How Not To Fret And Provide Unified Customer eXperience

Every single day, people, at the top or who are responsible to make a brand name, wish that the world out there is not staring at them or taking a dig at their brand’s inconsistencies.


For them, there’s a never ending tussle ensuring their employees, existing and potential customers and partners, investors, and influencers are getting one impression about the brand. And there is no brand confusion or conflict, arising from how few things turn up.


And, with millions and billions of people across the world connected via social media, words spread like a wildfire.

Brands Are Not Built Overnight

Brands, are not built overnight, nor are they built by the effort of a few people; it’s built by the efforts of every individual, as an on-going process.


If you, as an employee, want to convince me to something then you ought to believe in it before you can sell the idea to me, a customer.


Imagine you working for an airline or restaurant brand which puts customers first, but you, as an individual employee, fail to keep the customer happy either by providing the best possible service or by not listening to what the customer is asking for, then you have failed not only the customer but the brand as well.


Well, the customer would think the policies to be contentious and feel cheated by the company/brand. And, with the access to smart phones and social media, we all know what can happen next.

ONE Brand, ONE Journey

A brand experience should be like a process, a bond, a commitment across the organization which every individual must invest in and live up to.


Irrespective of there being multiple divisions, subsidiaries, acquired or merged business units, the primal focus should be to integrate this to form ONE brand.


The joining of forces should mean defining everything for that ONE brand – the vision, the organizational structure and its diverse culture, the brand values and market positioning.


One should understand that the company’s ultimate goal is to grow and fulfil customers’ expectations, as one entity.


If the business units continue working as individuals then the first and foremost challenge would be the management of cross multi-functional units, which could and, to some extent, would result in confusions, miscommunications/overlapping roles & responsibilities, and unnecessary hold-ups – not only for employees but for the customers as well.


To enable business units to deliver unique brand experiences, which is aligned with the stake-holders’ demands and expectations, it’s imperative to have a command centre or a centralised controlling unit which manages and directs every other business unit.

What Do We Do Now?

Well done! All you have managed to do by now is put together the engine from a Ferrari, tyres from Michelin, seats from a Mercedes, body from Rolls Royce, and similar things.


The restructuring was like putting all the part together for a concept car. However, the test drive and customers reviews is what you need to fine tune your car, before you can mass produce it or call yourself a premium brand, and be really proud of what you’ve created.

You get the idea, don’t you?

Oh silly! You need the customer feedback and success stories from each of the units integrated and then use them to define the common policies and work culture which will drive your business.


While you’re at it, don’t forget to reassure your stakeholders that the combined entity will only work towards improving the collective strengths and will focus on reducing the pain areas.


Remember that customers are like audience members at a show. They don’t see the lighting director or the makeup artist at work behind the scenes; they only see the performance on stage. Processes and procedures are just as integral a component of brand experience as the final product.” ~ Jason Cieslak


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No Amount of Pain Can Break You, If You Learn This!

Search for elasticity on Wikipedia and the article will start with “In physics, elasticity (from Greek ἐλαστός “ductible”) is the ability of a body to resist a distorting influence or deforming force and to return to its original size and shape when that influence or force is removed.


The force or pressure is never enough to break anyone, literally. However, according to AIS (American Institute of Stress), around 80% people undergo some form of stress at work; nearly half of which don’t know how to deal with it.


Whether, it’s managing work-life or managing difficult people around you, the amount of stress or pain one goes through is proportional to one’s ability to manage such situations.


As research would have it, a vast majority of people can’t deal with these situations without being aggressive; which is similar to not being able to deal with it.


I see an opportunity where most of us see anxiety, stress, and pain.


Most of us have had these thoughts/situation, more than a couple of times

  • I was made to work till late after office hours
  • I was made to work on something I was not comfortable with, or had no previous knowledge
  • I was denied the rewards and recognition, which I deserved

How many of us deal with it head-on?

Challenged the manager or argued with him. We might even had compared ourselves to other and highlighted what we were doing (more) than the other people in the team.

But, have you really thought about the kind of work you do or you’re being asked to do?

