Chicago Tech Scene: In the News

Posted by Kinga Ricci on Jul 22, 2016 10:10:47 AM

chicago tech scene There are so many cool things happening in Chicago’s tech community that it’s hard to keep!

That’s why we’re here — to bring you all the top news in one convenient spot.

This was a busy week, so let’s jump right in! Check out the Chicago tech news you may have missed this week:

Don't Lose Important Data From Phone Calls

There are a lot of resources out there if you want to analyze data from emails, social media, web-based ads, and so on. But what about data and information that is mentioned over a phone conversation?

DialogTech just announced the launch of Dialog Analytics — their breakthrough approach to categorizing phone call conversations.

"In today's mobile-first world, consumers researching purchases on their smartphones engage with businesses by calling," said Irv Shapiro, CEO of DialogTech, in a statement. "Each call and conversation contain a wealth of actionable -- but untapped -- marketing insights. DialogTech now provides the only platform for marketers to see which channels, ads, campaigns, keywords and website content drive good calls, with the definition of 'good' being completely customizable to each marketing organization."

Read the full press release here.  

Tracking Online Reviews: The Easy Way 

Before booking a doctor’s appointment, making a reservation at a restaurant, or even applying for a job at a company — what’s the first thing we all do?

Check online reviews.

But with so many online review website, it’s hard to keep an eye on them all and reign in all the results, insights, and feedback.

ReviewTrackers realized this problem and they just secured $4 Million to solve this issue. Their software allows companies to keep an eye on every major review website.

"We invest in companies that we believe can improve how businesses interact with and deliver value to customers," said Dan Reed, managing director of American Family Ventures, in a statement. "It's essential for businesses in the digital age to become customer-centric and deliver on their brand promises. ReviewTrackers offers that function — a simple, fast, and easy way to listen, respond to, and innovate based on what customers are saying."

Read the full press release here.

Wish there was more? Check out these articles:

Med-software maker Caremerge raises $14 million Crain’s Chicago Business

ReviewTrackers raises $4 million more Crain’s Chicago Business

Tech roundup: SpotHero heads to Hollywood, ReviewTrackers' new round, & more Built in Chicago

Tech.Co Heads to Chicago for Startups, Stays for the Comedy

LQD Business Finance Secures Portion of Series A Financing, Led by Fintech Ventures Fund Built in Chicago

This Wooden Smart Clock Will Keep You From Constantly Checking Your Phone Chicago Inno

Pritzker-Backed Dollar Shave Club Acquired for Reported $1B Chicago Inno  

RedWave raises $5.5 million to turn heat into electricity Chicago Tribune

SpotHero expands to LA, plans to add other West Coast cities Chicago Tribune


employee welcome kit

Topics: Chicago Tech News

4 Ways to Break Through the Noise to Improve Communication with Millennials

Posted by Lauren Decker on Jul 21, 2016 2:15:41 PM

Improve Communication with Millennials

Researchers estimate that each individual is exposed to anywhere from 500 to 5,000 ads per day.

That’s just advertisements—not including personal emails, texts, phone calls, or in-app messages. Nor does it include professional emails, instant messages (like Slack or Lync), or phone calls. 

Factor in all these additional interactions and you can see why the term “information overload” has become inherently tied to the “Digital Age.”

People of all generations are being inundated by various types of communication each day, making it difficult to break through the noise to identify what incoming messages are actually important. The reality is that people do, in fact, overlook critical information. Millennials especially are at risk of failing to identify crucial information.

As digital natives, Millennials have grown up with multiple communication platforms at their disposal. However, their exposure to so many mediums and active engagement on each of them means they may be exposed to even more interactions than the average person.

This can be especially problematic when Millennials are receiving information from multiple channels about the same topic.

Let’s take relocation for example. When a Millennial is relocating, they could be communicating with a third party relocation supplier, a van line, a travel agent, and their new manager (to name a few). These communications may be received over the phone, via email, or even text. The result is that your relocating employee could neglect to see key details about their move.

Let’s take a look at exactly why Millennials are at higher risk of missing information and, more importantly, how you can break through the noise to ensure your Millennial employees receive, review, and act on important relocation information delivered to them.

1. Millennials have the shorter attention spans than previous generations.  

No generation—from Baby-Boomers to Gen Z—is exempt from the ongoing influx of information in today’s world. Yet, even if a Baby-Boomer and Millennial were to receive the same information from the same platforms at the same time, the Millennial is more likely to overlook critical information.


Having been raised with multiple screens in front of them (essentially from birth) has resulted in Millennials struggling to focus on one thing at a time, resulting in shorter attention spans. This is especially challenging considering the average attention span is also decreasing.The average attention span was 12 seconds in 2008. In 2015, the average attention span is found to be 8 seconds. For comparison, goldfish are thought to have an attention span of 9 seconds.

This means that Millennials may already be at a disadvantage when it comes to reviewing and searching for necessary information. For relocation information, this could result in them skimming through an email and getting distracted by other incoming communications, even those that may be less important.

There are a few tactics you can use to combat this. For starters, take extra care to mark critical information as such. When sending an important time-sensitive email, include the action you want the recipient to take. For example, you may write “IMPORTANT PLEASE READ” in the subject line before you hit send.

For relocation, and other work-related information, it’s important to set expectations for what your employee should be looking for. You can even lay the foundation for communication in your relocation policy. If you’re using a third party that provides a Relocation Consultant, you should include language in the policy that states how the Relocation Consultant will reach out — whether that’s via phone call, email, or some other means.

