Trending February 2024 # How To Improve Your Customer Feedback Loop With Automation # Suggested March 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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Why don’t you just ask? Yes, it can be that simple. Just ask your customers how they are enjoying their experience with you. More precisely, we are talking here about putting a robust customer feedback strategy in place so that you are better prepared to create and maintain an efficient customer feedback loop. Take a look at the infographic below and learn more about customer feedback loops and the impact of automation on them.

Why customer feedback is important

The success or failure of your business depends on how happy your customers are with the offerings and service. Customer is the King, after all! As a business owner, what are you doing to ensure that you are aware of your customers’ needs and expectations? However, most companies ask the customers for their feedback only after the sale is complete. While it is great when you are looking for feedback on product improvement, there is still the question of addressing and solving the right problems faced by your existing customers and prospects. Instead of guessing your way through this challenge, it is a good idea to go and talk to the customers and ask them for detailed feedback! Customer feedback can give you access to massive amounts of valuable customer data and come up with new product ideas, processes, and strategies, thus improving a business’s overall functioning. This feedback loop can only be created when there is a two-way interaction between the customers and the businesses. As you start categorizing and analyzing the data, you would see some patterns emerge. In the reviews or feedback from dissatisfied customers, you would see some common pain points and similar issues that cause frustration. It will be the same for the positive feedback, as you would see similar aspects that seem to delight your customers. If you see that the problem areas are primarily technical, get your development team to look into it. However, if there are usability issues, let your product team take over. And, if you see concerns about onboarding, your customer success team should get involved. The idea is to get the feedback loop turning! This process ensures that your customers are at the focus of product development, content creation, and process implementation instead of being an afterthought.

Application & testing (Act)

Now that you have some actionable insights at your hand, you must prepare to implement them and test them out. You may even run some A/B tests to collect data and feedback on both versions. Finally, your new version must be the winning version. If it does not, you will have to regroup and brainstorm again to come up with a better solution. You can also send your new updates to those customers who actively gave you recommendations and suggestions. Ask them for additional feedback, and you may get deeper insights and make further improvements.

Talk to the respondents (Follow up)

It’s time to close the loop by following up with the customers. If a customer has taken the time to send you feedback, you must acknowledge their effort. Irrespective of the issue they had, let them know of the impact of their feedback. Thank them for their feedback and help in improving the product. Let them know of your actions and their impact on the performance or efficiency of your product. You can approach the customers who gave you negative feedback and apprise them of the changes you made. Also, ask them whether they are open to change their review to positive after the changes.

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8 Ways To Collect Customer Feedback & What To Do With It

As a marketer, one of the biggest challenges is understanding what it is my audience wants.

What are they are looking for?

What do they need?

How can I help them?

The problem is, these questions aren’t always easy to answer.

Humans are complicated and if I’m being honest, we don’t spend enough time actually paying attention to their needs.

To cut through the noise and reach our customers, we have to pay attention to what they want – and it starts with feedback.

Customer feedback is an amazing asset to have in our toolbox. It gives us real insights into how our customers feel and what they want.

It shows us what we are doing right, how we can improve, and is integral to brand messaging and marketing.

The thing is, the idea of customer feedback can be scary.

What if they won’t help us?

What if they don’t like us?

How much time will this take?

Where do I start?

The answers:

They will.

Win them over.

As long as it needs to.

I have a few ideas!

Well, I have eight ideas to be exact.

1. Customer Check-Ins

When I worked in-house, we had a person on the marketing team whose job it was to talk to customers.

Each week he would call a small set of customers to see how they felt about the product and what we could do to help them.

The feedback was immensely useful to us and it showed the customers we cared.

Customer check-ins don’t have to be complicated.

A check-in can be as simple as picking up the phone or sending an email.

Take Amazon, for example. Some of the sellers do a great job following up, asking for feedback and requesting seller ratings:

It’s an easy thing to do and it gives you true insights into how your customers are feeling.

The key is ensuring you are actually using the feedback provided.

