Most of the time, problems and conflicts we encounter in life are down to miscommunication. You said one thing, the person you were talking to interpreted it in a different way to what you intended.

This effect is exacerbated by the way we communicate today. We’re less likely to interact face-to-face, and engage more online; either through social media or written messages. Who has never misinterpreted an instant message, or been on the receiving end of a misinterpretation? It’s embarrassing, or worse, can cause the breakdown of a good relationship, either personal or business.

Conversation is essential to any retailer’s branding strategy. But in the ongoing shift from brick and mortar to online stores, the channels used for connecting with customers have changed. Promotional mailers have been replaced by email, helpful store clerks by live chat prompts, and customer support phone numbers by omni-channel online communication strategies. The shift to virtual customer engagement presents an exciting opportunity for sales optimization: every customer interaction generates data that can be analyzed to create valuable insights. And as the adage goes, what gets measured gets improved.

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I often have to write articles for clients’ bylines. I try my best to write the piece so it can be placed in blogs and trade magazines or used in speeches and advertisements. In return, I don’t seek or receive attribution. Instead, the credit goes to the person who I collaborated on the piece with.

The standard practice of using ghostwriters to create content goes back generations, if not hundreds of years. There’s even talk that William Shakespeare may not have written every work credited to him. Regardless of your views, the art of ghostwriting is a necessity for many organizations whose executives are too busy to craft pieces on their own.

Discovering how to efficiently locate, convert, and retain top customers is critical for any growing company. Most leaders of online retailers know this, but rapidly changing consumer behavior and technological innovation make perfect execution difficult.

The answer is in delighting your customers by providing them with individual attention. This can be accomplished through live chat sales and customer service. However, a recent Oracle survey noted that only 40 percent of businesses that participated currently employ a live chat platform.

Here are five reasons why your company should use live chat.

Converting a website visitor into a loyal, high-margin customer requires conversational skills beyond simple grammar and semantics. To be successful, a live chat agent needs to read between the lines, assess the bigger picture of the sales opportunity at hand, hold multiple conversations at once, and respond to their conversation partner with timing, wit, and emotional intuition.

This is changing with the wider adoption of artificial intelligence. Chatbots are becoming the norm for streamlining operations and costs. However, depending entirely on chatbots as brand ambassadors can be risky.

Nearly half of all hospitals in the United States are losing money, as indicated by a recent study published in Health Affairs, a struggle that has only been exacerbated by the requirements of value-based care. And, as patients are now responsible for an increasing portion of their finances related to healthcare, decisions are made more selectively regarding where to obtain medical services. This means providers and hospital systems must work even harder to attract — and retain — today’s discerning patient.

That’s where branding comes in.

Self-absorbed, social media addicted, disloyal, oversensitive little snowflakes.

It’s open season on millennials at the moment, all over the world. From attempts to blame a Brexit narrative on a nation riven by a generational divide, to Australians in their 20s being told their avocado toast habit is the reason they’re not on the property ladder.

But love them or hate them, to succeed today, your brand needs them.

Picture this… Your company has successfully used inbound marketing tactics to increase traffic to your website. Cool, it’s working!

But, there’s a problem…

Your website has a bunch of visitors, but those visitors are not effectively converting to leads.

They came, they saw, they conquered, and they left your page without giving you their information.

If your only goal is to get eyes on your site, congrats, you’re finished! I’m willing to bet, however, that your organization has a product or service that you want people to buy.

Am I right?

So, how do you get those valuable visitors to cough up their info, thus becoming leads that you can nurture for further contact?

With the age-old principle of reciprocity, of course!

Continue reading to find out how your business can leverage the principle of reciprocity to generate a lot of valuable leads…