Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Escape the 72% Trap: Secrets to Retaining Customers Amidst Disappointing Support!

As customer expectations soar, the bar for delivering exceptional support has never been set higher. Studies reveal a staggering truth: 72% of customers are willing to walk away after a single negative experience. It is wake-up call, highlighting how crucially amazing customer support is for a business to thrive and stand the test of time.

The Untold Toll of Disappointing Customer Service

While the digital age has provided numerous conveniences, it has also amplified the consequences of subpar customer support:
Customer Attrition
Customer attrition refers to the rate at which customers stop doing business with a company or switch to a competitor. A single negative experience can significantly impact this rate. When customers encounter an issue or have a bad experience with a product or service, about three-quarters of them become inclined to stop their association with the brand.
Trust Erosion
When customers feel let down or encounter problems that aren't adequately resolved, their trust in the brand diminishes. This trust erosion is especially powerful today where information spreads rapidly through social media and review platforms. Even a handful of negative encounters can significantly affect how the brand is perceived by a larger audience, potentially deterring new customers and affecting the loyalty of existing ones.
Revenue Fallout
When customers are unhappy with the service they receive, they're less likely to spend money on that brand's products or services in the future. The financial repercussions of lost sales due to poor service can be substantial. Not only do businesses lose out on immediate sales, but they also risk losing long-term customers who might have otherwise continued to make repeat purchases or engage in higher-value transactions.

The Waiting Game: A Frustrating Customer Journey

A customer's journey can sometimes be fraught with frustrations that hinder their experience. Here are some common points in the customer journey where frustrations often arise:
Endless Waiting
Long wait times for issue resolution significantly impact a customer's satisfaction and overall experience. When customers encounter delays in getting their problems resolved, it often leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. This prolonged waiting period can also make customers feel undervalued, as their time and concerns are not being adequately respected. Ultimately, it tarnishes the overall impression of the company and diminishes the likelihood of the customer returning for future business.
Agent Roulette
Experiencing multiple transfers between different customer service agents without a resolution is a common source of frustration for customers. This "agent roulette" amplifies their frustration because it prolongs the time it takes to resolve the issue. Each transfer requires the customer to explain their problem anew, leading to repetition and a sense of wasted time. Additionally, it gives the impression of disorganization within the company's support structure, causing customers to feel like their issue isn't being taken seriously or isn't receiving the necessary attention.
Vague Responses
When customers seek help or clarification and receive vague, ambiguous, or unhelpful answers, it leaves them feeling undervalued and more dissatisfied than before. Vague responses can make customers feel as though their concerns are not being properly understood or addressed, leading to a sense of frustration and disappointment.

A Beacon of Hope: Elevating Customer Support with Hiver

In this setting of dissatisfaction, a solution emerges: Hiver, a platform designed to revolutionize customer support and counter disappointing encounters. Its mission? To transform the support journey in terms of email management, automations, analytics, integrations, and multi-channel support.

Email Management

Hiver redefines email management, transforming your Gmail inbox into a collaborative workspace. It enables:
Shared Inbox: Seamlessly collaborate with teams by sharing an inbox, ensuring swift responses and avoiding email redundancy.
Email Assignment: Assign emails to specific team members, streamlining accountability and ensuring prompt follow-ups.
Collision Alerts: Prevent duplicate responses by receiving alerts when multiple team members start working on the same email.
@Mentions: Tag team members within email threads using @mentions to draw attention to specific parts or requests, fostering streamlined communication.


Streamlining processes and reducing manual tasks is where Hiver truly shines:
Rule-based automations: Automate email handling by categorizing, assigning, and tagging messages according to predefined criteria, streamlining workflow efficiency.
Round Robin Assignment: Distribute incoming tasks among team members, ensuring fair workload distribution and maintaining consistent response times in customer support.
Harvey – The AI Bot: Harvey, Hiver's AI Bot, assists in handling routine queries, providing instant responses, and suggesting relevant resources, freeing up human agents' time and enhancing overall productivity in customer support.
Body-Search Automations: Automatically categorizes, tags, or assigns emails based on specific content within the message body, enabling swift and accurate handling of diverse queries without manual intervention.


Hiver empowers data-driven decision-making through insightful analytics:
Reports and Dashboards: Provide comprehensive reports and intuitive dashboards that offer insights into team performance, email metrics, and response times, aiding in better decision-making and optimizing workflows.
SLA and Business Hours: Allow teams to monitor and ensure compliance with set response times, enhancing accountability and maintaining service quality.
Customer Surveys (CSAT): Enable the collection of feedback directly from customers, providing valuable insights into satisfaction levels and areas for improvement, facilitating continuous enhancement of service quality.


Seamless integration capabilities enhance Hiver's functionality and usability:
Google Workspace Integration: Seamlessly integrate with Google Workspace and leverage Gmail’s familiarity while adding collaborative features.
Third Party Integration: Integrate with various third-party apps, enhancing workflow and ensuring a cohesive ecosystem. Here is a list of third-party apps that can be integrated with Hiver: Aircall, Asana, Jira, Okta, QuickBooks, Salesforce, WhatsApp, and Zapier.

