Davinci Virtual Blog



“Walking the Talk” When It Comes to Customer Experience

Talking and walking should be synonymous when it comes to customer experience. But the reality is that many businesses fail when it comes to “walking a good talk.” And money talks in this case. More than 90 percent of marketing budgets is spent trying to get customers to call; only six percent is actually spent on the operations for handling the call.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that customers are letting their feet do the walking as a result. Sixty-seven percent indicate they hung up on a customer service call when they couldn’t get a live human on the line. And when prospects have a poor engagement experience: 78 percent bail on completing a transaction.

The number-one thing customers cite that companies can do to create better experiences is to respect their time. This makes a lot of sense. Consider that the average consumer spends 1.2 years waiting on hold—phone and live web chat—during their lifetime. And it simply isn’t a B2C problem: business leaders spend 60 hours waiting on hold each year!

Giving your customers—and prospects—a great experience begins with a multi-channel (or omnichannel) approach. You cannot rely on just one method of engagement. Companies that excel at delivering great customer experiences offer their customers multiple engagement options—self-service, phone, email, and live web chat. Social networks are also a channel of preference for a growing number, particularly the Millennial demographic—those between the ages of 18 and 34.

When your customers engage, they buy more, they are more loyal, and they advocate more often on your behalf. The following are some things that you can do as a business leader to ensure that your organization is walking the talk when it comes to customer experience.

  1. Digital Personalization. Not every customer who comes to your website will do so with the intent of initiating an engagement experience. They may be looking for information and quickly go elsewhere when they cannot locate it. You often have less than 90 seconds to make that connection. This is where intelligent digital engagement comes into play. Based on the identity and/or behavior of the visitor, you can proactively offer them content or even engagement options (e.g., phone, live web chat, etc.). With Davinci Live Web Chat, small businesses have the ability to do so without incurring large overhead or acquiring expensive technologies. Check it out today.

  2. Digital Self-Service. Self-service is most certainly the cheapest engagement channel, and it is the preferred option of customers—nearly three out of four want to solve their problems and answer their questions via self-service versus live human engagement. Customers need information and often require guided navigation. Embedding a knowledge base and integrating it into your website, online community, or even product is a great starting point.

    But, an online knowledge base or community may not be enough. Customers sometimes need digital directions, and this is where real-time content personalization can make a big difference—in terms of both giving customers exactly what they need and deflecting customer service calls or even chats. This can be proactively presented to customers via content personalization.

  3. Live Web Chat. Sometimes it requires live human engagement. Traditional engagement channels through phone and email are not only more expensive, but they are sometimes not the most effective mode of engagement. The majority of Millennials prefer live web chat over phone or email. This compares to just a little over one-quarter of those age 35 and older.

    When it comes to offering your customers and prospects live web chat, a static “Chat with Us” button is a starting point. But it should be much more than a one-directional engagement offer; rather, companies must engage with their customers based on their behavior. Conversion rates go up, bounce rates go down, and satisfaction ratios for customer service increases. And with our Live Web Chat service, small businesses don’t need to worry about the technology or staff to make live web chat a reality.

  4. Live Receptionists. Live human engagement through phone is sometimes a requisite. Some problems simply require phone to achieve an appropriate resolution. In other instances, certain customers simply prefer phone. For small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to manage inbound and outbound calls, Davinci Live Receptionists are a great option.

    Portability between each of your engagement channels is important; it needs to be a seamless experience where customers transfer between each channel without repeating information and each engagement channel experience builds upon the previous one. With half of call centers admitting they do not use end-to-end workflows to keep track of interactions and information, there are substantial opportunities for businesses that create seamless channel portability—and big challenges for those that fail to do so. As all of our different engagement options are integrated—from Live Receptionists, to Live Web Chat, to Virtual Offices, to Meeting Rooms, Davinci Virtual’s customers know their customers receive outstanding engagement experiences.

Davinci Virtual has helped tens of thousands of businesses to walk the talk of great customer experiences for more than a decade.


Overcoming The Challenge Of The Need For Physical Office Space

The demand for Virtual Office space continues to gain momentum. The ‘must have a physical office’ paradigm is losing oomph. Truth be told, the traditional 9-to-5, full-time, presenteeism work model started losing its must-ness grip just as home-based and portable, electronic gadgetry and computers, along with more-affordable broadband availability, blasted off in popularity during the 90s.

