The Customer Experience The Customer Experience - pnc

The Customer Experience The Customer Experience - pnc

INSIGHTS F O R W O M E N I N B U S I N E S S The Customer Experience How to Win a Customer for Life Are You a Knowledge Hoarder? Gender Capitalis...

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INSIGHTS F O R

W O M E N

I N

B U S I N E S S

The Customer Experience How to Win a Customer for Life

Are You a Knowledge Hoarder? Gender Capitalism Brings Women into Focus

Tips & Tools

Personal Growth

Put a Stop to Knowledge Hoarding

From the Editor Several years ago I was insulted by a highly regarded restaurant over a reservation mishap. I will never go there again (despite it being women-owned). And, when asked my opinion of this business, I don’t hesitate to share my moment of truth. I’m a woman, I feel strongly, and this connection is likely not an accident. Conventional wisdom says that women are prone to refer a trusted provider. In financial services, one study shows that women over their lifetimes generate 136 percent more referrals than men. The converse is also true. So, as you ponder the customer experience your company delivers (the subject of this issue’s cover story), it pays to consider the gender of

those who decide whether to buy your product or service. Not only do women have strong feelings about companies they deal with, the financial power we wield is significant, and not just over consumer purchases. Exponential growth in the number of women-owned companies is just one factor pointing to women as primary decision-makers in business-to-business transactions as well. And, it’s our experience that the customer experience matters more to women.

> Don’t roll your chair to the file cabinet. Get up and walk to it.

> Stand up and stretch every time you finish a task. It will help energize you for the next one. > Drink more water. Not only is it good for you, but you’ll also have to take more trips to the water cooler and the bathroom.

> 5  8% identify themselves as the frontrunner to try the newest things

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> 65% say they are a source of recommendations to their peers So it should come as no surprise that this generation is also more likely to be found on social media than in front of the evening news. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents say they are skeptical of traditional advertising,

A coworker casually mentions she is having problems communicating with a client whom you know well. In response, you: A Offer to have coffee with your coworker to talk about the 

B Email your coworker a tip if he or she directly asks you 

while 95% go online for product reviews and first-person recommendations before making a purchase. The message is clear: Brands that stick with traditional print and TV advertising only to reach this savvy demographic are leaving potential customers in the wings.

for help.

 C Take the reins. You’re likely the only one who’s proficient  at dealing with this client. You’re helping to plan an off-site company meeting at a nearby hotel. You have a connection at a comparable hotel that could offer your company more meeting space at a lower cost, so you: A Offer to call your connection to get a quote.

 68% VIEWED AS: FIRST PERSON TO TRY NEW THINGS

To encourage a knowledge hoarder to open up and share, allaying his or her fear is key. Demonstrate your trustworthiness by collaborating generously with colleagues before you need to call on them. Recognize and reward people for collaborating effectively, allot time for them to work in small groups, and make knowledge sharing a regular part of meetings. Another strategy is to request the information in person. The tone of an email can be difficult to parse, and many people distractedly multitask on the phone. A little eye contact can help deliver your request clearly. Explain to the knowledge hoarder why you need the information and how it might benefit the business. By showing your team members that you’ve got no hidden agenda, they’ll be more likely to share the wealth.

Quiz: Are You a Knowledge Hoarder?

communication strategies you’ve found to be successful with the client.

Empty Nesters Defy Their Stereotype

> 6  8% consider themselves to be the first person to try new things

Fear is often the underlying reason for knowledge hoarding. Knowledge hoarders may be worried about losing the control that privileged information grants them, compromising their worth and therefore putting their job security in question.

Or they could just be concerned that they won’t meet their own deadlines if they take time to help someone else.

> When a coworker stops by for a chat, stand up to talk with him or her.

> Wear a headset that lets you stand while you’re on the phone.