Make sure feedback is aggregated in one place and distributed to the right people. It doesn’t help anyone if the information isn’t shared.

2. Live Customer Q&As

A few months ago, a software suite we use was getting ready to roll out a new product. Before they did, however, they held live Q&As with power users.

This allowed the company to get real-time feedback from the people who would actually be using the product.

It also allowed them to see what features were missing, what bugs were still out there, and most importantly, how their audience would actually use it.

That last piece is key.

Most people are familiar with the Nalgene water bottle but did you know it wasn’t actually intended to be a water bottle? According to Nalgene:

Sometimes our customers can show us the best way to use our products.

Don’t be afraid to have them test things out before launch. They might give you a new idea.

3. Call on Customer Support

If you’ve gone to a marketing conference in the past 10 years there was at least one person talking about the breaking down of silos.

Marketing needs to talk to sales who needs to talk to product who needs to talk to support, etc., etc.

All of that is true but unfortunately, we still aren’t there.

Sales still isn’t using marketing content and marketing still isn’t focused on driving SQLs. There is still separation and to be honest, for most companies, that might be the case for a very long time.

If you want to create efficient marketing campaigns, you need to break down those silos – starting with support.

Your support team spends their day fielding calls from customers. They know what questions are being asked, what problems users are encountering, and what users can’t find on the website.

Pay attention to that last one.

At my last job, the marketing team held weekly meetings with the customer support team to understand customer needs but also to understand what information people were looking for.

If they couldn’t find information on the site, we added it to our content plan.

Talk to your support team. They know things.

4. Check the Chat Logs

Along with talking to your support team, take a look at chat logs.

Tools like Olark, Drift, and Livechat keep logs of the conversations happening.

If you don’t have direct access to the chat platform, ask your support team to include you on reports. Even a once-a-month review could yield valuable results.

5. Scrub Your Site Search

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, site search is one of the most underutilized functionalities in Google Analytics.

Think about it. Site search allows us to see exactly what our users are looking for. It shows us what information they want and more importantly, what information they can’t find.

Check this out:

Right before GDPR went into effect, I was analyzing a client’s site search data. The client, a marketing automation solution, had written plenty about GDPR but it wasn’t easily accessible from their home page.

What were the top search terms?

You guessed it. GDPR-related queries.

Because of the site search data we had available, we knew we needed to add something directly to the home page.

Spend time evaluating site search data. You never know what you might find in there.

6. Send Out a Survey

I love taking surveys.

They make me feel like my voice is being heard, that the company cares, and if I’m being completely honest, I’m always pretty sure they are going to reach out and give me a special thank you for filling it out (spoiler alert: that hasn’t happened).

Now, I know everyone doesn’t love them as much as me and the average response rate is ~33%, but surveys can be a great way for companies to get feedback from their customers and thanks to all the new technology, they can be done in any number of ways:

Pop-Up Surveys  

Tools like Qualaroo let you put a survey directly on your site. Even better, they let you decide when the survey should appear (e.g., when a person is about to exit).

If you are running an on-site survey, remember to keep it simple and succinct and make sure you know what you want to get out of it before you start.

Email Surveys

JetBlue does a great job with this. Post-flight, you get a simple email-based survey asking about your flight and ensuring went well.

I can also attest to the fact if you report a poor experience, they will reach out to determine what went wrong.

Post-Call Survey

If you’ve ever spent any time on the phone with a cable or credit card company, you’ve probably heard the “please stay on the line for a survey.”

Personally, these are my least favorite but they can help ensure your customer support team is doing a good job and your customers are happy.

Facebook Messenger

Not too long ago, SurveyMonkey rolled out its Facebook Messenger integration, allowing you to run surveys within Messenger.

This is actually really cool (if you aren’t spamming people) and the example of soliciting real-time feedback at events is a great use case.

There are certainly other methods of surveying but if you are looking to get started, these are solid places to start.

7. Use Abandoned Cart Emails

What. Just. Happened?

Abandoned cart emails are a great way to get people back into the buying process but they are also a great way to generate feedback.

