ACRBO Association of Computer Repair Business Owners Wed, 28 Apr 2021 14:57:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Psychology of Online Reviews Wed, 18 Sep 2019 17:00:00 +0000 Did you ever stop to think why customers write reviews? What factors trigger them to take the time to tell others what ...

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Did you ever stop to think why customers write reviews? What factors trigger them to take the time to tell others what they think about a business, product, or service?

These factors can be positive or negative, but there’s no getting past that fact that reviews are a vital part of any company’s online marketing strategy and can make a big impact on their bottom line.

A full 93% of consumers say that online reviews impact their buying decisions.

By studying the psychology of online reviews and which things encourage people write them, you can tailor your messaging to help your business garner more positive customer reviews which in turn will drive more sales.

What Motivates People to Write a Review?

People don’t have to give reviews, and most of the time they don’t gain any benefit from giving one. But still, there’s no lack of fresh reviews popping up on sites like Google, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here are some of the motivating factors behind someone clicking that rating and review button.

To Have Your Voice Heard

Many people enjoy the opportunity to express themselves and have their opinion read by hundreds or thousands of other online consumers. There’s also a validation when someone clicks the “like” button saying that your review was helpful.

Basically, if we have an opinion about something, we want to express it, whether it’s at a backyard BBQ or an online review site.

We Want to Let Off Steam

Many negative reviews are motivated by the desire to let off steam and vent about an unhappy experience. Some people want to warn others about a brand or product, while others are looking to get the attention of the company so they can get some rectification for their issue.

You can often see the emotion behind negative reviews, especially when they’re written in the heat of the moment when someone has just had their day ruined by a cancelled flight or had a frustrating experience with customer service.

Reward a Great Company

In a study by online review leader Trustpilot, 66% of North American consumers wrote a positive online review to reward a company for a great product, service, or experience. If a company treats them right, they want to share the love and help the company gain more business.

Companies that treat their customers well and address issues right away, tend to turn customer into fans. And even if a person didn’t initially have a great experience, they’ll be won over if a business goes out of their way to make them happy.

Give Kudos to an Employee

Another motivator in the “reward” category is when a customer wants to draw attention to an employee that they feel is exceptional.

For example, say you’re waiting in a long returns line and the guy in front of you starts verbally unloading on a poor overworked customer service clerk. But the clerk handles the outburst professionally, never faulters from a polite demeaner and then greets you with a smile when it’s your turn at the counter. That’s the type of behavior that will motivate someone to write a review to give kudos to the employee.

We Want to Help Others

One of the biggest motivators for online reviews is help others make a better buying decision. Another interesting statistic from the Trustpilot study was that helping others is the motivating factor for writing a review for 65% of women and 59% of men.

If we’ve had a bad experience, we want to warn others away. If we’ve had a good experience, we want to let others know, “Hey, I just found the best computer repair shop ever!”

It Can Be Anonymous

You might not want to tell the person at the rental car counter how you feel in front of everyone or even have them know it’s you that gave them 1-star. Online reviews allow anonymity, so you can say how you really feel without the stress of making a scene in public or having it impact your future dealings with the company (if you have to do business with them again).

We Enjoy Completing Tasks

For a certain segment of the population (typically the Type A’s) there’s a certain satisfaction gained from clicking the review button in an email and filling out a star rating or review.

If your email requesting a review is especially inviting and includes a clear call to action with a big button, a customer is even more likely to click through to the review form or site because they gain a sense of task completion.

Why Do People Trust Online Reviews?

Why are online reviews so powerful? Another important part of the psychology of reviews is understanding what people see in reviews that makes them a key part of their buying decisions.

Statistics help tell the story about the importance of reviews and why companies need to make them a main part of their marketing priorities. Here are several review statistics every tech business owner needs to know:

  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 72% of consumers trust a local business more if it has positive reviews
  • 92% of people will buy from a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating
  • 72% of shoppers will take a buying action only after reading a positive review
  • A 1-star increase in a Yelp rating means a 5-9% increase in revenue

Let’s look at why people hold reviews in such high regard and rely on them so much before they’ll do business with a company.

They Inform Social Proof

Social Proof is also known as informational social influence and it described the practice of copying the action of others in a given situation due to an assumption that the surrounding people may posses more knowledge than you.

Reviews give us information about what our peers may be doing or thinking about a certain business, which then consciously or unconsciously tell us how we should also feel about that business. It’s especially powerful if the reviewer is similar to us in some way (single dad, cat owner, etc.)

They Give Us a Closer View

If you’re researching a business online, you may have never been in their shop or bought anything from them, so your knowledge of the real experience is limited.

Reviews give us the ability to get a closer look by reading about the experiences of others. How was this company to work with? Do their products do what they say? Did you call customer service and get helped right away? Those are important pieces of first-hand experience we’re interested in hearing from others.

They’re Unbiased

You may have a salesperson promising you that their helpdesk is the best in the world and open 24/7. But you want to know if that’s reallythe case, so instead of relying only on the salesperson, you’re going to seek out unbiased reviews.

Now, not all reviews are unbiased, but savvy consumers can usually spot the fakes planted to make a business look good and differentiate them from the true reviews. Getting an unbiased opinion is a big reason that people place so much value in online reviews.

They Fill the Knowledge Gap

Not all websites have all the details you need to make a purchasing decision, and often reviews can fill in those knowledge gaps much better than a company’s FAQ.

Is my cat going to enjoy this new healthy “no filler” cat food or will he reject it? Does this men’s shaver really give a smooth shave or is it going to tug and pull? These are the kinds of questions that people look to other consumers to help them answer, because they trust they’ll get an honest and detailed answer.

Positive vs Negative Reviews

There are always those business owners who would rather not promote reviews at all because they’re afraid a negative one will ruin their business. But the fact is they’re losing more by not gathering positive reviews than they would by getting one negative one in the mix.

A pair of studies in Research Digest about the psychology of reviews showed that people were still impressed with a company after reading early positive reviews, even if negative reviews came later.

In one study, participants were told to read Trip Advisor reviews for a hotel, part of the group reading from positive to negative, and the other started with the negative first. The group that started with the positive reviews kept an overall positive view of the hotel, even after they read through the negative reviews.