Marketers may be too quickly writing off women over 45 who don’t have children under 18 living at home as behind the times and disengaged from pop culture. But recent research from marketing firm Influence Central reports just the opposite. In fact, this group of empty nesters is embracing independence. The survey found that:

Knowledge is power, and when colleagues are asked to share their knowledge, they’re also being asked to empower each other. In a collaborative environment, it’s easy to remember that helping the team will benefit everyone, but when competition rules a workplace, people might feel the need to stockpile precious information in order to stay on top. Known as knowledge hoarding, this practice stifles creativity and stunts business growth.

Recognize and reward people for collaborating effectively, allot time for them to work in small groups, and make knowledge sharing a regular part of meetings.

Beth Marcello, Editor [email protected]

Are You Standing for This? You may have heard that “sitting is the new smoking.” While that may be an exaggeration, the health benefits of simply standing more during the day are overwhelming. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that getting out of your chair and moving around for just a minute or two every half hour can improve both your work performance and your health. But what to do when you’re stuck at a desk all day? Here are five tips to get you moving.

How to draw information from reticent coworkers.

 58% VIEWED AS: FRONT-RUNNER TO TRY NEWEST THINGS

 65% VIEWED AS: SOURCE FOR THEIR PEERS

EMPTY NESTERS OVER 45

B Wait until there’s a concern over budget before informing 

the team of your connection.

C Say nothing. After all, it’s not your money they’re spending.

A new hire asks for help with looking up some data in a company archive. You’re too busy that particular day to explain to her how it works. You: A Quickly look up the data then set up a time later in the

week to show her how to use the archive for next time. B Quickly look up the data for her so you can get back to 

your task. C Tell her to ask someone else.

ANSWER KEY , MostlyA A s: You share your knowledge generously, and your company is benefiting as a result. , MostlyB B s: You’re cautious about sharing your knowledge. Being more proactive could benefit your whole team. , MostlyC C s: You’re hoarding. Rethink the way you share knowledge at work, and you’ll see better results.

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Network

Planning

The Right Way to Budget for Trade Shows

Women of Vision: Lynn Johnson

A booth can boost your bottom line.

PLAY THE FIELD

typically consumes 36% of the cost of exhibiting. Extrapolating from there, your total event budget should be about three times that cost. Remember, of course, that such benchmarks are merely a general guide. BREAK IT DOWN Those other costs include show services provided by the exhibition venue (17%), travel and entertainment (14%) and shipping (10%), as well as staff training, promotion and lead management. Don’t forget to consider opportunity cost as well — that is, time away from your day-to-day business. Should you attend, or just send a member of your sales team? Savage finds that her presence at shows is an opportunity to interact with clients and prospects more fully than she usually can, and feels the cost is justified.

Ask yourself which shows are worth your time and money. “When I first considered attending trade shows, I spent a year going to as many as I could,” recalls Nicole Savage, president of Nature’s Way, an environmental consultant and contractor based in western New York. After attending Most important, track all numerous events, “it became MEASURE RESULTS leads generated by a specific obvious which ones were the Most important, track all leads show so you can determine most productive.” Now, she adds, generated by a specific show so how much actual business they she attends four to five shows per you can determine how much actual eventually delivered. year. Since Savage’s business is business they eventually delivered. focused on a specific geographic Determining the return on investment region, her travel costs for doing the research were kept (ROI) is a simple calculation: in check. And it’s wise to experience local events before SALES GENERATED / COST OF EXHIBITING traveling far afield. SET AN ANNUAL OR QUARTERLY BUDGET Exhibition expenses will likely come out of your marketing budget, so you will have to weigh their value against other promotional efforts. But how much should you spend? One excellent way to help your investment fall within industry norms is to benchmark. According to research by trade show consultancy Red Cedar Marketing & Events, space rental

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A good customer relationship management (CRM) system such as SalesForce or NetSuite can fully automate this tracking, but Savage finds that a spreadsheet works just as well. Trade shows do require considerable up-front investment, but if you keep costs in check, they can be highly rewarding. It just goes to show that the most productive interactions are often face-to-face.

INSIGHTS: Speaking of risk, how do you cope with the risks in your work?

