One of the best ways to get new customers is through word of mouth. People who really love your product or service will tell their friends, and their friends will buy what you have to sell. But how can you as a business encourage more word of mouth marketing?

Make interacting with your company easy

People who are going to refer your business to their friends and family need to be able to interact with you easily. For example, you want your customers to be able to share your business page on their social media platforms. Customers want to be able to call out your social media business page in their post, and their friends want to be able to easily click on your business name and find out more information about your company.

By making it easier to interact with your business, you are making it easier for your customers to share information about you with their friends.

Reward customers who share

Another good way to boost word of mouth marketing is by rewarding your customers for sharing with their friends. Many companies offer extra gift cards or rewards points for every friend that is referred and actually signs up for the product or service. People won’t refer their friends unless they absolutely love your product, but they are more willing to do so if they feel as though they are getting something in return. You can also send text marketing messages to customers, so they know exactly what their reward is for sharing with their friends.

The reward doesn’t always have to be huge. Even a small discount on your products is enough to encourage customers to refer you to their friends.

Don’t miss out on influencers

Another thing to consider is that influencers make a big difference in the marketing world, especially now when even small influencers on social media can really boost your sales. Find influencers that meet your target audience, and work out a deal with them. They should be able to easily promote your product as a part of their everyday social media interactions. It should create a ripple effect that leads to their followers trying and sharing your product with their friends as well.

Consider the bigger picture of your company

One thing that really gets people talking, especially the Millennial generation, is if your company has something bigger than your product or service that they can talk about. They want to be able to tell their friends all about how they helped save a village in India with their Sunglasses purchase. If you can give your customers a bigger picture of something they can talk about, you give your business a lot more opportunity for natural word of mouth advertising.

If you don’t already have something your company does that people can talk about, it might be time to come up with one. It really is a really great way to encourage word of mouth advertising. Once you have something, make sure you highlight it in your text marketing and social media marketing efforts, so customers know what they are supporting and can get behind the cause as well.

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SMS Messaging is a great way to reach out to customers. With 75% of the world’s population using cell phones, there can be no better way to reach out and connect to people. Read more about the advantages of SMS messaging in a recent blog post.

But the ease and power of SMS messaging should not let you forget that there are rules to business-based SMS message marketing and there are consequences for breaking those rules.

Federal SMS Messaging Regulations

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has very strict regulations in terms of SMS messaging as a means to market to people. First, businesses can only send SMS messages to people who opt-in and choose to receive messages.

Second, marketers must offer an easy and direct method to opt out of future text messages. There are other regulations that marketers need to know. For example, users have to be notified of any sign-up fees, and permission received by one company does not allow company affiliates or business associates to also message people who have opted in.

According to an article in Entrepreneur, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act can impose a fine between $500 to $1500 per unsolicited text message sent. So before sending out mass text messages to people who have yet to opt in, consider all the consequences and their costs.

A Costly Marketing Mistake

In 2010, Papa Johns hired OnTime4U, a mass text messaging service, to text ads to customers. Unfortunately, Papa Johns is now facing a $250 million lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that Papa Johns sent out hundreds of thousands of text messages to customers who never opted in to receive text messages from Papa Johns. According to the lawsuit, some Papa John franchises gave lists of customers and their contact information to OnTime4U without getting the customers permissions first.

If Papa Johns loses the lawsuit, they will face one of the largest damages awards ever given under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Since the lawsuit claims that 500,000 messages were sent to customers without permission, and $500 should be paid for each text message. That is a total of $250 million.

Plaintiff lawyer Donald Heyrich said in a statement. “If you do not have permission from your customers, do not send them text messages."

Learn from Other SMS Message Marketing Mistakes

Before you and your company face a situation similar to Papa Johns, learn everything there is about SMS messaging services. Learn and understand the federal guidelines related to SMS messaging and marketing practices. When you sign up for text messaging services, make sure you explain everything you want to get out of the service and the parameters of your messages. Train all of your employees so they are aware of the regulations and the parameters that are in place. And as a final safety net, do not pass on customer lists to anyone, especially your contracted messaging provider, unless those customers have opted-in to messaging services or given permission for them to be contacted.

