Davinci Virtual Blog



Getting Your Employees Involved in Social Media

Social media has taken the marketing industry by storm and companies large and small are leveraging “social” to drive core business objectives.

Consider just a few of the many reasons why. According to CMO, 54 percent of B2B marketers said they have generated leads from social media. What’s more, social media influences 93 percent of shoppers’ buying decisions, #Socialnomics 2014 reveals. It’s no wonder, then, why DashBurts reports 78 percent of companies have a dedicated social media team.

With these and many other statistics in mind, the big question for most companies is no longer whether to engage in social media but how to get employees more involved. From sales and marketing to customer relationship management to branding initiatives, employees can help you drive more awareness—and more profits—to your bottom line through social media.

Encouraging Employees to Go Social

Ingrid Kibler, Social Media Supervisor at HCK2 Partners, a marketing communications firm in Addison, Texas, has worked with global brands and small- to mid-sized businesses alike on the social media front.

According to Kibler, there are several key ways for brands to encourage employees to participate in social media, such as gamification, internal education, and giving employees a way to contribute content.

“It’s important to encourage employee participation because they know the company inside and out, and will serve as the best ambassadors for the brand,” Kibler says.

“What employees should do the on social media front for brand building may vary depending on the company,” she continues, “but a few guidelines apply across the board, such as having a strong professional presence online, sharing the brand’s content via their social networks where appropriate, and reaching audiences that the company cannot reach as a brand, such as LinkedIn groups.”

Some Practical Measures

Kevin Nolan saw success getting employees engaged in social media in three ways during his tenure as the Americas Marketing director at Teleperformance, a leading global outsourcing company that offers customers multichannel experiences. The company has call centers in 13 countries, including eight centers in the U.S.

“I developed a social media policy that encouraged the call center directors in the U.S. to use Facebook to reinforce our message as a great place to work and a job creator in the community,” says Nolan, who is now an account manager at Cooksey Communications, a Dallas/Fort-Worth-based strategic communications and consulting firm. “I would even create ‘public’ versions of internal announcements to protect clients' non-disclosure agreements. Facebook was an essential channel in publicizing job fairs.”

Using e-mail signatures that contain social media links is a simple task every employee can and should do. Social media buttons or links at the end of your signature helps inform customers and partners that you can be reached at different places online, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

“Everyone has an e-mail address, so I created some icons with the Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn URLs embedded in them,” Nolan says. “All they had to do was copy and paste. Soon every recipient of their e-mail—clients, prospects, community members, et cetera—was visiting our social media sites.”

Go Big on Blogging

Getting employees engaged in blogging is more important than you may think. The discipline of blogging can help employees fine tune sales presentations and general communication skills. Blogging can also unlock teaching that benefits the workplace.

Blogging has long been a staple of social media and although companies don’t want to let any and every employee blog publicly, internal blogs can influence a culture of learning. And subject matter experts within your ranks should put digital ink to digital paper to position your firm as a knowledgeable source in its space. Of course, it also helps with search engine optimization efforts. Here’s a few quick tips to encourage blogging: Give employees a template to work from, let them write about what interests them most and offer a list of topics to get the ball rolling.

“Our company had subject matter experts in key vertical markets—healthcare, banking & financial services, tech support, and travel & hospitality,” Nolan says. “Although these experts were quite knowledgeable in their respective fields, they struggled with writing. So I scheduled quick phone calls to discuss trends in their industry, their views on issues, et cetera. From these discussions I ghost-wrote their blogs and posted them on the company's public website, Twitter, and LinkedIn profile.”

With Facebook, Twitter and other social networks launching huge IPOs and offering shares in their company to the public, and subsequently those shares setting records in price and size, social media has earned its place in business as well as a communication channel. While you focus on getting customers, partners, and other businesses to your page, remember that Davinci also offers great services to help your company keep up with the influx in queries, we have everything from live receptionists to take your companies calls, to live chat service to take inbound chat requests. So do not hesitate any longer, and let your businesses social media strategy go wild on the world.


