The Ins And Outs Of Business Communication Management
For your business to exist in today’s world, you must know how to serve the “2019 Customer,” whose expectations are much different from a decade ago. They need to receive convenience, high-quality, immediacy, availability, and an exceptional buying experience.
Every interaction that occurs between your business and the customer must be outstanding, or they will switch to the competition.
Make sure you choose the right call center and the best contact center solutions of 2019, to ensure the management of your company’s communications is adequately done.
As a business owner, you recognize the rapid growth in the number of customer communications can cause clients to experience longer wait times, resulting in a lack of quality service and support.
To keep your customers satisfied, you need to act fast.
“Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” – Lauren Freedman
At your company, the “customer relationship” is a top core value, and you recognize the importance of having customer management processes in place to build trust and to strengthen client loyalty.
The thought of a communication breakdown is unbearable, but the rise in customer communications has far outgrown the capacity your employees can handle.
As a result of experiencing this high volume of customer calls, text messages, and emails, you notice the communication issue does not only lie with the clients but among your employees, as well.
With having employee-to-customer and employee-to-employee communication management issues, keeping track of conversations and interactions becomes extremely difficult to do, causing vital aspects of your business to become fragile.
You realize your company’s current communication management process needs to change and that the time to act is now, but are unsure of what to do next.
There is no doubt, your subsequent move is a crucial one, for what you decide now will either help or hurt your company further.
You should know, your business is not alone in this matter for many companies experience the same communication issues as you.
For you to lower your average call time, the best route is to use a call center, but first, you must choose which type is right for your business.
The center must be able to meet your company’s shortages and be fully equipped to help with specific communication management issues.
Which Call Center Is Right For Your Business
There are various styles of call centers, but the two main types are in-house and outsourced. The significant differences between the centers involve costs and ownership.
In-house Call Centers:
The in-house call center is owned and operated by the company.
This type of call center is often the more expensive one since the business must deal with all of the overhead costs associated with hiring employees and in buying communication management software, platforms, and systems.
There are several advantages to choosing an in-house call center, but the biggest one is its physical proximity to the core business.
Having your call center nearby allows for a better rapport between the call center agents and the business operation employees. Customer issues can be discussed, reviewed, and resolved faster.
Outsourced Call Centers:
The outsourced call center is often the cheaper option because the company does not own it, but, non-ownership can be a good thing.
The time and money it takes to hire agents, train them, and pay for their overhead expenses, associated with having an in-house call center, is not your company’s problem.
You can choose to have your outsourced call center be international or overseas, and depending on the currency rate and the center’s location; you will have the option to spend less.
There are significant components that will affect your call center decision making,
- Company Budget
- Call Center Location Preference
- Specific Communication Management Issues
The traditional call center uses the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment that the call center operators, own, host, and maintain themselves.
However, with advancements in technology your company now has more selections. You can choose to have a Virtual, Cloud-based, or Web-enabled call center.
The next step is to uncover and breakdown your company’s specific communication issues, which you will need to choose the right call center for your business.
What Does Your Company Need Help With?
Choose if your in-house or outsourced call center will handle inbound, outbound, or omni-channel communications.
- Customer Service
- Technical Troubleshooting
- Appointment Management
- Lead Generation
- Market Research
This style of communication provides customers with a seamless experience across their devices– desktop, mobile device, telephone, or in person.
Omni-Channel Communication is often the client’s preferred choice, as research shows, companies with omni-channel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers.
However, having a call center alone is not enough, especially when aspiring to meet or exceed the needs of the “2019 Customer”.
How To Decide If Your Company Needs A Contact Center Solution
You want to avoid experiencing the same communication issues your company had before incorporating a call center, and it is best to implement a contact center solution or to choose a center that does.
Otherwise, employees will continue to be dissatisfied with work, want to quit their jobs, resulting in providing poor customer service, and it will only increase over time.
Having a call center and using a contact center solution does not work unless the employee and agents do. Their role is vital in making the entire process work.
There is a 37% rate of attrition among call center employees during the first six months on the job.
Never forget, when employees are unhappy, everyone will feel the effects of it, including your customers.
Clients will still have to wait for service and call back several times due to their issues not being resolved the first time.
“Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” – Tony Allesandra
For performance to improve at your business, the communication process must become better, and a contact center solution will help.