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It may seem like the title of a game show (and it may even be a fun show to watch), but it is a legitimate question. Artificial Intelligence is getting better and better every day, and it may not be long before the sci-fi movies are a reality in our lives. One AI computer is outsmarting even the best poker players in a three-week long poker tournament.

Poker tournament outlook

The top 4 poker players in the world took to a competition with Libratus, an artificial intelligence program created by a team at Carnegie Mellon University. And, not surprisingly, the machine is beating the real people very badly. It was a 20 day tournament, and the people are getting tired from long days of playing poker. The machine, however, doesn’t get tired and continues to have a great game even after 20 days. The biggest advantage Libratus had over the real live poker players was its ability to bluff and remain unpredictable. And while being able to show feelings and fake feelings is an important part of the game, someone who can constantly remain emotionless will always have the advantage in the game.

All the poker players have lost the equivalent of a small house in these games of poker. Though none of them will have to actually pay the AI Robot for losing. The biggest problem the players face is that they want to retain human dignity, and it isn’t going well as they lose so massively to Libratus. It is amazing how much we can teach computers to do.

About Libratus, the poker-playing AI

Libratus was built to test the abilities of Artificial Intelligence to, hopefully, create programming that can run on its own in a variety of fields. It could be used in medicine, military strategy, or even in your daily homes. As it is quickly improving, you can expect to see AI start to become a natural part of your everyday interactions, especially with businesses.

How AI affects you

Most people don’t have to worry about losing their jobs and being replaced by artificial intelligence. We are still a long ways off from being able to have this kind of widespread technology used in all businesses. If AI were to replace people in their jobs, it would only be for very basic, repetitive jobs. But even the greatest minds don’t expect it will happen anytime soon.

However, AI Chatbot has come a long way and is quickly becoming the norm. Facebook and Twitter are both working to develop Chatbot for businesses to be able to use it on social media platforms. You can easily get access to Chatbot for texting customer service communications. The capabilities of artificial intelligence are growing more and more every day, and as a business, that gives you an amazing opportunity to communicate with customers in a way they prefer and that saves you time and money.

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Nothing says more about your company than your customer service department because it is the one group that will always interact with customers. But the sad truth is that this is the department that is typically most unorganized and needs huge improvements. While 80% of businesses believe their customer service is already doing very well, only 8% of customers agree, according to Forbes. So whether or not you know it, you probably need to improve. Whether you are working through text marketing or phone calls, here are ways you can improve your customer service department.

Take the time to train

One of the biggest problems is that there is very little training at most companies, or if there is training, it isn’t very clear or direct. Especially when it comes to working with customers, you need to make sure your employees know exactly what you expect them to say and do. Employees can only be as effective as their training allows. Not only do they need to know how you want them to interact with customers, you also need to make sure they are trained on any current promotions or issues you are currently dealing with. If they don’t know what is happening in the company, they won’t be very effective.

Listen to the whole story

Most people who call in with a problem have a story to tell. They don’t want to get cut off even if it is with a solution. It is very important that your customer service representatives know how to listen until the customer is finished. Of course, finding a solution is the next step, but listening to the whole story and letting them finish their thoughts is the first step.

Give them the whole truth

It can be tempting to make up a story about why things went wrong instead of just telling the client you messed up. And while it seems like it would keep the customer happier, they are actually always happier with the truth. First of all, a little lie can easily unravel, and if a customer finds out you lied to them, they will be much angrier than if they had heard the bad news to begin with. Second, most people these days value transparency. The internet has made it very easy for them to find the truth, and it is better if they hear it from you than someone online. As soon as the truth has been said, a solution can be presented.

It’s also possible to tell the truth without going into too much detail. For example, if the product didn’t ship on time and it was your fault for not paying on time, don’t tell the client you didn’t pay for the product so it didn’t ship on time. You can simply tell them the product shipped late, and that’s why it arrived to them late. There’s definitely ways of conveying the truth to the customer without throwing your company completely under the bus, and a good customer service department understands this.


