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Importance of Selecting a Holistic Veterinarian

Pets are normally considered to be part of the family by their owners and hence making sure that they are comfortable and that they are well taken care of is what pet owners tries to do. The best veterinarian has to be chosen by a pet owner as there are times that their pet will need a regular check-up or when they are not feeling well they will need to be treated. There are many holistic veterinarians that are there and hence for a person that wants to choose a holistic veterinarian, they have to ensure that they do select the best one. Experiencing the benefits below can be when the best holistic veterinarian is chosen.

Holistic veterinarian are beneficial for a person since they normally practice holistic medicine that involves treating patients using natural methods. The diet, genetics, stress, environment and past history of the pet is also checked by the holistic veterinarian as they not only check at the symptoms like the way the regular veterinarian do. A person can thus be assured that their pet will be well treated when they take them to a holistic veterinarian because with all the information that they get to gather they will be able to treat the whole problem and not just fix the complaint that a person has of their pet.

Natural substances such as herbs, vitamins and even food are the ones that are normally used by the holistic veterinarian which is beneficial since they are more natural and safe. Pets usually respond well to the treatments that the holistic veterinarians gets to use as they have little or no side effects and they are safe. A person can be assured that when they do take their pet to a holistic veterinarian that they are going to live longer and will feel better. Preventive medicine and keeping the body healthy and in balance is what the holistic veterinarian focuses on in as much as the holistic medicine gets to treat many different conditions.

Holistic veterinarian have not only undergone the traditional medical training that other regular veterinarian have undergone but they have also gone through additional medical training and hence it is beneficial to choose them as they are very knowledgeable. Holistic veterinarians therefore are much more aware of what the pet needs in order to get well soon and hence they are in the best position to treat well the pet. It is beneficial for a person to also get to choose holistic veterinarian as they also practice complementary medicine most of them and hence they can also use traditional diagnostic tests such as lab work.

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The Top Factors to Consider When Selecting a Boutique Hotel

If you’ve ever resided in a boutique hotel, you probably know how intimate and charming they are. Boutique hotels provide their unique d?cor and style along with their charm that makes guests feel comfortable du4ring their stay. Selecting the right boutique hotel may be difficult as there are many service providers in this line of business. It is therefore important that you conduct proper research so that you have an easy time selecting the right hotel and at a convenient place. This article outlines some of the top factors to be considered when one is looking for a boutique hotel.

The first factor to check on is the amenities present. This is a very important factor as it will help you understand the kinds of facilities that are present at different boutique hotels. To avoid unpleasant surprises, make sure you check ion the facilities offered by different services before you decide on one. Boutique hotels come with few and basic amenities as compared to other brands. Some of the amenities you can get are restaurants, gym, etc. You should settle for a boutique hotel that has the amenities you need for your stay to be enjoyable.

The next factor to consider when choosing a boutique hotel is the location. A lot of questions will pop your mind when considering the boutique hotel’s location. You should check if the location is close to the venues of basic traveling modes. The location should also be secure for your stay to be a peaceful one. You should also check the transportation of the area and if the area has tourists’ attractions that can be explored. Addressing all these issues will help you select a hotel whose location you are convenient with and this will make you have a pleasant stay.

You can also use reviews to decide on the best boutique hotel based on your needs. Reading testimonials of the experiences of others who have stayed in the hotels you are considering will help you deduce the quality of services they offer. The majority of these reviews are always honest and they will prove vital during your selection process. With these reviews, you can deduce the quality of services rendered by these experts. You can also seek referrals from friends and family members who have visited boutique hotels before. You can then research the quality of services rendered by the hotels on your list before you make a decision. Make sure you settle for one with a lot of positive reviews as this will be an indication of superior services from them.

The final element to check on when choosing a boutique hotel is the cost of service. Boutique hotels charge their services differently and this is brought about by factors such as the amenities they have. Make sure you settle for a hotel whose rates you can easily afford without compromising your finances. You can also compare the rates of various hotels so that you have an easy time choosing one that offers quality services and at a reasonable fee.

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Internet Banking: Relevance in a Changing World

Surprising, but true – Internet-based activity is not the preserve of the young “digital native” generation alone. A 2008 survey says that Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) uses Internet banking significantly more than any other demographic segment, with two thirds of Internet users in this age group banking online.

Gen X users have also professed their preference for applications such as Facebook, to share, connect and be part of a larger community.

This is some irony in this, since online banking, as we know it today, offers minimal interactivity. Unlike in a branch, where the comfort of two way interaction facilitates the consummation of a variety of transactions, the one way street of e-banking has only managed to enable the more routine tasks, such as balance enquiry or funds transfer.

It’s not hard to put two and two together. A clear opportunity exists for banks that can transform today’s passive Internet banking offering into one that provides a more widespread and interactive customer experience.

It is therefore imperative that banks transform their online offering, such that it matches the new expectations of customers. Moreover, Internet banking must journey to popular online customer hangouts, rather than wait for customers to come to it.

There are clear indications that the shift towards a “next generation” online banking environment has already been set in motion. It is only a matter of time before these trends become the norm.

Leveraging of Social Networks

Forward thinking banks are leveraging existing social networks on external sites to increase their visibility among interested groups. They are also deploying social software technology on their own sites to engage the same communities in two way discussions. Thus, their Internet banking has assumed a more pervasive persona – customers are engaging with the bank, along with its products and services even when they’re not actually transacting online.

