Blog : Thoughts

Where will technology put businesses in 5 years time

Where will technology put businesses in 5 years time

I get asked a lot about the changes brought about by the pace of technology, how this will affect businesses and will computers be putting people out of a job.

The simple answer is yes and no, computer programs and automation will reduce the need for humans to get involved in certain tasks thus freeing staff up to concentrate in other areas, and no doubt many companies will see this as an opportunity to save money and reduce staff numbers.

However smart business leaders will find other areas for their team members to produce results for clients and prospects. And the smartest businesses will embrace this change and anticipate it.

For instance one big change is the use of Bots to answer online chat questions, in fact chances are you’ve probably dealt with a chat bot and not even realised such is the improvement in the technology in the past two years.

Just this alone presents great opportunities for businesses, the average SME website receives 40 web visits per day. If a well programed chat bot can point visitors in the right direction and take orders then just a 4% return on visitors will produce huge results for the average SME.

But we shouldn’t get caught up on chat bots, there’s a lot of changes coming in the way businesses trade and speak to their clients and it’s imperative to have an innovative I.T. supplier to guide you through not only changes in technology but utilising the other great asset in your business, your people.

For over 14 years we’ve not only kept our clients I.T. systems healthy but also our clients workforce healthy too. We utilise leadership techniques developed by Dale Carnegie to bridge the gap between human resources and your I.T. and produce amazing results for clients and prospects.

If you’d like to discuss the growth of your business and how you can reduce your cost per order get in touch today.

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

Millennials in the Workplace from Bean Bag Chairs to Treadmill Desks

Millennials in the Workplace from Bean Bag Chairs to Treadmill Desks

 

Speaking as a Millennial (#GenerationX/Y) and someone that has employed in the region of 17 Millennials over the past 11 years I hear a lot of good advice and crap advice about “engaging” Millennials in the workplace.

Firstly they are Human beings and while bloody difficult to manage at times the same Principles of Human Relations applies as they always have and always will.

But Expectations have certainly changed, I watched a video today titled “3 Tips to Engage Millennials” or similar and all 3 tips were I’ afraid to say without merit.

One thing mentioned in the Video was to let your Millennial staff to work from home, well I’d say given the amount of Millennial Bar Staff working out there today my Bar Owner customers and friends are going to really struggle with that one, if there’s a good reason to work from home such as a long commute etc then I’m all for it but having a base of operations and a team to bounce ideas off is invaluable. And it’s got to make economic sense, productivity WILL suffer if anyone works from home Millennial or not so it’s got to have benefits in other areas to counteract the Productivity loss.

In 1986 Pixar famously put the bathrooms right where different departments would bump into each other, share ideas and anecdotes and ignite creativity. And did it work? We all know the answer to that.

Don’t get me wrong we’ve had issues with employing Millennial staff and I’ll be the first to admit it’s a hard slog to engage the vast majority, I have failed a few staff members in my approach to managing and getting a performance from them and that’s my fault as much as theirs for not pulling their weight. But as mentioned above expectations have changed, we’re pushed out of School now with no real discussion on what’s expected of how to get ahead. In fact I would go so far as to say current education is failing School leavers in it’s inability to address what the real working world is about.

Who wouldn’t love a bean bag instead of a chair or a slide rather than stairs? Who wouldn’t love to get a promotion after 7 months and make a real “impact”? The difference is in expectation and the real challenge with Millennials is managing those expectations.

So here’s my 3 Tips for Managing Millennials

  • Manage Expectations

Have a structured and minuted meeting about both yours and their expectations, and send them a copy of what’s agreed and refer to it when situations arise (which they will)

  • Give positive feedback often and save the negative for structured meetings

One of the issues with a lot of school leavers / young people is the messages communicated to them about winning for taking part, unfortunately results are the only currency in business and you don’t get a medal for taking part, therefore criticism doesn’t wash and actually goes against their ingrained programming that they get an award for turning up.

  • Engage

Listen to their ideas and discuss at length, this is a great way of not only shaping your business through the eyes of the people that will be buying your products and services in 10 years but a brilliant way to remap some of that internal programming we spoke about above, but be open minded and encourage them to do the same.

Hopefully you like my tips and don’t think it’s tosh like the video I just watched, either way let me know I’d love to “discuss”

Problem solvers first, IT Engineers second

Problem solvers first, IT Engineers second

There’s a universal law in the Corporate world

No-one buys anything unless there’s a problem to be solved

We know that everyone needs what we do, and we know there’s an abundance of IT Support firms popping up. But we know first hand that the phone only rings when there’s an issue to be solved.

The 1984 Classic Ghostbusters is more about Small Business ownership than Busting Ghosts (If you’ve not seen it recently give it another watch). There’s one scene where they know there’s a market for their services, they’ve done their Due Diligence so they get premises and equipment and wait for the phone to ring, worry starts to set in. Ghosts are popping up all over town yet nothing. A rather seminal part of the film is the office manager slamming down the phone and screaming “We’ve got one”.

