Monthly Archives: June 2016

Keep Your Highly Skilled Staff Focused with the Help of a Virtual Receptionist

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Every business owner knows that the next time the phone rings it could be the next big sale, but think wisely about who is answering that phone call, where that person sits within your team structure, and more importantly where they sit on your payroll…

team of people

Finding the right person to fill a key role within your business can be costly, you have to put time into structuring a good advert to ensure you attract the right candidates, you then need to post your vacancy in the right places – it’s costly but you know it’s the best way to attract the right caliber of candidate. You then have to put time into reviewing submitted applications, allocate time for the lengthy interviewing process, there’s then the training that may involve multiple members of your team, not to mention the generous salary, pension and bonus scheme you’ll now be adding to your outgoings each month. Having skilled staff is costly, but every good business owner knows that they’re only ever as successful as the team they employ.

Monitoring the allocation of tasks within your workforce is vital if you’re to see your investment in staffing pay off for your business. When it comes to your most skilled workers you need to ensure that their time is being directed to the tasks that require their skill-set, the skill-set you’re paying a premium for. It’s inevitable that job roles will adapt to the changes in your business, particularly if your business is growing. Most employees will be happy to take on extra ad hoc jobs to keep things running smoothly. However, be watchful, as your team becomes busier, you’ll find it’s all too easy for your highly skilled and highly paid workers to get distracted responding to general enquiries and answering the phone. What may have started as ‘lending a quick hand’ may turn into a recurrent task within their job role. Quite simply – if you are paying for highly skilled workers, ensure that they are involved in the highly skilled areas of your business.

So what’s the answer? You may not be in a position to hire additional staff to deal with the more routine aspects of your business, you may feel there isn’t enough work to warrant yet another team member, even on a lesser salary. You should consider using the services of a virtual receptionist. A virtual receptionist can answer your calls, process your orders, respond to general email enquiries, manage your diary or simply act as an overflow during your busier times. A virtual receptionist can free up your staff and allow them to focus on what they’re paid to do – free from distractions, while you can remain confident that your calls are always answered by a trained agent who poses seamlessly as a member of your own in-house team. For more information on our virtual receptionist services click here.

We Still Love to Talk – Don’t Lose the Personal Aspect of Customer Care

Monday, June 13th, 2016

It’s so easy to rely on the new methods of communication, wanting to prove that your business is keeping with the times. However, don’t neglect the simplest and most preferred methods of linking to your customers in favour of the methods that might be more convenient.

Chatting over a cup of coffee

New technology is becoming more justifiable for small businesses as laptops, tablets, smartphones, software and online channels reduce in cost. There’s no doubt in the value these advances can bring to your business, and how the competent incorporation of them can boost your customer service, bringing you ever closer to your customers. Communication has never been easier but also it has never been more detached. Developers are pushing for more decreased involvement with time-saving being at the forefront – there’s even now chat bots able to engage with customer enquiries! By 2020 it’s predicted that 85% of all of a customers interaction with a business will be without interacting with a human (nanorep).

Research shows that the telephone is still the most used and the most preferred method of getting assistance. Although we’re becoming more accepting of automated systems, we still prefer to engage in a conversation with a human, you should be mindful not to neglect the personal aspect of customer service.

“Much of the customer service is provided by machines…The service provided by humans adds what people want out of human interaction: warmth and a little drama.” – Micah Solomon, Forbes

When your customers contact you needing assistance, the most important thing is to make them feel understood. There are steps you can take to build this personal aspect into your many customer service channels…

  • When sending out automated email replies, make the email conversational and the language friendly – just because it’s automated doesn’t mean it has to sound robotic.
  • Emphasise to your staff that they should be using a conversational style of communicating at all times when manning a live chat service or responding to emails.
  • You may have a bank of ‘stock’ responses, but be mindful of how these are incorporated into an email, or into a chat conversation.
  • It may sound simple, but remind your staff to smile when they are on the telephone, it’s amazing how well a smile can be transferred in the sound of your voice.

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