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Principis Capital Celebrates 5 Years in the Alternative Business...

PR Web - Tue, 2014-04-15 21:43

Leader in Alternative Business Financing Celebrates Milestone Achievement

(PRWeb April 09, 2014)

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Food Fight: Which Side of the Bay Makes a Better Burger?

Topix - Tue, 2014-04-15 19:59

Chances are, most of us have enjoyed our fair share of fast food burgers, whether they be the objects of a late-night McDonald's craving or the lauded prize at the end of a pilgrimage to In-N-Out.

Categories: Today's Food News

Josh Charles trades 'Good Wife' for 'Foodroom,' a 'Newsroom' parody

Topix - Tue, 2014-04-15 18:55

Fans of "The Good Wife," are you missing your Josh Charles fix? The TV hottie hasn't gone far: Just over to Comedy Central for a guest bit on "Inside Amy Schumer" in which he and the funny lady parody HBO's notoriously dramatic series "The Newsroom."

Categories: Today's Food News

Burger King: The fast food chain occupies a dominant spot at the Westgate centre

Topix - Tue, 2014-04-15 17:54

If you don't yet have an NBR membership you can subscribe below . The easiest way for subscribers to stay logged in is to click the "Remember Me" option on the Member Log In box on the top right of this page.

Categories: Today's Food News

A mixed message about GM's PR -- but why?

AutoNews - Tue, 2014-04-15 16:44
If a company changes its head of public relations in the midst of a public relations crisis that stems from a recall crisis, does that not send a certain message? Yes, unless the company is General Motors.
Categories: Latest News

MenuMasters 2014: Michael Smith

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 16:16
Multiconcept restaurateur wins Innovator Award with ingredient variety, approachable style Multiconcept restaurateur wins Innovator Award with ingredient variety, approachable style

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Fat? You Got Yourself to BlameBy Emma Woolf

Topix - Tue, 2014-04-15 15:50

You want to lose weight, or give up smoking? Stop blaming the amount and availability of fast food, or the power of big tobacco companies-and just use your willpower.

Categories: Today's Food News

Fleetmatics Puts You In the Driver’s Seat of Your Vehicle Fleet

Small Business Trends - Tue, 2014-04-15 15:30

You don’t need a fleet of thousands of trucks or other vehicles to benefit from vehicle management software. A fleet of two or three vehicles for a small plumbing, pest control, HVAC or beverage distribution service can still see the difference.

Software can be used to optimize routes, minimize wear and tear and improve safety with driver behavior reports. And that’s just the beginning.

Fleetmatics Group PLC, says “mobile workforce solutions” can:

  • Reduce idle vehicle time.
  • Lower fuel costs.
  • Limit overtime pay.
  • Eliminate unauthorized vehicle usage.
  • Benchmark against industry performance.
  • Enhance customer service with on-the-fly scheduling and other technology-enhanced elements.
  • Increase productivity by connecting field workers directly to back offices via Fleetmatics’ mobile apps.

Joseph Boyle, Vice President of Customer Experience at Fleetmatics explains:

“Prior to becoming customers, we’d hear many small businesses say ‘I’m not driving my business. My business is driving me.’”

Small Business Trends attended the next generation of Fleetmatics management software recently in New York City.

The software is divided into two types:

  • WORK (to manage employees)
  • REVEAL (to manage vehicles)

Though the typical fleet size of Fleetmatic’s customers is about 10 to 12 vehicles, the company insists starting small will help your business scale more easily.

Loaded on a handheld device, the WORK app ensures your workers have job details, get every step done, know the prices quoted on a job or delivery, get the proper authorization and electronic signatures from customers, and properly discuss any connected warranties.

Boyle explains:

“In today’s world, you don’t really know whether your employee has documented all those steps. Our automation solves the issue where a field technician hands in a bunch of crumpled papers at the end of the week, only for someone else to then enter the data into one or more disconnected systems for billing, or accounting or other needs.”

Fleetmatics’ REVEAL Timeline enables businesses to see what’s going on with their vehicles at a glance:

Details provided by the software include: A travel and stop timeline, mapping features shoring vehicle location, idling and standing times, maximum speed and average distance traveled. Fleetmatics is Software as a Service is is sold by subscription for about $40 to $45 per month.

Each truck and worker would be a different subscription, either to the WORK or REVEAL version. So total cost would depend on the number of subscriptions your business needs.

Boyle adds:

“This new generation of Fleetmatics software will continually learn from users, which can translate into long-term incremental ROI. You’re able to use the information to move the bar and look for that next place to drive out incremental costs or find incremental revenue opportunities.”