Some solutions provide employees with call scripting and other methods on how to perfect phone pitches, which is essential, especially when it is estimated that mobile devices will place 162 billion calls to businesses by 2019.
Take note; the 162 billion calls does not include ones made by landline phones or any other form of communication.
A significant increase in your company’s communications will inevitably be too much for employees or agents to handle, causing more dropped calls, incorrect call routing, and a rise in wait and hold-times.
The longer you put off providing a solution to resolve the communication issues at your company, the harder it will be for your business to bounce back, later on down the road.
It is difficult to see your business in such a state, but denial will not improve your critical situation, and it is critical.
Every minute that passes, while your company’s communications are in peril, is costing your business, customers, employees, sales, and, ultimately, money.
Once your company loses too many people and dollar bills, you will no longer have a business to run, which is why you must find a solution now.
Without a contact center solution for your call center, your communication issues will not change, continuing to cause damage to your company’s reputation, client satisfaction, employee retention, and to its bottom line.
What Happens Now That You Know You Need A Contact Center Solution?
Your company’s two vital relationships, which ultimately hold it together, are falling apart, and understandably, you do not feel completely comfortable with putting the managing of your business communication in just anybody’s hands.
To start bridging the communication gaps happening at your company, you must find the best solution, but first, you need to learn your options to become comfortable with your choice.
Here are the five best contact center solutions of 2019, to help you decide which one is the most qualified to resolve your company’s communication issues, quickly and responsibly.
The Five Best Contact Center Solutions Of 2019
A telephone company with Cloud-based communication services, helps businesses of all sizes, with their communication management.
Here are a few of the products and services Nextiva offers,
- VoIP Phone Service
- Business Phone Service
- Live Customer Chat Software
- Multi-Channel CRM
- VoIP Phones
- Business Intelligence Software
- Campaigns And Email Marketing Automation
- Online Survey Software
Nextiva provides businesses with unlimited calling, as well as, multiple useful features that will help build and maintain your company’s relationships.
Nextiva has amazing reviews across the board:
- GetVoIP – 4.5/5 Stars
- Software Advice – 4.54/5 Stars
- FitSmallBusiness – 4.5/5 Stars
- Capterra – 4.5/5 Stars
Some of their features include,
An Automated Greeting
Their automated greeting is an answering service that directs customers to the appropriate department based on their needs, in a timely fashion.
Nextiva offers unlimited business texting from one platform, and this service makes it easier to text employees, specific groups, team members, departments, and even customers.
You will have the convenience of your text messages existing all in one place, keeping your company organized and connected to each conversation.
Voicemail To Email
When you miss an important client call, and the contact leaves a voicemail, your company can choose to have it sent as an email to a specific phone, keeping you on top of your communication game.
Professionalism is critical to customers and to your company, which is what Nextiva offers with their high-tech phone system.
Not only will it put callers into an organized Queue, but it also helps in providing each caller with exceptional customer service and care.
An “On-The-Go” Communication Management App
The Nextiva App connects and syncs the company’s devices to make communicating seamless and easy to master, even while on-the-go.
An inside sales software and engagement solution platform, VanillaSoft Pro, offers a variety of services to help manage the sales side of your business along with customer communication.
Here are a few of the products and services VanillaSoft Pro offers,
- Sales Engagement Software
- Guided Selling Tools
- ‘Queue-Based’ Routing Technology That Prioritizes Leads
- Integrated Communication Tools
- Content Management
If you feel like your company’s sales team needs a boost to increase profits, VanillaSoft Pro has a suite of helpful sales tools that your business can benefit from using.
Some of their features include,
- Call Scripting
- Automated Lead Routing
- Sales Cadence Management
- Lead And Sales Tracking
- A Content And Document Library
- Personalized Templates
VanillaSoft Pro also provides engagement support to assist your team with various methods of communication, whether it be with clients or one another.
- SMS Text
- Call Logging
- Call Recording
- Group Conferencing
You can make the communication process and management at your company much easier to do with the help of VanillaSoft Pro.
A cloud-based call center software for sales and telemarketing teams, ChaseData works with companies to make the call center, profitable.
No matter the company’s size, big or small, ChaseData’s software helps companies grow their call centers in a variety of ways.
Here are a few products and services ChaseData offers,
- Sales Cadence And Strategy Automation
- Live Chat
- Call Scripting
- Pre-Recorded Calls
- List Management
- Escalation Management
ChaseData offers cloud-based scalability with sales and marketing support tools to help you better reach and connect with your customers.