Lynn Johnson has photographed high-profile subjects from Tiger Woods to the entire U.S. Supreme Court, but her favorite assignments have focused on ordinary people persevering through extraordinary hardship. And with three decades of experience under her belt, this photojournalist finds herself evolving from observer to advocate. In the middle of preparing for a trip to Bangladesh, Johnson spoke to Insights about taking creative risks. INSIGHTS: Why are you headed to Bangladesh? LYNN JOHNSON: It’s not for an assignment, but something I’m doing MARK THIESSEN / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC for myself. I’m going to follow around a marvelous scientist, Lisa Jones-Engel, who studies the transmission of disease across the animal–human barrier. I feel immense gratitude for National Geographic, but at the same time I need to grow as a creative person. If you work only for one publication, your style adapts to that publication. We all get stuck, and this is a big issue for any of us, whether consciously creative or not. The challenge to be creative taps into that deep place wherever you are at any given time of your life. INSIGHTS: A lot of business people find it challenging to communicate a vision. How do you create images that tell the story you’re looking to relate? LYNN JOHNSON: I do a tremendous amount of research before an assignment. You immerse yourself in the subject matter so that when you go into the field, you’re filled with information. It’s as though your cells are bathed in that material, and then you don’t have to think about it consciously. That gives you more freedom to take the risks you need to take in order to bring together the creative and storytelling aspects of the photograph.

LYNN JOHNSON: Certainly I’ve had to deal with physical risk. I think I’ve relied on instinct, even when reality proves it wrong. But what fascinates me are the emotional risks — putting yourself out there and into people’s lives so they open up to you. I’m rewarded by seeing how people in desperate straits maintain an amazing spirit. The power of people’s spirit uplifts and amazes me at every turn. I work with a wonderful organization called Ripple Effect Images (rippleeffectimages.org), founded by Annie Griffiths. Its mission is to document the plight of poor women and girls

LYNN JOHNSON / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

For just about any industry, trade shows are ubiquitous, and more seem to be cropping up all the time. Exhibiting at a show can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business, but it can also be an expensive proposition. How can you decide if a trade show is worth your while? Here are a few tips:

PNC is proud to sponsor Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, a traveling exhibition that celebrates the careers and photography of 11 talented women photojournalists who have made a significant impact with their images. In conjunction with the exhibition, Insights is presenting a series of interviews with the featured photographers focusing on subjects at the intersection of their professional lives and those of our readers.

A lively gathering spot for customers, this beauty shop is a rare example of a woman owning a business in Zambia.

around the world and the programs helping them. Looking at the negative side of things enables us to celebrate the positive. It takes us out of that very dire mindset and makes us hopeful that we can effect change. To learn more about Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, please visit wovexhibition.org.

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THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Para leer este artículo en español, visite pnc.com/women.

How to create and maintain excellence across the board. Customers today have more choices in the marketplace and an increasingly powerful voice through social media — two factors that make a good experience key to your success.

“The customer always comes first.” That mantra has become so commonplace that you can hardly blame jaded consumers from questioning its validity from time to time. But placing the customer at the center of your company’s focus is more than just a catchphrase. It’s a critical business strategy that focuses on how customers experience your organization across multiple interactions. How critical? Consider that respondents to the Conference Board’s 2014 CEO Challenge survey of more than 1,000 company CEOs, presidents and chairmen worldwide consider “customer relationships” the second most pressing challenge they face, up from seventh place just two years ago. That’s no surprise: Customers today have more choices in the marketplace and an increasingly powerful voice through social media — two factors that make a good experience key to your success. But what exactly is customer experience, and how can you manage it? “Customer experience is the sum of all of a customer’s touch points with your company,” says Karyn Furstman, VP, customer experience at Safeco Insurance, as well as vice chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). “This shouldn’t be confused with customer service, which is tied to a specific interaction with your customer. It’s more holistic. It is the sum of the experiences that a consumer has with your company over the duration of your relationship with them. It is making decisions based on the customer’s point of view. But even more, I like to think of it as a way to connect with customers in a human way, rather than a coldly corporate way.”