Multi-Channel Support

Hiver ensures a unified approach in handling various communication channels:
Knowledge Base: Allow customers to access self-service resources and FAQs, empowering them to find solutions independently, reducing support ticket volume and enhancing user satisfaction.
Live Chat: Enable real-time interactions between customers and support teams, facilitating quick issue resolution, and providing personalized assistance.
Email: Centralize email communication, allowing teams to collaborate, assign, and track emails within shared inboxes efficiently, ensuring prompt and organized responses to customer inquiries.
Voice Channel: Enable seamless handling of customer support via phone calls, ensuring a holistic approach to customer interactions across various communication channels. This requires an Aircall account.
WhatsApp Channel: Allows direct engagement with customers on a widely used messaging platform, enhancing accessibility and providing convenience for customers seeking support.

Join the Movement Towards Exceptional Support

The numbers don't lie: the cost of poor customer support is high, but the rewards of delivering exceptional service are even greater.

In the journey towards customer satisfaction, Hiver stands as a beacon, offering not just a solution, but a revolution. It's time to rewrite the narrative, turning disappointing experiences into opportunities for stellar support that retains, satisfies, and ultimately, propels businesses towards enduring success.

Get started with Hiver today.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Email Authentication Requirements for 2024

In October 2023, Google and Yahoo revealed significant changes in enforcing stricter rules for email transmissions. Google's recent announcement outlined that domain owners sending bulk emails to Gmail addresses must authenticate their emails. Similarly, Yahoo’s announcement specified that bulk email senders must authenticate their emails using recognized email authentication standards, provide one-click unsubscribe options, and deliver valuable content to Yahoo users. Both companies have also announced that the changes are scheduled for February this year.

New Requirements for Bulk Senders

Google imposes a more stringent criteria; hence, adhering to these guidelines will also meet Yahoo's requirements.

  1. Authenticate your email.

Google and Yahoo have declared that it is important for companies sending lots of emails to use email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for all email addresses. This helps stop scammers from pretending to be real companies and sending spam to people.

  1. Allow recipient to easily unsubscribe.

Users should have the ability to easily unsubscribe from your mailing list with a single click. This one-click unsubscribe feature is among the requirements set by Google and Yahoo for bulk emails. It aims to simplify the process for recipients to opt out of unwanted messages, ensuring a spam-free inbox.

  1. Keep spam report rate as close to 0% as possible.

Both Google and Yahoo recommend a spam rate not exceeding 0.3%. That’s 3 in 1000 messages. Ideally, try aiming for under 0.1%. Consistently flagged messages can lead to future emails from your domain being marked as spam. Focusing on sending emails to willing recipients and steering clear of unsolicited messages is the best approach.

Google and Yahoo’s Sender Guidelines

Gmail and Yahoo’s updated criteria primarily focus on larger bulk senders. If you are to look into the detailed requirements, you will see that certain rules will only affect high-volume senders dispatching over 5,000 emails daily, but there are also rules that are intended for low volume senders. If you are a small or medium organization, these changes may seem less impactful—but ignoring them is not advisable.

Google’s Requirements for all senders

Additional Requirements for senders sending 5000 emails daily

Set up SPF or DKIM email authentication for your domain.

Set up both SPF and DKIM for your domain

Ensure that sending domains or IPs have valid forward and reverse DNS records (PTR records).

Set up DMARC email authentication for your sending domain. Your DMARC policy can be set to none (p=none).

Use a TLS connection for transmitting email.

For direct mail, the domain in the sender's From: header must be aligned with either the SPF domain or the DKIM domain. This is required to pass DMARC alignment.

Keep spam rates reported in Postmaster below 0.10% and avoid reaching a spam rate of 0.30%.

Format messages according to Internet Message Standard (RFC 5322).

Do not impersonate Gmail From: headers to prevent email delivery issues as Gmail will be at p=quarantine.

Add ARC headers for forwarded emails; mailing lost senders add List-id: header


Yahoo’s requirements for all senders:

  • Authenticate your mail. Implement SPF or DKIM at a minimum.

  • Keep spam rates low. Keep it below 0.3%.

  • Have a valid forward and reverse DNS record for your sending IPs.

  • Comply with RFCs 5321 and 5322.


What are the consequences if I overlook this?

Expect more of your emails to go to spam in Gmail and Yahoo mailboxes, a decline in engagement, and the potential risk of being blacklisted.

Is this a one-time setup?

Setting up SPF and DKIM is typically a one-time process. However, regular monitoring is essential for DMARC and Google Postmaster. It is equally crucial to uphold list hygiene and adhere to other recommended practices.

When can we expect these changes to happen?

The changes are scheduled for a gradual rollout starting in February 2024, providing opportunities for refinement and adaptations influenced by industry input.

Are you ready for Google and Yahoo’s requirements this 2024?