Oh, I’ve been there, done that all too. But, I’ve always taken up the new work [the dirty work] so that I can stretch myself, and see if I can possibly handle that, or how much of it I was prepared to deal with.


The end game, has always been to be prepared! To be prepared for what’s out there, when I move to a different place, a different role, or when unexpected events occur.


Doing the same thing would prepare me for the same thing, but when the same thing runs out – where would I land?


More than that, I’ll not be doing the same thing – time and again.


So … shortcomings are short-lived, and they make you short-sighted. But, when you have bigger picture in your sight, you don’t lose hope, your ultimate goals.


The ship farthest from the shore explores more treasure. – If you haven’t heard that before, well… You’ve heard it now!


One should explore more and stretch beyond the routine, not because it’ll benefit you in the short term, but because you would know what you can achieve or must achieve, in order to reach your goals.


Moreover, this has to be an ongoing process which you engraft in your lifestyle, of your freewill rather than a forced one!


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Why Every CMS Beginner Should Start With A Content Project

CMS or a Content Management System, as we know, is a collection of basic building blocks which we call as ‘components’.

[Read More – What is CMS?]

There are components which are provided as part of the tool package – also known as ‘out of the box’ components (OOB components). Then again, there are components which are built to server specific needs, perhaps from scratch or on top of existing components – also known as ‘custom’ components.

Now, you’d be surprised to know that most of the existing (OOB) components, if not all, can be customised or configured in many ways.

You need to see it, to believe it.

Once you start going through multiple websites, you familiarise yourself with the components which are used, and the layout or different ways in which they are used. Just like the Lego blocks, which have different shapes and colours.

Then you start formulating your own ideas to how these can be used – some of these components are so rich with features that it takes a while to unlock the potential and explore them.

A little more digging will help you map the components to the current work you will be doing – either you’ll get help from content experts or you’ll find out the hard way (doing yourself).

This wouldn’t come naturally, unless you actually start creating content on your own – which is not as easy as it may sound. I’ve seen people struggle so hard with putting the content right and aligning all the elements together.

I don’t know about others, but I certainly felt good when I authored a page and previewed it. And, when the whole site was created, it almost felt like it was me who created it (although, it was a team effort).

Oh, it is such an exciting and rewarding experience, a sense of accomplishment and learning.

Not that you’ll get bonus for doing that, but just think about the world of possibilities it opens up for you.

Still don’t get it, do you?

See, working on those components can give you an understanding to the system (let’s say Adobe AEM, or Sitecore) – first of all.

Then, you get yourself at ease with the components and the common mistakes a rookie would do, like the related configuration, linking to areas within the system, and gaps left behind by the development team.

This, will give you an insight in to the areas which can be improved upon – be it your learning or the recommendations you could make.

Most importantly, you will get to look at the bigger picture rather than being limited to the components or areas you would work on otherwise.

At this point, it will matter less if you were from a development background, a testing, or any other area of expertise.

What matters, would be what you can or want to do now!

The knowledge and experience, while working on different components,

  • Would help to find the gaps, ask more questions to get clarity
  • Can be used to suggest better user experience, suggest optimal way to use a component, or suggest an alternative
  • Will equip you to develop components in a better way – don’t forget the scenarios you came across to configure a single component.
  • Will lead you to provide a better solution

All the things you can and must do, during the initial phases of the project, to reduce the loss of effort during the later stages.

It’s your choice now, if you wish to work as a technical person, a business analyst, or a quality analyst – the possibilities are never ending.

And if you thought otherwise, no one can limit a BA or QA from proposing a technical design (not literally a design document though).

Reflecting upon, would you have had so much clarity and vision of what you wanted to do or could do, had you not gone through this route?

May be… But, you can’t leave things to “may be”. It’s better to be informed, if you ask me, at least then it’ll be your choice and not something enforced upon you.

At the end of the day, it’s not only about doing right by the customers and delivering what’s best for them, it’s about doing what’s right for you and learning to become a better person and a professional, as well.” ~ P.R.


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Dreading The Future With Robo-tation

From the age of stone to the Iron throne, we have come a long way.


The pace with which the technology is advancing, it’s overwhelming – scary and exciting, at the same time.