Melissa Murphy, president of Melissa Murphy Marketing and adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, agrees, adding, “That’s not to say that you take your focus off profitability. Providing a positive customer experience should be measurable on the bottom line.” Customer experience goes beyond simply providing good service — it’s a systematic and continuous process that involves several steps.



With internal and external research in hand, construct a complete timeline of customer experience, known as the “journey,” which begins the moment a customer hears about your company, product or service. FIND OUT WHERE YOU STAND “The first thing that you want to do is talk to your customers,” Furstman says. “Start by listening, which you can do in so many ways.” One of the easiest methods is to Google your company to see how customers are referencing it online and in social media, suggests Furstman. With regard to the latter, you should not only be tracking mentions on social media and review sites, if relevant, but also engaging in the conversation. For a more systematic understanding of customer sentiment, consider surveys, focus groups and other marketing datagathering techniques. It’s key to follow up after individual transactions — a purchase or a customer-service call, for example — to see what impression your company left on a customer, and how you might improve the experience.

In addition to customers, you need to hear from employees, particularly those who work on the front lines. “They’re talking to customers every day,” Furstman says. “They’re the ones who do the heroics to try and figure out how to get around the system so that they can help that customer.” Ask employees for actionable feedback about problems you may be missing or processes that can be improved.

UNCOVER MOMENTS OF TRUTH Of the dozens or even hundreds of touch points that make up the customer journey, a handful may be considered moments of truth: key points of interaction in which the customer will decide whether to stay with your company or leave. Furstman offers the example of submitting an insurance claim. “For customers, insurance remains in the background until you have a claim,” she explains. “And then you really need to rely on that company, and the company really needs to perform, hopefully beyond your expectations.” What level of service do you deliver during those moments of truth? Fair to good? That may not be good enough.

MAP THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY Don’t be misled into gauging a customer’s experience based on moments of truth alone. A company that shines during key touch points can still manage to underwhelm. How? By overlooking the picture as a whole. With internal and external research in hand, construct a complete timeline of customer experience, known as the “journey,” which begins the moment a customer hears about your company, product or service. A 2014 McKinsey customer-experience survey of 27,000 American consumers found that an exceptional customer journey has the potential not only to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by as much as 15%. continued on page 8 . . .

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. . . continued from page 7

IMPROVE YOUR (SOCIAL) LISTENING SKILLS A social media presence is beneficial to most businesses, so you’ve probably done your best to manage a Twitter account, a Facebook page, an Instagram feed — and anything else that seems like it will help. Next comes the important part: learning from the information you get. Luckily, multiple tools exist for that very purpose. Called social listening tools, their goal is to help you glean important information from your social media feeds, so you can make more-informed business decisions and find new opportunities. Look for these features:  S  EARCH QUERIES Discover how people reached you by seeing a list of their search terms. Implement those terms in your future social media posts. M  ORE THAN HASHTAGS Use a tool that consolidates and reports on all activity occurring on your social media accounts — not everybody will include your business name or use a searchable hashtag within their correspondence. M  ULTIPLE SOURCES A listening tool should be as far-reaching as you want your business to be. Choose a tool that culls data from multiple varied sources — news publications, relevant professional forums, content communities like YouTube and Flickr — not just blogs and social networking sites. A  NALYSIS Many tools offer insights about what the information means, alerting you to areas of strength as well as positive or negative trends.

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Few companies consider a customer’s journey in quite the same way as Elf on the Shelf (elfontheshelf.com), an Atlanta company that sells a book-and-doll set with a complete backstory that co-CEO Christa Pitts says is intended to create a lasting family holiday tradition. “We actually have several layers of customers,” she says. “There are our retailers, there are parents and there are kids.” The company, she explains, works differently depending on what each retailer needs in order to facilitate the makings of a rich customer experience. “A bookstore will need something different from a toy store, and an independent retailer will need something different from a national chain in terms of in-store marketing materials, events and what its customer is looking for.” And as for parents and children, everything from mobile apps to web design and even the company’s voicemail message reinforces the fanciful story behind the products. “To our customers, we are the North Pole,” Pitts concludes. Focusing on the customers’ journey from initial awareness to their experience with using your product or services can be a transformative shift in how you view your company. Rather than taking an internal, operations-focused point of view, you gain a customer-centric perspective that reveals how internal processes — even those that aren’t customer-facing or those that appear unrelated to one another — affect your customer. The McKinsey study found that measuring satisfaction of customer journeys is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction. An understanding of the journey will inevitably reveal a number of weaknesses that need to be prioritized and addressed.