Images: Fleetmatic

The post Fleetmatics Puts You In the Driver’s Seat of Your Vehicle Fleet appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Report: Restaurants struggle with traffic despite rising March sales

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 15:18
Latest NRN-Miller Pulse survey shows improved sales but continued traffic declines

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Autos' enthusiasm for emerging markets hits brakes

AutoNews - Tue, 2014-04-15 15:11
Global automakers have jostled to position themselves for growth, particularly in the much-touted BRIC markets -- Brazil, Russia, India and China. But that growth formula has been looking a little less solid lately.
Categories: Latest News

McDonald’s operator survey suggests same-store sales lift

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:56
Franchisees also express dissatisfaction with coffee giveaway, unit growth

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5 must-know restaurant news stories: April 15, 2014

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:51
NRN Editors Nation's Restaurant News editors select the top industry stories of the day Nation's Restaurant News editors select the top industry stories of the day

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Customers' luxury motivation turns to self-reward, execs say

AutoNews - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:48
The definition of luxury automotive brands, and the motivation of luxury-car shoppers, is changing from an outward-directed display of wealth to a self reward for a successful customer.
Categories: Latest News

Bennigan’s to open second restaurant with new design

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:30
Florida unit modeled after existing location in Fayetteville, Tenn.

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MenuMasters 2014: Joe's Crab Shack

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:16
Back-to-roots crab-focused menu refresh drives repeat visits Back-to-roots crab-focused menu refresh drives repeat visits

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Marco’s Pizza promotes Bryon Stephens to president

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:12
Stephens was previously COO at the pizza chain Stephens was previously COO at the pizza chain

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Happy Birthday McDonald's

Topix - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:40

Mashed-potato burger -- China Two-all beef patties, mashed potatoes, lettuce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

Categories: Today's Food News

MenuMasters 2014: Wendy's

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:21
Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger combines customer favorites for winning product Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger combines customer favorites for winning product

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MenuMasters 2014: McDonald's

Nation's Restaurant News - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:08
Portable Premium McWraps give chain runway for innovation Portable Premium McWraps give chain runway for innovation

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Creating the Ideal Customer Experience in Your Store

Small Business Trends - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:00

Have you heard of “total retail clienting?” I hadn’t either until I read the PWC whitepaper“Taking the Total Retail Customer Experience to the Next Level.” 

Total retail clienting is technology that uses a mix of CRM, social media and data analytics to deliver real-time information about each customer to retail salespeople before the sale. PWC offers total retail clienting tools to help big retailers deliver a great experience to their customers, no matter how many locations they have.

You may be asking, “What does this have to do with my retail store?” While PWC’s retail clienting solution is clearly more than small business owners need or can afford, what I found fascinating about it is the product is meant to help big retailers recreate:

“…a time when local shopkeepers knew each and every customer who visited their stores. They knew their likes and dislikes. They knew what they needed, when they needed it.”

In other words, big retailers are turning to technology to help them act more like small retailers.

PWC says the rise of online retailing, social media and mobile technologies are driving the need for total retail clienting by enabling retail shoppers to shop 24/7 wherever they are, get more information than ever before about products they’re considering, and share their retail experiences with their networks instantly.

What It Boils Down To Is This

To create the ideal customer experience and make the sale in-store, retail salespeople are more important than ever before. PWC says:

“Friendly, helpful sales and service associates are vital to creating … moments of truth [that] keep [customers] coming back for more.”

How can you help your frontline salespeople create a total retail clienting experience?

Hire Right

Successful retailing today starts with hiring salespeople who truly like engaging with and helping people—not hiding out in the stockroom or texting all day.

Make Sure Your Employees Have the Information They Need

Hold regular meetings to keep employees up-to-date on trends in your industry, what products are in stock and when new shipments of out-of-stock items will come in.

Investigate Loyalty Management and Rewards Tools

Loyalty apps like LoyalBlocks, Belly and Perka do more than reward customers—they also collect detailed information about customer purchasing history, enable mobile marketing and make it easy to send your customers alerts and emails about products they’d be interested in. Some can even alert you when a loyal customer walks in the door and tell you the person’s name so you can greet them!

Provide the Equipment Needed to Create a Satisfying Sales Experience

Who doesn’t hate waiting in line? Enable salespeople to check out customers anywhere by providing tablets or smartphones they can use to take mobile payments. Put tablets in-store for customers to use to look up detailed info about products they’re debating between.

Create Add-On Services Employees Can Sell

This could include extended warranties or service contracts—or you can even offer to provide small repairs for free or very low cost. This can provide a sense of security and confidence the customer won’t get from buying the product online (and knowing that if something goes wrong, they’ll have to ship it somewhere to be repaired and deal with lots of hassle).

Offer Information and Extras

A friend of mine recently visited a local camera store that’s been in business for decades. After comparing products in-store, she knew she could get the camera she wanted cheaper online—but after finding out the store offered customers free photography classes with a camera purchase, she decided to buy from the retailer. You can offer freebies (like in-store poetry readings at a bookstore), freebies with purchase (like the example above) or even charge extra if what you provide is valuable enough (such as makeup lessons at a beauty supply store or cooking classes at a gourmet food store.)

How do you create a total retail experience at your store?

Shopping Photo via Shutterstock

The post Creating the Ideal Customer Experience in Your Store appeared first on Small Business Trends.