And this I’m sure is a frequent occurrence in many sectors not just Ghostbusting and IT Support. That’s why we understand that while we need to be seriously hot when it comes to IT Support we first and foremost need to be problem solvers. The Business world revolves around problem solvers and as the great Vanilla Ice said.

When there’s a problem, Yo I’ll solve it

We here at Aurora Tech Support have a 14 year history of leading our sector by putting Customer Service first, communication and empathy are as important a tool to us as Network Crimpers and healthy stock of RAM. Give us a call to see how we can help your business thrive.

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

Why Enthusiasm is the Single greatest asset in IT Support

Why Enthusiasm is the Single greatest asset in IT Support

I know that it’s easy to consider technical knowledge as the single greatest asset for any IT Engineer, but what would you say if I told you that the highest paid engineers are not the most technically gifted.

It’s a block that we come up against frequently when taking on fresh faced young Engineers, their belief structure of their worth has been built around technical prowess and knowing as much as they possibly can about IT. But let me tell you, IT will surprise you, the more you learn the more the IT Gods seem to want to put you in your place.

It’s then that “When the going gets tough, the tough get enthusiastic”

Enthusiasm is different to passion, you can be passionate but get things very wrong, it’s hard to go wrong with Enthusiasm.

I’ve seen many Technically good IT Engineer become a croppa when an IT hurdle isn’t easily overcome because they lacked the Enthusiasm to keep going and come out the other side.

We’ve built Aurora Tech Support around delivering an experience not just results, because we know that IT and your Business is moving constantly and sometimes balanced on a knife edge. IT (like many professions I expect) is like being the guy in the Circus that spins the plates. It’s ok getting a plate spinning beautifully but there’s 4 behind you that are starting to wobble.

For over 14 years we’ve perfected our craft and while sometimes a plate nearly falls we get it going again, by hook, or by crook.

That’s why we’ve grown 14 years straight and look after over 600 business clients.

IT Hardware and Infrastructure Support

No! No! Not SEO

No! No! Not SEO

“Websites now should be a Manual for your customers and prospects” – Darren Northfield

We don’t offer SEO any more, when we started out 14 years ago we were predominately a Digital Solutions provider and one of the first companies offering SEO. And we got really good results, I’ll be honest, not many people were doing it so if we hadn’t it would have been worrying.

The reason we don’t offer SEO as part of our Services Stack any more is largely because we don’t offer Digital products such as websites as our Core Offering anymore, but things have changed and SEO is a small cog in a much bigger machine. Where it used to be the wheels, it’s now probably more like a fuse for the ignition.

Enough weird analogy’s, the point I was trying to make is where it was arguably the single most important activity for driving qualified and relevant traffic to your website it’s now been left behind, and while you should still perform SEO on your website, SEO in itself will not produce great results.

SEO should form a part of your Website strategy, along with things like long tail keywords, Pillar content, Hub content, Calls to Action and quality landing pages.

The lines have been blurred over the past 10 years, graphic designers have become Digital Agencies offering (as well as Graphic Design) SEO, Twitter strategy’s, and web design.

Web designers have become Digital Agencies offering (as well as Web Design) SEO, Twitter strategy’s, and graphic design.

And IT Engineers 😉 and Social Marketers and you get the point. Everyone and their Dog is jumping on the band wagon.

Do you feel further forward after the last 264 words? No probably not, but that’s fine.

Because you probably need to forget what you already know and start again developing your strategy for developing results from your website.

I couldn’t possibly tell you what you need to do to get results because it’ll be dependent on your products or services but these are the areas you should have a defined strategy in.

  • Website Performance (referred to as Responsiveness by Professionals)
    This is how your website loads and performs on different screen sizes
  • Landing Pages
    These in a nutshell are the pages that people land on via Google or other Internet links, and should not ALL be aimed at the decision making stage of a Prospects browsing of your website. 99% of Business landing pages are aimed at getting people to buy, Prospects as you know are not always at this stage and may just be fact finding (among other stages)
  • Calls To Action
    People like things to be simple, human beings are wired to look for Easy options (Lose weight now, Accelerate your sales) etc etc. Calls to action are the weight loss of the Corporate Website World.
  • SEO and Long Tail Keywords
    SEO and Long Tail Keywords are the Bullet Points of making your website Efficient and Lean, Bloated websites switch people off, this is the Digital equivalent of getting fit, health and Ripped.

Hopefully now you’ve got a fairly decent idea of where you could make improvements to your company website, where websites once upon a time were interactive business cards now they should be a Manual for your customers and prospects, if you’d like to discuss any of the above or know good people to speak to regarding getting your website performing give us a call

01937 586888

Also check out Raindrop Digital, one of the best companies around at building websites that perform.

Narrowing the gap between your IT systems and your workforce

Narrowing the gap between your IT systems and your workforce

OK lets address the Elephant in the room, I’m going to tell you how important the IT in your businesses is and you’re (probably) going to roll your eyes and think “of course you’d say that”

But imagine for a second that Aurora Tech Support was formed because of a passion, a belief that technology and the systems we use in our businesses can create beautiful experiences for both our companies and our clients. A Utopia that separates the Wheat from the Chaff.