BREAK DOWN INTERNAL BARRIERS During the mapping process, it’s not uncommon to realize that disparate functions within the company are not so disparate from the customer’s point of view. “When customers call with a question about their bill, they don’t care which department it falls under. They just want it resolved,” says Michelle Neidhardt, SVP, enterprise customer experience at PNC Bank. “If a frontline employee is being asked to answer a customer’s question or resolve a customer’s issue, do they have access to all the information that’s necessary to do so? If they don’t, we need to go about getting it to them or establishing a process where there’s a clean hand-off to somebody who does.” By opening the lines of communication and sharing information among traditionally siloed functions, you empower employees to expedite solutions for customers.

IDENTIFY AND RESOLVE PAIN POINTS While solving problems as they arise is great, it’s far better to prevent the problem in the first place. By tracking service issues, you can determine root problems and resolve them at their source. Starting with moments of truth, create a list of pain points — errors, delays, inefficiencies — as experienced by the customer, and resolve them one by one. The goal, Furstman says, is to create as effortless a customer experience as possible. “When people think about customer service, they think about the no-expense-spared, bend-over-backwards Nordstrom model,” she says. “But sometimes as a customer you don’t want to be lavished with attention. You might just want to order something quickly and easily online.”

MEASURE RESULTS Creating a customer-centric organization is a long-term process, but you should be able to measure your progress, Murphy says. Depending on your industry, there are a number of metrics to track, including complaint resolution on first contact, escalations, response time, delivery time and, of course, customer and employee sentiment. For B-to-B companies, tracking profitability by customer will also offer an indication of how efficiently you’re servicing them. “The metrics depend on what you’re trying to achieve,” Murphy says. “For instance, if your production is running at 50% capacity, you should evaluate customer initiatives on how they grow that number.”

MAKE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EVERYONE’S JOB Finally, it’s important to recognize that customer centricity is, at heart, a culture issue. “It starts with making sure there is a shared vision for customer experience across the organization. Regardless of a company’s size, every area should understand the role it plays in delivering that experience,” says Neidhardt. “Culture is extremely important to us,” adds Elf on the Shelf’s Pitts. “We work hard to make everyone understand that we’re here to create family moments. It’s a responsibility that everyone takes very seriously.” In the end, Murphy notes, it comes down to people. “You want your employees to feel an ownership in the company’s story. What do we stand for? What do we value? What’s important to us? How do we treat people? Because regardless of the person, those things should always be the same. That’s what helps create a consistent, happy customer experience.”

4 TIPS FOR BETTER CUSTOMER SURVEYS Customer experience data is an important way to understand and improve your customer satisfaction rate — and eventually your sales. Whether your customer interactions are happening in person, online or on the phone, there are many ways to gather data about them. One tried and true method is to conduct customer surveys. According to an Oracle whitepaper, “Best Practices for Improving Survey Participation,” there are a few key points to keep in mind. 1 C  REATE CLARITY Questions should be relevant to the customer experience, short, simple and have clear answer choices. While too many choices can overwhelm, too few can frustrate your survey-takers. 2 D  ELIVER IT AT THE RIGHT TIME Time your survey so that the experience you’re asking about is still fresh in your customer’s mind. Within 24 hours of the interaction is usually best. 3

K  EEP FOCUSED Don’t try to cover multiple topics or learn too much in one survey. If you want people to finish and submit the survey, studies show that three to 12 questions is the right number to ask.

4 F  OLLOW UP Most important, let your customers know that they’ve been heard. Look for action items and communicate that you’re listening. People are much more likely to respond to a future survey if they know that their thoughts were considered.