For example, let’s say a person abandons their cart. This will usually trigger one or two follow-up emails reminding them of their purchase and perhaps offering a discount.

Why not use your final email to understand why they left?

Include a short poll or one question survey asking why they abandoned their purchase. Perhaps it had to do with shipping costs or maybe they just weren’t ready to buy.

Those two things are very different and how we respond to them should be different.

If someone simply isn’t ready to buy, they could be put into a retargeting list. If shipping was the issue, we can include them in a free shipping sale.

Getting feedback often means being creative but it also means using what you have. 

8. Track Your Brand

This last one might be the most obvious but it also can be the most difficult.

After all, the web is a pretty big place and finding every mention of your brand can feel impossible.

The thing is, you’ll never find every mention and you don’t have to.

The key is finding the ones that matter – the ones containing real feedback from real customers and potential customers.

How can we do that?

Set up Brand Alerts

There are any number of tools out there that will allow you to track your brand.

Most of us are familiar with Google Alerts and Mention, but even SEMrush allows you to track your brand. There will likely be some junk in there but take a few minutes each week to go through and see what people are saying.

Monitor Social Media

Have you ever used social media for keyword research? If not, you should.

Social is an amazing place to see real feedback from real customers and learn:

How people talk about your brand.

How they describe your products.

How they describe your competitors’ products.

Take the time to listen.

Tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Sprinklr, and Sprout Social can be hugely valuable when it comes to social listening and the latter two will actually allow you to create a whole process around responding.

Aggregate Reviews

Reviews are content gold.

Whether they are good or bad, they give you actual feedback on the customer experience and they can help you figure out what to market.

For example, if you are a bed and breakfast and all of the reviews talk about how lovely the wood fire smells, consider adding that to your marketing materials. If you are a tax attorney and the reviews note how you didn’t waste people’s time, focus your marketing on efficiency and cost savings.

Regardless of what the reviews are saying, there are things you can learn.

Consider a tool like Channel Signal that can not only aggregate reviews for you but help distill them into actionable data points.

Final Thoughts

Customer feedback is essential to marketing success and finding it doesn’t have to be hard.

Just like anything in marketing, it’s all about how you use the data.

Start small, looking at the information you already have and going from there.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, November 2023

How To Improve Your Linux Pc Audio With Pulseeffects

Is it possible to improve your Linux PC’s audio without having to buy an expensive dedicated sound card? Say hello to PulseEffects.

With PulseEffects, you can make the sound louder or apply auto-gain that “normalizes” frequencies automatically so that you can hear whispers in movies and explosions that don’t destroy your speakers. You can enhance your music’s bass levels or apply the equivalent of Creative’s “Crystalizer” effects, which can make your MP3s sound like a live concert.

Install PulseEffects

To install PulseEffects on Debian, Ubuntu, and compatible distributions, use:

sudo

apt

install

pulseeffects

On Arch and derivatives, try:

sudo

pacman

-S

pulseeffects

Fedora lovers can find PulseEffects in the official repositories and bring it on board with:

sudo

dnf

install

pulseeffects

Afterward, find it in your Applications menu and run it.

Limiter

Limiter does what its name states: it sets limits to the maximum allowed audio levels. Every audio equipment has limits, and if you exceed them, it under-performs. When the sound is louder than our equipment can output, it gets clipped off and becomes annoying noise.

By enabling the Limiter, you’re setting a ceiling to how loud your sound can go. Although the sound levels will initially be lower, they’ll soon catch up and normalize to what you’d expect. After that, the Limiter will catch any sudden loud noises and lower their volume so that it doesn’t exceed the limits you’ve set.

In other words, no more heart attacks from the blast of noise when the killer appears on-screen.

The Limiter works great with the default values. For movies, you may want to decrease the lookahead time to reduce any induced delay to the audio. For music, where delays aren’t annoying, you can increase it. This will allow the Limiter to look further ahead in the audio stream and have more time for smoother reactions to upcoming volume changes.