5 Strategies Small Businesses Can Adopt to Ride the Omnichannel Wave

A majority of customers and prospects now expect a digital omnichannel experience when they engage with their vendors or prospective vendors. While smartphones most certainly are a critical piece in the omnichannel experience, they are only one cog in the larger ecosystem. It now encompasses everything from the contact center, to the website (including whether it is mobile friendly), to social media channels, to any number of experiences across the Web.

Omnichannel: A Business Requirement

Companies that fail to recognize the importance of offering a seamless omnichannel experience to customers and prospects are at a disadvantage. Small businesses that think omnichannel is only for large businesses are mistaken. Quickly consider a few trends:

  • Sixteen percent of all retail sales are now online, and this rate is growing annually at 15 percent (excluding gas, grocery, and car purchases).

  • Seventy-five percent of all businesses will be digital by 2020.

  • Forty-three percent of smartphone users have made online purchases from their phones in the past 30 days.

  • Businesses without an omnichannel strategy will lose 15 to 20 percent of their customers to competitors.

What these trends show is that omnichannel has evolved into something much broader and meaningful than what was coined as BYOD (bring your own device) a few years ago. Part of it is due to demographic shifts. Part of it is as a result of technology disruption—everything from the devices themselves to apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

5 Steps to Ride the Omnichannel Wave

All of this can be quite overwhelming for a small business. It is difficult to ascertain the milestone markers from the omnichannel frenzy that has beset the marketplace. Davinci understands the pressures and constraints of a small business, having our beginnings as an entrepreneurial startup a decade ago. We have also worked with thousands of small businesses to help them shape and execute on their engagement strategies. Based on our experience, there are at least five different areas where small businesses need to get right in order to create the types of omnichannel engagements with customers and prospects that produce tangible business outcomes.

1. Content. In today’s content-centric world, customers and prospects look to engage with companies that provide them with content that is interesting, informative, and engaging. Content is also a foundational lynchpin; omnichannel engagement cannot occur if a company lacks quality content. This can be done in any number of ways.

Prospects typically seek content that helps them to map out their business requirements and aids in the decision-making process. They are still building their business case and are looking for information that helps them do so. And since prospects—B2C and B2B—are more than 70 percent of the way through the decision-making funnel when they engage with vendors, it is critically important that companies deliver content through digital channels—their website, social media, online ads, search, and more—that builds awareness and facilitates engagement.

A content-starting point for a small business is their website. It needs to provide visitors with quality content that positions the company as a subject-matter expert in their space. Company blogs are probably the easiest way businesses can proffer content and engage with website visitors. Making sure the website and blog are optimized for search results is an important checkbox.

Of course, there are numerous other content channels that small businesses can explore—both to build audience and to engage with customers and prospects—such as video, eBooks, podcasts, white papers, infographics, etc. Our recommendation is to start with the website and blog and then, as time and resources permit, build your content strategy from there.

2. Mobile (and soon to be wearables). Mobile disruption is here to stay. Its impact on the personal and professional aspects of peoples’ lives is profound. Smartphones, tablets, and now wearables have changed how people communicate with each other and the companies with which they conduct business. Virtually no company in business today can ignore the mobile element.

Mobile devices are no longer a supplemental option. They are quickly becoming the primary means through which people access digital services. More than two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19 percent rely on their smartphone for accessing online services and information and staying connected to the world around them.

Small businesses seeking to ensure they remain ahead of the mobile disruption wave need to start with some basic blocking and tackling. A website must be optimized—and tested—for mobile devices. For companies that digitally engage with web visitors, this also means those engagement mechanisms (e.g., live web chat, personalized content, etc.) need to be optimized and easy to use on a mobile device.

3. Social. Social media is another technology disruption that small businesses cannot ignore. An astounding 80 percent of consumers expect businesses to be active in social media. Those that do not have social media presence or have lackluster social engagement put themselves at a disadvantage. It is irrefutable: customers want to engage with their vendors through their social channels. Prospects—in the case of a recent study 77 percent—consult their social channels and networks when making a purchase decision (for ratings and reviews).