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Education

Building Blocks

Widen the Scope of Business How a “gender lens” is helping reshape the global economy. Women are flexing their economic muscles, driving growth, creating wealth and, finally, receiving the recognition they deserve from both the investment community and policymakers. According to the American Express OPEN 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, from 1997 to 2014, female-owned businesses in the United States grew at a rate of one-and-a-half times the national average. It’s also estimated that as of last year, there are 9.1 million women-owned enterprises, employing nearly 7.9 million workers and generating more than $1.4 trillion in revenues. Globally, Goldman Sachs has identified investing in women and girls as “one of the highest return opportunities available in the developing world.” Sachs’ research shows that “women’s higher propensity to use their earnings and increased bargaining power to buy goods and services that improve family welfare can create a virtuous cycle: Female spending supports the development of human capital, which fuels economic growth in the years ahead.” These reports are part of a growing body of research laying the foundation of “Gender Capitalism.” An analysis of this phenomenon in the fall 2014 Stanford Social Innovation Review outlines the opportunities —and the challenges — of applying a “gender lens” to investing.

“A ‘gender lens’ helps investors gain new perspectives, highlight poorly understood inequalities, uncover new opportunities, identify blockages in the system, and find value where none was found before,” according to Stanford. For example, applying a gender lens to the capital markets highlights

Globally, Goldman Sachs has identified investing in women and girls as one of the highest return opportunities available in the developing world. the fact that women have a much harder time accessing capital than men. The publication reports that women starting and growing businesses around the world face an estimated credit gap (the difference between what they need and how much they are able to raise) of $320 billion. The opportunity for investors is that evidence also shows that women-led companies may deliver consistently better returns than their male counterparts. Applying that same lens to product development helps identify similar opportunities by changing the design process from designing for women to designing with women, the article notes.

Consider the example of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an international nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of women in resource-poor countries by providing cleaner burning stoves and fuels. There was clearly a need for these products, but adoption was spotty. When the Global Alliance used a gender lens to examine its poor sales figures, it found that the problem lay in product design. The stoves were engineered for the developed world and didn’t fit the way women in remote areas cook. To correct that mistake, the Alliance used gender analysis to identify a series of best practices, “from product design (observe women cooking and involve women in the design aesthetics) and production (give women the opportunity to manufacture components), to financing (support financial institutions in lending to women and consider rent-to-own or micro-consignment strategies) and distribution (use gender-informed marketing messages and offer trial periods to female distributors),” according to the Stanford research. The gender lens helped the Alliance improve its business model, which increased sales and the adoption rate of its products. Just think how many new opportunities could come into focus if you applied a gender lens.

QwithAa

As PNC’s director of supplier diversity and a PNC-Certified Women’s Business Advocate, Maureen Seskey helps ensure that PNC meets the highest standards of diversity in its purchasing activities. “I feel strongly that our diversity efforts have to align with our other sourcing priorities,” she says. “Those include saving money and making sure we have strong, productive supplier relationships.”

WBA

INSIGHTS: What first steps should a “diverse” supplier take when looking to gain a foothold with corporate customers?

Maureen Seskey: Suppliers need to have a unique value proposition. What do you bring to the table that your competitors don’t? Price is one kind of differentiator, but it’s not the only one. Perhaps you have specific experience in our industry, or your products or services are aligned with our efforts in the area of sustainability or data security.

INSIGHTS: Are there common errors that small companies make when approaching large purchasing organizations?

Maureen Seskey: Often a supplier will present a list of 20 things they can do, which makes them come across as a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. An organization like ours, with specialized purchasing professionals, wants to know your core competency.

INSIGHTS: What if I’m not sure my product or

Maureen Seskey: Certification as a WBE

service is appropriate for the organization?

(women’s business enterprise) or MBE (minority business enterprise) is an essential first step. But it’s just as important to make sure you’re in the pipeline of the companies you want to work with. At PNC, for example, you can register online, which will put you on our list for upcoming opportunities or outreach events in your area.

