All posts by My One Call

President and Founder of My One Call LLC. Sales and marketing Programs developed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Who is managing your web strategy?

Unique System For Basement Finishing

There is this very interesting niche for basement finishing and remodeling projects that Owner Assist Remodeling is filling it in the Denver are.

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In between the do it yourself home owner who wants to do all of the work in a remodel or basement finish and the the Home Owner who wants a contractor to do everything is the person who would like to “help out” in the areas they feel comfortable doing.  Things as simple as being available for inspections with the building department to doing some of the finishing items, like painting can save a home owner significant money.

Owners Assist has developed a unique system that allows the home owner to have a licensed general contractor complete the basement or remodel, while also allowing them to do some of the work, and save the money they would be charged, as well as the mark ups, by a traditional basement finishing company.  It’s the best of both worlds.

Bill Wegner,  the owner of Owner Assist Remodeling says by using this system for your basement finishing, home remodeling, or kitchen remodel,  you can save 5% to 20% depending on the project, and how much you want to do.

You can read more about it on his site at http://www.ownerassistremodeling.com

You can contact them at:

Owner Assist Remodeling LLC
8897 Ute Drive
Golden, CO 80403
(303) 552-1603

Service areas for Owner Assist Remodeling:

Aravda, Westminster, Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge.

 

Finishing Basements in Older Denver Homes

When you are thinking of finishing a basement in an older home you may want to skip many of the bigger basement finishing firms. They have a tendency to work primarily in the new home communities where about 80% of basement finishing happens in Denver.

So instead of wasting time on the standard Internet searches, there is a company who works on many basements in Denver, and primarily on the older homes.

Go look at the Denver basement finishing on the Blue SkyeBasements and remodeling

Below you will also find a transcript of an interview with the owner about finishing basements in older homes you may find interesting:

 

n an older home there is just more to do when you finish your basement, such as foundation problems, low ceilings, wiring issues that need to be brought up to code, egress windows need to be installed, lead paint and other inspections.
Surprises in the pricing differences between an older home and a newer home. The cost of finishing a basement in an older home will run up to 30% higher than one in a home built in the last 20-30 years.
Does it financially make sense to finish a basement in an older home, or should you consider a home addition to meet your remodeling goals. The cost of finishing a basement runs $50. a square foot, where the cost of a home addition or pop top can be $200.00 a square foot.
Insulation in older basement spaces needs special consideration. These basements where not built to use as living space, so spray in insulation is a better choice.
Common structural issues are discussed, and the fact that most sound more serious than they are.
It’s typical to need to replace most of the plumbing you see in an older basement. Cracked sewer pipes are not unusually, and may need to be replaced .
Electric may need to be upgraded if you are adding a certain amount of load. This is true in older homes as well as new. There are some new building codes that may increase the cost.
Lead and asbestos tests must be completed in all older homes. If the basement hasn’t been finished there is less chance of finding issues. If there has been any painting prior to the 1980’s there is a good chance you will find lead paint.
David’s father was a home builder and David has been in construction from custom home building to his current company. L & D Construction, where he specializes in residential construction, basement finishing in older Denver homes, as well as major remodeling.

Is Live Chat a Good Tool For Your Site?

We work with lots of different type businesses on Web Managed Services. Live chat as a tool to bring in more customers is one of the most common areas we look at. It’s not just that teledini.com has a great live chat tool, and they are a client, it’s really that Live chat and other engagement tools are one of the better values a business is going to find in the customer conversion space.

Why?  Because it serves so many purposes!  It can be used as a sales tool, a customer service function, a intra-company communication tool. as well as it gives the customer or prospect a perception that you are a professional business, and care about communication with them.

I’d think the number one reason a business doesn’t utilize lice chat (or other engagement services) is… who’s going to be the person(s) behind the chat, answering questions, and available.  Answer…  who do you send sales information requests to?  That’s the answer.  With today’s

highly adaptable and affordable live chat tools for your site, you can direct those requests any where… smart phones, I-pads, laptops, where ever.

The least you can do is try a live chat service on a trail basis.  Go check a few out  and compare them to teledini and let me know what you think.

 

Mike

 

 

 

A Case For Live Chat On Your Web Site.

You should use  live chat on your web site if you want to turn visitors into customers. It’s simple logic. The sooner you  engage with a prospect who visits your site, the more likely they will turn into a paying customer.

I won’t drag you through the statistics, because again, its logical.  So why don’t you have live chat on your site?  The number one reason I hear, and this makes sense, is who is going to take the chat request?  You’re busy or you’re never at your desk, or always on the phone.

My friends and client at http://www.teledini.com have a solution. using their new live chat for your site you can direct the chat request to any smart phone, laptop, or desktop. It’s easy, and allows you to except the request anywhere.

