MAY 2011


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Tana's Tech Tip

Invoicing Just Got Easier in VCK and Veri-Shred!

If you are using Instant Invoicing in VCK, you might find the new Customer Category feature helpful in determining which customers to invoice for each period, whether it be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc.

First, you'll need to create a list of categories for your customers, for instance: Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly.  To do this, go to: VCK/Administration/Customer Category Codes.

Next, on the VCK Customer Setup/General Billing Setup tab, you can define the correct category for each customer. When creating Instant Invoices, the Category Code becomes a filter option in VCK/Office/Work Order Request when searching for Billable Work Orders to be invoiced.

Register for ASI WebShare Webinars

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions.

Register today for the next WebShare webinar:

Invoicing: Monthly vs. Instant
June 6, 2011
10am-11am & 2pm-3pm

Visit the ASI Learning Center for loads of educational and support information available online and onsite.

The Latest, Greatest...

Andrews Software product updates are at your fingertips. Be sure your business is getting the maximum benefit from your ASI software investment.

Check out the ASI Product Updates page on the ASI web site. You'll may also find it useful to visit the Release Notes and Help Manuals areas on the site where you'll find the latest information for ASI's records and information management software solutions.

Upcoming Events

Shred School
August 24-26, 2011
Spartanburg, South Carolina

PRISM/NAID/ARMA Joint European Conference
November 7-9, 2011
London, England

Useful Links

ASI Learning Center
Here you can view all ASI product help manuals.

24/7 Software Support
Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQs and more. Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket. One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours, plus you can view the status of your support question at any time simply by logging in!

Are you using
ASI Mobile Yet?

Email to find out how you can benefit from arming your drivers with technology.


Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)
Phone: 440-546-9771

Fax: 440-627-2089


Business gets personal at the PRISM Conference
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

You've heard the saying, “It's just business – nothing personal.” Who came up with such a statement? Our personal relationships are those cherished and protected connections with those we care about most. Likewise,a business that applies that same level of care and consideration tends to cultivate a client base that is extremely loyal, growing their operations as much by word-of-mouth as through expensive marketing campaigns.

If you know anything about Andrews Software, Inc. you know our mandate is to ensure business IS personal. As a RIM services vendor conducting business around the globe, much of our daily business is accomplished via computer or over the phone. ASI has invested a great deal in the right people and technology to ensure that a lack of face-to-face engagement does not diminish our ability to provide clients with the highest levels of service. And let's face it…When used appropriately, technology actually enables us to be extremely responsive to our client requests and requirements. We've even designed software to assist our records center and media vault in utilizing technology for their customers. InfoKeeper, VCKweb.NET and VVKweb.NET are software solutions available to our clients to encourage online, real-time access to information and data.

ASI at PRISM Conference 2011

Still, as much as we embrace the convenience of technology for furthering business relationships, you still can't beat a personal conversation with someone, whether it be on the trade show floor or over coffee or a nice meal. This is one reason we are huge supporters of our industry associations and events such as the recent PRISM International Annual Conference. Executive Director Jim Booth, Director of Events Melissa Burton and the PRISM staff put forward an exceptional event earlier this month in Miami, Florida. By all accounts, it delivered on education and networking, interlaced with a healthy dose of fun for everyone.

While day-to-day business may be accomplished through a combination of phone, computers and in-person training and meetings, the PRISM Conference (and events like it), is a valuable conduit that enables the ASI team to meet face-to-face with clients, prospects and other vendors. It's an exceptional opportunity for vendors such as ASI to further bolster existing relationships with our clients and colleagues, while developing new contacts.

Conferences are also invaluable in reminding us that there are others who share our daily challenges. They also provide a forum for relating business success stories, tips and ideas. Conferences and trade shows help us refuel and refocus. They help business get personal. At ASI, we wouldn't do business any other way.

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Register today for ASI spring/summer webinars!

Spring is a time of renewal. It's also a great time to get newly acquainted with the latest enhancements and features for your valued ASI software solutions. Attending an ASI WebShare webinar is a great way to accomplish this. The next WebShare webinar will be held June 8th and will highlight Monthly vs. Instant Invoicing. (Please see Tana's Tech Tip at left for more about Instant Invoicing.) You'll find this and the enitre ASI spring/summer WebShare webinar schedule listed below as well as on the ASI website. Take a look and register yourself and/or the appropriate staff today to gain the most value from your software investment.