Maureen Seskey: I recommend establishing a relationship anyway. Like many corporations, we have diversity, sustainability and other criteria that our large suppliers must meet. So if we don’t have a need for your product, we might refer you to one of our suppliers to help them satisfy those requirements. >>> To learn more about PNC’s supplier diversity efforts and to register, visit pnc.com/supplierdiversity.

A Bright Idea: Using Cloud Technology to Improve Sales Cloud computing is already a familiar option for email, file storage and collaboration, but more recently it’s revolutionized credit card processing. Intrigued? Here’s how it works.

With the cloud, merchants can offer multiple payment options to customers, while in turn enjoying the simplicity and ease of a single integrated POS system.

Rather than (or in addition to) relying on a traditional retail terminal to complete sales, cloud-based card-processing transactions are handled by payment gateways or online point-of-sale (POS) systems linked to merchant accounts. One example is Clover™ Station, offered by PNC Merchant Services® (pnc.com/clover), which combines the features of a traditional POS terminal with the advantages of a cloud-based solution. Next-generation payment processing tools like Clover offer a number of potential benefits:

> A  utomated updates and backup. With cloud solutions, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re using the latest program version — updates take care of themselves. Additionally, data is securely and continuously backed up, safe from equipment failure or theft, which is good news for both merchants and customers.

> C  onvenience and mobility. When it comes time to make a purchase, customers want to choose whether to do so in a store, online or on their mobile devices.

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INSIGHTS: What do you look for in the suppliers you work with?

> Greater business insight. Because all of your data is collected and stored in a unified system, you can draw timely analytics across sales points to make more informed business decisions that benefit you and your customers. Plus, you can access the data from anywhere with Internet accessibility.

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After Five

Tune Out for Your Health Mobile technology has made it a little easier to be a career mom. With a smartphone in your pocket, you can stay connected to work while spending more time away from the office and with your family. Like ice cream, though, too much of a good thing often isn’t all that good. A 2014 survey by TripAdvisor found that a whopping 91% of U.S. respondents reported that they check their work email while on vacation, and 77% worked while on vacation during the previous year. The problem is that the productivity you think you’re gaining by being available 24/7 is actually eroding your effectiveness. A study by the University of California and the U.S. Army, reported in Psychology Today, found that being cut off from work email for blocks of time is actually good for you. It reduces stress, lowers cortisol levels and heart rate, and makes you more focused when you get back to work. So where can you find help to break your online addiction? On your smartphone, of course. There are dozens of apps available to help you tune out the digital noise while you focus on the real world.

For help with silencing the time-sucking chatter of distracting websites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, anyone?) without disabling mission-critical functions, such as your phone and text, try the apps Digital Detach, SelfControl or Anti-Social. If you need to check in with the office while you’re away, establish boundaries between work and play. My Minutes is an app that lets you set time limits. You can schedule, say, 30 minutes every morning and every afternoon to catch up on business, and you’ll get an alert when your time is up. Similarly, the app Moment allows you to set a limit and then tracks your daily iPhone use, gently warning you when you’re on it for too long. Or you can just download the same parental control apps you already use to limit your kids’ screen time. Apps like Parental TimeLock and Screen Time lock the screen when your time is up. Of course, as the grown-up, you have the code to get back in, but hopefully you’ll have learned something from your kids in the process. When the screen shuts off, it’s time to go outside and play.

articles you have read were prepared for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal, tax or accounting advice or as recommendations to engage ◊ The in any specific transaction, including with respect to any securities of PNC, and do not purport to be comprehensive. Under no circumstances should any information contained in this article be used or considered as an offer or commitment, or a solicitation of an offer or commitment, to participate in any particular transaction or strategy. Any reliance upon any such information is solely and exclusively at your own risk. Please consult your own counsel, accountant or other advisor regarding your specific situation. Neither PNC Bank nor any other subsidiary of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. will be responsible for any consequences of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained here, or any omission. The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the opinions of PNC Bank or any of its affiliates, directors, officers or employees.

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