People no longer needed to be tethered to their desks full-time (sometimes a status-rewarded office), and when they were able to be comparably productive remote-working, their office desk-time needs shrunk, to the point where some workspaces were not utilized 50% or more of the time. Enter the Virtual Office, Telecommuting, Home-working and Touchdown Space revolution.

The thinking, especially among the more recent work tribes, was: “Why routinely trudge to work and lose time and fare/toll money commuting, or poison the atmosphere with carbon emissions, when neither might be necessary if people can achieve the required work results, doing so part-time or full-time from home, or from a convenient, closer-to-home Touchdown Space? Good question!

The simple answer is – many don’t need to have a full-time office these days, and it makes little sense to have one if it’s preferable, convenient, economically more attractive, and equally (or sometimes more) productive to work out in the field, or from home. But if you grew-up working 9-to-5 in an office, the transition to home-working is not the ‘snap’ that all might presume. Most people still need to meet others, and a meeting at a home-office is not optimal or appropriate.

Besides that, people are social creatures that need to get out and about, and at least occasionally mix it up in a business and office community. Some home-workers find it hard to pull away from the ease of watching the latest episode of ‘One Life To Live’ or ‘The Price Is Right’ – and they need the triggering mechanism to get them up and out of the house to work, at least from time-to-time (and in some instances, it’s the spouse or partner that appreciates the ‘break’ of a home-worker plying their trade elsewhere for the day).

Add to that the fact that, while most interpersonal meeting features can be replicated through phone and conference calls, Face-time, Skype or other telecommuting applications – even the most advanced video-conferencing capabilities don’t capture the whole ball of wax that goes into true, total, interpersonal communications. Some claim that quality communicating is upwards of 50% physical – not just verbal.

The bottom line is that people emote, respond, and send valuable and sometimes critical messages in mysterious, subliminal ways – ways that can’t always be duplicated by phone or video feeds. People value from interfacing with each other in-person … which is where Virtual Officing shines as the cost-effective, flexible solution in today’s workspace and work-way scene.

Virtual Officing allows you the best of both worlds: to be able to work lean and thrifty from home … yet provides you an hourly or daily home-away-from-home based office option when face-to-face meeting, or a break to sharpen that office-persona edge is optimal.

The secret to ‘overcoming the challenge of the need for physical office space’ is to never give up entirely on the ability to work at an office when needed. The answer to that challenge is to have a professional, reliable Virtual Office as a base where meetings, and face-to-face, human, business dealings can be provided on-demand and at a fraction of the cost of a little-used, traditional office.


7 Workplace Health Hacks

At Davinci Virtual we are advocates for healthy living and work-life balance. In partnership with Nuts.com we have created a great checklist for ways to stay healthy at work!

Stretches at Your Desk

WebMD posted an article stating "People who sit at their computers for hours every day -- they're in for serious medical problems," says Sharon Hame, MD, associate clinical professor at UCLA's department of orthopaedic surgery.  A lot of us have sedentary jobs and we need to make sure we are taking care of our bodies.  Themuse.com has posted a great infographic you can print off or "pin" with some great stretches to try.  We suggest you start by setting a reminder to do stretches every 2 hours and then go from there.

One-Minute Fitness Breaks Every Hour

Ever heard of minute-to-win-it games?  At Davinci we love playing games.  Each day write down a list of 8 exercises to do that day.  Set yourself a reminder to go off once an hour and then time yourself.  Here's a list from greatist.com to get you started!

Pack a Healthy Lunch

Being busy at work makes it hard to eat healthy.  Grabbing a burger takes a lot less time than waiting for a salad to be made.  A great alternative to eating out is packing a healthy lunch.  If you bring your food to work, you'll be less likely to go out.  Easier on your waistline and easier on your wallet.  It's a win-win!  Check out this great post from Popsugar.com to find some ideas.

Stay Hydrated

When you are busy, keeping yourself hydrated can be the last thing on your mind. Water is one of the building blocks of life.  An easy fix to staying hydrated is to keep a large mug at your desk full of water.  You can add flavorings or ice, whatever it takes to keep you hydrated.