The fact of the matter is that the technology utilised in our companies defines us, the experiences we deliver defines us, and the “client experience” defines us.

But here’s where the water gets muddy, as well as good systems you need good people, and you can’t have one without the other. You’ve only got to visit a supermarket now to see self-checkouts, but try buying some knives or Bubbly and you need “approval”. I’m forever seeking approval so this lends itself to me 😉 however.

What if the staff member takes an age to come over, or is usually the case straight over but don’t even make eye contact as they swipe the card to “approve” you / your purchase. Ergh!

As much as we LOVE I.T. and all things Tech, I grew up around the teachings of Dale Carnegie and Dale Carnegie Training Courses.

We know, live, and breath people skills, leadership techniques, fantastic clients journeys and customer service. It’s all we know, we’ve been programmed with it.

In fact I’d taken the Dale Carnegie Course 4 times by the age of 25 and I’ve now done it 6 times. That top up of leadership skills and human relation skills is imperative to delivering your values to your clients. And that’s why you need an I.T. supplier that gets you, gets it and gets I.T.

Just shut your eyes for a minute and visualise your Professional Utopia. Then pick up the phone.

  • Darren

01937 586888

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

We redesigned our website and you won’t believe what happened next…

We redesigned our website and you won’t believe what happened next…

The Digital world we live in is a beautiful thing, content delivered instantly straight to our hands, websites a far far cry from how they looked in the early days of the internet.


Apple website 1996

We have so much at our finger tips now and it’s so easy to get our brand in front of Thousands of people, for free. And there in lies the problem.

There’s so much out there, the internet is littered with ads, blog posts (irony), musings etc etc. Everyone wants to send some Tweets and add a few keywords to their website and get flooded with enquiries. And even worse there’s a flood of new age Social Selling “Gurus” telling you to ditch traditional methods, get rid of the phone and spend your days on Social Media, “Cold Calling is dead” etc etc.

You plough 80% of your efforts into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SEO, Website Call To Actions etc but it’s not working.

You must be doing it wrong, everyone else is doing it and getting results and on balance, you’re doing it better than most of them, what is it? Your industry must be different, that’s just the way it is right?

No

As much as we’d like to spend a bit of time in the comfort of our laptop sending messages (I’m in a Cafe enjoying a Diet Coke right now, living the dream right?) it doesn’t work like that I’m afraid.

There’s no substitute for hard work and unfortunately we’re busy aren’t we, and the owners of the News Feed you’re flooding are busy too, so even if they need what you’re selling they skim past and think yeah I’ll come back to that.

Now don’t get me wrong an online presence is extremely important, but we’re doing it wrong. Having a great website and easy contact points gets you in the game but to win you’ve got to apply good old fashioned elbow grease, as the great Dale Carnegie says.

“Go out and get busy” you can set out the best stall in your sector but if you want more than a few sales you got to work it. You’d think actors like Kevin Spacey would just get offered roles seeing as he’s a Top actor on anyone’s list but he has an agent (I recon 😉 I haven’t fact checked).

If you’re ready to take your business into the stratosphere there’s some great Calls to Action here to speak with us https://auroratechsupport.co.uk we’ve been working with some of the UKs most IT dependent organisations for over 14 years not just on immediate IT problems but where they will want their systems and digital communication to be in the near future, we believe in building relationships as what benefits our customers benefits us. We’d love to have you on board.

 

Thanks for your time, Darren

We deleted our Blog

We deleted our Blog

We deleted our Blog, over the years we added post upon post in an effort to get content on our website for potential clients to find and in the end we found we had a mess of blog posts that wasn’t easy to read or inviting in the slightest.

So we made the decision to start a fresh, only adding posts we genuinely believe to be of use to customers and prospects. We want to create a sensible space for information about IT, IT Services and how your business can benefit from investment in your office IT.

We know you’re probably not enthralled by the IT in your office, it’s probably a necessary evil, you’re probably more interested in the phone you pull from your pocket as most of us are, but there is a importance on not just what our IT says about us but also how it makes our lives easier and deliveres us the success we require.

There’s no getting away from it, the IT in your organisation is paramount to your success in business, and you should over look it at your peril.

https://auroratechsupport.co.uk/phone-chat/

 

A new type of IT Company

A new type of IT Company

You’ve probably heard us mention that we’re a new type of IT company. We say this because a few years ago a client said to us.

“People just want a IT company to support their business that, answers the phone when you call, responds in a positive and timely manner and works as hard as they do in their business to fix issues”

We decided that we needed to embrace this in our corporate values and build the services we offer around the thoughts and views of our customers, see it’s not really about IT, well it is but it’s also about communication, respect, speed of response and relationship building. And we are the best at it.

Don’t get us wrong we drop the ball sometimes but so does “Manuel Neuer” (Football Reference) but we pick it up again and crack on.

That is why we are a new type of IT company

https://auroratechsupport.co.uk/phone-chat/