Now, of you convert 15% more of your web requests into customers you are going to see a large sales increase.  So just do it. Add live chat, Click to call, Video conferencing onto your site. It’s not expensive, and will supercharge the effort you may have put into building the site, promoting the site, using SEO, and driving traffic to the site through your social media.

 

Live chat And Click to call

 

You engage with your visitors for sales, service, or any inquire,from your tablet, or smart phone.

 

 

 

 

So that’s the simple case for adding a live chat, or click to call service to your site.

 

How Customer Service will change with WebRTC

The Past And Future Of Customer Service

 

Our definitions and expectations regarding customer service have changed greatly over the years.  Back in the day, it was personal.  Joe walked in to his local bank and everyone smiled, knew him by name, asked about his kids, and helped out how they could (sounds nice).  Since the introduction of the Internet, this has of course changed.  I personally use Schwab as my bank of choice, and have literally never been to a branch.  I’ve called their help line, briefly dealt with the automated “enter your account number now” attendant (also known as an IVR, or Interactive Voice Response), and ultimately resolved any issue with a typically friendly representative over the phone.  In my opinion, their customer service is excellent, and it’s one of the reasons I’m still a client.  That said, there is still a lot of room for improvement, and I believe we find ourselves on the verge of a whole new customer service experience.

Unified Communications

While the imaginations at work are naturally diverse and broadly focused, 2013 and subsequent years should see many of them narrow in on unified communications (UC) and the customer experience.  What I mean by UC is the convergence of voice, video, and data through all of their many mediums and channels.  This convergence will have an impact all over the business world, but will be particularly felt in customer service (and sales, but that’s for another read).  In the bank example above, the automated IVR sloppily tries to take an incoming voice call, glean some relevant data about the caller, and then connect the customer to the appropriate representative.  There lies the often-frustrating rub that we have all experienced.  After typing in your account number and waiting, you finally reach a representative who, through no fault of their own, must ask you again for your account number.  This is because large companies move slowly and still rely on expensive, legacy backend systems that aren’t adequately integrated with each other, and thus do not effectively pass along that data with your call.  Fortunately, with recent additions to the global technology toolbox, these issues are starting to be addressed aggressively.  WebRTC is a new technology standard that builds voice, video, and data directly into the browser, without any additional plug-ins or installations required.  I won’t discuss it in great detail (see Blog on WebRTC) but it effectively makes unified communications a reality and priority for opportunists with an eye towards the future.  Now any web developer can create UC apps that would have cost millions five years ago, and we should soon see disruptive changes in the ways consumers and businesses interact online.

The New Customer Experience

Imagine you have a question about your bank’s website.  You can’t find that tax form you need and the 15th is around the corner.  Without any additional installations or third party apps, you could be video chatting “Amy” with the click of a button.  With your permission, she could take over your screen to help solve your problem, or she could send you the form you need directly through the browser (again, all thanks to WebRTC and its peer-to-peer component).  Of course, you won’t always want to video chat your bank’s customer service rep, but all of that functionality will be available and the channels you use will be up to you.  Because WebRTC is mobile compatible, with a simple transfer button you could leave your computer and finish up your call on the go.  From the business’ point of view and with inevitable CRM integration, they will be able to see who you are, where you are, your account number, etc., and could answer the call with a comment on your local weather.  Seeing the face of your customer service rep seems a bit creepy to think about, but as with all things (Facebook, Google’s Streetview) the public will slowly but surely get used to this personalization of the online customer experience.

Let us know your thoughts.  Who do you think will profit from the disruptive changes discussed above?  Will the legacy backend providers (Oracle, Avaya, etc.) be able to keep up, or will the smaller, more nimble companies be the ones who take advantage?

Author: Max McChesney

 

How Important Is Your Web site? Should You Use Web Conversion Tools?

The answer of course is… it depends.  If your service or product is commonly found on the Internet, or more correctly, searched for on the Internet, then your web site may be very important.

I am always surprised at the amount of time and energy some businesses will devote to their web site, and yet forget that all of that energy doesn’t mean much unless the site will turn a visitor into a prospect or customer.

I have seen ten’s of thousands of dollars spent on building a site, adding social media sites, paying an Internet marketing company to promote a site, using pay per click to drive traffic, all the while forgetting to use simple and very inexpensive tactics like click to call software  like( www.teledini.com ) or Live chat services, which are abundant.

The research and white papers on Web Site conversion I have seen all show an increase in visitors to prospects or customers when you utilize these type tools. Yet, you just don’t see then implemented enough.

When I ask a business why they haven’t used web site conversion software ( Live chat, Click to call, Click to call back)  the answer is generally they didn’t have any idea how to put it on there site, and in the case of Live chat, who would be the employee(s) responsible for communicating with a web visitor.