Even One Review Can Make a Difference

The more reviews the better, but even one can make a difference. According to a USA Today article, the more reviews, the more buys businesses get, but even one can cause more customers to click through to your website.

Going from zero reviews to one review can increase the rate that an online “window shopper” clicks the purchase button by 65%. It’s estimated that approximately 20% of sales come directly from a consumer reading an online review.

So, if you have that one review, should you wipe your hands like you’re done? Not by a longshot. Consumers are looking for recent reviews and they give those more weight than older ones.

40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks.

So, it’s important to put into place an automated system where you’re encouraging customers to review your business regularly so you can keep a fresh supply of new reviews.

Make Reviews a Key Marketing Priority

The reviews your company receives are not out of your hands. Understand reviewers and why they write reviews and apply that knowledge to a program that regularly request and promotes your customer reviews. Making reviews a priority will directly and positively impact your revenue.

Ramey Bell is the founder of

Visit for 20% off for ACRBO members.

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Top 12 Myths of Online Reviews… Busted! Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:53:08 +0000 Are misconceptions about online reviews keeping you from fully utilizing this vital business sales tool? If you think “no one’s reading ...

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Are misconceptions about online reviews keeping you from fully utilizing this vital business sales tool? If you think “no one’s reading them anyway” or the risk of promoting reviews outweighs the benefits, you could be seriously hurting your company’s opportunities for growth.

90% of consumers check out online reviews before visiting a business, and 31% of them are likely to spend more money with a company that has “excellent” reviews. Reviews impact whether someone looking for a local computer repair shop passes yours by in an online search or chooses you over the others.

Don’t be held back by a misconception. Here are some of the common myths that some people believe about online reviews, and what the facts really are.


Myth 1: Most Online Reviews are Fake

Myth:Companies have been caught putting up fake reviews for themselves, and even bad reviews for competitors, so there’s no point in using reviews.

Fact: While there are definitely those companies that try to game the system, fakes are not the majority. It’s estimated that 9 out of 10 online reviews are real. Many people are also savvy enough these days to spot a fake from a real review, and most consumers believe the reviews they read and rely on them for choosing who to do business with.


Myth 2: Reviews Won’t Show Up in My Search Result

Myth:If people are looking for my services, my website will show up before any reviews.

Fact:When people are looking up a local services business, their search will most likely go something like this:

  • Computer repair shops
  • Find names of some to look up
  • (name of computer repair shop) + review

People use the term “review” often when deciding which business to trust, and if you don’t have any reviews, they may wonder why. Additionally, Google My Business, puts reviews front and center on any local business search by listing your business and rating at the top of the search result.


Myth 3: It Doesn’t Matter If I Reply to Reviews or Not

Myth:No one reads further than the initial review, so my reply won’t matter.

Fact:Responding to customer reviews not only builds trust in your business, it can also help your SEO. Customers DO read responses to reviews, both positive and negative, so you can build up trust in your business by responding professionally to both.

In a study by Trip Advisor, hotels that replied to reviews saw a 12% increase in customer’s adding reviews and a 0.12-star rating boost.

Google also has confirmed that responding to your Google My Business reviews can increase your local search rankings. They encourage business owners to respond to customer feedback and state “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility.” Survey results found that reviews accounted for 15.44% of how Google ranks local businesses


Myth #4: Only People that are Upset Will Bother to Write a Review

Myth:If I ask for reviews, only people that are mad about something will take the time to write one.

Fact:Happy customers are actually more likely to write a review than unhappy ones, with 75% of reviews posted on review sites leaning towards the positive. You also gain valuable information and the chance to win an unhappy customer back by knowing what was wrong. 95% of disgruntled customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly.


Myth #5: People Trust Word of Mouth More Than Online Reviews

Myth:It’s only friend referrals and word of mouth that people trust. Online reviews… not as much.

Fact:The digital age means that we now interact with friends and community online and this shows in consumer trust statistics. In fact, 88% of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, giving them the same weight in their buying decision.


Myth #6: Promoting Reviews Isn’t Going to Impact My Conversions

Myth:Going through all the trouble of promoting reviews and posting them on my site won’t do much for my lead conversions.

Fact:By displaying reviews on your website you can actually increase conversion rates by 270%. Reading a review while looking over your tech business website can be the thing that solidifies someone’s decision to call you for their IT services over someone else that doesn’t have reviews on their website.


Myth #7: I Don’t Have Time to Ask for Reviews and Reply to Them

Myth:It’s going to take up too much of my time to ask everyone for a review and check them to see if a reply is needed.

Fact:With the right type of automation in place, you just spend a little time on the front end setting it up and then requesting reviews becomes automatic.

For example, there are several reputation management services that save you time by pulling in reviews from several directory sites around the web and presenting them in a dashboard for easy reporting and management. These same services can also automatically send out requests for reviews via text messaging and / or email to your customers, again saving you time.


Myth #8: The Star Rating is All Anyone Cares About

Myth:People only look at the star rating, so I don’t need to ask for a full review.

Fact:While star ratings do carry some weight when it comes to trusting a business, people also like details when deciding whether or not to buy your products or services. Star ratings only go so far and can’t give specifics on why someone enjoyed doing business with you, such as “They were very responsive” or “We’ve never had an IT security issue since signing with them five years ago!”.

Consumers read on average 10 reviews about a local business before feeling they can trust them, and star ratings only won’t generally be enough to garner that trust.


Myth #9: I have Enough Reviews Already

Myth:I have a bunch of reviews from past years, so why should I spend time just adding more?

Fact:44% of consumers say a review should be written within the past 30 days to be relevant. The older your reviews get, the less weight a potential customer will give them in their decision-making process. They may even wonder, why do you have great reviews from 2 and 3 years ago, but none recently? This makes it important to keep fresh reviews coming in regularly.


Myth #10: If I Get Negative Reviews, there is Nothing I Can Do about Them

Myth:I can’t do anything about negative reviews, so reviews will hurt my business more than help it.

Fact:It’s inevitable that no matter how perfect your customer support is that someone is going to be unhappy about something and voice it in an online review. But you CAN do something about negative reviews.