How Interlock IT can help with DMARC

Do not let uncertainty hold you back. Connect with one of our experts today to review your DMARC configuration and ensure you are not lagging behind.

  • Setup and Implementation: Establishing DMARC may involve technical complexities, but rest assured, Interlock IT will manage all the intricate technical aspects of configuring DMARC for your domain.

  • Monitoring and Reporting: We conduct continuous monitoring and analysis of DMARC reports, guaranteeing vigilant oversight of your email channels for smooth and secure operations.

  • Compliance and Optimization: We will ensure that your email transmission practices stay in line with the most recent standards, enhancing both email deliverability and security.

Adjusting to the updated email prerequisites established by Google and Yahoo will be vital in upholding email deliverability and security. With Interlock IT, you can effortlessly navigate these changes. Our proficiency in DNS configuration, supervision, and conformity guarantees your emails reach the right audience, sustaining effective and secure business communications.

We hope this blog has helped you in getting ready for the upcoming changes in February 2024. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here to guide you through this transition.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Fact or Fiction: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Myths vs. Business Benefits


In the previous blog, the discussion unraveled the intricacies of email authentication mechanisms - SPF, DKIM, and DMARC and their fundamental roles. Today, the focus shifts toward dispelling common myths encircling these mechanisms. They are not immune to misconceptions, and clarifying their true capabilities is essential to identifying their tangible benefits for businesses. From boosting credibility to safeguarding against cyber threats, these mechanisms hold significant value beyond their technical functions.

Myths Unraveled

1. SPF alone suffices for email security.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) works by checking whether an email was sent from an authorized IP address. However, it is important to note that SPF alone does not provide comprehensive email security. It needs to be combined with DKIM and DMARC, and together, they work as a robust solution against email spoofing.

2. DKIM guarantees unalterable emails.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) works by adding a domain's signature to emails and ensures that the email remains unaltered in transit. A valid DKIM signature guarantees that the message originated from the domain specified in the signature, but it provides no information on whether the content is safe. Also, while DKIM provides an encrypted digital signature, it does not encrypt the actual content of the email.

3. DMARC eliminates most email phishing and spoofing concerns.

While DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is a powerful tool in combating email phishing and spoofing, it does not completely eradicate all concerns related to these threats.

The image below is an example of a phishing email that passed SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

Phishing email example

The email looks legitimate; it displays the company logo, uses official language, and directs the receiver to a landing page that mirrors the organization's website. The problem arises when the cursor hovers over the "Update Account Now" button. Instead of leading the customer to the company's domain, it leads to an unfamiliar website.

Some users believe that DMARC should have caught this phishing attempt. But why did DMARC fail to catch this?

DMARC identifies spoofed emails from your domain, often used in phishing scams. But in the example above, the attacker used a look-alike domain, replacing the (oh) in orange with a 0 (zero). If the attacker has set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for the look-alike domain, chances are the fraudulent email will reach the user's inbox. Even if the content would be obvious to some as phishing, to the DMARC system, the email is properly authenticated.

4. I've set up DMARC for my email domain as I'm using Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, both of which assure support for DMARC.

Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace check for DMARC validation. However, they do not offer DMARC data analysis.

5. DMARC is only for big organizations and major email senders.

DMARC is not exclusive to large organizations that send high volumes of email. It is essential for all businesses, regardless of size, to authenticate their emails and prevent domain spoofing or impersonation. All businesses can benefit from the security measures DMARC provides to safeguard their email communications and maintain their domain's integrity.

Dispelling the misconceptions surrounding email authentication protocols is the first step in uncovering their inherent benefits. Once clarified, these protocols reveal their vital role in upholding email integrity. Let us explore their tangible benefits in safeguarding email integrity. 

Why implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?

Enhanced Email Credibility

Implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC boosts your email authenticity. Verified emails are less likely to be marked as spam or phishing attempts, enhancing your brand's credibility.

Improved Deliverability

By reducing the chances of legitimate emails landing in spam folders, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC contribute to better email deliverability rates, ensuring critical messages reach the audience. With improved deliverability, it will immediately increase the open rates and ROI on marketing emails.

Brand Reputation Protection

Preventing unauthorized usage of one's domain for malicious purposes preserves a brand's integrity and trustworthiness in the eyes of their clients and partners. By safeguarding against email fraud and spoofing, they build trust with customers, assuring them that communications from their domains are authentic and secure.

Comprehensive Email Protection

The combined use of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC provides a multi-layered defense, significantly reducing the likelihood of successful email-based attacks. These mechanisms provide robust defenses against email spoofing and phishing, safeguarding sensitive business and customer data.


As digital risks evolve, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC stand strong as shields against cyber threats. While debunking myths is crucial, understanding their pivotal role in fortifying email security and their substantial business advantages is equally vital.

Empowering a business with these protocols involves effective implementation, safeguarding its communications, and fortifying the brand's trustworthiness and reliability in cyberspace.

Protect your emails, protect your business!