Most of those challenges are small,  and the services offer additional solutions to assist. Frankly, the person who does sales for you (or your sales department) would LOVE to have their browser light up with a prospect asking questions.

The better and more sophisticated web conversion software services have call routing capabilities so a Click to call prospect can be sent to who ever, and where ever in the business. You can have your office phone ring, a cell phone, or sent to any number you like.

Look at  the features a click to call program offers https://www.teledini.com/features

The cost is going to be insignificant as well. You may pay .10 to .50  for a click to call prospect connecting with you. Live chat services can be found for $29.00 a month for a small business.  Just Google Live Chat services or click here to see that search

I know how difficult keeping up with the Internet is for a small business,  but it’s important.  Do your self a favor and check out all the very inexpensive and easily implemented ways there are to maximize your investment in your web presence.

We are recommending these to all of our clients, and will be happy to report on the results.  Check back for updates!

Boulder CO. Moving Expereince. Read before you start a Moving Company

Have you ever thought starting a moving company would be easy? Seems like the type of company that is pretty low tech , and high volume. The stats show every American household moves every 7 or 8 years. That’s a lot of business. If I was 22, I would think, heck, get a big truck, hire some strong people, get the insurance, and off you go.

I have had the great experience of  moving a large house twice over the last 11 years. So now I can view the process from the consumer side. There are several mistakes I made in the process, and they highlight how difficult running a moving company must be.

Lets start with sales process.  You will be competing against every company on Craig’s list and in the coupon books. This really is a discount driven business for the standard community moves. Even in Boulder County, where, for the most part you have two type moves, students using a pickup, and corporate moves where cost is not near the top when it comes to decisions.

Frankly I looked at 4 or 5 companies. Some small and new, and a few established.  My main priority was a 100% reliable company. We needed to make the move happen on time , based on the closing of a house. After that, all the standard stuff. I had to trust them, (as years ago I almost lost several expensive musical instruments as I followed a cheap moving company with my belongings all packed into a rental truck, and watched as they decided to take a detour to drop some of my stuff at their local storage area). Another story, but it did teach me a lesson. One must be very careful in selecting a mover. It’s like hiring a bartender… you better find an honest one because there are 100’s of ways to be dishonest in the business.

Although several of the discount movers tempted me with a price that was 30% lower than the big established firms,  I went with a company that had been in business for over 100 years with a high trust factor, Boulder Valley Transfer. They had the best presentation, and great moving tips on their moving tips blog on their web site about moving. Although the cost was higher, it seemed fair, as the sales person broke it all down into the costs… Labor Hours, Trucks (2)  and materials. As a business guy I could pretty much figure out this wasn’t a unfair or inflated cost.  Besides, we had a coupon. 😉  Several of the Discount companies didn’t even come to the house to look around, they just took the size of the home and rooms and said … this many hours this many people.  Scary.

Here is where stuff went wrong, and it was all about us. We decided NOT to have professional packers. Lets save some money and pack all 30 years of accumulated stuff ourselves. How hard can that be?  My wife had a small work schedule for the month leading up to the move.  Well, we were really stupid. How ever many hours you think it will take you to pack up the house for a move, please multiply it by 4.  I Am not joking.  I had figured 40 hours.  

As the final week approached before the big move I thought we could use a little help, as I looked around and figured 33% was completed. So we hired 2 people for 2 days to come help.  That’s 32 hours. After those two days we were closer to 65% packed, with two days to go before the move. At this point I am worried.

So I hire a couple of more professional packers for the day before the move ( the other two were not professional packers. Here’s what I found. A professional moving company packs your things about 5 times faster, and more securely than friends, or hired labor.  So even though you pay twice as much you will save a bunch using the pros in this.

We are still about 85%  when the movers show up. I had checked out Boulder Valley Transfers blog on moving tips several times that week, and there is some good stuff on there. Open me first boxes (GREAT IDEA). My wife marked every box with a  room code. We had room codes up in our new home so the movers could just look at the color coded slip taped to the box, and get it to its correct destination.

Let me tell you, that 15%  that wasn’t packed made  this a really challenging move.  I actually called Boulder Valley Transfer the day before to warn them, and see what we could do. I guess this is more common that you think. So if you are thinking of starting a moving company and envision your people walking into homes with every thing perfectly boxed up and ready to go,that’s not the way it goes.\

The thing is they probable spent an extra 2 hours (three of them, so 6 hours) packing stuff during the move, and yet some how made the move happen for less than the estimated charges. You know how?  Because they are well paid pro’s!  If you had hired a bunch or part time college guys, this move would still be going on!

 

So if you think running or starting a moving company looks pretty easy, think again!  Leave it to the pros.