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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 Customer Service Trends For 2011

Here are some of the top customer service trends for 2011, according to some people who get paid to think up this stuff: If your looking for other information please check out www.kmggold.com


1. Social media will play a bigger role. Barry Moltz, who compiles these lists each year, notes that tweeting or posting on Facebook often gets consumers quicker resolutions to their issues than calling the customer service number. And, uh, this isn’t going to revert back in the other direction.

2. “Pricing pandemonium.” With consumers able to whip out their cell phones, scan a bar code and price shop (for example), businesses will continue to look for innovative sales techniques. According to trendwatching.com, stores will increasingly use flash sales (short-timed discounts), group buying (one-day ‘buy-ins’ on Groupon, and others), and point-of-sale discounts via social media like Twitter.

3. Company cultures will become more distinctive. Some of the most successful retailers have a distinct image and identity. Companies will work to align all their employees with the vision, mission, and brand of the company, so that that image and experience will be consistent to consumers, according to Bruce Temkin.

4. In-sourcing will grow. Yes, all those service calls routed to India might be decreasing soon, according to Customer 1, as companies realize that customers like having their problems solved by people who aren’t halfway around the world and whose accents they can readily understand.

5. Customers helping customers. Customer 1 also predicts that “customer communities,” the kind where you ask a question about a product online and other consumers answer it, will grow, and that companies will encourage them because it makes their job easier, and it costs them nothing.

6. More self-service. You can now check yourself in at an airline and out at a supermarket. Also you can do-it-yourself at some auto-rental companies and buy electronics at vending machines. Look for more and more self-service kiosks and the like in 2011, says Barry Moltz.

7. Customer service organizations are going to get way more personal. “Organizations will investigate methods to recommend agent ‘next-best actions’ during the service resolution process which include if and when to offer cross-sell and upsell products or service,” according to Kate Leggett at Forrester. Leggett also predicts an increase in real-time analytics to help with organization’s match-making skills, in order to better pair agents with customers.

8. Companies will continue to expand and analyze the data they collect on you in their ongoing attempts to cater to and anticipate, your every need.

9. Customer Service Will Continue to Grow In the Cloud. William Band over at CustomerThink predicts that 2011 will better recognize the significance and advantages of offering a cloud-based customer support solution. “SaaS has unique characteristics that require new ways of thinking about vendor selection, contracting, risk tolerance, and organizational skill set requirements,” Band says.

10. Support Agents Will Learn From Customers. Looking at voice of the customer trends, Jeffrey Henning says that more companies will be publishing personalized customer feedback and hierarchical reports individualized to a particular agent-customer interaction so that they can learn from specific customers.

Please visit www.kmggold.com
Posted by Mike Gupton at 3:56 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big City Issues and New Relationships Top Agenda with Canadian Chamber

Winnipeg Chamber President and CEO Dave Angus was in Ottawa yesterday to meet with Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber.

Dave was accompanied by Dr. Asim Ashique, president of the Canadian Islamic Chamber of Commerce (Winnipeg chapter), which last year signed a partnership agreement with our Chamber, formalizing ties between us. The purpose of the visit was to discuss a potential relationship with the Canadian Chamber, based on this groundbreaking model.

Discussions also focused on the urban agenda formulated by Canada’s major metro cities. The Canadian Chamber plans to take a lead and be a strong voice on urban issues, such as sharing tax points.
Posted by Mike Gupton at 4:23 PM 0 Comments

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jewellery And Dentistry Goes Platinum

For many centuries-from the days of the Egyptians up to about 1900 A.D-the metals used in jewellery were gold and silver. Copper and zinc were added to cheapen and to strengthen it. The processes of melting and refining were simple, well known, and adequately described in the literature. A person wishing to learn the art or trade could do so either through the printed word, or by apprenticing themselves to some older artisan.

But at about the beginning of the 20th century, platinum entered the fields of jewelry-making and dentistry. By the time we entered the first World War, it had burst like a nova into first magnitude in the jewellery firmament. Its sister metals, palladium and iridium especially, came along with it. Immediately the problems of refining, separating, and remelting the scrap metal became a problem.