Auto Gain

With Auto Gain, you can turn up the volume on whispers without having to make everything louder. It works thusly:

By continuously monitoring your audio levels, it can detect loud noises and bring them down to your desired level (set in the “Target” field).

Everything at lower levels is boosted to be brought closer to your desired loudness level.

This happens dynamically. There’s constant re-adjustment as the audio plays so that loud noises remain loud but whispers still play at a lower volume than other sounds.

Let your audio play in the background and play with the Target level while monitoring the output levels on the right and the values at the bottom of the panel (Integrated, Relative, Range, etc.)

Increase the Target level so that the values are as loud as possible until you notice clipping. You’ll also see it visually with the displayed bars nearly always staying instead of being momentarily closer to their max value. At that point, slowly reduce the value so that your bars rarely reach 100.

Bass Enhancer

Does your audio sound hollow? Maybe enhancing its bass can help.

Bass Enhancer doesn’t only improve low frequencies, nor does it try to make the drums in music sound like explosions. Instead, it enriches the existing frequencies with new, artificially created frequencies.

The harmonics added to the original signal make our ears perceive the final result as richer and can be a significant upgrade to the usually thin sound of laptop speakers.

‘ To use the Bass Enhancer, leave your audio playing and enable the filter. You can:

Increase the “Amount” value to add more harmonics to the original signal.

Increase the “Harmonics” value to ask for more frequencies to be created apart from the original ones.

The frequency harmonics created are over the “Scope” value. By decreasing that, you increase the amount of the frequencies create and also the possible distortion range for your sound.

Decrease the “Floor” value. Bass Enhancer doesn’t create frequencies under this value. Lower “floor,” more space for more automatically generated harmonics – but as with the other values, increased possibility of distortion.

Note that the final result also depends on the sound material. Your settings may sound fine for some pop music but heavily distorted with metal or drum ‘n’ bass. You should try a range of audio and try to find the optimal values for what you usually listen to and your particular sound system.

Crystalizer

Popularized by Creative’s X-Fi series of audio cards, the Crystalizer can reduce the effects of compression for audio sources like MP3s.

The Crystalizer achieves its magic in a similar way to Bass Enhancer: by analyzing the available frequencies and creating new ones that complement the existing audio. The resulting audio has an expanded dynamic range and sounds much more vibrant than the original. Those who like Crystalizer believe it can make a highly compressed MP3 sound as if you were at a live concert. Audio purists, though, don’t like the artificiality of the enhanced sound, similar to the difference between a live recording and one produced in a studio.

Crystalizer’s default values are a nice middle-ground for most types of audio. Its impact is immediately felt after enabling it. You can play with the individual values afterward to increase or decrease its effect on your audio.

Improve Your Audio

We saw only a subset of the filters provided by PulseEffects. It’s worth looking into the rest of the available functionality to further customize your audio.

If you like the results, you can create and save different presets to instantly switch from a setup optimal for your favorite type of music to one that boosts and normalizes the sound in movies.

If you prefer to manage your Linux audio from the terminal, try ALSA.

Odysseas Kourafalos

OK’s real life started at around 10, when he got his first computer – a Commodore 128. Since then, he’s been melting keycaps by typing 24/7, trying to spread The Word Of Tech to anyone interested enough to listen. Or, rather, read.

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How To Fix Chatgpt Cloudflare Loop

ChatGPT is a helpful AI chatbot that can provide beneficial content and answers to your complex queries in a human-like manner. However, at times this AI chat service can also be entitled to several errors such as the ChatGPT Cloudflare loop which restricts users from accessing the ChatGPT site and keeps redirecting itself to the loop.

Users can fix ChatGPT Cloudflare loop errors by following a few simple measures such as Clearing the browser data, Disabling firewall or Antivirus software, checking DNS settings, restarting their device, and more. 

In this article, we have mentioned a detailed guide on how to fix the ChatGPT Cloudflare loop to help you get rid of this error and allow you to access ChatGPT effortlessly. 

What is a ChatGPT Infinite verifying human Cloudflare Loop?