  • Show you’re responsive by letting a negative reviewer know you’ll be happy to address their concern and invite them to contact you offline. Others will also see this reply and gain respect for your company.
  • Fix the issue the reviewer posted about and suggest they may want to update their review. This tactic is used often by clothing retailers, and some consumers increase their star rating and update the review noting their issue was positively resolved.
  • Report false reviews to Google, such as one driven by an obvious competitor that leaves bad reviews on yours and other IT business sites, but a glowing one on theirs. Read this article for tips about what Google will and won’t consider a review worthy of deletion.


Myth #11: People will Make their Decision Based Upon My Services Descriptions

Myth:How well I write my service descriptions will factor more into a person’s decision than someone else’s review.

Fact:Consumers trust a third-party review 12 times more than the marketing text on a company’s website. So, while it is important to have great copy on your website, it’s also important to include that third-party credibility as well by incorporating customer reviews on your site and encouraging reviews on sites like Google.


Myth #12: Anything Less than 5 Stars is Bad

Myth:If I don’t have a 5-star rating, customers will consider that bad and it will reflect poorly on my business.

Fact:Studies show that a 5-star rating is actually trusted less by consumers than one that’s slightly lower. This is because a 5-star rating gives off that “too good to be true” vibe.

Consumers have more trust and were more likely to purchase when a company’s rating was between4.2 and 4.5 stars. That gave then a feeling that the company’s reviewers were legitimate and that the business had a good reputation.

What’s the lowest star rating you want to have? According to a survey of 2,005 US consumers, 3.3 stars was the minimum rating for a business that consumers would consider engaging with.


Don’t Ignore the Power of Customer Reviews

Cultivating customer reviews should be a regular part of your business’s marketing strategy if you want to gain the best competitive advantage that you can. The work you put in up front automating a reviews request program will pay off big time in the long run through more sales.

Visit for 20% off for ACRBO members.

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The Importance of eLearning Thu, 15 Aug 2019 19:39:17 +0000 I need you to understand this about the story I’m about to tell: Jennifer was a GOOD employee. Everyone thought so.  Everyone thought ...

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I need you to understand this about the story I’m about to tell: Jennifer was a GOOD employee. Everyone thought so.  Everyone thought she was good at her job – and really, she was.  What happened was not her fault.  And I guarantee it’s happening to many of your clients, right now.

Years ago in my first IT service business I had an engineering firm as a client, and they had an office manager named Jennifer.  The office I supported was mostly engineers and architects, with two accounting people, and Jennifer.

Jennifer answered the phones and handled the admin work, which meant she was the acknowledged Microsoft Office guru of the organization.  When engineers needed a client proposal typed up, they gave their notes to Jennifer and she promptly turned them into a Word document.  When they needed to send an invoice or estimate, she would whip out a form using Excel.

One day, I get a call from the company – Jennifer is on vacation, and they need to edit an estimate she had sent out the week before, but they can’t find the file.

Now, this was before the days of remote support, so we scheduled the service call and I went out the next day.  Seemed like a too-easy call, but if they’re willing to pay my rates for finding a file, I’ll come find a file.

Except I couldn’t.  I checked Jennifer’s computer, and not only could I not find the estimate that matched their printed copy, I couldn’t find ANY estimates.  Well, there was one.  One estimate spreadsheet.

I guessed – and later confirmed it with Jennifer – that she only had the one file. She did not know she should save copies of each document as it’s own file, she just typed over the same file each time they asked for an estimate.

It gets worse – on that service call when I started re-entering the info they wanted into her Excel estimate template, I noticed the totals at the bottom of the form weren’t changing.

Again I guessed – and later confirmed with Jennifer – that she DID NOT KNOW that Excel could add things up for you.  Her process had been to enter each line item, then use her desktop calculator to add them up, then enter the total back in Excel.

Let me reiterate – this person was good at her job.  She was respected in the office as the Microsoft Office guru.  And she was clearly, CLEARLY doing things in an extremely unproductive way – but she had no idea.

How much time did she waste (and the company pay her for) because she didn’t know better?  It’s impossible to calculate.

But I know this – Jennifer might be an extreme case, but every office has people who are inadvertently wasting time because they are missing skills.  Every person has room to improve their productivity by potentially learning new and better ways to use the tools and apps that are part of their job. Statistics show that 80% of the features in O365 are not being utilized by end users, because of lack of knowledge.

That’s why we started Bigger Brains, and it’s still the core focus of all that we do. Helping people work smarter, especially with things like Office 365, QuickBooks, Microsoft Teams, and more.  Over 140 courses on topics that business professionals can use.

It’s also why we work hard to make our courses effective and engaging – which is why eLearning magazine calls us the “Best IT Skills Training”.

And it’s why we partner with over 600 IT professionals and MSPs, who resell our courses or bundle it with their service plans.

Sign up for a free reseller account at and get an NFR license to explore our 140+ courses.

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How to Fix the 5 Biggest Local SEO Mistakes Some IT Businesses Are Making in 2019 Mon, 22 Jul 2019 16:00:45 +0000 Being found in a local online search is one of the “bread and butter” marketing activities that brings in new leads ...

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Being found in a local online search is one of the “bread and butter” marketing activities that brings in new leads for IT businesses regularly. But if you’re not optimizing your business or website for local search, you could be missing out on most of your area’s leads.

Nearly half of all searches on Google are looking for local information, and a benefit of a location-based search, is that you have a much better chance of showing up, because you’re not competing with millions of “computer repair” businesses for a top search position, just the ones in the cities you service.

If you find your tech business is not showing up for IT service-related keyword searches in your service areas, it might be because you’re tanking your local SEO by making some common mistakes.

But don’t worry! We’re going to tell you what businesses tend to do wrong when it comes to local SEO and how to fix it to improve your rankings so local customers can find you when they need IT services in your area.


Mistake #1: Not Treating Reviews & Ratings as Crucial

Before you get a call or email from a potential customer, there’s a fairly good chance they’ve looked online for your reviews before deciding to contact you. And if your phone isn’t ringing as much as you’d like, it may be because people had a hard time finding your reviews or the ones you have out there are too old.

90% of consumers read online reviews before contacting a business.