Businesses that wish to communicate and interact with their customers and prospects must use social media. This is particularly salient considering that 59 percent of consumers interact with businesses on social media alone.

Key to an effective social media strategy is quality content. This creates high levels of engagement, driving traffic to the company website, building audience for the company blog and newsletter, and even generating new sales leads. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are virtual requisites, and others such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest might be depending on the nature of a company’s business and customer base. Managing these different social media channels has been made easy with the availability of different social media tools such as Oktopost, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, GroSocial, and numerous others.

4. Digital engagement (human and technology). Customers and prospects—particularly those who are millennials—prefer to answer their questions with self-service. Indeed, digital self-service is expected to surpass the voice channel this year. But it simply is not an issue of preferring one channel over the other; today’s B2C and B2B customers and prospects want an omnichannel experience that enables them to seamlessly move between each of the different engagement channels.

One aspect is that the human and technological elements of engagement become an integrated whole model. In general, larger companies embed their different engagement channels in different swim lanes (often in different departments, building, and states/countries), making it difficult for customers and prospects to move between each of them and moreover to provide the employees staffing those functions to leverage one data repository. This concurrently diminishes the ability to conduct data analytics and business intelligence and turn it into actionable decisions that span different business departments. This also inhibits proactive engagement based on data insights and digital behavior, something that is becoming increasingly important—and even expected by your social followers and website visitors.

Small businesses are much more agile than larger enterprises, and thus they have the ability to integrate their different engagement channels much more easily. Yet, because time and resources are limited, many small businesses only have rudimentary engagement models. One of the reasons Davinci was founded is the premise that we could provide small businesses with a multi-pronged engagement solution—combining digital and traditional modes such as email and voice.

Davinci Live Receptionists give small businesses the ability to outsource receptionist services to a dedicated Davinci team of professionals who are experts on your business. This virtual team fields incoming calls from prospects and customers, routes them to the appropriate members of your team, provides outbound calling services, and much more.

Davinci Live Web Chat enables small businesses to proactively engage with customers and prospects on your website—or even certain social channels. Our dedicated Web Chat team answers questions, provides support, and even transacts sales.

What is unique about how we have configured our offerings is that we can seamlessly move customers and prospects between the different engagement channels; each of the teams function as an integrated whole and regardless of the engagement channel the data resides in one repository (which also includes website analytics). Because of this integrated omnichannel approach, our small business customers agilely leapfrog their much larger competitors that still operate highly segregated environments.

5. Personalization. Customer and prospect engagement—spanning marketing, sales, and customer service—is rapidly evolving to incorporate digital personalization strategies. These are only possible if an organization has the right mechanisms in place to capture and store the data and moreover the underlying technologies to pinpoint actionable data insights.

The end result is websites and various other digital engagement channels that deliver highly personalized experiences. A small business can offer proactive web chat based on a website visitor’s behavior. Content can also be presented to visitors based on their profile and behavior. The same data that is available digitally can also be employed in traditional voice and email channels. Davinci’s integrated solution enables us to deliver all of these services to our small business customers.

Other areas to consider that employ digital personalization include ad retargeting, account-based marketing, and more.

Facilitating Omnichannel Engagement

It truly is an exciting time to be in business and see small businesses put in a position not only to match but exceed those of much larger counterparts. Solutions such as our Live Receptionist Service and Live Web Chat Service give small businesses the opportunity to create omnichannel engagement experiences they never imagined were possible just a few years ago.

To find out more on how Davinci’s products and services can help you deliver an omnichannel experience for your customers, send us a message, call us at 1.888.863.3423, or chat with us.