At first, say up to about 1915, comparatively few jewellery shops in the whole world were equipped to melt their platinum scrap, and the task of separating the platinum from the gold scrap was equally beyond their powers; a handful of professional refiners handled the entire output. Reasons for this were several; preoccupation with war was only one. The habit of secrecy among many workers was a potent reason; the institution of apprenticeship was dying out; the literature of platinum was scanty and so highly technical as to discourage the average reader. Platinum was so valuable that in many shops the proprietor did all the melting and refining himself such as it was and excluded all workmen from the room where he worked, thus increasing the superstitions and mis-information that collected around the whole subject.

A practical reason was the fact that the melting point of platinum is much higher than that of silver or gold; so high, in fact, that an oxygen flame is required for melting it. That is, a gold-melting furnace, using gas or coke with compressed air, is not hot enough to melt platinum. The fuel must be combined with oxygen which is now provided in steel cylinders in order to attain the necessary high temperature. The lack of compressed oxygen was a major factor in the non-use of platinum; its introduction at low prices was a major factor in its popularization.

Nor were these the only complications that beset the precious metal worker of the early Nineteen Hundreds. New gold alloys appeared white golds, blue golds and green golds which made refining more difficult. Electroplating became more common, adding its cyanide solutions to the duties of the refiners. Chromium and rhodium plating did their bit to complicate matters. Stamping laws that insisted upon definite percentages of metal and alloy added further to the legal, as well as his ethical responsibilities.

Indeed it has been said, with truth, that there have been more changes in precious metal recycling technology during the last thirty years, than during the previous thirty centuries.
Posted by Mike Gupton at 3:54 PM 0 Comments

Friday, January 14, 2011

KMG Gold Customer Testimonial Video Submission

This video was submitted by a KMG Gold customer Andrew, in British Columbia, Canada!
Andrew is a first time customer from BC, who made this testimonial video of his first experience with KMG Gold Recycling.
Andrew entered his video in our KMG Testimonial Video Contest and will receive a Royal Canadian Mint, 1 troy ounce, pure silver Maple Leaf Coin!



Every KMG Gold Recycling customer can make his or her own testimonial video for a chance to WIN Silver and Gold Maple Leaf Coins. Make a video using a web cam or a video cam about your experience with KMG Gold Recycling and enter our KMG Testimonial Contest today!
Every video we use wins!
Posted by Mike Gupton at 1:42 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Canada's Economic Engine Is Chugging Along but Not at Full Steam

2011-2012 Economic Outlook:

Introduction
Despite a very challenging external environment, Canada’s economy has outperformed its G7 peers in many respects. It weathered the financial and economic crisis better than most industrialized countries and it staged an impressive turnaround. Real GDP grew 4.9 per cent (annualized) in the final quarter of 2009 and a resounding 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, fueled by a strong rebound in consumer spending, residential investment and government expenditures.

After the sharp bounce back, Canada’s economy lost some of its swagger, expanding at a sluggish 2.3 per cent annual rate in the second quarter of 2010 and a meager 1.0 per cent in the third quarter. Additionally, the pace of job creation slowed considerably in the second half of the year.

In the first six months of 2010, employment growth averaged 51,400 per month. In the July to November period, employment gains averaged 7,620 per month.

To be sure, recessions that are associated with financial crises or that are highly synchronized have historically been followed by weak recoveries. The most recent recession was associated with both, creating a perfect storm. In 2011, strong headwinds—sluggish U.S. growth, the persistent strength in the Canadian dollar, faltering domestic demand and the waning impact of prior fiscal and monetary stimulus—will hold back GDP growth. Overall, Canada’s economy is projected to expand a modest 2.4 per cent (yearover-year) in 2011, following an estimated 2.9 per cent gain in 2010.

In 2012, the economy is forecasted to grow about 2.7 per cent, reflecting somewhat stronger domestic fundamentals and better growth prospects in the United States, Canada’s principal export market. As with all forecasts, ours are subject to a considerable degree of uncertainty and risk.

Read the whole article here www.kmggold.ca/blog/publications/Economic_Outlook_2011.pdf


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is committed to fostering a strong, competitive and profitable economic environment that benefits all Canadians. This paper is one of a series of independent research reports covering key public policy issues facing Canada today. We hope this analysis will raise public understanding and help decision-makers make informed choices.
The papers are not designed to recommend specific policy solutions, but to stimulate public discussion and debate about the nation’s challenges.