Having a handful of reviews from a few years ago, isn’t good enough when it comes to your local SEO rankings. New reviews feed SEO magnets like your Google My Business listing and keep your star ratings fresh. 40% of consumers only take into consideration reviews written within the last 2-weeks.

Reviews build trust in your business and pack a powerful local SEO punch, so by ignoring them, you’re hurting your chances of gaining new local IT business.


How to Correct the Mistake:

Send customers a follow up email automatically after a purchase that asks for a review and includes a link to your Google My Business page. Statistics show that 6 out of 10 consumers now look to Google My Business to find local business reviews and ratings. By automating the process, you help keep new reviews coming in regularly.

You also want to respond to all reviews, positive and negative. Online searchers pay attention to company responses to reviews and responding to each one respectfully will help your business reputation.

Beyond Google My Business (the most important), other review sites that can boost your local SEO are:

  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Thumbtack


Mistake #2: Website that’s Not User or Mobile Friendly

Google pays particular attention to website content, responsiveness, and user ease of navigation when ranking websites in their searches. Some things that can cause your site to get lower local SEO rankings are:

  • Not being mobile responsive (Google ranks mobile-friendly sites higher)
  • Not having a site that’s easy for users to navigate (users leave via the “back” button)
  • Not having relevant local content
  • Having a slow website (53% of mobile users leave if the site doesn’t load in 3 seconds)

More than half of web searches are now done from mobile devices rather than desktops, which is why Google has put a high ranking priority on sites that are easy to view and navigate from a mobile device. No matter how well you’ve optimized your site for SEO in other areas, if you have issues with mobile usability and page load time, that can mean serious reductions in your search engine positions.


How to Correct the Mistake:

Ensure you’re using a website design that’s mobile-friendly and responsive. Visit your website on your smartphone and see what a mobile user is experiencing and tweak to make the site easier to browse for mobile users.

Speed is also important. You can use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to see how your page load time scores on mobile and desktop and get suggestions for making it faster.

Lastly, if you want to bring in local traffic, make sure your website uses local keywords (names of cities and areas you service) so your content is relevant to a location-based search.


Mistake #3: Not Taking Advantage of Local Directory Listings

The more mentions of your business online in relation to your local service area, the more of an authority the search engines will see you. For example, if there are just two online listings, mentioning “Tom’s Computer Repair in Phoenix”, but “Sally’s Computer Repair in Phoenix” has 8 different online directory listings, then Sally is going to get better local search positions.

Online directory listings which aggregate business contact details for multiple industries and multiple locations are often used for local searches and can add credibility to your business in the eyes of a consumer.

Local directory listings also help your local SEO ranking by giving Google’s web crawlers several places online that your company name, number, and website are listed, improving your overall chances of coming up in a local keyword search.


How to Correct the Mistake:

Make it a priority to improve your business visibility by searching out multiple local directories and listing your business there. Be sure you use the exact same name, phone number, and address, because Google looks at these, and if they all match it can result in a better position.

Some of the online directories to list your business in include:

  • Better Business Bureau
  • Yellow Pages
  • Manta
  • Yahoo! Local
  • Find more here


Mistake #4: Not Putting Up Fresh Website Content

If you think your website is done once you get your main service pages up, then you’re going to end up lingering at the bottom of the SEO rankings. Google likes to see fresh content and websites being updated regularly, this lets them know the business is alive and active.

Putting up new content also gives you the opportunity to expand your keyword SEO on pages and provide more detailed information for website visitors and customers that can keep them coming back to you for services.

People are 131% more likely to purchase from businesses that educate them with content.

If you’re letting your website collect cobwebs, then it’s going to be hard to gain and maintain good local search engine positions.


How to Correct the Mistake:

The easiest way to keep regular and informative content going up on your site is to add a tech business blog. Blogs spider well in search engines and give you the opportunity to highlight helpful information to clients. They also let Google know that your site is active and regularly updated.

Blogs can be used as a base for other content marketing, such as social media posts, email newsletters, videos, webinars, and more. Each of those outlets linking back to your website blog will give you even more SEO juice to boost search rankings.


Mistake #5: Not Publishing Your Local Reviews on Your Website

Visitors can come to your website any number of ways. Some might have seen your online reviews on Google My Business, and some may not have. Not including your local reviews on your website is like leaving money on the table. It means you’re not using one of your most powerful tools for customer conversions and local SEO.

While you do want to have reviews on sites that aggregate customer reviews so potential customers will find them, they also need to be on your website. Beyond adding more local keywords to your site, reviews also are important because:

  • 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase after they read a trusted review.
  • Having reviews on your website can increase conversions by 270%
  • 73% of consumers value written reviews over star ratings
  • 73% of customers trust a local business more after reading positive reviews
  • 85% of buyers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation


How to Correct the Mistake:

You want to do two things to make your reviews visible on your website:

  1. Include at least one review on every page
  2. Include a website page of all your reviews

An easy way to work reviews into your webpages is either through a quote call out (a feature of many Word Press editors) or a carousel that rotates 3-5 customer reviews.

Customers value reviews that have a name attached to them more than anonymous reviews and for more local SEO power you’ll want to use the reviewer’s location, such as “-Mary Smith, Phoenix, AZ” If your customers prefer not to use their last name for privacy, you could just use a first name and last initial instead.

Items you’ll want to include in a review are:

  • The customer’s quote
  • Customer name, and company (if applicable)
  • Customer location
  • The service(s) you provided (more keywords to power your SEO)


Good Local Search Rankings = More Sales

The time spent working on your local tech business SEO rankings is an investment that you’ll see pay off in the months and years ahead with more website visitors and more sales.


Ramey Bell is the founder of

Visit for 20% off for ACRBO members.

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Tips for a Safe & Secure Summer Vacation Mon, 08 Jul 2019 17:33:12 +0000         Summer Break is coming and you might want to take a break without worries. These are some ...

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Summer Break is coming and you might want to take a break without worries. These are some tips to have Safe and Secure Summer Vacations.


1. Install backup software

First of all, choose a backup solution and save your data. The majority of people procrastinate this activity and it has probably been a long time since you last made a backup of your archives and operating system.