Some of their features include,
- Lead Routing And Integration
- Productivity Apps Integration
- CRM Integration
- Reporting And Analytics
- Appointment Setting
Their software allows your business to track customer sales, order history, and manage contact information, as well as, schedule client callbacks.
You can choose to use their telemarketing services, inbound sales, direct response teams, and sales professionals.
ChaseData helps cultivate contacts, generate leads, and can support your team in closing more deals. They will work with you and the call center agents to create a better customer experience.
An all-in-one call center platform, with real-time sentiment, DialPad, is designed to power your company’s communication methods, and to efficiently manage it across existing devices through the use of the Cloud.
Here are a few of the products and services DialPad Call Center Platform offers,
Their platform and support will enable your team to continue using their devices, not to disrupt the current way employees work and can keep communicating with their already built client relationships, which exist on their mobile phones.
DialPad Call Center Platform also allows integration to the sites, services, and software your team already uses, such as, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Gmail.
They provide an easy to use phone system with a multitude of features, making your company’s communication, uncomplicated and more manageable for the entire team.
A virtual call center solution made to increase your team’s productivity, Five9, uses the Cloud to offer multiple products and features to help your company waste less time and provide more availability to its customers.
Here are a few of the products and services Five9 offers,
- Sales And Marketing
- On-Screen Caller Info & History
- Call Routing & Agent Matching
- Smart Dialers
- Intelligent Routing
Some of the features they offer are,
- Minimize Agent Waiting
- CRM Integration
After reviewing the five best contact center solutions of 2019, you will need to narrow it down to just one, but it has to be the right one.
There are specific components and factors to look over before deciding on which solution will provide your business the help it needs with providing a better work environment and customer experience.
How To Choose The Best Contact Center Solution For Your Company
Before making any arrangements or commitments, look carefully at the state of your current communication process and its multiple issues to ensure you choose the best contact center solution for your company.
Start by asking yourself, your team, and call center agents, the following questions,
- How long are customers waiting to speak with a representative?
- Are customers satisfied with the service they receive?
- Is the company’s customer communication organized or all over the place?
- Do customers have to call in multiple times for the same reason?
- How often are customers placed on hold?
- Are customers reaching the right department and representative every time?
You and your team may need to conduct the screening of phone calls, and other forms of communication, to get accurate responses.
The next important component in finding the right solution is to learn what your employees or agents customer management capabilities are and what areas need improvement.
The questions below will help you in making this assessment.
- What are the top three items employees struggle with the most when communicating with customers?
- What is the current employee-to-customer communication ratio? Break it down by methods.
- How long does it take for your employee to respond to text messages and emails?
- Do employees sound professional and confident when speaking to customers?
- Are employees struggling to close deals?
- Do employees find it difficult to communicate with other team members?
- Is the sales team regularly hitting or missing their quotas?
To receive real answers from call center agents and employees, you may need to conduct anonymous questionnaires or one-on-one meetings.
Some of the information you are searching for can also be found amoung company reports, analytics, and in speaking with management.
The last important factor to review before choosing the right contact center solution, are your company’s finances.
Learn if your company can financially afford and sustain a long-term agreement to use a contact center solution.
To avoid causing future interruptions in the service your customers will become accustomed to receiving from your call center is why you need to make a realistic budget.
Having a deeper understanding of what is required to meet client expectations and what areas are causing your business communication issues, will help you find and choose the right solution.
The very moment a potential or existing customer communicates with your company, the buyer’s journey begins and is why you need to make a good impression.
Although you need to address a communication breakdown immediately, do not rush the process of choosing a contact center solution.
When conducting your online research, you will discover there are plenty of solutions floating around the internet, but you want only the very best for your employees and customers.
Therefore, you must be one-hundred percent sure of your decision and the fact that not all contact center solutions are equal, makes the process far from being a “one size” fits all situation.
To help with your decision making, you will need to review your call center needs, online searches, research results, and the five best contact center solutions of 2019.
The more information you gather, the better it will be to grasp the full scope of what requirements your company, the call center, and contact center solution will be; thus, it is time to create a list.
To narrow down your search of all that is needed, write down what it is you are looking to gain from using a contact center solution and your expected outcomes.