The infatuation, which most human have, with the sci-fi is ever increasing.


The existence of super humans or the super powers, seems like the most desired fantasy.


The mythology had such people and the future will have such people, with extra-ordinary might, suggest the scientists who are working relentlessly on making it possible.


A scientist brings home an ape, feeds him, treats him like a family, and tries to teach him the human ways. But, he is not able to provide the natural habitat which the ape long desires, to be with the likes of his own.


Then again, there is T-8 and similar ones, who possess vast knowledge and can guide you about thing from past to future.


Learn from Planet of the Apes or Star Wars, the technological advancement can’t, just yet, replace the complex emotions, wired deep in to human neurological system, with any other creature.


A machine can carry out a millions calculations in a fraction of time, but when it comes to handling few emotions simultaneously and act accordingly – no one could it better than a human.


There was a movie which I saw a long time back, 2002, which had something to do with robot replacing human. In the movie, there is a director who makes the movie all by himself and replaces the main character with computer enhanced person, which he calls Simone (the movie) or Simulation-One.


Now, the reason I mentioned this movie is because the director could code a few basic facial expressions/emotions to the simulated character, however it was all machine/code controlled, and nothing which it could have done on its own.


My point being, there’s a reason why humans think the way they do; there’s a reason why animals don’t think like humans do; and there’s a reason why you can’t force a machine to think like humans – although I would be intrigued by the possibility of that happening in near future; the complexity of human brain has not been decoded for anyone to replicate it.


When you think about replacing humans with robots, do you actually think you could rely on robots completely?


Of course, there are areas where robots could be absolutely worth having and can be more efficient – like working in auto repair shops, cleaning the floor of a restaurant, guarding a shop or an office complex, or even carrying out heavy loads.


Nonetheless, without a human support or supervision, things could go awry pretty soon.


Hey, we wouldn’t want the earth to be turned in to a movie where robots are fighting with humans, or worst, taking complete control.


Well… that’s movie stuff and let’s leave it to that for now!


But, like the flip sides of a coin, there are pros and cons of any advancement. While, one group is working to resolve one or more problems with a technology, there’s another group who’s planning other things with it.


I’m just being wary of the fact that, if not controlled with tight regulations and guidelines, the vicious circle around such technologies could bring more harm than good.


I’m not voting against any advancements, rather I’m amazed of the progress this world has made over the past few decades or so.


But, when prototypes are being used as a fore-front to showcase good, while the real intent is not so good, then you ought to question, think about the bigger picture and the end result.


Think about it, perhaps you’ll find a reason to question it too, just like I’m now!


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Video Marketing Has-Been and Will-Be Around

It’s funny, how small things in life don’t make any sense when they happen, but you could relate them, years later.

My younger brother learnt playing games and counting number even before he went to school.

In those days, gaming was not as popular and a limited number of companies manufactured such units.

Era Old Gaming…

If I remember correctly, it was a stiff competition between Atari and Nintendo. Atari being famous for their joystick controller and Nintendo for better graphics.

Anyways, the crust of the matter is that my brother would play these games or watch me play, and then learn where things needed to progress were, try to find different things he could do, and learn alphabets and numbers to track game progress and password to continue from a saved timeline.

Considering the age, less than 3 years, no one actually thought it was that important or was helping his growth. In fact, we were scolded for spending too much time playing video games.

Fast forward x 20, to this day. Thinking, out of the blue, I realised the impact those games had and can have. A little more analysis, and I was quick to spot the visual aid in learning.

Do You See The Connection?

Don’t worry, you will, soon.

Rather than going through the books or listening to someone telling you, a person is able to grab things when assisted with visuals. The vision, through eyes, gets registered in the mind, faster than we know. Weird, ehh?

Adding Life To These Visuals…

I wouldn’t even ask you to select between a series of print outs and a video, to present something. Guess, you know which is better.

The idea of watching something as against images, is always luring.

The voice, the tone, the music in the background – could be used to create a situation, relevant to the content. The voices, indicate our mind to put more focus, and can pump the heart rate – think of a horror movie or an action sequence.

