Options If You Want Live Chat On Your Website

You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to communicate with your company. You want your customers to have a fast and simple way to contact your small business if they have questions or problems about a product or service. Maybe, then, it’s time to install a live-chat application on your business’s website.

Anyone home?

As a recent post by Ivana Taylor for the American Express OPEN Forum states, live chat can make your business more available for your customers. And that’s a key for small-business owners who want their enterprises to flourish today. Live chat has a way of persuading customers that your business is manned by real people. As the OPEN Forum post says, imagine a customer walking into a department store and not seeing anyone walking the aisles or manning the cash registers. That’s the way it can often seem to visitors to your website. They cannot help but ponder whether anyone’s really there behind the site. Giving these visitors the choice to communicate with your business through live chat can get rid of this uneasy feeling.

Live chat apps

There are many live chat apps out there. Some are expensive, but there are quite a few out there that are suitable for the small business owner. An easy to use one is called Olark’s live chat tool. This is simple to operate, and, as there are no extra features, easy to maintain. However, if you’re searching for something a little more robust, one of these three may be what you are looking for. LiveChat.com, SnapEngage, and LivePerson are all inexpensive and have the added feature of allowing the business owner to live chat via mobile device. This is very convenient if you are always on the go.

The trend

The reason this trend seems to be growing is that is can give a company an edge over a competitor. Additionally, it can instill confidence in the consumer and help build a long lasting relationship.

The Digital Age of Medicine

Everything is going digital nowadays, even medical records. Last time you were at the doctor did they take out an envelope to access your health records? Or did your doctor pull it up on a computer?

Electronic health records

Recently medial professionals have been using software called EHR (Electric Health Records). This has become more and more common. The percentage of office-based physicians who use EHR software stood at 57 percent in 2011, which increased from 50.7 percent in 2010.

Electronic records good news for patients

This is a good thing. If health records are kept electronically, they are much less likely to be lost. On top of that, medical professionals can pull up your medial history very quickly. This can shorten the time that patients have to wait to see the doctor.

Federal government encouragement

The move toward digital documentation is being encouraged by the government as well. They are also encouraging physicians to file prescriptions electronically. This seems like a good move as the pharmacists are less likely to make mistakes and patients are less likely to loose their prescriptions.

Make Transitipning To Windows 8 Easier

Windows 8 has already made a splash in the tech world. The new operating system from Microsoft looks significantly different than any system that came before. The reviews so far have been mostly kind. And as a business owner, you’re ready to upgrade to the new system. You just hope the move goes smoothly. Fortunately, you can follow a number of strategies, covered in a recent post on the Smallbiz Technology website, to make sure that your move to Windows 8 is a painless one relatively.

Do the Research

The first thing you have to check before upgrading may seem obvious. Make sure your computer can run efficiently on Windows 8. A machine must have the following requirements in order to run Windows 8: 1GB of RAM, 16GB of hard-drive space, and a 1GHz processor. These are the same requirements as Windows 7. So if you are already running Windows 7, there’s no need to check.

Backups

Before starting the upgrade, make sure that all of your important files are protected. You can either store your files in a cloud service, an external hard drive or a server. This will secure your most important files in case disaster strikes during the upgrade.

Setup utility

To make sure your computer will support Windows 8, Microsoft has provided a setup utility that searches your computer for the appropriate elements. This is important, particularly if you are running Windows XP as Microsoft will stop supporting XP in 2014. After you upgrade, you will need to reinstall all of your drivers and software. So you will need all of your installation disks. This may seem like a hassle, but the new features of Windows 8 are worth it and in the long run you will be glad you made the upgrade. But before you do, make sure you take the proper steps.

Holograms: Will Apple Do It Right

Remember when tablet computers seemed like the stuff of science fiction? Or how about smart phones? There was a time when phones that let you surf the Web and send e-mail messages seemed like the technology of the future. Now these are the technologies of the present. So what’s next? Ben Kunz, a writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, has his own prediction: holograms.

Apple and holograms

Will our Apple devices soon display interactive holograms? If you are having difficulty visualizing what this would be like, imagine technology akin to what Robert Downey Jr.’s character employed in the movie The Avengers. Kunz’s prediction is not simply a guess; he has based it on recent acquisitions and patents from Apple. Not only this, but Apple has to stay ahead of the competition, which is fierce, in the tablet world.

Apple’s plans

So how exactly could interactive holograms be created?  Using forward-facing cameras the user’s eyes could be tracked and a screen that projects beams of light might be used to create different angles of the object. This could create a very realistic hologram that would maintain its visual integrity.

The future of 3D?

What’s the greatest issue with 3D holograms? 3D technology has so far failed to capture the imagination of consumers. Kunz writes that the sale of 3D TV sets have been sluggish. Even games like Nintendo’s 3DS handheld system, which don’t require players to wear 3D glasses, have seen tepid sales. So why would Apple invest heavily in the technology to generate holograms? Apple has a history of taking failed ideas and making them succeed. This goes all the way back to the days when Apple took the idea for the mouse from Xerox, made it more effective, and saw sales soar. Apple also debuted its iPhone and iPad devices long after Microsoft first attempted to introduce a pen-based tablet PC that never quite caught on. Also, Apple’s 3D holograms will be different. They’ll be much more realistic, and they won’t need users to wear 3D glasses to view them. So what’s the message here? Get ready for holograms. Once Apple’s programmers get to work on a technology, they seldom misfire.

Tips To Google Better

You know how to Google like the best of them right? Perhaps not, there are quite a few tricks you can use to narrow your search so you get the results you wish. We recently read a couple articles on the websites How-To Geek and the Atlantic that highlighted some tips to do this. We wanted to share a few that we thought were the most helpful.

Operators are key

If you have never used operators before, they are the critical for finding exactly what you are looking for without having to scourer pages and pages of search results. The How-To Geek site gave a great instance of how to do this. Say an individual wants articles written about college test scores between 2008 and 2010, but only articles written by the New York Times. Using the operator “site:” before “nytimes.com” will tell Google to only search on that site. Then by adding quotation marks around exact phrases you want it to look for, in this case “test scores,” it will look for those phrases when searching the site. Additionally to narrow the focus to a date range, the user could add 2008..2010 and Google will only look at the articles written within that range.

Google Scholar

The How-To Geek site also recommends Google Scholar. This specific Google search only searches academic and scholarly work. If you wish to, as the How-To Geek site shows, find papers concentrating on photosynthesis and written by Dr. Ronald Green, you run a search that includes the operator “author:” in front of “green” followed by the word “photosynthesis” in Google Scholar.

Control F

“Control F” is a great little trick to assist you to narrow your search results. For instance, if you are searching for recipes for a theme dinner party, like the 4th of July, but you are most interested in desserts, you can search for 4th of July recipes. After completing your search you can hold down control and hit “F” on your keyboard. This will make a little search bar appear at the top or bottom of your computer screen. Then by keying in desserts, it will narrow the existing search results down highlighting all the desserts!