Monthly Archives: April 2015

Top reasons your business needs a phone line

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Because so much of business is done online now, many businesses can get along for quite a long time without having a dedicated business line. In fact, some businesses prefer not to have a business phone line at all, especially if they are based entirely online, without an office or headquarters. However, it is a good idea to have a phone line, even if it is in the form of a virtual receptionist who is able to complete order taking, payment processing and so on directly from customers. Here are some of the reasons you should consider offering your customers a real person to talk to.

It appears more professional

Having a real person on the other end of the line who can discuss a customer’s orders makes the business seem more legitimate and professional. Even if you are a freelancer working from a cafe, if your customers can call and get through to someone in an office, they will feel they are speaking to a business they can trust and are therefore more likely to place an order.

Some customers prefer to talk in person

When something goes wrong or a customer wants a fast answer to a question, they will prefer to have someone to talk to who can answer their questions right away. A phone line also helps you attract and retain customers who are unable or unwilling to use the internet to complete a purchase or transaction.

Deal with problems quickly

If you have to wait to go through emails or an online chat system, you may not be able to deal with customer problems or enquiries immediately, because you might just not see them. If a customer can phone and tell you the problem straight away, even if you are using a virtual receptionist, you will be able to get the news more quickly and in more detail, with the ability to answer any questions that the customer has without delay, putting their mind at ease.

Having a business phone line ensures you project a professional image, don’t miss out on any leads or sales, and provide quality customer service. What could be better for your business than all that?

Common mistakes to avoid in e-commerce marketing

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

These days, it is perfectly possible to run and market a company entirely from an online base. Yet if you want to truly maximise the potential of your e-commerce venture, it is essential you market your products the right way. That begs the question: in an increasingly crowded marketplace, how do you ensure you stand out from the throng?

Though the answer to that question will depend on the product you are selling, there are some mistakes that need to be avoided regardless of what market sector you are hoping to attract. These slip-ups all relate back to the same thing: a failure to make a real, human connection with the customer. Here are some very common errors e-commerce businesses make and how to dodge them.

The social media hard sell

While social media opens up a lot of doors for the smart marketer in the digital age, it can be hugely counterproductive if used incorrectly. It has not taken long for the regular social media user to grow weary of companies pushing their products aggressively through Twitter and Facebook, posting links to their online stores every few hours.

If this is the best you can do with your social media presence, you are wasting your time. The only way to use these platforms to your advantage is to put in the hours, building a social media voice and using that to interact with customers and potential customers to create a real connection with your products.

The impersonal touch

While some of your target market might be comfortable with a purely digital interface through which they can order their products and services, do not assume this will be the case with everybody. If you do not offer a more human, personal alternative, you will be missing out on sales and damaging your profits.

If you can’t afford to hire or do not have the time to hire a full time receptionist, a great solution is to outsource using a virtual receptionist service. These services will provide professional, human, e-commerce order taking, while still allowing you the flexibility and simplicity of running an online sales business.

Though the e-commerce sector offers great opportunities for the small business person, taking full advantage of these opportunities requires intelligent marketing. Do not resort to lazy social media tactics and ensure you offer a real, human connection with everybody in your potential market.

Why your small business needs a virtual receptionist

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Thanks to technological developments, it is easier than ever for a small company to run without a central office. Colleagues can keep in touch through mobile phone, emails, instant messaging or Skype, and meetings can be held as conference calls or in meeting rooms hired as needed. This frees up employees’ time and cuts spending on office space and travel.

However, one of the main reasons that small businesses avoid moving to this more modern way of working is the concern that without an office, there will be no one to answer telephone enquiries. The answer to this problem is hiring a virtual receptionist.

If you’re working in a small company, you might think that hiring an extra member of staff is a cost you can’t afford, but you should balance out this cost with the amount of money you will save. In fact, without needing to pay for an office and everything that goes with it (office furniture, stationery and utility bills, for example), you may well find you’re saving more money than hiring a virtual receptionist would cost, especially if you work with a great value service such as CSnotepad.

Even today, there are many people who prefer to communicate by telephone rather than email. Hiring a virtual receptionist ensures that those people are catered for. It also improves your company’s image, as a telephone receptionist is trained in answering the phone in a professional manner. A virtual receptionist also gives the impression of a larger business that can afford additional staff, instead of needing to answer the phones themselves. If a client calls and their call is answered by a receptionist, they will assume that receptionist is needed because you have too much work to answer calls personally. The receptionist can also field calls, and take messages if you are busy or would prefer not to speak to the person who is calling. They can handle admin tasks too, such as order taking and payment processing, leaving you more time to focus on your work.

Hiring a virtual receptionist is a way to move your company into the digital age and enable your staff to work with more flexibility, without sacrificing the professional image of your business.

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