2. Millennials are communicating on 4-5 platforms at a time.

To complicate matters further, Millennials not only have the short attention spans, but they also engage on more communication channels than any other generation. At any given time, Millennials may be switching between email, text, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram…and the list goes on.

While being tied to all these channels increases the flood of information to Gen Y (and probably contributes to their short attention spans), this behavior does provide you with some valuable insight into how Millennials perceive interactions. As a result of communicating on with multiple mediums, Millennials have come to expect certain information to be associated with certain platforms.

Bank account information is an example of a communication that many people expect to receive consistently from the same channel. Nowadays, many people are managing their bank accounts online or via a mobile app. For this reason, an individual may expect to receive all banking information in the form of an email or mobile alert. When they receive an important notice regarding bank account details via a mailed letter, they may overlook it because they’re expecting to receive an online alert instead.

Use this insight to improve relocation communication. Instead of giving suppliers and relocation consultants numerous communication options, it may be more effective to streamline these communications into one platform. Delivering all these communication in one format means relocating Millennials knows where to go for all details related to their move.

There are many options to choose from, but Relocation Management Software is emerging as an innovative solution to facilitate relocation conversations. If you’re relocating employees are already using an online tool to plan and manage their move, it makes sense that they would have access to all relocation related information there too.

3. Millennials need more help tailoring their communication style to different channels.

Millennials clearly have expectations for what information is received from each platform they’re engaging on, but they tend to struggle to tailor their response to that channel or person. Because Millennials are actively participating in so many conversations at once, they often respond to all communications in the same casual tone.

If you manage or work with a Millennial, you have likely experienced this nonchalant tone. Workplace emails are a good example. Baby Boomers and Generation X typically expect work emails to take on a professional, formal tone. When a Millennial responds to one of these emails with one to two words, it can lead to miscommunication and even tension between the sender and recipient.

Why do Millennials default to this causal language?

Even though Millennials are thought to be more sensitive to conversation tone, they often miss the mark when it comes to written communication because they apply the same communication style to any channel they’re engaging on.

Millennials have grown up sending brief text messages that usually aren’t even a complete sentence. This habit has been exploited further by social media channels like Twitter, where you are only allowed to post 140 character tweets.

To help avoid miscommunications, employers may need to set more explicit expectations for Millennials at work. Help Millennials identify what channels should be perceived as urgent, which channels should be formal, and which, if any, can be more casual.

If you’re managing a Millennial, you can set expectations that instant messaging is for urgent items and all other requests should be sent via email. While it may seem like overkill, it will help ensure you are on the same page and improve communication back and forth.

For relocation, setting expectations for communication can also be very helpful. By nature, relocations are time-sensitive events. If an employee is moving in the next few months for a new position, help them understand where they should expect to receive communication and most importantly, how you expect them to react to it.

For example, if an employee is expected to complete a needs assessment in order to start obtaining supplier quotes, you need to let them know how they receive that information and how quickly they should fill it out.

While at first glance the reasons above may make it seem like connecting Millennials about important relocation information is impossible, they actually provide insight into how our Millennials perceive communication and how our processes can be altered to make messaging them more effective.

We know that Millennials are more likely to respond to brief, to the point messages because of their short attention spans. We also know that they expect to receive specific communications from specific platforms. And finally, we know that their response time can also be tied to which channel they’re communicating on.

Using these insights, we can set proper expectations for how we expect Millennials to engage and also tailor our communication delivery to ensure important details, relocation related or otherwise, aren’t lost in translation.

communicating with millennials

Topics: Millennials & Gen Z, July Monthly Blog

[Webinar] 4 Strategies for Mastering Communication with Millennials in the Workplace

Posted by Aria Solar on Jul 21, 2016 12:12:06 PM

communicating with millennials

Millennials have been a hot topic in the news for years.

We've gone from pushing back on their habits, to trying to understand their habits, to finally accepting their habits, and now even emulating their habits.

Traits and characteristics that were once viewed in a negative light are now starting to show their value—and this is a very good thing.

A part of this is due to the evolution of these characteristics and how Millennials have chosen to grow their once perceived negative traits into strengths, but the other part is due to the change in our attitudes of how we view Millennials.

By shifting the way we view this generation and looking at what they bring to the table through a different and more positive lens, we’re able to make a much bigger impact in the workplace.

We’re starting to see the effects of what a Millennial way of thinking can bring to the workplace, and the results are profound. Millennials have already managed to take the lead in the workforce, accounting for over 50% of the working population. While the transition period may have started out a bit rocky, we’re recognizing the unique benefits of having both Millennials, Baby-Boomers, and now Gen Z, in the office, all working alongside one another towards a common goal.

However, one thing that has been difficult to adjust to is the Millennial communication style.

Join our webinar on August 24th from 1pm—1:45pm CDT with Erin Wasson and Susan Kifus to dive into key topics that will give you a different perspective on Millennials then you've ever had before.

Our webinar will dive into topics like: 

  • Historical Context for Why Millennials Communicate the Way They Do

  • The Best Methods of Communication for Millennials

  • How to Segment Conversation and Communication

  • What This Means for Millennial Relocations

We’ll touch on these reasons and show you how to adjust processes at your company in order to better align with this new way of thinking.

communication with millennials webinar

Topics: Millennials & Gen Z

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