Posted by Mike Gupton at 9:03 AM 0 Comments

Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting Rhodium Facts

Interesting facts about Rhodium
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-Rhodium is the most expensive precious metal
-The name Rhodium originates from the Greek word rhodon meaning rose. The first Rhodium compound discovered was a beautiful rose colour
-Rhodium was discovered by English chemist and physicist William Hyde Wollaston in 1803 in a platinum ore from South America
-It is obtained as a by-product of nickel and platinum production
-Rhodium is commonly used in coatings and plating, electrodes for aircraft spark plugs, oil of rhodium, and in jewelry where it may be alloyed with platinum and or palladium
-Rhodium has a higher melting point and lower density than platinum
-Rhodium is resistant to tarnishing and corrosion
-Rhodium costs about six times as much as gold by weight
-Rhodium is never found in mineral form, only being found in trace amounts within platinum or nickel ores
-60% of the world's rhodium comes from South Africa, and world production of the metal is only about 16 tons per year.
-Rhodium was made famous in 1979 when the Guinness Book of World Records awarded Paul McCartney a rhodium-plated disc to celebrate his status as history's all-time best-selling songwriter and recording artist
-Rhodium is commonly used as a coating for white gold jewelery and various silver objects
-Rhodium is one of the rarest elements on Earth. Its abundance is estimated to be 0.0001 parts per million

Posted by Mike Gupton at 5:50 PM 0 Comments

Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting Palladium Facts

Interesting Facts About Palladium
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- Palladium can absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen
- The largest use of Palladium is for automobile catalytic converters.
- In Japan, the government operates a specific mandate stating that all government-subsidized dental alloys have to include a Palladium content of at least 20 percent.
- Palladium alloys developed for jewelry typically contain 95% Palladium and about 5% Ruthenium.
- In 1967, Tonga issued Palladium general circulation coins commemorating the coronation of King Taufa Ahau Tupou IV, perhaps the first issue using Palladium.
- In the late 1800s, Palladium was more expensive than Platinum.
- Palladium is 12.6% harder and whiter in color than Platinum.
- Adding small amounts of Palladium alloyed with yellow Gold will yield the best and more durable white Gold.
- Palladium was first used in jewelry in 1939.
- Palladium is 30x rarer than Gold.
- Palladium was discovered by English chemist and physicist William Hyde Wollaston in 1803 who named it after the asteroid Pallas which in turn was named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena.
- Palladium can absorb up to 90% of harmful emissions from auto exhaust and convert them into less harmful emissions

Posted by Mike Gupton at 5:48 PM 0 Comments

Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting Platinum Facts

Platinum is one of the rarest and most sought after precious metals.
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About 133 tons of platinum are mined every year compared to approximately 1,782 tons of gold.
It takes 10 tons of ore and a five-month process to make 1 ounce of platinum.
By the 18th century, platinum had captured the interest of the scientific community.
It was first believed to be an alloy of gold and iron.
In 1751, it was concluded that platinum was in fact, a new metal.
Platinum's superior properties, such as resistance to heat and acids have made it popular for scientific, medical and industrial purposes.
Some of the world’s most renowned jewellers, including Cartier, Faberge and Tiffany, have created many of their timeless designs in platinum.
The world-famous diamonds including the Hope, Jonker I, and the Koh-I-Noor are secured in platinum.
In the early 1900's, platinum reached its peak in popularity and was the preferred metal for fine jewelry in North America.
Platinum jewelry usually contains 90% to 95% of pure platinum.
Platinum jewelry does not tarnish or lose its rich white luster.

Posted by Mike Gupton at 5:42 PM 0 Comments

Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting Silver Facts

Silver Uses
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Silver has many unique properties including its strength, malleability, ductility, electrical and thermal conductivity, sensitivity to light and high reflectance of light. It also has the ability to endure extreme temperature ranges. These unique properties make silver extremely useful in a number of applications.
In 2007, 455.5 million ounces of silver were used for industrial applications, while over 128 million ounces of silver were used in photography, 163.4 million ounces were consumed in the jewelry market, and 58.8 million ounces were used in the silverware market.

Coinage

Silver has been used as a medium of exchange since earliest recorded history, but silver coins were first used in the eastern Mediterranean during 550 BC. By 269 BC, the Roman Empire adopted silver as part of its standard coinage and it was used throughout the trading world.
Until the late 19th century, most nations were on a silver standard with silver coins forming the main circulating currency. Although gold was also used in coinage, its higher value was not practical for everyday payments.