Ever watched a drama or an intense movie?

The voice and the way in which the actor delivers the speech, gets us involved and we feel we are part of the happiness or the sorrow that actor is going through. It hits our emotional chords.

Tell Me A Story…

That’s the power, you can create with a video.

The content, the sound, the linking – the broader story; that’s what gets to your customers.

There is so much you can say and tell, with advancement in technology – you can use various graphics and sounds.

The same video can be transmitted over multiple channels to reach millions of people out there, worldwide.

To connect with customers and to create an impact – create an awesome video. But first, create a story to show in that video! ~ P.R.

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How Not To Spend More And Still Sell The Product: Influencer Marketing

During the good ole days, newspapers, pamphlets, and television ads were the most used marketing channels. To some extent, they still are!

Mind Tricks!

Reflecting back, could you list some of the ads you remember still? And, why?

We tend to remember (ads promoting) things which,

  1. We could related to ourselves
  2. Had a brilliant concept
  3. Had a familiar face in it


Whether you think about your childhood or think about children now, you would notice how we are lured in to buying things, even if we don’t need it, just because it was promoted using a person or character we followed. Spiderman, Movie actors, cartoon characters (Doremon, Peppa Pig) – ring a bell?!


But, did you really think

  • Pierce Brosnan would eat betel nut just because he was in the ad?
  • Kareena would use lux soap?
  • Chota Bheem/Peppa Pig actually went to school with all that bag and pencil box?


It’s because they are known and have a following, these people or characters are used to promote products; which would make people to believe

  • The product is used by the person, perhaps
  • The product is endorsed/backed by a known person and hence safe to use
  • The product is better than other similar ones, since it is being promoted by a well-known person

The Influencing Act!

These well-known people (influencers) are there to influence your decision, make you believe which you otherwise wouldn’t, and are able to reach to mass or fans – instantly; thereby making a larger impact than those marketing agencies would make, following other practices.

In this era, people have so many social media channels on which they are active, and connect with their fans and followers.

Each of these followers further have a circle of people connected to them, so on and so forth. Virtually, you are connected to millions of people around the globe.

Theoretically, the chances of getting a response or someone buying/trying a product which you promote, are more.

Modern marketers are tapping on this trend!

The cost of engaging a creative ad agency, getting people to perform in it, getting the prime TV slots, and so many other associated costs are reduced. Not to mention the time and effort in getting the ad to market.

Now think, I’ve a million followers on three different social channels. If I say or promote anything on it, it will reach countless people within a few seconds – thanks to the internet!

Even if a percentage of those followers buy the product eventually, it’s a huge profit for the company; considering the amount they would spend on getting me to promote it online.

And this, my friends, is nothing but Influencer Marketing!

Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole.” – Wiki

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.” –


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What is CMS? Explain That To A 5 Years Old. Here’s Why?

So, you just had a glimpse of the post or heading and started scrolling away. Just when you thought it was nothing, you couldn’t let go of this feeling – Why would you want to explain CMS to a 5 years old?


I can give you many reasons, but let’s just say the psychology of a client responsible for an IT programme is similar to that of a child.


Like a child,

  1. The client would be hard to get convinced, especially when he is unaware of something new.
  2. The client would have qualms about moving to another thing, in this case a new platform.
  3. The client would want more for what he gives. Like a child, who only agrees to share his toys when he gets more in return.
  4. Last but not the least, the time a client would be willing to listen to you, as he would have many things going-on in his mind.


So on and so forth…



What is a CMS? ..Or.. What is a Content Management System?

If you know this already, please skip to next part – which I promise is much more exciting than this one.


If you are still here with me, then you must want to know about it.


CMS, is nothing but an application or a platform which allows you to drive your digital content, from a centralised (server) location.


All your templates, pages, and assets are at a common place; which along with components can be used across site and markets (which are copies of one master site).


So, if you were to launch your site at multiple locations across the globe, then you could have the same layout, use same assets (where possible), yet make modifications where needed.


The best part, you can achieve that from a single server and rollout any change across these sites, just by modifying it in the master copy. Moreover, you can make specific changes to these live copies, at will.