OpenAI uses Cloudflare in ChatGPT to protect the website from any sort of cyber threats or suspicious activity. A Cloudflare loop is an error that occurs when a ChatGPT website gets caught in a redirection loop and keeps on redirecting to itself, restricting users from accessing ChatGPT’s services. 

Users might witness a message saying “Error 1000: DNS points to prohibited IP” which implies the website is currently restricted to access due to the Cloudflare loop. Users can face this error due to various reasons such as DNS configuration, network errors, server issues, and more. 

Why does Cloudflare Loop error happen?

There can be multiple reasons behind the Cloudflare loop error occurring on your device while trying to log in to ChatGPT. Sometimes, a Cloudflare loop error occurs when the security measures of Cloudflare detect an unusual or suspicious pattern from the device or network.

Other potential reasons behind this loop could be due to ChatGPT server being down from OpenAI’s end, issues with the firewall settings which might restrict users from connecting to ChatGPT’s website, Incorrect DNS settings, and more.

However, you can get rid of the Cloudflare loop error by following the measure we have mentioned below. 

How to Fix ChatGPT Cloudflare Loop – Can’t log in. Stuck on Cloudflare’s “Verify You Are Human”

If you are stuck in an endless Cloudflare loop while trying to access OpenAI’s chatbot, then here are some of the fixes that you can try to get rid of this error. 

Step 1: Clear Your browsing data

Outdated or corrupted data can be a major reason behind the Cloudflare loop, which is restricting you from accessing ChatGPT’s website. Therefore, you should eliminate cached files, outdated data, and cookies from your web browser to achieve smooth access. Here’s how you can clear your browsing data on your web browser. 

Firstly, open your web browser. 

On the right side of your screen tap on the three dots of your browser window 

Choose the “More Tools” option. 

Select a time range using the drop-down and check mark browsing data, Cookies & other data, and Cached files & images.

Once done, select the “Clear Data” option available at the bottom. 

Step 2: Check Your DNS Settings

If you have cleared your web browser data and are still facing the Cloudflare loop while trying to log in to ChatGPT. Then you should check your DNS Settings. Here’s how you can do it. 

Now exit the Command prompt and try visiting ChatGPT’s site again. 

Step 3: Disable Firewall or Antivirus Software

At times, there can be an issue with your Firewall or Antivirus Software which can cause a Cloudflare loop to occur on your device, while accessing a website or application. So, you should try disabling Firewall or Antivirus software temporarily to check whether it’s causing the issue or not.

Choose “Settings” 

Tap on “Update & Security” 

Under it, select “Windows Security” 

Now, you have to tap on the “Firewall and network protection” option and disable it. 

Once you have disabled Firewall or Antivirus software from your device, try accessing ChatGPT again and check whether you are facing the same issue again or not. If you are still facing a Cloudflare loop error, then try following the below-mentioned fixes to solve this issue. 

Step 4: Check Poor internet or Wifi connection

Poor internet or Wifi connection can result in trouble while accessing a website or application and sometimes it can even cause ChatGPT cloudflare loop error. Since a poor internet connection is unable to load the page properly and ends up loading the same page over and over again in a loop. 

Therefore, you should check your internet and wifi connection. You should restart your router or modem and try accessing ChatGPT’s website again. We would even suggest switching to a strong and faster wifi or internet connection to avoid the occurrence of such errors while accessing ChatGPT in the future. 

Step 5: Restart Your Device

Sometimes the best way to get rid of any technical issue or error is by switching off your device and trying to restart it again. This method has been pretty effective in a variety of cases.

Therefore, simply turn off your device and take a short break of about five to ten minutes. Then turn on your device and try accessing ChatGPT again to check whether the issue is resolved.

If you have performed all the above-mentioned fixes and are still facing a Cloudflare loop error while trying to access ChatGPT. Then it’s best to contact ChatGPT’s contact support and let the professional look into the matter.

FAQ’s

Why does ChatGPT get stuck in a Cloudflare loop?