Create an image of your disk, make a full backup. Choose where you will store that image. If you are about to take a break, you don’t want to come back to nasty surprises. The tool you choose should enable you to, in the event of a partial or complete system loss, use the image that you create to restore the entire disk, one or more partitions, or even individual files and folders.


2. Back-up all your work

Regular backups are the best practice to prevent data loss and quickly recover from cyber attacks. You have three ways to image your disk:

  • Full System Backup:When you image a volume for the first time it is referred to as a Full image. A Full image file contains all of the data stored in the volume.
  • Differential Backup:A Differential image that backs up all the data that has changed on the volumes since the last Full image was taken.
  • Incremental Backup:An Incremental image that backs up all the data that has changed on the volumes since the last image was taken whether that is a Full, an Incremental, or a Differential image.

Don’t forget to verify Image and File and Folder backup files before you leave.


3. Protect documents, data and operating systems

You can image the whole disk or by partitions. Your tool should allow you to set up the image destination; we recommend using an external drive to store your backups, either a USB connected drive or a networked drive.

But you can also backup folders or individual documents, you don’t need to create a whole image of the disk. A file and folder backup is a useful way to back up your working files, personal files and precious data.


4. Protect your backups against ransomware

If you read the news, you know the ransomware attacks are the latest worrying trend in cybersecurity. Avoid suffering from this nightmare; there are tools to mitigate ransomware even after it has started to encrypt your data. Also, there are many antivirus software that detects ransomware when you are infected. However, we recommend tools that prevent ransomware; when it doesn’t matter how new and good the ransomware is; your data is safe by principle.


5. Keep multiple backups in multiple places

It is always recommended to have more than one copy of your backups. That means to have the image in different formats or storage types, and always ensure at least one backup is stored off-site, this can be in a physical location or in the cloud. Different locations will prevent loss due to local disasters such as a fire or flood could potentially wipe out both backups. And different storage formats will protect your data from any single point of failure. For more info click here.

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How Can Computer Repair Companies Take Advantage of “Near Me” Searches in Google? Mon, 01 Jul 2019 17:24:51 +0000 Have you ever been out for an evening with friends and searched something like, “Italian restaurants open tonight near me”? If ...

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Have you ever been out for an evening with friends and searched something like, “Italian restaurants open tonight near me”? If so, you’re not alone.

According to Chatmeter, Google noted a 900% increasein “near me tonight/today” searches over the last two years. Much of it is being driven by voice activated searches through mobile devices and voice assistants, like Siri, Alexa or Google Home.

Local “near me” searches are a huge opportunity for computer repair and service companies to be found by more potential customers, and not just any people… but those looking to buy right now.


76% of peoplethat perform a local search on their smartphone visit or call that business within 24 hours.

So, how can you ensure your IT business comes up when someone is doing a local search from their phone or voice assistant? The key is to optimize your business for those local “near me” searches.

Read on for seven things you can do to ensure local searchers can find you when they need you.


Why are Local “Near Me” Searches Important?

If you think that by simply putting your address on your website you’ll automatically come up for local searches, you could be missing a lot of potential customers. As with any type of search results, if you’re not on the first page or in the first few listings (especially on a mobile screen), you’ll be missing out on most of the traffic.

Websites on the first page of a search engine listing get 95%of the traffic. So, optimization is vital to gaining a good search engine ranking position. And optimizing for those all-important “near me” searches takes a few special tricks focused on local visitors, which is the lifeblood of a computer services business.

Why are the local searches so important? People are increasingly using them for convenience and to find what they want, when they want it.

Here are a few eye-opening stats from Chatmeter:

  • The search combination “near me” coupled with “can I buy” or “to buy” increased 500% over the last two years
  • “Near me now” searches have increased over 150%
  • Mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me” have increased 200%


Get Found in Local “Near Me” Searches with These Tips

By employing these optimization tips you can have a much better chance of ensuring your business is found when someone is searching for IT services or computer repair in your local area.


Properly Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business listings are a must if you want to be found by people searching locally for IT and computer services. Many mobile searchers rely on that quick snippet of information Google provides on the company’s hours and map location link to find a local business fast.

If you haven’t yet grabbed a Google My Business Listing, you’ll want to do that so you can fully optimize it with your company’s information. It’s important to Google for things like your hours, address, phone number, and email to match your website and other information that’s out there about you online (like on your social media pages).

If key contact information matches, that puts you as a more trustworthy and relevant listing in Google’s eyes and you have a better chance at a top search position.

It’s important to list your hours, address, and phone accurately in Google My Business.


A good way to start is search for “computer repair near me” and see which listings already come up to get some ideas from those. Knowing when your competition opens can also give you an advantage. For example, in the listing above, the shop that opens at 9AM rather than 10AM will have an advantage when it comes to morning searchers needing help.

Some key things to do with your listing:

  • Make sure your hours are accurate, people rely on those to know when to call or visit
  • Double check all contact information for accuracy
  • Fill in any missing information, the more details the better
  • Add photos to your listing to help you stand out
  • Use their posts feature to promote your blog posts, videos, etc… on your Google My Business Listing, just like you would on social media


Use Local SEO on Your Website

Adding local keywords into your website text can help your site be recognized for computer repair and IT services within a particular town. Rather than just listing a string of towns in your service area on a page, create service pages optimized for each city or area, and ensure the content isn’t an exact duplicate across pages.

For example, if you service both Denver and Evergreen, Colorado, make SEO optimized pages for each one, using as much local language as you can, such as: “Fast computer repair in the Mile-High city, our IT service technicians can be onsite at your Denver business same day.”

Because Google also looks at the page URL when ranking websites for keyword relevancy, use something like “” as a URL to further promote relevancy.


Promote Google Reviews

Right at the top of your Google My Business page search listing is a star review, and review summaries will show beneath your listing. More reviews mean more local searchers are encouraged to hire your services.


95% of buyersread online reviews before making a purchase.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a link for people to write a review on Google for your business. Then share that link in post purchase emails and on your website to encourage more reviews and star ratings on your listing.


Use Schema Markup

One of the newer optimization tactics that’s just come into widespread use in the past few years is schema markup on website pages and blogs. If you’ve ever seen a Google search result that looked like it had a little extra information, like a star rating or author photo beneath the title, that’s the result of the website owner using schema markup.