Take a Walk

Getting up and moving is one of the best things you can do for your body.  Instead of sending an email to the person sitting across the office, walk over and tell them you like their new hair cut.  If you work out of a Virtual Office, take a moment to get up and move around during the day.  

Keep Healthy Snacks Handy

If you keep a stock of snacks at work you will be less likely to overeat at lunch or dinner. Nuts.com offers a wide variety of healthy and filling snacks, from nuts to dried fruits and more.  They also have great ideas for snacks on their site.  If you fuel your body throughout the day, you will be able to be more productive.  Harvard Business Review offers this tip: "Instead of letting your glucose bottom out around lunch time, you’ll perform better by grazing throughout the day."

Take the Stairs

There are a lot of benefits from taking the stairs.  Start your day out right by getting your heart pumping and your brain ready to take on the day.

Take advantage of a Live Virtual Receptionist and get out and move!  Let us do the work so you don't have to.

To share this infographic, please use the image below:

Healthy Hacks Infographic


Helping Your Customers Maintain a “Quality Business-Life Balance”

Seventy-six percent of Americans view customer service as a true test of how much a company values them. On average, American adults have 65 customer service interactions a year.1

And let’s face the facts. Prospects and customers alike expect near real-time responses across virtually all engagement channels. Interactions impossible just a few years ago are normal today as a result of the accelerating pace of technological innovation, and they are made even easier to accomplish with small businesses outsourcing live web chat & over the phone support.

Yet more than 60 percent of prospects and customers feel underappreciated and undervalued when it comes to their customer service experiences. This has caused a shift in mindset. Customers are no longer brand loyal; they are loyal to the engagement experience of a particular brand.2

The Psychology of Customer Engagement

Positive experiences are relevant and meaningful—and most importantly easy. Companies need to enable prospects and customers to interact with them through consistent, engaging experiences. The impact cannot be underestimated. In a recent survey, 63 percent indicate their heart rate increases when they think about great customer experiences, and for those tested, 53 percent who received great service have the same cerebral reactions as feeling loved. 3

Companies that fail to deliver the experiences that meet or exceed expectations put themselves at serious risk. Consider the following data points:

    • 70 percent of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are being treated.4
    • 89 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a vendor because of poor customer experience.5
    • It costs up to 7 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.6
    • At least 12 positive customer experiences are needed to make up for a bad one.7

Business-Life Balance Defined

Just as customers seek to maintain a quality of work-life balance in their lives, they also want a quality of business-life balance. Here, we refer to the interactions individuals have with businesses—in both their personal and professional lives. Subpar experiences degrade the work-life balance. It is more than wasted time; emotional frustration becomes psychological stress, prompting customers—and even prospects—to vent their emotions and even seek alternative solutions.

Demonstrating respect for a prospect or customer is an important starting point in helping them maintain a healthy business-life balance.8 Further, the amount of effort a prospect or customer needs to expend in the engagement with a company directly determines their willingness to purchase, repurchase, or advocate (or the opposite).9 Interactions between a prospect and customer are critical here, and missing a valuable opportunity repeatedly will only cost you more in the long run. Sixty-five percent who express a brand relationship affinity indicate interacting with the company “feels easy.”10 They also are four times more likely to feel the company knows how they prefer to interact.11 This is where a company like Davinci Virtual shines, because we help small & medium sized businesses outsource their customer service to our trained professionals.

Four Recommendations

So what should you do as a business leader to ensure your customers maintain a business-life balance in their engagement experiences with your company? Here are four recommendations:

  1. Respect their time and intelligence.

Needing to search for how to contact a company, waiting in a lengthy queue (phone and live chat), or being forced repeat answers to questions already keyed into the system prior to speaking to a human or given to another agent are examples of disrespect. At the same time, strong-sales tactics, condescending sales and customer service approaches (“know-it-all” agents), and curt, sarcastic, impatient, or even rude treatment immediately creates a psychological chasm that quickly expands in scope.