Take the necessary steps to shop around for solutions and make comparisons, until you find the one that checks off most, if not all, of the boxes on your list.
The time to open your checkbook is close, but before grabbing a pen or swiping the company’s card, reach out to speak with a representative from each of your chosen communication management solutions, to request a Demo.
Once you set up a date and time to receive a Demo of the software or platforms you are interested in, you will need to create another list.
What you need to include in this list is every question and concern you have about each contact center solution, and what you will want to ask during the Demos.
Share with the representative all of the current issues your company and call center is experiencing, along with the goals, objectives, expectations, and desired results you hope to achieve from using their solution.
It is best to prep the representative on the areas needing improvement at your company to allow them the opportunity to show you how their system can resolve it.
Some of the questions to ask when meeting with the contact center solution representative are,
- How will their system help improve both client and employee communication?
- What are the software or platform features and how are they useful to your company’s specific situation?
- Can they provide a step-by-step process of the system to show the customer’s journey, and how employees will benefit from using it?
- Will it help improve company sales?
- Can they provide information to back up the effectiveness of their solution?
It is also a great idea to ask the representative the same questions you used to pinpoint your company’s pain-points.
Request that they show you which of their products and feature(s) will assist in addressing each of your issues and concerns.
This process may seem like a long one, but it is a significant investment, especially since the solution you choose to use, is what will help your business manage your vital relationships, therefore, leave no stone, unturned.
Pay close attention to every part of the Demo, and ensure the right people from your company are invited to the meeting, included on the call, and can visually see all of what the software or platform can do for the business.
Ask to see all of the features of the solution, or at least cover the most prominent ones, to get a better sense of its usability, trainability, sustainability, and in determining if it is the right solution for you.
When speaking with the representative find out if they are willing to participate in a role-play scenario, which is to occur during the demonstration, where you pretend to be the customer and the employee.
During the role-play session, observe the representative, and watch their system, to see its effectiveness.
Not only will you learn if it can help your company’s customer service, but if it can also improve the employee’s job performance.
Ultimately, it is the best method to gain real insight into the system’s capabilities and responsiveness.
Having the opportunity to see and hear about what the contact center system offers, is essential, but, it is just as important to experience the customer’s journey and how the employees benefit from using their solution, which only role-playing can truly accomplish.
After you have gathered all of the information from your research and the Demo, call a team meeting to speak with department heads, decision makers, and with those who watched the Demo with you.
Go over your information and discuss the system, in detail, to receive team feedback and to gain an overall consensus.
Once all the steps are complete, and you have all you need to make a knowledgeable decision, comfortably, it is time to choose which solution is perfect in meeting all of your call center, team members, company, and customer needs.
It would be best if you continued working towards creating a less overwhelming environment for employees, and to provide necessary tools to improve the customer experience and to increase employee sales.
You will also be able to organize your business communication, and seamlessly handle a high volume of phone calls, emails, and text messages from clients, like never before.
Make the ultimate decision and choose to improve your company’s communication methods and skills, with a contact center solution.
Once you choose which of the five contact center solution is the right one, make sure you pay close attention to how its features help grow the company and do a regular check-up on its progress, to ensure you are consistently receiving a return on investment.
As you gain hands-on experience, you will become more familiar with the solution’s products and features, giving you an even better understanding of what works and what does not.
Eliminate whatever your company, employees, and customers are not benefiting from when using the solution, and replace them with other features that will bring better results.
Improvements to your company’s communication will come after you add a contact center solution to your call center, but to keep them coming, rests solely on your shoulders.
Do not make the mistake of “setting and forgetting it.” Be vigilant in knowing all of your business communication processes and how much of its new success comes from using the solution’s software or platform.
Since currency comes in many forms, it is essential to look beyond the dollar figures and to make sure time and training are not going to waste.
Forgetting to review each method of communication and its performance on every level, even after the addition of a solution to your center, can cause your business to experience the same communication issues as it did before if you are not careful.
One day everything may look like it is running smoothly, and the next, you learn, that in fact, it is not.
Communication management is critical to the health of any business, and it is of utmost importance that you never underestimate its power.
Using a contact center solution will help your company resolve customer issues, retain customers, convert calls into leads, and maintain a positive reputation.
However, if your call center and business lack in the proper execution of the solution, its products, features, and tools, the issues you are experiencing will remain.