Schema markup helps search engines gather more details on your business, such as holiday hours, that are then displayed in search results. This type of markup can be complicated to learn from scratch, so for a shortcut search out a schema markup plugin or template to use.


Backlink with Other Local Businesses

Backlinks are always great for SEO and especially so if they use local anchor text, such as linking the words “Denver computer repair services” to your site, rather than just “click here.”

By partnering with your fellow local businesses in your area, you could all support each other’s sites and help each other’s local search rankings by back linking to each other.


Ensure Your Site is Mobile Friendly 

Mobile devices have gone from, “okay, maybe I should optimize for them” to “I absolutely must optimize for them.” About 57% of allU.S. search traffic now comes from mobile devices and 1 in 3mobile searches are for a local business or service.

Additionally, Google recognizes the importance for websites to load quickly and be easy to navigate on a mobile device. So much so that if your site isn’t responsive and mobile-friendly, you’ll get penalized in the search engine rankings. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insightsto see how your pages score on mobile.


Optimize for Voice Assistant “Near Me” Searches

A newer trick to optimizing for those Google Home or Amazon Echo voice activated “near me” searches is to sprinkle search terms and answers for them into your blogs or website pages.

For example, some of the terms people might use to find a local Denver IT shop might be:

  • “Where is the nearest computer repair shop?”
  • “List virus removal services near me”
  • “Is there a laptop repair shop near me open tonight?”
  • “What IT shop near me is Apple certified?”

One you have a listing of potential voice assistant questions, work them into your site naturally, such as adding to a blog or service page about virus removal something like:

“Many people in Denver are searching for a list of virus removal services near them, and ABC Computers is pleased to be one of the best in the Mile-high City… “


Get Your Local SEO Flowing

Optimizing for local “near me” searches is the virtual equivalent of putting a sign on every nearby street corner with an arrow pointing to your shop. Putting a little effort into ensuring your business can be found for those growing mobile and voice assistant local searches can bring significant returns in leads and new customers.


Ramey Bell is the founder of

Visit for 20% off for ACRBO members.

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What’s the Best Way to Handle Negative Customer Reviews? Tips on the Right Way to Respond! Thu, 23 May 2019 16:05:02 +0000 Customer Experience Concept. Unhappy Client show Thumb Down in meaning "Bad" over Negative Reviews and Social icons. Poor Services for Satisfaction Survey Online

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Customer Experience Concept. Unhappy Client show Thumb Down in meaning "Bad" over Negative Reviews and Social icons. Poor Services for Satisfaction Survey Online

Anyone that runs a business knows that customer reviews can make you or break you. Great reviews bring in more business, while negative ones can drive it away. In today’s online world, reviews are one of the first things that customers search about a company.

They’re also important for good SEO and Google’s My Business listings have put reviews front and center on any business search, so review management is of vital importance.

Properly managing your business reviews is about more than just requesting new ones, it’s about knowing how to properly handle negative reviews. No matter what type of stellar computer and tech services you provide, you’re bound to receive a bad review from time to time, deserved or not.

What’s the right way to handle negative reviews? How important are they to your business? Read on to find out.

How Powerful are Customer Reviews?

While everyone can appreciate good reviews, you may wonder how important they actually are to your overall marketing and for generating new business. Here are a few eye-opening statistics.

  • 95% of consumers read online reviews before deciding to make a purchase
  • There is a 270% greater chance of a purchase if a product has at least 5 reviews
  • The ratings range of 4.0 – 4.7 is the “sweet spot” for purchase likelihood
  • 88% of buyers say that reviews influencetheir buying decisions

84 % of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (Forbes)

Have you looked at your reviews lately? It’s always a good idea to do a Google search on your business name + the word “reviews” from time to time and see what information your potential customers are seeing.

Just ignoring your bad online reviews isn’t really an option if you want to grow your business and build a reputation of trustworthiness and excellent customer service.

Tips for Handling Negative Online Reviews Like A Pro

It can be tempting to get defensive and start firing off a reply to a negative review before you think, especially if you feel a review is unfair. But that’s not a good idea and most likely will only make matters worse.

An epic example of how NOT to respond to negative reviews happened when the TV show Kitchen Nightmareshighlighted Amy’s Baking Company. The owners took to Facebook to respond to negative reviews and ended up getting into verbal fistfights online.. all publicly happening in front of potential customers.

So, if you shouldn’t fire off a defensive response, what should you do? Here are the successful ways to turn bad reviews into a positive for your company image.

Reply to All Reviews – Even the Bad Ones 

It’s a good rule of thumb to reply to all reviews, both good and bad. This shows that your company is paying attention and is responsive, which people will translate into your being responsive to their computer and IT issues as well.

A study by Harvard Business Review found that review ratings got better when responses increased. The hotels in their study also received about 12% more reviews when they started responding to all of them.

So, you DO want to respond to negative (and positive) reviews, and you’ll get a review boost from doing it.

Listen and Don’t Respond Defensively

Remember, what you’re responding in an online review is seen by everyone, so you want to show yourself and your company in the best light. Even if you feel you are totally in the right on a particular issue, belittling the reviewer isn’t going to look good to any potential customers who may be put off reading how you treat someone.

Take the time to really listen to what the reviewer is saying and try to see things from their perspective. It’s easy to instantly assign a negative motive to a bad online review, but what did they actually experience? Were they having a bad day and your office was super busy that day, so they didn’t get the quality care you normally strive for?

If you look at a negative review as constructive criticism to learn from, it can help diffuse how you’re feeling about the situation and help guide your response to a helpful, rather than defensive one.

Think about what you can learn from a negative review that can make your business better. Are you seeing a pattern? Is there something in your process that can make things better for everyone?

For example, if a customer is complaining about the time it took your business to repair their laptop, look at the chain of what caused that to happen:

What’s their main complaint?You quoted a 4-day turn around, but it took 10 days in their case.

Why was it late?Their laptop needed a part that you didn’t have in stock and you forgot to order it until they called to ask about their computer 6 days later.

How can this be alleviated in the future?Automate your ordering process so parts are ordered automatically as soon as a customer contracts for the repair.