There are multiple reasons why ChatGPT gets stuck in a Cloudflare loop. Sometimes there’s an issue with ChatGPT’s server, internet connection is slow, incorrect DNS configuration, and more which causes this error to occur on your device. 

Can I prevent the ChatGPT Cloudflare loop from happening?

Users cannot completely prevent the ChatGPT Cloudflare loop from happening as sometimes the reason behind the error could be from the servers’ end. However, users can perform a few measures which can reduce the chances of Cloudflare loop occurring while accessing ChatGPT.

Some of the things you can do are regularly clearing your browsing data to eliminate any outdated or corrupted files, checking your internet network, keeping your firewall and antivirus software updated, and checking your DNS settings. 

Will fixing the Cloudflare loop affect my chatbot’s performance?

No, fixing the Cloudflare loop will not result in affecting your chatbot’s performance. Instead, it could result in improving your chatbot’s performance by ensuring the chatbot could connect to the server without any issues or errors.  

Conclusion

Cloudflare Loop error is quite common in websites and applications including ChatGPT. Above we have mentioned some of the beneficial solutions that can help you fix Cloudflare loop errors effortlessly.

We have also included the potential reasons that can cause this error to occur on your device and potential measures you can take to avoid the possibility of this error in the future. 

Directly: Transforming Customer Service Powered By Ai And Automation

The automation of our daily existence isn’t a surprising era: from shopping for food to the management of our social life, we easily automate a large number of tasks. Consumer experience automation is no exception. While for many, consumer experience automation is new, there are many enterprises which are leveraging the power of consumer experience (CX) automation.

The Mission to Deliver Better Customer Service

Work is moving from fixed to fluid, distributed networks, and is increasingly automated. Directly’s AHA! moment was realizing that it could bring work and automation together, rewarding people for automating their work with a royalty that incentivizes them to build better automations. At the highest level, Directly’s CXA platform is designed to help companies deliver better customer service.  

A Proactive Leader Infusing Expert Knowledge

It’s increasingly clear that the majority of customer service inquiries can be handled automatically by giving customers the tools and assistance to instantly and effortlessly resolve their problems, or by predictively identifying and fixing these issues before the customer becomes aware of them. That said, most companies today are stumbling out of the gates with early AI and automation attempts – for example,

Leveraging AI to Drive Economic Value

Antony believes AI and the gig economy will continue to transform how people and companies work in the next economy – humans will work alongside AI, powering smart, empathetic, accurate content. Directly is leading this shift by changing the way companies deliver customer service by leveraging domain experts to create support content, continuously update the content and resolve complex issues when AI can’t – a model that can be applied to any industry.  

AI – A Tool for People

Though many fear that AI could displace human workers, Directly’s model shows that for knowledge workers, AI can be a tool for people, not instead of people. If used in the right way, AI can be a boon for businesses and employees alike.  

Overcoming Business Challenges

According to a report published by

Awards and Recognitions

The company has received numerous awards and motivating customer feedback for driving excellence in the market. Some of the notables one includes: Awards •  2023 Frost and Sullivan Technology Innovation Award •  2023 AI Tech Trailblazers Award Customer, Investor and Analyst Feedback •  Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President of Business Applications and Global Industry at Microsoft Corp.: “Directly has helped Microsoft provide an excellent support experience to our users through a combination of AI and a community of experts, and with this new partnership, we are now enabling this same capability for our Dynamics 365 customers.” •  Adam Coccari, Sr. Manager at M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures: “Directly has consistently been on the cutting edge of AI and customer service, and we’re thrilled with this new launch. Directly is providing Microsoft customers with seamless support based on knowledge from our community of experts, and is a great example of deploying AI in concert with humans to solve critical business problems.” •  Mila D’Antonio, principal analyst at Ovum: “Directly helps customers harness gig work models and AI to transform and scale customer service. Directly is proving that AI will become a viable option to facilitate the personalized, efficient, and frictionless experiences customers crave, and their technology enhances human interactions—it does not replace them.”  