1. Adam Fridman, “Omni Channel Marketing Allows the Best of Both In-Store and e-Commerce,” INC. (April 2015).
2. Myer Sheik, “Are You Prepared to Deliver a True Omnichannel Experience?” IDGConnect (February 26, 2014).
3. Amanda Lenhart, “Teens, Social Media, and Technology Overview 2015,” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech (April 9, 2015).
4. “The B2B Funnel Revolution"
5. Aaron Smith, “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015,” Pew Research Center, Internet, Science & Tech (April 1, 2015).
6. Louis Foong, “Interesting Infographics: Nurturing the Sales Funnel Using Social Media,” CustomerThink (January 18, 2015).
7. Ibid.
8. Sheik, “True Omnichannel Experience?”
9. Kate Leggett with Stephen Powers, Ian Jacobs, and Arelai Ephraim, “Trends 2015: The Future of Customer Service,” Forrester (March 2, 2015).
10. PV Kannan, “Trends to Watch in 2015: Digital Is the New Black,” SMART Customer Service (December 19, 2014).


4 Reasons to Go Virtual Versus In-House for Receptionists and Assistants

One of the biggest challenges facing many small businesses today is the lack of time and resources. Both are finite and the lack of one or both can impede a company’s ability to grow and expand. Recognizing virtual receptionists can help them overcome these obstacles, as rapidly growing numbers of small businesses are embracing virtual receptionists. Some of the issues small businesses seek to solve include:

  • Cannot afford a full-time receptionist
  • Do not want to assume tax and benefit responsibilities for full-time staff
  • Unable to be available 24×7
  • Managing schedules is time-consuming and complex
  • Need for the flexibility to scale up and scale down resources


With the help of virtual receptionists (or assistants), small businesses can focus on building their businesses and delivering great solutions and services for their customers rather than spending valuable time on administrative tasks. In addition, the potential use cases for virtual receptionists are much broader in scope than for in-house receptionists.

A side-by-side comparison of Davinci Live Receptionists to in-house receptionists evinces some important differentiators. The takeaway: the aggregate is much greater than an individual contributor.

1. Collective approach. One advantage is our team approach. Dedicated teams of Live Receptionist professionals are experts on the products and services of the customers for which they serve. Their collective experience and knowledge is a greater multiplier over in-house staff (team compared to one individual).

2. Business agility. Because an entire team of professionals is trained on each of our customer’s products and services, Davinci customers have the ability to scale up and down to flexibly accommodate shifts in business requirements. With Davinci Live Receptionist Services, small businesses suddenly achieve the agility of a large business without assuming any of the same risks.

3. Professional capabilities. The Davinci Live Receptionist team is trained in a wide range of business capabilities. For example, rarely—if ever—is an in-house assistant capable of handling outbound sales calls in addition to answering calls. But in the case of our professional team, managing outbound sales calls is a proven capability across a wide range of industries.

4. Mentoring, quality control. We take employee development very seriously and created a skills-based and career-path staffing model that allows us to recruit, train, and retain champion professionals. Our Davinci Live Receptionist team graduates through a multi-tier development program. Throughout this entire process, our professionals are coached and mentored as well as evaluated on their performance in serving our customers’ prospects and customers. This highly structured approach simply cannot be replicated in a small business environment where the receptionist/assistant is one person who works in a silo.

Hundreds of small businesses across the United States experience the benefits of Davinci Live Receptionist Services every day, and their great reviews have made us the best provider for over a decade now. For more information on Davinci Live Receptionist Services and how our team of professionals can help your small business, visit www.davincivirtual.com/live-receptionists.


Small Business Tips for the Healthcare Industry

For small businesses, managing finances, controlling costs, securing funding, and making budgets stretch is one of the biggest keys to successful business growth. Even the best ideas and business models will be limited by how well their owners do with the company’s financial matters. At Davinci our products are geared toward helping business owners save money without sacrificing quality in their customer service and responsiveness. We help businesses to be more flexible, more available, and more professional as they grow. But what about funding? At some point most businesses need help raising funds, and in some business sectors there can be very specific challenges.

One of the industries where we have many active clients is in the healthcare industry. Private practices use our live receptionists for their answering service to help them stay organized and in touch with their patients. Individual healthcare professionals have learned that virtual assistant services are a big help in their daily routines. But when it comes time to get funding, there are often a lot of obstacles. Some healthcare professionals turn to conventional business loans from a bank, but in recent years the rise of healthcare-focused lending programs has really helped the industry grow.

