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We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!




This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Woman using a laptop with the Webwizard login in the screen

 

Now that I have a few training sessions under my belt upon my return to REM, I’d like to share my experiences with you as a trainer, and as a fellow student. Once we have designed, built, tested and reviewed your website, we typically reach out and schedule a training session with you. Pre-pandemic, we would invite you into our awesome office and hangout in the boardroom. Nowadays, we’re inviting you into our homes and conducting training sessions virtually.

 

Depending on the site we’ve built for you, sometimes we split your training sessions into two parts, one 1.5-hour session for our standard modules and a secondary session for anything custom on your site, for example – eCommerce. As a student, I know first-hand that there is a lot of information provided to you, and it really is difficult to absorb new material. As a trainer I know the majority of what is presented to you in the training session doesn’t quite resonate until you’ve had a chance to play with the tools. 

 

Here are some tips to help you through the training session:

 

Taking notes is NOT essential

I know this is slightly breaking every rule when it comes to learning. However, we have compiled training documents for you and will send them after the session is complete for your reference. I honestly believe, you will get more out of the training session if you’re focused on how to navigate our tools.

 

Ask questions

Our trainers won’t get upset if you interrupt us. I promise. If you’re unclear of how something works based on the way we’ve presented it to you, ask us to clarify or explain it in a different way. Remember, we want you to succeed.

 

Provide us with hypotheticals

Our trainers do our best to understand your business, however we are limited, during your training sessions, give us examples of the results you want to achieve and we’ll show you how.

 

Once your training session is over, you’ve received the training documents go into WebWiz@rd and update your content, make changes and get a feel for how it works. Remember, that’s not the end of the road for your learning either.

 

If you’re trying to change something and you’re stuck email us at support@remwebsolutions.com – we’re here to help.

 

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This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Illustration of multiple devices with online shopping graphics

 

I have to admit, I’ve never been one to shop online. I was stuck in the mindset of only making purchases if I could touch a product. With the onset of COVID-19, I was forced to surrender myself to the world of online shopping. Let’s just say I may never return to a shopping mall again.

 

The year of 2020 brought us all challenges, it also brought us new experiences and the way we do things has forever changed. My online shopping addiction holds a strong case for business owners that are selling tangible products – it’s time to look at your options.

 

Of course, there are many platforms that exist that can give you an online marketplace, however they do come at a cost. Some of them charge transactional fees, some require you to pay a monthly subscription and you will often find yourself waiting for assistance on a support line when something goes wrong.

 

If you haven’t guessed yet, this is my shameless plug for our WebWiz@rd eCommerce Module. It really is a behemoth of a platform and allows you showcase your products, limit your transaction fees (we don’t believe in dipping into your hard-earned profits), and feel confident that you are in full control of the products you want to sell and how you want to present them to the world.

 

Here are a few reasons as to why I personally enjoy working with our clients who use our eCommerce module:

 

It looks great

When we design the look and feel of your eCommerce pages, we ensure it’s cohesive with the design of your website. Most online marketplaces offer you template looks and colours, with our eCommerce module we deliberately design and build it to give your customers a pleasant visual experience that keeps them searching through your products.

 

It’s easy

Yes, you can have complicated product offerings, however we have done our best to build you a tool that makes complicated, easy. Not only are we here to train and guide you on how to showcase and organize your products, we’re also here to support you throughout your journey of selling online. When you hit a roadblock, we’ve got your back!

 

It’s customizable

Not only is the design custom to the look of your website, our developers are able to tweak the module to ensure that it fits your needs. We’re aware that each business has different needs, especially right now and our team will work tirelessly to ensure that we provide you with the tools that you need to succeed.

 

If you like what you’ve read about our eCommerce module, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to have a conversation about what you need to flourish!

 

This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Illustration of people in front of CSM lettering

 

Our REM team consists of many different roles, in this blog I’m going to highlight some of the responsibilities of our Customer Success Team. Our Customer Success Managers (CSM’s) at REM act as hybrid contacts for you from the start of your journey with us, through the deployment and are here to support you after your website goes live.

 

The Early Stages

At the beginning of your project, CSM’s will typically reach out to start the discussing the hosting portion of your contract with REM. This includes transferring any domains, setting up DNS and email hosting. During this time, we explain the hosting packages that we have to offer you, discuss the importance of SSL Certificates and most importantly introduce ourselves!

 

Testing and Site Review’s

Once your site is built and tested by developers, the CSM’s will do a second round of testing. At REM we take testing your website very seriously to ensure that we hand you the best functioning website that we can. Once your site has gone through the rigorous testing stages, we reach out to you to schedule a Site Review (this is my favourite stage). A site review is the first time you see your website in its functioning form on our staging server. It’s typically a 15-minute conversation between you and your CSM reviewing the site together and discussing the outcome of the design/development of your site based on your engagement letter and concepts.

