To put the sector in rather romantic terms, blue-collar work is the foundation upon which the American Dream was built, and the various trades that make up the umbrella of blue-collar work remain extremely significant today. While technology has significantly changed the way that such jobs are performed, a strong demand for tradespeople remains, whether they are plumbers and electricians or woodworkers and blacksmiths. Does the modern tradesperson have to juggle too many things in order to deliver results that both they – and their customers – can be proud of, and how might utilizing a call answering service be able to help them achieve their goals? Doing More Means Getting Less Done If a tradesperson is significantly busy, they may not have the time to devote to building and maintaining strong relationships. A contractor receiving multiple calls for work requests while they’re on a job site may mean that they won’t have the ability to pay as much attention to their work...

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While having emergency and safety procedures are vital for all businesses and mandatory for most, there is not much incentive to ensure their continued maintenance. As time passes, a company’s structure will be rearranged - employees will be assigned to new roles, and it’s reasonable to assume some staff turnover. The excitement may wear off, but it’s vitally important to keep a company’s emergency response plan up to date. Even with procedures in place, the absence of a few people can dramatically alter the effectiveness of a response. What Should My Emergency Plan Contain? A critical part of an emergency response plan is a risk assessment, when is intended to identify potential hazards, as well as analyze the results of a hazard occurring. Such hazards could run the gamut from tornado, hurricane, or some other act of nature, to incidents like gas leaks and burst pipes, to name a few. When someone thinks of creating an emergency response plan, they may primarily think...

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When it comes to offering great customer service, no company should be content with their customers simply having a good experience. The ultimate goal is to exceed the customer’s expectations, but it’s also important that those expectations be realistic and affordable. Unless you’ve established precedent through use of an automated system, there’s little reason customers should expect to have their calls answered immediately. While it will vary on a case-by-case basis, a business should aim to answer a single question - how long is too long? Establish an Appropriate Framework Depending on the type of industry, callers may be more lenient when it comes to longer wait times. For example, there are traditionally longer wait times for airlines and credit card companies. This suggests that people are more willing to be patient when it comes to things they find important. The truth is, however, that no one likes being put on hold for longer than is necessary. It’s a certainty that everyone has...

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The phrase “Incident Command System” may sound complicated without context, but it has emerged over the last 50 years to be the standard for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response efforts. Here in Newfoundland, ICS training is performed through Fire & Emergency Services, and all municipalities are required to not only be trained in the system but also to have an Emergency Management Plan in place. Our curiosity about the system was stoked when we noticed that many of our emergency-centric clients use ICS. Here’s what we found out. What is ICS? ICS is a standardized on-scene incident management concept designed specifically to allow responders to adapt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of any single incident or multiple incidents without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries. ICS is normally structured to facilitate activities in five major functional areas: command, operations, planning, logistics, intelligence & investigations, and finance & administration. The purpose of ICS is to enable incident...

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There are few universal facts of life, but surely one of them would be that everyone needs to work. From the time we walk into the office every morning, cup of coffee in hand and laptop bag swinging off our shoulders, we know that we’re going to be busy. Sometimes our days go exactly as scheduled, but it happens less often than we would like. Between important meetings and dealing with customer issues, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done we’d like to. This take-whatever-comes-up approach can have serious repercussions; according to a survey from Blackberry subsidiary Good Technology, 80% of people spend on average eight hours outside of work working, whether that means checking emails or something more involved. The encroachment of work duties into a person’s free time can not only be toxic to their morale, but also their relationships. While many companies are offering perks in an effort to reduce this overwork...

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You may be familiar with the phrase SaaS - that is, Software as a Service. For a SaaS product, businesses pay developers for access to their cloud-based software platform, usually a web application. From Asana to Zapier, Proposify to Salesforce, SaaS applications have changed the way that many of us do our jobs; they offer autonomy and convenience through the use of a subscription model, which is often a fraction of the cost of buying software outright. What is MaaS? Of course, the “as-a-service” model is not only limited to software products. For example, Monitoring as a Service, or MaaS, allows for monitoring services without needing to create a monitoring infrastructure specific to the company. With MaaS, alerts are generated by the local device or sensor, which are then funneled into a monitoring platform; a mandated response procedure is then followed on a 24/7 basis. A MaaS model can easily be applied to a number of technologies, including telematics, lone worker devices, healthcare...

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Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “if you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000.” Social media’s emergence over the last decade has fostered a degree of interconnectedness that had previously only existed on Usenet boards and in IRC chatrooms. It’s very likely that if a customer is facing a specific issue, others are as well. It’s an unfortunate reality that people have become so accustomed to poor customer service that they have taken to loudly complaining in the hopes that they will rise about the clamour and be heard - there’s a reason that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is a common idiom. It’s unrealistic to expect that any business won’t have problems or issues that arise, but empathetically understanding where a customer with an issue is coming from can go a long way. Don't Keep Customers in the Dark...

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When you think of someone who is a lone worker, someone working by themselves in the field or another inaccessible area may spring to mind. While this would certainly qualify as an example of a lone worker, it limits the scope of who may be considered one. Who is a Lone Worker? A lone worker is anyone who works by themselves without any direct supervision. A lot of companies believe that lone workers are only people working who are completely alone, needing a direct line of contact in the event of an unexpected occurrence. However, many legislative bodies have a different definition. They consider a lone worker to be anyone who is working without direct supervision from someone else in their company. For example, if an employee were to visit a customer’s job site, even if there is another person there, they would work for a different company. Hence, the visiting employee is without direct supervision, and thus would qualify as a lone...

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Technology is responsible for some of the most convenient objects of the modern age, things that we often take for granted. Getting around would be a lot more difficult without automobiles, and without fans, air conditioners or HVAC systems, this summer heat would be unbearable. However, one of technology’s few inconveniences is that it is not designed to last forever - everything breaks down at some point. Luckily, the machines we use aren’t often past the point of being repaired, and while the internet offers a wealth of information, 61% of consumers prefer to call customer service, more than any other contact channel. That metric alone should indicate how important having a solid support process is, not only for hardware- or technology-focused businesses but any public-facing organization. What is tier 1 technical support? Tier 1 technical support acts as the frontline, a cost-effective and efficient filter to ensure simple questions are answered for your customers quickly and you don’t waste the time and...

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Journey Management is a field that encapsulates many different industries, but depending on specific needs there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather than having companies worry about things that may not be applicable to them, a Trip Risk Assessment is conducted for every specific journey. While drivers may be comfortable with getting to and from their destination, there are a number of factors that may be out of their control, such as weather and road conditions. What is a Trip Risk Assessment? A Trip Risk Assessment is a process outlining any potential hazards an employee may encounter while on a journey, but it’s not only limited to ensuring that they get from point A to point B safely. All steps of the journey are considered, such as loading and unloading materials, getting into and exiting the vehicle, and ensuring the vehicle is properly maintained. When the steps are defined, a list of potential hazards is developed, with preventative measures to avoid them....

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