If you choose to add a solution to your call center or use an existing one that does, be involved during every stage of the process, even years after the contact center solution becomes a part of your company
Converting prospects into buyers is your overall goal and whenever a customer contacts your business the opportunity of a sale exists, therefore, overlooking even the smallest detail or a specific communication method can cause significant money loss.
According to Invoca, your company is almost three times more likely to get a customer to contact you over the phone than through a web form.
In knowing how customers prefer to connect with your business, helps your company conduct priority troubleshooting, provide better customer service, and gain insight into which part(s) of the contact center solution is the most important.
You will impress your customers by offering better communication and improve company morale when you use the contact center solution to supply employees with the tools they need to experience success.
When you use the right solution, it will have a positive impact on your reputation, customer service, support team abilities, and company profits.
You have done all you can do to improve communications at your company and can be confident in your choice of implementing a contact center solution.
Congratulations, you can now begin reaping the rewards from all your hard work and commitment. Your efforts has set your company up for greatness, and you are well on your way to making 2019, its best year yet.
There’s A Flame-Throwing Drone You Can Buy, And It’s Completely Legal
The flame-throwing device can actually be used for industrial purposes other than burning people to the ground
An American company from Ohio called Throwflame is selling a drone attachment that allows users to spew fire in the air; it may not be the safest idea, but it can serve a practical purpose.
The flame thrower attachment is called TF-19 Wasp and can easily sound like a nightmare waiting to happen. The TF-19 Wasp gets its name from nature’s very own venom-stinging insect that could inflict pain with a single poke.
Throwflame sees that their latest product responds to a growing market need and can serve as an industrial solution in many applicable ways other than the morbid idea of burning people randomly—still a possibility.
According to an interview with Quinn Whitehead, Throwflame’s founder, by Gizmodo, people can purchase the attachment for recreation, agricultural use, and lighting stuff with limited access.
Throwflame calls TF-19 Wasp a “game-changer for clearing vital infrastructure, igniting remote vegetation, and eliminating pests.” But the flying fire dispensers are also useful for “nest elimination” and to “clear debris from power lines” with the convenience and safety of “remote ignition of aerial and ground targets.”
The company even said that the drone attachment could be used in domestic settings such as lighting barbecues to clearing the garden of weeds or cats.
More significantly, people have been attaching flamethrowers to drones for years now, and power companies do use them to clear trash and debris off of high voltage wires. It’s safer and more efficient than sending a human up in a cherry picker to pull off the garbage, Gizmodo reports.
“It’s definitely a unique concept,” Whitehead says in an interview with Gizmodo. “But any new technology is a little bit scary at first. You think back to when drones first got commercialized and popularized—they were cheap enough for the average person to buy—there was a lot of concern about privacy issues and people flying them all over the place, and swarms of drones blocking out the sun. But in hindsight, it’s kind of an overreaction I think.”
Comparatively, Elon Musk’s The Boring Company started the idea of recreational flame throwers with its Not A Flamethrower, a handheld fire-spitting gun, that gained popularity among younger consumers and has made an appearance in popular YouTube channels such as David Dobrik’s and Jeffree Star.
According to Musk, all of the 20,000 Not A Flamethrower guns offered were sold out. Meaning, there are 20,000 people with flamethrowers in their homes but, so far, we haven’t heard anyone use it to harm others intentionally.
Meanwhile, Throwflame said that only half of its customers pick up their products for recreational purposes, while the other half use them for agricultural work or lighting stuff where access is limited by foot or vehicle.
Throwflame even assured customers that their product is federally legal and is not considered a weapon and users are still required to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in addition to local ordinances.
The company’s FAQ says that “Flamethrowers are legal and unregulated in most counties. Chances are, we can ship to you.”
As of the moment, the four-pound TF-19 Wasp flamethrower drone attachment is available for purchase to the general public for $1,500. According to the company, the device can easily hold up to a gallon of tank fuel that should last users 100 seconds of firing time with a 25-foot (7.62m) range.
It burns through a mixture of petrol and diesel, although the company also offers napalm thickener – one scoop per gallon of 50:50 petrol-diesel mixture.
The company also offers a napalm-compatible standalone flamethrower called XL18 for more intense tasks. It provides a 100-foot (30m) range and can carry up to 3.3 gallons (12.5 liters) in its tank but will come at a higher price tag amounting to $3,000.