 

Training

WebWiz@rd is a fantastic tool, it is user friendly and easy to navigate. CSM’s are armed with the knowledge and tools to provide you with training that is simple for you to understand and empower you to continuously update your website all on your own. We have many different modules ranging from our media collections, blogs and newsletters, eCommerce platforms and many more customized solutions based on your requirements. Our CSM’s will show you the ropes and guide you through managing your website.

 

Support

One of the most important aspects of our business model is to ensure that you always feel supported. Whether you’re struggling with changing something on your website, or something isn’t functioning the way you predicted, our CSM’s are here to support and help you. Whether you send us an email, or give us a call we’ll be sure to listen and help.

 

CSM’s at REM are here to build relationships with you and our goal is your success!

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Businesses often focus on ways to grow their business, promote their brand and increase profits, but providing excellent customer service can help accomplish all these goals with little to no extra cost or training.

 

Build loyalty with great experience for your customers.

 

People don't pick businesses based on product or price alone. The experience they have at your company can be the difference between loyal repeat fans and ambivalent customers. Ambivalent customers are quick to jump onto promotions and discounts offered by competitors. But loyal customers stick with your brand because they know they can expect high-quality service.

 

Building your reputation is key to your business's long-term sustainability. Done very effectively, customers will spread the word about your company and bring in new customers without any additional marketing from your end.

 

Customer service pays off

 

Building loyal customers who continue to patronize your business and bring in new customers only helps your company grow. Businesses rely on repeat customers to stay competitive. Customer service is one of the best ways to engage customers in your brand and encourage them to come back.

 

  a woman shaking a man's hand

 

Exceptional customer service is a simple but highly effective way to help your business stand out. While competitors might rely on flashier products or dramatic promotions, your company can steadily build a business with consistent customer service.

 

Customer service is especially important for small businesses.

 

Large corporations or big box stores can afford to offer the lowest prices with their high-profit margins and cheap manufacturing practices, but friendly customer service can eliminate customer reservations about slightly higher prices. Many consumers are willing to pay a little extra for products or services from a local business, especially when they provide a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.

 

While researchers haven't quite proved that excellent customer service boosts employee morale, the two are related. Positive feedback from customers results in better morale, which leads to more - or even better - customer service. Psychologists name motivation and performance (including customer service) as a sort of chicken and egg conundrum. We may not be sure which came first, but the presence of one usually draws in the other.

 

For more information on how to keep your business competitive, including customer support, web design, and marketing strategies, contact us at REM Web Solutions.

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

WRFN's website on in a computer monitor

 

About

For families of children with special needs in Waterloo Region, Waterloo Region Family Network is the most broadly resourceful organization because: we are built by families, for families; we don’t require a diagnosis or criteria for eligibility; we provide resources and facilitate meaningful connections for families of all life stages. Our overarching purpose is to serve the family to support the child.

 

WRFN's Main Contact Person: Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 

No. of Employees: 7

Established: 2009

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit WRFN's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We liked REM’s personable approach. When we reached out for a quote they asked to meet in person so they could fully understand what we needed from a new website. REM clearly explained what could be done and at what cost. We also appreciated that they provided a Not for Profit Discount.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. They were patient with us and took the time to understand how we needed our new website to function. They also provided training for our team that was geared to our level of understanding! Not only was REM great to work with while they developed our website, they have continued the same level of customer service with any ongoing support we’ve needed.

 

 

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. 

 

-- Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

The Importance of Email Security and Strong Passwords

 

secure server room hi tech sleek future

 

Email security and password safety are important for individuals and businesses alike. As online scams increase, it's important to protect yourself, your clients, and all confidential information. 

 

Why Internet Security Matters

 

Internet safety means keeping private information in the right hands. If your emails or your client's information gets hacked into or leaked, this will lead to future problems. It will also diminish client trust in your brand due to the fear of information leaks. Sensitive information being leaked, computer damage, and even identity theft are risks of not taking internet security seriously. Long story short, it will end up costing you time and money to not take this stuff seriously.

 

How To Choose a Secure Password 

 

When trying to keep your business safe, be sure to follow these tips to create a secure password.

 

  • Use a long password, at least 8 to 10 characters long with a mix of capitalized letters, numbers, and special characters. It is important to note that this is a minimum, and you should generally try and use as many characters as the password field allows, with as much variety in the characters as possible.

 

  • Whatever you do, do not use the same password for every account you have. Even if the password is extremely secure, if it gets hacked in one location, you will lose literally everything that you use that password for. This includes banking info, social media accounts, the login password for personal or work computers, and even online gaming accounts.

 

  • Do not use personal information about yourself as a password, such as your birthday or the name of someone in your life, as this information can easily be found and used to hack your account.

 

  • There are programs such as KeePass which allow you to store passwords in an encrypted way to avoid letting them slip into the hands of a hacker, all the while allowing you to keep them in a well-organized list for reference. It is terrible practice to physically write them down, but if you do decide to write down your passwords somewhere, consider using a code that only you understand to avoid prying eyes from attempting to use it.

