 by the Honourable Hilary M. Weston to recognize Ontario volunteers for their outstanding contributions to their communities. The award honours volunteers who serve as the backbone of not-for-profit organizations and who have a direct impact on the people their organizations serve. “Larry continues to give generously of his time and expertise to improve the opportunity for all Ontarians to achieve,” said His Honour, “and for that I thought he should be recognized.”
In addition to being the founder, president and CEO of Keating Technologies since 1987, and NPC since 2008, Larry has served as advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario for the Aboriginal Computer Literacy Program and has been recognized as an Ambassador for Privacy by Design by the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Larry is active on a number of boards and committees, past chairman of the board of Vanity Software Corp, advisory member of the Seneca College Campaign Cabinet, the Markham-Stouffville Hospital Foundation, and past vice chair of the Premier’s Technology Dinner. He was also a member of the Chair’s Advisory Council on e-Government and served for eight years as the founding chairman of the Ministers’ Technology Advisory Group for the Province of Ontario.
Larry and his companies have supported a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations. In 2013 Larry was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service.
Spam is becoming an increasingly troublesome issue for companies and consumers alike, giving email a bad name as a promotional tool, despite its longstanding strong reputation for a quality marketing opportunity. In fact, a study by email intelligence firm Return Path found that nearly 70 percent of spam complaints and 60 percent of all resources caught within spam traps derive from content sent from marketers.
Experts often state that this high volume underscores the need for companies to keep track of their target lists and only reach out to prospective and existing customers who may be interested in their brand. This is something that email marketing leader Constant Contact specializes in, as its unique double opt-in strategy ensures that all recipients are willing to receive advertisements and other content.
Broadcasting emails is a common practice among marketers, as it allows teams to develop a page worth of content that can be sent to a range of end-users. Unfortunately, many of these resources are quickly classified as spam. The good news is that Contact Contact’s email marketing solution enables firms of all sizes to keep their broadcast email strategies within the confines of increasingly tightening compliance regulations.
What about CASL?
Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) was passed in December 2010 and is expected to come into action by July 1, 2014. When the law is in effect, it will essentially prohibit organizations from sending consumers, partners and any other recipients content without that person’s consent. The act is not specified to any one type of media, which means that businesses must be careful who they send broadcast content to through emails, text messages and social networking websites.
Constant Contact has a product that meets all CASL compliance requirements due to its confirmed opt-in process. This means that prospective recipients who submit their email addresses to companies automatically receive a confirmation email through that account. If individuals do not physically click on the link within the body of the email or send a reply message, they cannot be sent content again.
This capability allows organizations using Constant Contact’s managed platform to meet all anti-spam legislation because the only individuals who will receive marketing content will have confirmed twice. Businesses that want to develop a strong marketing reputation without overstepping the bounds of prospective customers – or Canadian law – should consider working with Constant Contact to develop a double opt-in marketing strategy that works for them.
The contact center is one of the business world’s most vital assets, as these departments host the employees that essentially run the customer service show. As the IT landscape evolved during the past several years, contact center decision-makers have begun to implement more collaborative channels for clients beyond voice.
A recent Genesys survey found that approximately 63 percent of contact centers said their customers are fluently embracing the migration to new channels, which is natural, as consumers are using those applications, such as video and social media, in their daily lives. At the same time, however, approximately half of executives said the current solutions in contact centers are not prepared for future transformations.
“Perhaps companies’ technology is not up to date because they don’t have the budget to invest in the technology? Recent Forrester research showed that only 37 percent of companies have dedicated budget for customer experience initiatives,” said Richard McCrossan, strategic business director at Genesys.
McCrossan asserted that it is important for contact center decision-makers to assess their client demands and financial restrictions to establish a comprehensive and effective customer service plan.
Consumers want what?
Because every customer is different, it can be a challenge to implement a single platform and hope that it goes over well on every level. Social media, however, appears to be a popular choice among most consumers. This was one of the findings from a recent study by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), which found that roughly 90 percent of clients believe social customer service is either extremely or somewhat useful.
At the same time, however, 93 percent of customers said they would prefer to be met on the channel they are using at the time of the interaction, suggesting that embracing a multichannel strategy that provides representatives with access to numerous applications is a good opportunity for most organizations.
“Arm the agent with the knowledge, channels and tools they require to best service customers. And take advantage of the emerging channels,” said Sarah Stealey Reed, the content director for ICMI. “Mobile, social and self-service are the perfect vessels to fulfill the higher needs of today’s agents and the greater demands of the connected customers.”
Customer care is one of the most important processes in the business world, as failing to keep prospective and existing clients happy will only make it more difficult to generate revenue. Working with an experienced service provider can give contact center decision-makers the tools they need to engage clients on multiple levels.