Many of these lenders that focus solely on healthcare lending, such as the Bankers Healthcare Group, or BHG, know exactly what challenges healthcare professionals face and will tailor their loans to fit the specific needs that the industry demands. These niche lenders are faster, provide a more personalized product, and are prepared to deal with the changing healthcare industry environment.

Other industries have their own niche lenders as well. If you’re a small business owner and are looking for funding, it’s worth investigating what sorts of options exist among lenders who target your specific business sector. So while you save money and time with our virtual office services, make sure you find equally beneficial options when it comes to lending.


The Paradox of Productivity Pacing: When ‘Sun & Fun’ Gets In the Way

It’s summertime and the calling of the cool breezes at the beach, with a Pina Colada (or two) in hand, is roaring at you. You worked your tail off the first half of the year, and the all-important 4th quarter is just around the corner, when you need to buckle down and squeeze out all the productivity and profits that you can, which will have a big say in how successful a calendar year you achieved at work, or in your business.

If you don’t enjoy the best, relaxing weather of the summer now – and pace yourself to recharge and reinvigorate for the rest of the year – you might be missing the boat, and pay for it by dragging to the finish line come November and December,right? Well…maybe not.

The trick to staying refreshed and sufficiently focused year-round is to catch your breath periodically throughout the year, rather than bunch it up for a big splash in the summer. Binging on anything – including the work-intense periods, followed by picking a big chunk of summertime for binge-leisure, may not be the most productive and fulfilling way to pace one’s self at work throughout the year.

The great leaders, innovators and artists throughout time had an uncanny ability to find the right pacing and balance between productive-work and leisure year-round. Their level of energy, and the bank of intense and creative working ability always seemed ready for tapping when called upon.These leaders recognized that leisure recharging, and even enjoyment immersion, wasn’t something to be left for just the summer months, when it’s probably easiest to let things slide and drift a bit, and then conveniently blame it on the sunny, blissful weather.

Picking your spots to enjoy maximum leisure and re-energizing should be an ongoing objective throughout the year. Leaving it for the summer leaves the door open for Spring-drag….getting to the summertime finish line in May and June a tad unfocused – the way many of us used to during our school years, when we were aching for the summer break. It’s a real risk that leaves the door open for errors, oversights and cutting corners at work in anticipation of the big summer wind-down.

Finally, there’s actually a ‘productivity paradox’ in play when it comes to taking it easy for the summer, or any period throughout the year, for that matter. When does one accomplish more? When things are slow, or when they’re perking up, and all is moving at a more frenetic pace?

I know for many, it’s a slam-dunk answer: they thrive at being productive and jumping ahead when there’s little interruption – so they forge ahead with their workload during early-morning, evening or weekend hours when they have to deal with less interfacing with others and can concentrate on yielding more quality and productive work. Later, they can exercise more routine pacing and cruise controls during the course of the day and work-week, and are better equipped to deal with life’s (and work’s) inevitable curve balls.

Which gets us back to the premise – maybe we should use the slower, less frenetic summer time to make greater strides to jump ahead instead of giving into the temptation of de-focusing — as part of a master plan and philosophy to be optimally charged and focused year-round. Maybe it’s best to use the summer time when others are de-intensifying to get more mileage out of pushing ahead, and out-pacing the field of colleagues and competitors. That’s what many winners do. After all, what takes one hour of focus and productivity during off hours can sometimes take 3-4 hours, or longer to achieve during peak hours.

The real trick is ‘Moderation’ and not overdoing the focus-out during the summer; spreading the reinvigorating and recharging respites during the year; and wisely using the slower, uninterrupted times during the day week, month or year to leap ahead, so that the crunch times are more tolerable, and one’s better prepared to innovate and problem-solve again, all in more evenly-paced Moderation.

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions offers a wide variety of tools to improve productivity. To learn more visit us today! www.davincivirtual.com and www.davincimeetingrooms.com