Now then, that was a brief about the CMS. I hope you got a fair bit of idea.

Or was it not what you were looking for?

Nonetheless… Let’s move on!

How to explain a CMS to a 5 years old?

  • It’s like a train set. You can align the tracks anyway you want, place the station wherever you want, and latch any bogeys with the engine to run the track.


How you design it, it’s your imagination.


However, these basic building blocks should sync to make it work, otherwise the engine would derail and never reach the station.


  • You know that painting book you got or the stencil which you use, it has pre-outlined figures which you can readily use to draw and paint.


There is a suggested design or the colour pattern, should you follow. However, the creativity is yours.


  • Imagine, you have multiple cut outs of a flower which you can colour differently and then place them on a sheet to create an image of a bouquet or a garden.


The content management system is similar to that; it provides various building blocks which you can use one or more time to create a page or a list of pages, so that you don’t have to create them afresh, time and again.


The only difference is, you use computer software instead of white paper.


[Good luck explaining what a computer and a software is. Look at the bright side, you have something to communicate and engage with the kid.]


With this kick starter, let’s see how many ways or different approaches you can come up with, to convince a child and make him understand.


Age is just a number!


If you can convince a 5 years old, you can convince a nagging client!


#YesICan #Negotiation #ArtOfConvincing #Leadership #Communication


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4 Steps: How Not To Stick Your Face In A Piece Of Cake: Content Migration Strategy

What is the most common or important thing any marketing person would tell you?

If you want to have a greater reach, have a great content!

In an age of #DigitalTransformation, we all rely on the browsing patterns, customer behaviour, and similar giveaways which help us define our strategy.

However, the customer engages only when he can relate to what you present.

Your content speaks for you, where you can’t be physically present.

Most of the organisations think a lot before chalking out the IT budget or roadmap.

A bulk of them, start small, migrate a section of their existing site on to the new Content Management System (CMS).

The size of this content migration may vary!

There are sites which have informational content only. Then again, there are sites which have certain level of user interactions.

From a 100-200 pages to over 5000 pages, there is no limit to it.

It depends on the products are services you provide, the customers who actively use them and would need information about, and the driver for you to be online, in the first place.

How to prepare a strategy for content migration?

Well, if you thought it was as simple as any content editor or content specialist or any person with such a role copy pasting the content and be done with it, then you wouldn’t possibly have worked on such a project.

The fundamentals never change – the planning, the design, the implementation, and the delivery.

1. The big plan!

Planning should have been the phase where most discussions happened; only if we were not in so much hurry to deliver!

The approach, of how you would present the content, the related information you would need, and whether it’ll be across multiple break points, is all to be given a deep thought.

The separation of role; people who could put content, from people who could verify the content, to people who can do both.

Which ones do you have, you can afford to get, and you would need to outsource.

Oh! And, before you forget – do plan who will be doing what and with what approach.

2. Getting the design right!

Set sail when the storm hits the shore!

No, we don’t want that!

So, create assets which can be re-used on similar break points.

Have a consistent layout for pages, which don’t need much modification and look almost the same across devices and platforms.

Do don’t wanna end up creating one page for each of the breakpoints/viewports (desktop, mobile, and tablet).

Decide upon the styling (the font style, size, colour, the heading group, and so on), the icons, and other elements of accessibility.

3. Putting the pieces together!

With the required elements in place, now is the time to put them all on the page.

Know the hierarchy, create the page, and check how it looks on different viewports.

Implement one page at a time, from initiation to completion, and keep track of your progress.

4. Your order is ready for Delivery!

The pages are done, grouped neatly based on the hierarchy, and compared against the existing site.

The viewports are checked, and so is the linking of pages.

If, there is any information which is needed for the tracking or marketing purposes, then ensure you have provided all the information.

If you are not sure, make use of any tools which are readily available to get you that information.

Just when you think you are ready, open it for an in-house verification session.

Limit the time and keep the intended purpose clear.

Walla … You are ready to go! – hand the site over to the customer.


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How Not To Be Affected By Mental Health Issues

Did you know?

People around the world are observing this week as Mental Health Awareness week.