  1. Give them multiple engagement channels.

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to prospect and customer engagement. The preferred channel of choice depends on the demographics of the individual making the inquiry as well as the nature of the question. Offering omnichannel engagement channels is a must. For simple questions, self service via an online knowledgebase or online community is preferred over engagement methods that require human interaction such as live web chat or phone. Yet in the case of more complex inquiries, human interaction is preferred.12 This is true not only for customers but for prospects, who often are more than 60 percent of the way through the buying lifecycle when they engage directly with suppliers.13 And studies show 45 percent will abandon an online purchase if they cannot find an answer to a question. 14

  1. Offer self-service.

Customers who answer their questions with online self-service often exhibit higher levels of satisfaction than those who answered their inquiries with human interactions. Sixty-seven percent actually prefer to answer their questions via self-service over direct interaction with humans.15 In addition, companies that neglect self-service options incur higher sales and operational costs. They concurrently lose opportunities to engage prospects in above-the-funnel education and research activities and to build customer satisfaction and ultimately advocacy.

  1. Include human engagement.

While prospects and customers seek self-service in certain scenarios, they want human interaction in other situations. For example, over half of millennials prefer to talk to a customer service representative than to use channels that don’t involve a human.16 It is important to note that human interaction necessitates the use of both digital (live chat, social networks, etc.) and phone channels. It is not an option of either/or but both.

Returning Balance to the Pendulum

The customer service demands on a small business are always growing. Not only do small business leaders seek to maintain a quality work-life balance, but their customers do as well—and a healthy business-life balance is an important part of that equation. Davinci Virtual understands both sides of this paradigm. Using our Live Receptionist, Live Web Chat, and Virtual Office solutions, tens of thousands of small businesses have returned balance to their work-life pendulum and their customers’ business-life pendulums. To learn more, give us a call, start a chat, email us or look through our FAQ for your virtual service questions.

We’re interested in hearing how you as a customer maintain a healthy business-life balance. Post your recommendations in the comments section below.


1 “The Aspect Consumer Experience Index: Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations,” Aspect Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics, April 2015.

2Glenn Llopis, “Consumers Are No Longer Brand Loyal,” Forbes, December 14, 2014.

3“The Future of Customer Service,” Global Trend Briefing, Trendwatching.com, September 2014.

4Marc Beaujean, et al., “The ‘Moment of Truth’ in Customer Experience,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2006.

5“2011 Customer Experience Impact Report,” RightNow Technologies and Harris Interactive, accessed February 2, 2016.

6Tricia Morris, “The Financial Impact of Customer Service,” Parature, June 18, 2013.


8Guy Winch, “Why We Get Angry About Customer Service: The Peril of Ignoring Customers’ Psychological Needs,” Psychology Today, January 6, 2012.

9Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman, “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 2010.

10 “Customer Engagement from the Consumer’s Perspective,” Rosetta Consulting, 2014.

11 Ibid.

12 “2012 Global Customer Service Barometer,” echo, Research Report Prepared for American Express, 2012.

13 Megan Heuer, “Three Myths of the ’67 Percent’ Statistic,” Forrester, July 3, 2013.

14 “The Importance of Human Interaction in Customer Service,” MyCustomer.com, accessed February 3, 2016.

15 “Searching for Self-Service,” Zendesk, accessed February 3, 2016.

16 “The Millennial Surprise: Craving Human Connections in the Digital World,” Mattersight, September 1, 2015.

Business Leaders Live the “American Dream” by Capturing the Right Work-Life Balance

Eighty-nine percent of Americans report that work-life balance is a problem, with 54 percent of those calling it a significant problem.1 For business leaders, the data doesn’t get any better. Over half of small business leaders work more than 50 hours a week, and 20 percent indicate they work more than 60 hours a week.2

What some small business leaders may have originally pined as “living the dream” may no longer be their perception. Indeed, only 24 percent of business leaders claim they have never experienced larger psychological issues as a result of work-related stress. When asked why their work-life balance is off-kilter, the most often-cited reason is that some tasks they cannot delegate or felt they could not outsource the work.3

The Art of Delegation

Delegating responsibilities and outsourcing are two different functions. When it comes to delegating tasks, 65 percent of business leaders indicate they are good or very good at delegation.4 This seems to contradict the fact that they cite the inability to delegate as their number one work-life balance challenge. Digging underneath the hood provides clarification—specifically why they don’t delegate. The following are the top reasons why business leaders fail to delegate:

  • 30 percent indicate they are more capable than their employees
  • 20 percent note their employees don’t have the right skill sets
  • 20 percent are in a hurry to get it done
  • 19 percent enjoy the task and don’t want to give it to someone else

The first three can be solved with better hiring practices, time management, and employment empowerment. In the case of the final reason, job fulfillment may trump the need/desire to delegate the task.

