Customer Service gets Social

In the world today, the relationship between customer service and social media is becoming more  relevant. Networking sites such as Twitter and others allow companies to track what their customers and potential clients are saying about the company. Social networks and blogs are, in effect, a new mainstream medium for word-of-mouth marketing.

Small businesses have the potential to gain valuable market share from their larger competitors on social media-based services, if they are able to respond to questions and concerns quickly and in a way that’s personal, timely and directly helpful. However, if you are a small or growing business, you may not have the additional resources to hire an employee specifically dedicated to monitoring social media outlets. Some ideas to help you make the most of this opportunity include:

1. Identify the social networks you feel will be most valuable to your company. There are the obvious choices, like Twitter and Facebook, but also look through YouTube, Flickr or even on personal blogs. Think about where your clients might give their opinions, good or bad, and check out those sites.

2. Take time each day to make sure potential problems found on social networks are addressed. If they can not be resolved right away, make sure follow up times are set up.

3. You can integrate customer service requests and issues into your sales process or purchase customer relationship management (CRM) software that offers this feature.

In today’s complex social world, understanding that people will talk about your company online whether or not you are monitoring the chatter can be critical to business success. If you ignore this aspect of business you run the risk of developing a bad reputation. Monitoring these avenues and speaking the language of your customer, including listening and responding to conversations on social media networks, can boost your reputation for providing stellar customer service.


You have probably read or heard about any one of the P2PE technologies available today. While they may make the job of security easier, Bob Russo, the general manager of the PCI Security Standards Council, sums up his concerns, “It is important to remember there is no silver bullet to securing a payment environment.” and, “Implementing one of these technologies will not automatically make you compliant with the PCI DSS.” Bob goes on to say, “Focus on good security and compliance will follow.”

A recent document posted by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) discusses P2PE and several of the factors to consider when evaluating the technology for your location.

Since P2PE is an immature technology, implementation may result in vendor lock-in; products from one vendor cannot communicate to or be replaced by products from another vendor. Additionally, your credit card processor may only support devices from one vendor and not another.

P2PE solutions will not eliminate the need to maintain and validate PCI DSS compliance, but they may simplify validation efforts by reducing the number of system components to which PCI DSS applies. Any network attachment that is not segmented from the device performing the encryption is still required to be PCI DSS compliant. Bank charge-back data still requires a PCI DSS compliant environment and handling procedures, as well as any imprinted or legacy card data.

Being compliant with the PA-DSS guidelines is an ongoing process and grocers need to be ever vigilant. You can find up-to-date PA-DSS and PinPad information at


Product Small PhotoCisco 100 Series Switches deliver powerful network performance and flexibility for small business networks, without complexity. With no installation software and nothing to configure, you get an affordable, reliable network that just works, right out of the box.

Cisco 100 Series Switches offer:

High-performance capabilities: With powerful network performance at an affordable price, you can give your network a boost of speed and capacity to support bandwidth-intensive applications.

Support for advanced technologies: Built-in quality of service (QoS) intelligence on all models helps maintain consistent network performance and keeps your applications running smoothly.

An eco-friendly solution: Optimizes power usage to be energy efficient without compromising performance.

Affordability: Designed specifically for small businesses that need a basic network with automated features that get you up running in minutes.

Peace of mind: All Cisco 100 Series switches are protected for the life of the product by the Cisco Limited Lifetime Hardware Warranty.

Ease of use: Works right out of the box, there's no software to install or configure.

To learn more about network switches and other products and services provided by STCR, please contact STCR Business Systems, Inc at (607) 757-0181. STCR has been selling, installing and supporting IBM Cash Register Systems and network equipment for more than 30 years and we have been in business for 43 years. We are an IBM Premier Business Partner with the in-house expertise to install IBM and a wide variety of electronic products and train your personnel in the most professional manner.

Does your Dairy Department work for you?

Dairy accounts for 19 percent of an average supermarket’s profit while taking up just 3 percent of store space, according to the Willard Bishop Store Super Study. Dairy generates more than 2.6 times return on space than produce and 6.2 times higher return on space than grocery in general. It’s no surprise that many retailers are looking for ways to reinvent their dairy departments.

Dairy Management (DMI), which supports the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, recently released a guide to help retailers reinvent their dairy departments. The Dairy Department Reinvention Activation Guide is the result of more than three years of research by DMI, Kraft Foods and Dannon. Since 2006, the coalition analyzed 343,000 shopping trips, audited 22,000 retail grocery stores and spoke with 2,500 consumers. With milk penetrating 96 percent of U.S. households and acting as a trip trigger that often leads consumers to the store, putting a focus on dairy can be a great way to increase profitability.

Understanding your shopper’s needs drives store loyalty, which increases shopper perceptions and can lead to increased sales. The best practices outlined in the Dairy Department Reinvention Activation Guide address the feedback from consumers. Comments include that the dairy department was traditionally not an emotional engagement, that they often had difficulty finding items, that they often felt rushed and usually bought the same things week after week. Shoppers’ wishes include making the dairy department easier to shop, personalizing the engagement, leveraging more meaningful merchandising and fostering interaction.