 

  • If available, consider using a password authenticator. These are usually either physical devices (see image below) or are attached to an app on your smartphone. They work by generating a random number or password every 10-12 seconds which a user must enter in addition to a password when logging in, and basically provide an extra layer of security. These are common for some high-security companies and banks, and employees are often required to use them to access workplace computers.

 

  • If you are not keeping a record of the password, use a sentence or phrase as the main base for your password to allow you to remember it slightly easier. Create an idea involving a memorable person doing a unique action with an object, and form your sentence. Then, using that sentence select a few characters and add in various numbers and letters. For example, if your sentence was "the Joker lifted a toaster with his elbow" your password could be something like "JokLif4Toa@3lb." 

 

  • Change your passwords every few months to keep yourself safe from hackers, and to interrupt any ongoing attempts to crack your passwords. 

 

 

user with a password authenticator banking security

 

 

How To Recognize When an Email is a Scam 

 

Along with keeping yourself safe by creating strong passwords, it's also important to determine whether or not an email is safe or not before clicking it. Make sure you know the sender before opening a message, and if you have never received an email from the sender, be wary.

 

Never open an attachment or links from an unfamiliar source. Check whether or not a link is legitimate by hovering over it (but not clicking it) and checking the bottom of your screen. Be extremely cautious of any links that are not a common .ca or .com domain.

 

If the sender is asking for money or giving you information about rewards, check facts and never share personal information through email unless you're completely sure it's safe (in fact in this case, it is best to just remember the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"). 

 

If you are receiving a high volume of scam and spam emails, consider using a spam filtering service such as FuseMail (which we offer starting next week as a part of our email package). These services will do most of the detective work for you, and you won't even see 99.9% of the spam emails as they will be stopped before they ever get to your mailbox.

 

Be sure to include opportunities for customers to share information or questions about scams in your web design, through forms or contact links. Ask them to let you know if any scam emails appear in their account attempting to impersonate you or your company. This way, your clients will know to trust you and you'll be aware of fraud attempts and possible disclosures of sensitive information. 

 

If you have any questions about this, or even have personal stories about this you would like to share, feel free to reach out to us at our Support Email. You can also contact us here through our website.

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This is a headshot of Rob Matlow.

This is a continuation from part one that talked about the creative brief process in our designs.  

 

After our design team, has reviewed the creative brief with our design team the begin the design process.  In a matter of days, the graphic designer provides an exciting look at the website concept and solicits early feedback from our clients.  This early feedback is unique to our process and is instrumental in designing the perfect website.  This feedback loop is repeated up to 4 more times.  To state it concisely, we allow up to 5 rounds of revisions per project. That’s more than any competitor we’re aware of.  We really want to make sure you love it before we build it!

 

Once a concept is approved by the client, the design files get send to our development team where all of the powerful WebWiz@rd components are attached by a dedicated developer. 

 

Every part of the project is tested during implementation by the developer and then double checked by your account manager.  A final check is performed between the completed product and the original agreement.  Once complete, the beautiful new website is held on our staging server and presented to our customer.  We call it a tour.

 

In conjunction with the tour, our technical support team will invite the entire client team in for training.  Training is designed to quickly demonstrate how the new tools work and to make it easy for our clients to make their own content changes in the future.

 

The new website remains on the staging server until the customer is ready show it to the world.  While on the staging server, the customer is free to modify their content, add new pages, transfer existing content from other sites, all while keeping their existing site up and running.

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This is a headshot of Jillian McBurney.

Growing up I would have never thought that I would find so much interest and enjoyment in validating data; specifically, in data quality and data integrity.  My interests and strengths were in the arts and to be quite honest I don’t even think I mentioned the word “data” for the first 25 years of my life let alone understood what data quality and data integrity meant.  Even if I had been told their meanings at a younger age I was never in a position to understand their definitions in a practical way.

 

As I write this blog I am trying to think of any instances throughout my adolescence that would have predicted my interest in this area.  I’m coming up empty handed for anything obvious.

 

Regardless, it is something that I enjoy now and it is something that I am very good at.

 

Data quality isn’t optional.  It is a must. 

 

It is essential that our data is unambiguous and accurate to ensure that our day-to-day operations remain productive and straight forward.  This level of quality prevents costly errors and when analyzed allows us to make informed decisions. 

 

Data integrity is essential.  Full stop.

 

In our business there is no excuse for a lack of data integrity and as part of my job I am tasked with reviewing, correcting and enforcing data integrity across a number of REM’s systems; project databases, client datasets and financial systems.

 

Providing high quality data that is accurate and consistent across all systems can be a bit more time consuming but it is worth the extra effort.  Incorrect and disordered data can have very negative ramifications and can take much longer to fix (if any issues that arise can be fixed at all).

 

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Contributors

Shauna Ramsaroop
40
February 24, 2021
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Christine Votruba
28
January 15, 2021
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Rob Matlow
103
December 31, 2020
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Ryan Covert
48
July 26, 2019
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Sean Sanderson
63
July 23, 2019
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Matt Stern
4
July 16, 2019
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Sean Legge
1
June 28, 2019
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Sean McParland
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