Intelligent Outsourcing

The rise of freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, Toptal, Work Market, among many others makes it easy and faster to search for, select, and manage freelance workers for one-off projects. They also provide freelance workers at significant lower cost than via agencies or other third-party providers.

But not all outsourced work is the same. There are some areas where the expertise of a third-party supplier is needed. Interactions a business has with its prospects and customers are its lifeblood. For prospects, first impressions are crucial. In his award-winning book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell finds that first impressions—whether personal or professional—happen in a matter of seconds. Individuals connect with other people and companies based on their initial perceptions. Getting beyond a bad initial impression is virtually impossible. (Check out our blog post, “Making First Impressions Count: 9 Factors for Consideration,” for more details on this subject.)

For customers, ongoing positive experience translates not only into higher satisfaction and loyalty but willingness to advocate on behalf of the company and solution in question. But the flip side is also true. The proliferation of technology makes it increasingly easy for customers to leave and go to competitors, as well as become digital detractors via their social networks, third-party review sites, among other digital channels. How a business manages its digital and human interactions with its customers is thus critical.

The entry point for live inbound and outbound answering services such as Davinci Live Receptionists has never been lower than today. No longer tethered to a full-time receptionist but rather relying on a team of customer service representatives, small businesses can have highly knowledgeable professionals handle inbound-and-outbound communications with prospects and customers as well as various other marketing and customer service functions. And with teams of customer service representatives dedicated to 10 to 15 customers, Davinci Live Receptionists can scale up and down to accommodate changes in business.

But the need to make the key moments of impact with prospects and customers count extends beyond voice interactions. A growing demand for digital engagement options—from prospects such as live web chat ratchets up the work-life pressures placed upon business leaders even further. Davinci Live Web Chat gives business leaders the ability to offer prospects and customers live digital engagement without the cost and maintenance of the technology as well as responsibility for the ongoing staffing and management of the solution.

Suddenly, with the one-two punch of Live Receptionists and Live Web Chat, business leaders can see an equilibrium return to the work-life teeter totter. They can focus on evolving the business and forming strategic business relationships with customers rather than managing tactical execution of customer service and sales support.

DIY Customer Service

Seventy-five percent of consumers like using do-it-yourself (DIY) customer options, with 65 percent preferring it over email and phone engagement channels. B2B customer support is comparable; Gartner predicts today’s 55 percent of DIY customer service interactions will rise to two-thirds by 2017.5 DIY is also just as important for prospects: almost half of consumers indicate they will abandon an online purchase if they cannot find answers to their questions.6

All of this means that companies need to provide customers with FAQs and knowledgebases on their websites and customer communities so that they can answer their questions themselves. And since they are answering their own questions instead of calling, emailing, or submitting them via live chat small business leaders are able to reallocate the time spent doing so to other tasks—and to work on improving their work-life balance.

Bringing Balance to the “Work-Life Force”

There are certainly other ways to create a better work-life balance such as transitioning from a fixed-office location to a virtual model or instituting a work-from-home policy.7 Using virtual office space via services such as Davinci Virtual Office Solutions enables small businesses to reduce cost, improve productivity, increase retention rates, as well as revitalize work-life balance.

Business leaders who feel there is a “disturbance” in the work-life force need to take a step back and look their options: learn the art of delegation, be intelligent in outsourcing tasks and functions, and give prospects and customers DIY choices.


1Kathy Gurchiek, “Survey: Work/Life Balance Off-Kilter in U.S.,” Society for Human Resource Management, September 15, 2010.
2 “New Survey Shows Work-Life Balance Is Possible, But Not Likely for Entrepreneurs,” The Alternative Board, November 8, 2013.
5 Brian Manusama, “Why You Need to Rethink Your Customer Self-Service Strategy,” Gartner, March 17, 2015.
6 “Customers Want to Help Themselves?” Zendesk, accessed January 27, 2016.
7 Nicolas Bloom, “To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work from Home,” Harvard Business Review (January-February 2014).