Depending on the drone used, users can have a visual input on their remote controls for farther distances and other hard-to-reach locations.
Furthermore, the device can convert your existing drones into a flame thrower menace or purchase the company’s recommended drone, which is a DJI S1000, which the basic kit costs another $1,500 but can go as high as $5000 for a full kit.
Throwflame says it’ll soon begin selling fully-assembled drones for $1,000 to $10,000, depending on what customers are looking for.
Orders placed on Throwflame’s website will ship in 2-4 weeks. The company will also build customized drone packages but will take an extra 1-2 weeks to accommodate the customization for user requirements.
“The WASP will be available for purchase on July 18, which is the anniversary of the beginning of the Great Fire of Rome under Emperor Nero in [the year] 64,” Whitehead said.
And if you act fast, Throwflame’s throwing in a free shirt for the first few purchases.
Netflix Investing In Originals Amidst Second-Quarter Loss
Netflix originals are starting to pay off for the streaming giant despite the subscriber loss in the past quarter.
Netflix reported a tremendous loss in its subscriber growth based on the latest second-quarter report of the year, which price increase, the brewing streaming wars, and lulling content all contributed to the streaming company’s plummet. However, Netflix can’t do anything about the first two problems; hence, it’s putting more money in its original content instead.
According to the quarterly report, Netflix lost 130,000 subscribers from the United States—a first for the streaming platform since 2011. Furthermore, only 2.7 million paying customers globally were added in the second quarter, which is not a small number but falls way behind the projected 5 million users.
Netflix stocks dropped by more than 10 percent before the market closed on the day the report came out—equating to around a $17 billion loss from its market value, analysts say.
Notably, the subscriber count loss can mainly be attributed to the price increase the streaming giant implement — an increase from $1 to $2 — which was announced at the start of the year that went into effect a few months after.
The platform is also looking at an imminently decreasing range of content that it can offer to its loyal subscribers, as the streaming wars begin to bleed Netflix dry and consequently, its subscribers in the process.
Specifically, the streaming giant is facing a large problem in its home country due to the looming oversaturation of streaming sites that will soon be available for all US citizens.
WarnerMedia, Disney, and Apple are all launching their own streaming services within the next few years, and they’re bringing their original content with them and taking them out of Netflix.
In recent reports, Netflix will soon be losing several heavily watched licensed series including fan favorites, and most watch TV series Friends and The Office to competitors WarnerMedia and NBC Universal respectively.
In perspective, Disney+ will be involving Hulu and ESPN in its list of available services on top of successful production houses such as Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel for the general price of only $6.99 a month. Netflix’s basic plan is currently at $9.
Meanwhile, WarnerMedia is also launching HBO Max that will certainly feature pop culture icons such as Game of Thrones.
If more than anything, both products could easily persuade US customers in subscribing to their service and away from Netflix.
As of the moment, Netflix has over 60 million paying subscribers in the United States, and the company is confident that it can get that number climb up to 90 million.
However, with the streaming wars looming, Netflix is not taking any chances and are already looking at solutions. Primarily, the streaming giant is looking to get more original content on its platform.
Now, there are permanent studio sets that have been purchased for Netflix to produce films and TV shows faster. It is also putting lots of money behind US shows and movies, signing hundred-million-dollar deals with high-profile showrunners like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.
Based on recent reports, the effort is paying off as Netflix continues to break records with its original movies and TV shows. One, in particular, was the recently released Murder Mystery movie that featured the tandem reunion of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston. According to Netflix, who seldom releases viewership statistics, it grossed over 73 million views from household accounts worldwide — more than Netflix’s entire US base.
Stranger Things 3, a Netflix original series that launched in Q3, attracted 26.4 million unique viewers in the first four days of its release in the United States. It was “the most-watched Netflix original series [that] we’ve ever analyzed,” according to Nielsen data.
There’s also more in store this quarter with one of its biggest shows, Orange Is the New Black returns for its final season with Season 7. Variety said that the all-women prison drama series have at least accumulated a massive 105 million users that have watched an episode of the show.
Related: Netflix Originals Is Going Asian
Netflix is also looking to expanding its demographic outside the US and into other markets like Asia and Europe. Thus, it plans to continue ramping production of more original content to cater to these new customers.
Three shows in particular: How to Sell Drugs Online (Germany), The Rain (Denmark), and Quicksand (Sweden) have all found big audiences outside of their native region.