The easiest way you can improve your customer service is to teach your representatives to apologize for problems or inconvenience. It’s hard to be mad at someone who sounds like they are truly sorry. An apology can go a long way. And while you should do what you can to make it right financially, an apology may be just what you are missing.

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Focusing on customer service in your business is very important. It is one of the three pillars of success every business should stand on. Even if you already have customer service in place, you can always make improvements. Here are four ways that you can improve your customer service department.

1. Build a single customer service statement philosophy

Your customer service representatives need something they can always come back to as their ultimate goal in serving customers. One great example of this given by Forbes is the Mayo Clinic’s phrase “The needs of the customers come first.” It is short, sweet, and to the point, and when new employees are being trained, they can be told this on day one as the ultimate goal. Every time they are struggling in any kind of service situation, they can remind themselves of that short statement philosophy of the company and make their decisions based on it. It really is a quick and easy way to make sure all of your employees are on the same page and understand the ultimate goal.

2. Teach customer service representatives essential skills

While it is nice if you can hire customer service agents who already know what to do and already know how to handle every situation properly, the truth of the matter is that you will need to teach them the skills they need for the job if you want to really help your customers properly. Teach them that smiling while on the phone can be felt on the other end by the customer, and it will improve the customer’s response to you. Teach them that while customers get angry, it is always about the situation and not them, so as a representative, they need to be able to step back and look at it from the customer’s view to try and solve the problem. Teamwork is an important skill because you can’t always do everything by yourself. And on that note, it is important that they know what they can resolve on their own and what they need to go to a manager for. You must give them the tools to succeed.

3. Use AI Chatbot when possible

AI Chatbot is the ability to have a computer recognize questions and send answers to a customer immediately. It is great for your business because you can quickly and easily resolve simple matters and the customers appreciate the clear, fast response. You can use this in texting with the customers by allowing for two-way texting communication. It can also be used on your website with live chat and on social media through messaging. Customers have become much more accustomed to talking through written channels than phone calls.

4. Refine customer service standards technology

Your customer service agents will only be as good as the technology they are provided. Your business needs to have the most updated computers and computer programs to ensure they have access to everything they need. Don’t make them put the customer on hold for 20 minutes while they wait for the slow system to load. It makes the customer angrier unnecessarily, and your employees will have a harder time doing their job the right way if they don’t have the technology necessary to succeed.

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​Customer service is one of the key parts of every business. And as technology is progressing, there are more ways than ever to reach out to your customers and get them the information they need. Social media has provided many outlets for companies to communicate. This is great because it means that you can help them resolve any issues your customers are having, receive positive feedback, and do a better job at getting and keeping customers.

Twitter released new customer service capabilities

Among the social media sites you should be using to stay in touch with customers is Twitter, and Twitter just made that a whole lot easier. Your business can now indicate whether or not support is provided which will then enable a direct message button allowing customers to send a private message to your team, even if they aren’t following your company, according to TechCrunch. Your business can display hours of customer service, and you have the ability to see anytime a customer references you @yourbusiness on Twitter, which is also a huge help in finding when someone needs help. Twitter has done an amazing job of recognizing the need for easier customer service interactions on Twitter and building a new way for communication.

Other social media platforms to use

There are many other social media platforms available for you to reach out to your customers. Facebook is essential; if you don’t have a Facebook business page already, you should get one set up right away. It is one of the number one ways people are getting in touch with businesses these days, and it gives your company a great opportunity to show potential customers that you are already taking care of the ones you currently have.

Having a Google+ page means Google will have all accurate information for your business, and it will make it easier for customers to find you in internet searches. It is also a place many people will review and look for reviews on your business. Again, Google+ is another way to show potential customers that you are taking care of any problems that have been brought up.

Though the rest of the other social media platforms are important to have in place to stay in communication with your customers, they don’t offer very good customer service options. On all those social media sites, you can easily post your two-way texting customer service phone number though, and it will help people find you when they have questions.

Two-way text customer service

Two-way texting works amazingly well for customer service as well. It is especially important among the Millennial generation where younger customers prefer to work through text than over the phone. With an artificial intelligence texting platform that automatically responds to questions from your customers, you’ll be ahead of the curve and be giving customers exactly what they want.

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