The Future Roadmap

How To Improve Your Network Latency For Gaming

Latency, in the simplest terms, is the delay between sending a message and receiving the message. We measure the latency of a first-class letter in days. We measure the latency of internet packets in thousandths of a second, or milliseconds. Some latency is impossible to avoid: if nothing else limits latency, the speed of light represents a final speed limit. While we can never eliminate latency completely, we can often improve network latency with the methods mentioned below.

Latency is introduced through the hardware used to transmit packets, the software used to direct those packets, and the destination receiving the packets. Network issues like packet loss, overwhelmed hardware, or insufficient bandwidth will also increase latency.

How to Reduce Latency

The first and best way to avoid latency is to work with a reliable internet service provider. Your ISP sets the minimum latency you can achieve. Even if you remove every microsecond of latency from your home network, you won’t be able to communicate with external servers any faster than your ISP’s hardware can communicate. So, if you absolutely must have the lowest ping and the fastest communication time, work with an ISP that will make your connection’s speed their priority. However, in many countries around the world — the United States first among them, you’re stuck with whatever your city’s dated communication infrastructure can provide, regardless of what you’re willing to pay.

But if you’re having latency issues, they’re likely compounded by your home network setup. To reduce latency on your home network, there’s a variety of best practices you’ll want to follow.

1. Use Ethernet

Just like cable internet is faster than satellite internet, ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi. The current optimal standard is Cat-6e. For low latency, your first choice should always be cabled connections, even when difficult or inconvenient. If it’s truly impossible to use a wired connection, get closer to the router. Remove or evade any obstacles between the computer and the router’s antennas. If you can see the router’s antennas from your computer’s antennas, you’re good. Position external Wi-Fi antennas perpendicularly for the best transmission.

2. Avoid Interference

Objects between your computer and your router can degrade the signal dramatically, which is why we remove them. But invisible electronic interference can also play its part, especially on the crowded 2.4 GHz band. Provided you’re well positioned, it’s better to use the less-popular 5 GHz band. You’ll also want to choose the emptiest Wi-Fi channel you can find in your router’s configuration settings, which will vary depending on the settings of nearby routers.

3. Limit Network Traffic

Imagine you’re at a crowded party. Everyone is talking, laughing, having a good time. The environment is great, but it’s hard to have a long discussion. Why? All the overlapping conversations make it harder to hear the conversation. The same analogy applies to home networks. The more devices communicating simultaneously — the more people talking at once — the harder it is to get your message through correctly. Reduce communication by other devices as much as possible. While you can kick devices off your network, most routers provide Quality of Services (QoS) tools that you can apply to limit communication overlap based on device and application. For example, you might set a QoS rule that always gives your gaming desktop maximum speed, reducing the speed allocated to other devices if necessary.

4. Appropriate Bandwidth & Hardware

A low-latency network needs high quality hardware. Most consumer routers won’t get you the greatest latency numbers, but the more expensive models perform well. If you want the absolutely lowest home network latency, you’ll need to use commercial switching and routing hardware. Make sure you’re getting hardware that provides the newest connectivity standard supported by your devices.

Your router and internet connection also need to provide the appropriate bandwidth for your use case. If you have three kids all streaming YouTube simultaneously while you try to play Overwatch on a 25 Mbps connection, you’re gonna have a bad time. Pay for the highest speed you can reasonably afford. When packets don’t need to wait for available bandwidth to leave your network, your latency will drop significantly.

5. Eliminate Proxies and VPNs

The single longest step in any communications process is the time it takes for the signal to travel between nodes over cables. The more nodes you send the message to, the longer the trip will take. This is true even if the nodes are in the same room. While the latency is lower, the time it takes to “bounce” a message from one node to another is somewhat irreducible. To remove this delay, you need to remove the intervening nodes. Remove any proxies or VPNs in your communications chain.

The above tips should help you improve the network latency and improve your gaming experience. What other tips have we missed out?

Alexander Fox

Alexander Fox is a tech and science writer based in Philadelphia, PA with one cat, three Macs and more USB cables than he could ever use.

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