How should you respond to the client?Apologize for the mistake and own up to the fact that the repair took longer than you originally quoted. Then perhaps offer them a discount if they give you another chance in the future.

Apologize for their Experience

Nine times out of ten what a customer giving a bad review wants to hear is, “I’m sorry.” They typically just want to be heard and their experience acknowledged. In other words, they want to know you care.

Whether you did anything wrong or not, you can still apologize for their experience and that it wasn’t what they had hoped for. If you do find that you dropped the ball in their case, it’s good business to apologize, thank them for pointing out the issue, and mention that you’re going to address this.

Showing that you care goes a long way into turning an unhappy customer into one that feels heard and may be more than willing to give you another chance for their business.

Keep Your Reply Short and to the Point

Remember, your words are being read by anyone visiting that review page, so it’s best to keep your reply short and to the point rather than rambling on. Using three to four sentences for the length of your reply is a good rule of thumb.

You can still acknowledge their problem, show that you care, and give them a way to contact you offline while also ensuring your reply isn’t too lengthy.

Move the Conversation Offline

And that brings us to our last tip, for a number of reasons, it’s best to move the resolution of their issue offline. In your reply you should include contact information like your business phone number and email (even if you know they already have it). This helps keep sensitive details, like the price they paid or account numbers, from being given in a public forum. It also lets those looking through the reviews know that you’re easy to contact and care about getting issues resolved.

Suggest in your reply that the reviewer contact you offline to resolve their issue and when they do, keep that non-defensive posture and really listen to what they have to say so you can try to resolve it as best you can.

Handling negative reviews with tact and professionalism makes all the difference in how your business is perceived by those 95% of people researching you online that may become your customers. It’s a win-win if you can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one and gain more along the way by handling bad reviews the right way.

Ramey Bell is the founder of

Visit for 20% off for ACRBO members

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Recovery Time Objective Tue, 07 May 2019 17:41:27 +0000 Founding Father Benjamin Franklin’s famous line “Time is Money” provides an appropriate foundation for the development of our customer’s disaster recovery plan. ...

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Founding Father Benjamin Franklin’s famous line “Time is Money” provides an appropriate foundation for the development of our customer’s disaster recovery plan. Our dependence on computers means any delay or outage equals lost productivity and lost revenues – be it calling customers, handling transactions, drafting documents or some other business function.

ACRBO members are keenly aware that “Time is Money”. A staple of the computer repair business is the anxious business owner begging to be up and running. We are the first to see the financial (and emotional) consequences of debilitating user error, security failures and hardware malfunctions. When something goes down, the clock is ticking – and suddenly it is all eyes us to save the day.

While the ability to save the day is a core responsibility of a computer repair business – it is also arguably an ethical imperative to recommend some sort of prevention and disaster planning when we can. Unfortunately, too many customers come to appreciate the value of their data and their time when it is too late.

A great starting place is when encouraging your customer to implement a disaster prevention and recovery plan. In this plan, your customer should evaluate all the different ways in which data backup process of the organisation could be broken and affect the continuity of the company. It is about probability and having a plan to avoid surprises.

Having a few key points to encourage your customer to implement a legitimate prevention and disaster plan may help your customer make a wise choice. A core concept for your customer to think about is their “Recovery Time Objective”.; Here are a few questions to ask your customers:

What is the true value of your data? It’s easy to for granted access to our data – to our data for granted.  If the data was gone forever what would they pay to get it back? No one backs up just for fun. They back up to recover.

What is the value of your time?

The real & opportunity cost of the time it takes to recover data from a loss is significant. Encourage your customers to consider both the wages & lost productivity they give up to find and recover and reproduce their lost data.

What customer issues does a data loss create?

It is not always obvious until it happens, but the consequences of a data loss don’t just hurt your client, it hurts their customers too. Their customers will experience the same lost productivity, recovery time and their associated costs as your clients. Additionally, they’ll lose one of your client’s most important assets: Trust. While your client works to recover, their customers will be communicating with the competition to keep things running.

Macrium software sells several backup software solutions to include in your package. Our Reflect software is able to backup Windows Servers, Exchange & SQL Servers, and PCs. We also have a package to mass install, set up and monitor your backups from a single console – and if you manage your client’s machines remotely, we have that too. For customers looking to take one time & manual backups, we suggest our Technician’s License which enables you to run Macrium Reflect on any machine from a USB key.

Putting together a comprehensive backup and data recovery package for your clients requires expertise, and there are plenty of options. While a data backup system is not a replacement for a disaster recovery plan, it should be part of it.

Since 2006 Macrium has been offering reliable, fast and competitive backup and imaging products. Data protection features include Image Guardian to protect your backups against ransomware, ViBoot to reduce downtime consequences, and Site Manager to monitor all of a network’s backups. ACRBO partners receive special pricing including generous discounts for internal use – reach out to Rain Networks, our ACRBO distributor for more information.

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How does Google Maps learn to trust and favorably rank your IT business when you’re the new kid on the block? Tue, 02 Apr 2019 17:16:13 +0000 Imagine you’ve just started your own IT business and, at first, all Google knows about you is your company name, address and ...

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Imagine you’ve just started your own IT business and, at first, all Google knows about you is your company name, address and phone number, known as NAP in local search optimization parlance. The online locations of these NAPs are called citations. The first citation should always be your Google “My Business” listing. This should be 100% complete for full effectiveness. According to a study by BrightLocal, businesses that ranked in the top three on Google local had an average of 85 citations. Citations should have consistent NAPs, without duplicates, and should include as many elements as the listing offers, such as photos, videos and reviews.

Next, help Google gather more details about your IT business through local elements on your website. Obviously, your NAP should match all other citations, as mentioned earlier, and should at least appear on the home and contact pages. Positioning it on every page would be even better. Utilize the rich, informative language strategy known as schema markup to boost your search rank. (Learn about schema markup at And don’t forget to provide directions with an embedded Google map on your contact page.

Additionally, the power of customer reviews as a ranking factor has increased dramatically and managing these reviews is a time-consuming, never-ending task. (For a complete list of local search ranking factors visit With so many review sites available, the first challenge is getting visibility on all your data. Second is obtaining more positive reviews for your business on a regular basis. Finally, reviews, both positive and negative, inspire a response. This requires extra effort and attention but is well worth the effort. Customer reviews have a significant impact on positive ranking in Google local, meriting serious consideration when it comes to creating your marketing plan.