Theodore Anthony Sarandos Jr., the chief content officer for Netflix, said that each show has garnered around 12 to 15 million global viewers and that “they’ve been deeply relevant in the home country, and travel the region very, very well.”
In its letter to shareholders on Wednesday, Netflix said that while its US paid memberships were “essentially flat,” the company expects it to “return to more typical growth” in the third quarter. It expects to add another 7 million subscribers in Q3.
2.2 Million More Patient-Victims Of AMCA Data Breach Came Forward
Clinical Pathology Laboratories blamed AMCA for not providing them enough information back in June.
A month after the medical collection portal owned by the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) fell victim to a data breach that has affected more than 20 million of their users from different blood testing laboratories and medical institutions around the country, a new AMCA partner lab came forward and said that their clients were also affected by the data breach.
According to Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL), 2.2 million clients may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, dates of service, balance information, and treatment provider information stolen from the previously reported data breach involving AMCA.
Last month, data were stolen from users of the AMCA payment portal that was used to pay for laboratory fees by more than 20 million victims. These data include their names, phone numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other bank details.
The list of impacted testing laboratories includes Quest Diagnostics (11.9 million patients), LabCorp (7.7 million patients), BioReference Laboratories (Opko Health subsidiary, 422,600 patients), Carecentrix (500,000 patients), and Sunrise Laboratories (undisclosed number of patients).
This time, Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL) says that an additional 2.2 million victims of the data breach come from their client list, and another 34,500 patients had their credit card or banking information compromised.
The company blamed the late announcement from CPL to AMCA for not providing them with enough information regarding the breach when it was first disclosed in June.
“At the time of AMCA’s initial notification, AMCA did not provide CPL with enough information for CPL to identify potentially affected patients or confirm the nature of patient information potentially involved in the incident, and CPL’s investigation is on-going,” said the company in a statement.
As of today, it is still unclear whether AMCA nor its partner companies have reached out to their clients to personally notify them about the data breach. Back in June, AMCA first disclosed that only 200,000 clients had their data compromised. However, reports from its partners have confirmed that the victim tally reaches 20 million.
AMCA and partners were slapped with lawsuits
AMCA, Quest, and LabCorp in June were slapped with at least 19 lawsuits concerning the data leak. More than 19 class-suite actions have been filed against the three companies for their involvement in the breach and their inability to fulfill the promise of protecting their clients’ sensitive information.
According to one of the lawyers in one of the lawsuits hurdled against the involved companies, healthcare providers are one of the most susceptible entities, but they have lackluster data protection systems.
“Healthcare companies are especially susceptible to data breaches not only because they aggregate a tremendous amount of important and sensitive data, but also because they tend to be less focused on cybersecurity protection than other industries,” said John Yanchunis of Morgan and Morgan, one of the firms who filed lawsuits against Quest Diagnostics.
Yanchunis said that these companies “know [that] they are at an increased risk and yet have not taken the proper steps to protect their patients’ data.”
AMCA filed for bankruptcy
Amid the data breach that centers the American Medical Collection Agency, the company has filed for bankruptcy and laid off more than 70% of its workforce, as cost in mitigating the impacts of the leak has to lead the company to lose a massive amount of money.
According to the company, the data breach “resulted in enormous expenses that were beyond the ability of the Debtor to bear.”
“Almost immediately upon learning of the breach, LabCorp unqualifiedly and indefinitely terminated its relationship with the Debtor,” the filing reads.
“Soon after, Quest Diagnostics, Conduent, Inc., and CareCentrix, Inc. which together with LabCorp were the Debtor’s four largest clients, stopped sending new work to the Debtor, and all terminated or substantially curtailed their business relationships with the Debtor.”
Cybersecurity experts have estimated that the company most likely to spend at least $400,000 for cyber forensics alone. Add to that the cost of IT support, severe restrictions that were put in place to protect AMCA’s network from further intrusion, looming court cases, and the loss of valuable business partners; it is most likely that the company was driven to the abyss of bankruptcy by the data breach.
Of course, to cut cost, AMCA has also laid off employees and only retained those who are significant in the legal battles it faces, including the lawsuits and its request for bankruptcy. AMCA’s current employee count is down from 113 to 25, which practically cut of 78% of its human resources. Fuchs has asked the court to consider a motion which will ensure the firm’s remaining staff will be paid during the process.
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