Jewelry

Silver jewellery is highly prized for its brilliant lustre and its ease of fabrication, properties that it shares with gold. Pure silver is tarnish resistant, but too soft for use in jewellery. It is often alloyed with other metals, such as copper, to harden it. For example, sterling silver is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper.

Silverware and Table Settings

The same properties that make silver ideal for jewelry, such as its reflective brilliance and tarnish resistance, also make it ideal for use in silverware. Silver is often alloyed with copper for use as cutlery, bowls and decorative items such as picture frames.
Sterling silver has been the standard for silverware since the 14th century. Some less-expensive tableware is plated with a silver coating of 20 to 30 microns thick.

Silver is a Precious Metal

Silver is relatively scarce, however, it is the most plentiful and least expensive of the precious metals. Precious metals are valued for their beauty, superior properties and relative scarcity in the Earth’s. Silver is symbol of status and wealth and is one of the most sought after of all the precious metals.

Posted by Mike Gupton at 5:39 PM 0 Comments

Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting Gold Facts

Gold Numbers and facts
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Some of the more extraordinary statistics which gold has accumulated across the centuries and around the world.
•79 protons - The atomic number of gold, which means there are 79 protons in the nucleus of every atom of gold.
•49ers - The 40,000 miners who joined the California Gold Rush in 1849 were called “49ers”. Only a very few ever got rich.
•50 miles - One ounce of gold can be stretched to a length of 50 miles; the resulting wire would be just five microns wide.
•7.2 Million - The number of times that all of the existing gold in the world, turned into 5 micron wire, could wrap around the planet.
•9 metres square - One ounce of pure gold could be hammered into a single sheet nine metres square.
•1064 degrees centigrade - Gold melts at 1064 degrees centigrade.
•2808 degrees centigrade - ...And only boils at 2808 degrees centigrade.
•165,000 tonnes - This is the total number of tonnes of gold mined since the beginning of civilisation.
•20 metres cubed - ... all of which would fit into a crate of 20 cubic metres..
•90% - Over 90 percent of the world’s gold has been mined since the California Gold Rush.
•100 million – 100 million people worldwide depend on gold mining for their livelihood.
•31.103 grams - The number of grams in a troy ounce of gold.
•400 troy ounces - The number of troy ounces in a “London Good Delivery Bar”.
•200 gold coins - Julius Caesar gave two hundred gold coins to each of his soldiers from the spoils of war in defeating Gaul.
•4,600 tonnes - Fort Knox holds 4,600 tonnes of gold.
•6,200 bars - And the US Federal Reserve holds 6,200.
•37 degrees - The temperature of the human body is 37 degrees centigrade. Because of gold’s unique conductivity, gold jewellery rapidly matches your body’s heat, becoming part of you.
•1 oz - It is rarer to find a one ounce nugget of gold than a five carat diamond.
•60% - The percentage of gold mined today that becomes jewellery.
•394% increase - The % increase in the price of gold from Dec 2000 to October 2010.
•750 parts per thousand - The number of parts per thousand of pure gold in 18 carat gold.
•95 BC - In 95 BC, Chinese Emperor Hsiao Wu I minted gold commemorative piece to celebrate the sighting of a unicorn.
•53cm - The largest gold coin ever minted, a 2007 Canadian $1,000,000 Maple Leaf is 53cm in diameter.
•1922 - Howard Carter made his famous “tiny breach of the top left hand corner of the doorway” to reveal the first glimpse of Tutankhamun’s tomb on 26 November 1922.
•15,000 tonnes - Even at only 10 parts of gold per quadrillion, the world’s oceans are estimated to hold up to 15,000 tonnes of gold.
•2316 troy ounces - The largest ever true gold nugget weighted 2316 troy ounces when found at Moliagul in Australia in 1969. It was called the “Welcome Stranger”.
•US $55 billion - In November 2010, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) fund, a World Gold Council sponsored exchange traded fund, held over $55 billion assets under management.
•60% - World Gold Council members collectively represent around 60% of all corporate mining activity.
•35 - The number of times gold has reached a new high in 2010.

Posted by Mike Gupton at 5:37 PM 0 Comments