What Is Mental Health?

According to, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

– Having a bad day at home

– Trouble with the kids

– Peers are creating a problem

– The manager is being .. well .. not helpful

Whatever the reason be, mental issues can affect us without we realising.

It’s not necessary to have a glitch in your brain, to be a diagnosed with mental issues.

People who put others under the bus, for their own greed, are suffering from mental health issues – they just don’t know it yet!

Only you have the power to stop such abuse, such situations!!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to get in to a fight.

But, SPEAK UP!! People don’t realise this but, “the most complex problems generally have the simplest solutions.”

Speak to a friend, a doctor, or someone whom you trust. Unload yourself of all the pain and sufferings.

We are humans, and we tend to make mistakes. Maybe, we don’t realise where we’re going wrong!

There is no shame in seeking help, no shame in accepting when you are wrong, and definitely no shame in learning to be healthy.

After all, it’s your health, your life, your well being – and it impacts everything around you!

HOW-TO: Leverage Tech Initiatives To Provide Exceptional Customer Experience – Travel & Hospitality (T&H) Industry

Whether you want to tick that item on your check-list or cross a pending item off your bucket list; whether you have to go for a business trip or take a break from that business; whether you have a reason or you want a reason; we all need a lil break time!!

It’s not always about travelling, not about making time for your family; maybe it’s only about seeking serenity or time-off from that monotonous work.

As much as we would like to plan them in advance, we never really get to it. And, most of the times we end up making plans – impromptu.

That suddenness, that itch, that adrenal rush – isn’t it exciting; too overwhelming?!

Well… it’s just the beginning of that holiday which we could do away with.

Price comparison sites, individual booking portals, and third party site and apps are always there to help us make these bookings.

With more and more people hooked on to internet, it is becoming a challenge for these companies to be competitive.

Why is it a challenge?

To start with,

  • There are so many sites and apps available to choose from
  • Then there are promotional offers provided by each of them, which leads to a price war and the need for further discounts by mainstream players
  • Of course, with many competitors lining up one needs to reduce the operating margin
  • The limited budget means there could be small or no upgrade to IT dept.

Don’t stress! Let’s take a practical scenario to understand where we are and where we could be.

Considering, I have to go to a place (like New York) and I’m currently in Miami. Now, all I have to do is open a travel booking site to select an airlines of my choice and a hotel. Alternatively, I can select the hotel from a different site or from the site of the hotel which I generally go to.

This is pretty straightforward as most of the sites have similar flow, user experience. The only different would be in cost.

Most of the hotel sites have content which is static, with an exception of booking rooms, which has dynamic data and involves some user interactions.

How can brands use wearables to improve customer experiences?

How can I bring innovation to this?

Let’s rewind this a bit, shall we?

The moment I had to plan for a booking, I would like to initiate the voice assistant on my phone (like Siri) and say something like “Let’s plan a vacation.”, and Siri would reply, “Which app would you like to access?”

If I have set a preferred app already, then this would not be asked and the app would be launched.

The moment that app is launched or the website is pulled up, the chat bot on the site should ask certain question like, “Where are you headed?”, “When are you leaving and returning?”, and similar question but keeping the interaction to bare minimum and fetching the best results. Then, of course, the data could be filtered out to make a selection.

With my booking done for flight and hotel, I’m all set to go.

Now comes the futuristic bit.

The smartness of these chat bots or voice assistants comes in, when they book a cab (or suggest to book) since I would be needing it, both from current location to airport or train station, and then from destination airport to destination hotel.

Right from reminding me that I’m supposed to leave that day, to my cab approaching in 15 minutes, to route to airport. And then, flight number flashing on my smart watch or the mobile app, to taxi number and contact details of the driver waiting for me at the destination airport, and the route to destination hotel – engaging, informative, relevant, and unique experience.

The taxi could be booked by the person or provided by the hotel, but the door-to-door updates, information received would be such a different and refreshing experience for the traveller.

All along the way, give out vouchers, discounts, conduct surveys, promotional events, or whatever way you can think of engaging and rewarding customer.

I will talk about more of these in my next blog, so keep reading…

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