As you can see, gaining Google’s trust in your IT business gives you an edge, but it comes at a premium: a generous amount of time and a modest amount of funds. Do you really have that extra time? Or could that undertaking be better managed by online software that is set up to keep your data organized? True, a savvy business owner recognizes the importance of being personally involved in monitoring customer reviews, offering sincere replies. However, reputation management software streamlines that process by gathering reviews from multiple sites into one dashboard and issuing an alert with each new review. Such software is available in many different presentations and often comes with a free trial offer. Why not take advantage of one of them and see how it works for your IT business?


Ramey Bell is the founder of

Visit for 20% off for ACRBO members

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How to convince your customers that Backup software is needed Wed, 06 Feb 2019 19:22:47 +0000 What’s keeping your customers from protecting their data with a proper disaster recovery solution including taking regularly scheduled backups? As your customer’s ...

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What’s keeping your customers from protecting their data with a proper disaster recovery solution including taking regularly scheduled backups? As your customer’s key consultant, the ability to communicate the importance of backup, and also understanding potential objections will help you do best by your customer by convincing them to protect their data.

This article intends to address typical barriers to customer’s choosing to perform backups.


Myth 1: I don’t need a backup

People rarely have an accurate idea of the value of their data. Their machines often contain years of work, photos and documents not stored anywhere else. At best they may occasionally (but unreliable)  make manual copies of important files on USB sticks and hope that nothing bad will happen – but we all know hope isn’t an effective form of data protection

By challenging your customer to consider the kind of data they keep on their machine, and what it would take to recover or reproduce that data after a loss can get them thinking about the true value of that data. Get them considering the amount of time it might take to reproduce that data, or as is the case with many photos, if they’ll even be able to reproduce or find that data.

Examples of data your customer might have stored with no backup include:

Companies invoices, inventory records, contracts, status reports, employees records, databases of customers, a repository of knowledge, financial statements, product or services guides or brochures, are crucial information. They can lose years of work.

After considering the value of their data, your customer will very likely come to the conclusion that their data is worth a lot more than an affordable plan and solution to backup their data.


Myth  2: Backup Software solutions is complex

Customers often argue that that the backup solutions and backup tools are too difficult to use. That is more common in end users rather than IT technical professionals. But this just isn’t true – modern solutions are simple and intuitive. A good solution, like Macrium, should have a clean dashboard, easy menus, a complete KnowledgeBase and an active support forum. We also recommend you advise your client to consider solutions that include technical support with a team that can help. Good solutions often offer clients webinars to wither directly from the developer or with a channel partner.


Myth 3: All backup solutions are equal

When it comes to backup, your customer has plenty of options and factors to consider. This includes type, frequency, storage, method. There is “file & folder” vs image backups, cloud-based storage vs onsite storage, manually run vs regularly scheduled.

People assume that all backup solutions are the same. What you need to do is help them identify the correct tool that strikes a balance between cost and solutions to the problem they want to solve.

It is never a bad idea to have multiple backups and even methods. Typically, customer priorities are often recovery speed and reliability. While many people consider “file & folder” sufficient that method has risks and its associated recovery takes a long time. First, files are easily missed or not copied over. Plus, that form of backup misses all the applications and the OS – which means after a data loss your customer will need to reinstall and configure their entire machine (including finding all of their license keys). This is timely and distracts from their own productivity.

Another consideration is cloud vs local storage. While the cloud offers many conveniences, considerations include cost and recovery time. Backup files can be large and when it comes to important documents they add up. Cloud services charge for the service and storage space. Also, in the event of a loss, it is timely downloading large files before initiating a recovery – which results in downtime losses.

Companies like Macrium create a reliable and fast backup with options that cut down on storage space, include encryption, whole image and “file & folder”. All versions of our software offer the ability to image single or multiple partitions and clone disks, file and folder backup, GPT and Dynamic disk support as well as providing a ReDeploy function that allows images to be restored to dissimilar hardware.


Myth 4: Backup is a low priority

The risk of data loss is ever increasing and should not be a low priority, especially with the rise cyber attacks and ransomware. Other sources of data loss include:

  • Human error– accidental (or negligent) data deletion or modification, or over-writing files; Improper installation or removal of files; Improper drive formatting or partitioning.
  • Location-related– a theft, fire, flood, earthquake in the place you store your data.
  • File corruption– Your data suffers a virus or ransomware infection, or software error.
  • Hardware failure– The storage devices that you are using can develop faults. They can overheat. They can be exposed to magnetic fields. They can suffer power outages or surges.

Backup is not a pointless endeavor or fruitless exercise. It’s done as an insurance policy to protect from data loss. Better to have a backup and not need it instead of to need it and not have it.

Are your clients prepared for disaster? You can ask them: Are your vital data records protected from the harm that could be caused by a data disaster? Are you protected from ransomware and cybercriminals?

With this in mind, we created Macrium Image Guardian which prevents unauthorized parties from modifying of Macrium backup files on local and USB volumes so they cannot be encrypted by ransomware.


Myth 5: Backup solutions are expensive

To understand the value of a backup solution, you need to make your client think about the cost of downtime.

You do not need a specific formula to calculate downtime, but here is a list of things to consider:

  • The value of the information lost
  • The number and cost of staff affected
  • The amount of time that recovery will take
  • The value of sales lost at that time
  • The impact on productivity
  • The clients they can lose for losing credibility and trust
  • The cost of compensation to customers

Backup myths are not uncommon and they can be harmful to any business that makes a miscalculation based on one or more of them. Backup may seem like an expensive, time consuming and difficult process, but it really doesn’t have to be.

By dispelling the myths and making it clear how much safer a protected business is, your customers’ business’ will be in a much better position.

Since 2006 Macrium has been offering reliable, fast and competitive backup and imaging products. Data protection features include Image Guardian to protect your backups against ransomware, ViBoot to reduce downtime consequences, and Site Manager to monitor all of a network’s backups. ACRBO partners receive special pricing including generous discounts for internal use – reach out to Rain Networks, our ACRBO distributor for more information.

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