Heightened visibility apart, banks can gain tremendous customer insight from such unstructured, informal interactions. For example, a discussion on the uncertain financial future among a group of 18 to 25 year olds could be a signal to banks to offer long term investment products to a segment that was previously not considered a target. Going one step further, a positive buzz around a newly launched service can create valuable word-of-mouth advertising for the business.

Collaborating through Web 2.0

The collaborative aspect of Web 2.0 applications has enabled banks to draw customers inside their fold more than ever before. Traditional methods such as focus group discussions or market research suffer from the disadvantages of high cost, limited scope and potential to introduce bias. Feedback forms merely serve as a post-mortem. In contrast, Web 2.0 has the ability to carry a vast audience along right from the start, and continue to do so perpetually. Thus, an interested community of prospects and customers participate in co-creating products and services which can fulfil their expectations.

The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 enables delivery of e-banking across multiple online locations and web-based gadgets such as Yahoo!Widgets, Windows Live or the iPhone. This means next generation online banking customers will enjoy heightened access and convenience

A New York based firm of analysts found that 15% of the 70 banks tracked by them had adopted Web 2.0, a number of them having done so within the last 12 months.

Standard Chartered Bank employees connect with their colleagues through Facebook and use the platform to share knowledge, clarify questions and participate in discussions on ongoing company activities.

Bank of America, Wachovia Bank and Commonwealth Credit Union have built a presence within interactive media to create awareness and keep up a dialogue with interested communities. They have employed a variety of methods, ranging from creating YouTube communities to launching campaigns on Current TV, a channel in which viewers determine content.

Personalisation of Online Banking

Vanilla e-banking divides customers into very large, heterogeneous groups – typically, corporate, retail or SME, with one type of Internet banking page for each. That’s in sharp contradiction to how banking organisations would like to view their clientele. Banks are moving towards customer-specificity, almost viewing each client as a “segment of one”, across other channels, and online banking is set to follow suit. For instance, a specific home page for home loan customers and another for private banking clients could well be a possibility in future.

Interestingly, National Bank of Kuwait had the foresight to do this several years ago – they enabled customers to determine which products they would view and access, and were rewarded with a dramatic increase in online transactions.

Money Monitor from Yes Bank allows customers to choose their landing page – for example, they can set “all transactions”, “net worth” or “portfolio” as their default view. Other features include the ability to categorise transactions as per customers’ convenience and the printing of custom reports.

Empowerment Online

Beyond doubt, Internet banking has created a more informed, empowered class of customers. This is set to climb to the next level once customers are allowed to proactively participate in many more transaction-related processes. The Internet has already made it possible for customers to compare product loan offerings, simulate financial scenarios and design custom retirement portfolios. Going forward, they would be able to consummate related transactions – which means, after comparing interest rates, they could originate a loan online, and once secured, they can begin to repay it online as well.

Portalisation

The emergence of Web 2.0 technology coupled with banks’ desire to personalise their e-banking to the highest degree is likely to result in “portalisation” of Internet banking. The idea of banking customers being able to create their own spaces online, filled with all that is relevant to them, is not that far-fetched. Customers can personalise their Internet banking page to reflect the positions of multiple accounts across different banks; they could include their credit card information, subscribe to their favourite financial news, consolidate their physical assets position, share their experiences with a group and do more – all from one “place”.

Money Monitor enables customers to add multiple “accounts” (from a choice of 9,000) to their page. Accounts could be savings or loan accounts with major Indian banks, or those with utilities providers, credit card companies, brokerage firms and even frequent flyer programs. Users can customise their pages as described earlier.

As banks seek to develop their Internet banking vision for the future, in parallel, they will also need to address the key issues of security and “due defence”. While it is every marketer’s dream to have customers work as ambassadors, adequate precaution must be taken to prevent the proliferation of malicious or spurious publicity. Therefore, before an individual is allowed to participate in a networking forum, he or she must have built up a favorable track record with the bank. The individual must be a recognized customer of the bank, having used a minimum number of products over a reasonable length of time. Qualitative information about the person’s interaction with the bank’s support staff (for example frequency and type of calls made to their call centre, outcome of such interaction and so on) may be invaluable in profiling the “right” type of customer who can be recruited as a possible advocate.

Collaborative Web 2.0 applications may necessitate opening up banks’ websites to outside technology and information exchange with third party sites, raising the spectre of data and infrastructure security. A robust mechanism of checks and balances must be built to ensure that the third party sites are secure, appropriately certified and pose no threat to the home banks’ sites. Likewise, before a third party widget is allowed to be brought on to a site, it must have passed through stringent security control.

Due diligence must be exercised before permitting users to place a link to another site to guard against the possibility of inadvertent download of malicious software, which could, in the worst case, even result in phishing originating from the banks’ sites.

It is equally important for a bank to guard its customers against invasion of privacy, data theft or misuse. The concept of portalisation envisages deploying technology to bring information from other banks’ or financial service providers’ websites into the home bank’s site. The home bank must ensure that its customers’ personal or transaction related information, which may be shared with the other providers, is not susceptible to leakage or outright misuse.

Banks will do well to partner with an Internet banking solution provider which has not only the expertise to translate their vision into a cutting edge e-banking experience for the user, but also the foresight to define boundaries for safety. With security concerns adequately addressed, next generation Internet banking is full of exciting possibilities. Banks that seize the opportunity may find that Internet banking can become a means of differentiating themselves from competitors, rather than a mere cost cutting tool. Clearly, providing a more powerful and interactive e-banking experience, is the way forward.

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