  • June 8     Invoicing - Monthly vs. Instant
  • June 22   Veri-Shred Daily Ops: Calendar, Routes & Service Orders
  • July 6       InfoKeeper Training
  • July 20     ASI Mobile 3 Training
  • Aug. 10   VCK Customer Setup
  • Aug. 24   Veri-Shred Customer Setup

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Know your customer - 4 tips for increasing your customer retention rate
Colleen Francis

It's much easier -- and more profitable -- to keep an existing customer than it is to land a new one. Don't believe me? Just look at the numbers.

Research tells us that most North American companies lose half of their customers every five years. We also know that as little as a five percent increase in customer retention can increase profits by a whopping 75 to 95 percent. While this percentage can vary by industry, the overwhelming increase in profits is caused by three major factors:

Lower costs -- Selling to existing customers is between five to fifteen times less expensive (and takes far less of your time) than acquiring a new customer.

More referrals -- Satisfied customers are only too happy to refer you to their friends and colleagues, further reducing the time and cost of landing new business.

Greater revenues -- Every time you lose a loyal customer, you also lose the revenue stream they generated until you can find a new client to take their place.

The key to keeping your customers happy is to find out precisely what motivates them, what is most important to them and what they want most. Then, simply find the product that gives them what they want at the best value.

The following are four of the best practices used by some of the top firms in the country to increase their customer retention rates -- and maximize their profits.

1. Measure your current status

A very effective technique I discovered a couple of years ago is the third-party interview. Customers often won't tell you to your face the things you most need to hear, especially if it involves a criticism of your product or service. However, they're not nearly so reticent -- or so flattering -- when an independent third party asks them for their feedback.

If you want to know what your customers are really thinking, consider hiring a professional consulting company or telemarketing firm to conduct customer-satisfaction surveys on your behalf.

2. Confirm the criteria for success

Determine what's most important to the parties involved -- and make sure your definition of success is consistent with that of everyone else.

Sales people often take action based on what they think is important, rather than what is truly important to their clients. To be certain you understand your prospect's real challenges, ask leading, open-ended questions that allow them to reveal their real needs. For example, you might begin a conversation with something like:

"John, when I speak to executives like yourself, most often they tell me that although their business is going great, they have concerns about (name a problem your product addresses). Is this a problem for you?"

This process helps you determine which product features or benefits you should focus on. The key is to pick a few serious or common problems that your product can solve. That way, you're almost guaranteed that your prospect will say: "Yes, that's a problem for me, too!" Then you can follow-up by asking them to be more specific about the problems they're facing.

Remember: as a general rule, a sales person should talk only 20 to 30 percent of the time, and spend the remaining 70 to 80 percent of their time listening.

3. Know your customers

To serve your good clients well (and to decide which clients deserve the best service), you have to understand their strategic direction, how they operate and who makes their decisions.

Your salespeople can collect this information by writing up detailed account plans for your top 30 percent largest or most profitable accounts. These plans should include a review of the client's industry and revenue projections as well as information on how you are positioned in their industry, the threats to your position, your most recent customer satisfaction results and plans for expanding within the account and building and maintaining executive relationships. You can also ask your salespeople to review the plan with your executives to get additional insights on how to maximize the opportunities presented.

4. Ask questions

Successful sales people uncover specific problems first, and then align their products as solutions to those problems. So what are the right questions to ask your prospect? Those that move the prospect from an intellectual position of knowing they have a problem that needs to be solved, to an emotional state of trusting you to solve that problem for them. The right questions, in other words, are those that reveal true buying motivations and get the customer engaged in a conversation. Unfortunately, many people are often vague when asked what is most important to them.

To help clarify exactly what your customer needs, avoid non-specific inquiries and focus instead on probing questions that will establish exactly what is expected -- questions like:

  • What are your top three priorities defining the success of this project?
  • Specifically, what is most important to you?
  • When you reflect on this project, what needs to be in place for you to feel that it is a complete success?
  • What does success on this project look like for you?
  • How will you do that?
  • How will you deal with that?
  • What plans have you made to handle that?
  • How is that working for you?
  • How do you mean?
  • What have you done to fix that?
  • When you say (insert vague word here) , what do you mean by that? How will you use that to your advantage?
  • How will your toughest competitor react to that?
  • Is that what you really want?

If your prospect still has trouble being specific, make some suggestions to help them. If they really don't know what they want, start by asking them what they don't want. Explain that your questions will help you better serve their needs, so they can take their own business to the next level.

Reprinted from Colleen Francis is President of Engage Selling Solutions. Engage Selling produces measurable and lasting results by delivering practical and challenging programs focused on developing potential in Sales, Customer Service, Sales Management and Leadership and Company Reputation. For more information about Engage Selling speaking programs, training, consulting or mentoring please contact us at 613-730-7700 or ; .

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