Small business is the backbone of the economy; according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses, defined as any business with under 500 employees, account for 99.7% of all employers. There’s no denying, though, that owning or overseeing a small business can be difficult, given that there are many things to do to ensure operational efficiency and a finite amount of time and resources to accomplish them. Due to this, customer relationships are extremely valuable for the long-term sustainability of small business. As explored in Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance by Paul W. Farris, et. al., it is about 50% easier to retain an existing customer than capture a new one. In addition, Bain and Company states that a 5% increase in retention can increase profitability by 75%. These statistics demonstrate that while getting new business is no less important, it may be worth considering leveraging relationships with existing customers. Can Outsourcing Help? One of the most surefire...

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When Telelink opened its doors in St. John’s Newfoundland over 50 years ago, little did we know how technology would change our operations and the types of services we offer. To meet the growing demand for safety monitoring services and technology, Telelink has evolved from a traditional call centre to a full-scale safety monitoring technology and services provider. A critical component of Telelink’s evolution has been the development of lone worker monitoring services, followed by journey management and emergency response communication services. Today, emergency and safety services account for about 50% of what we do. Telelink has managed over 4,000,000 journeys to date - up to 2,000 each day! In a discussion about the tools you need for journey management, we start with a look at the evolving technology. 1. Mobile Apps There’s been an explosion in the development and use of apps over the last few years, and Journey Management is no exception. There are a number of Journey Management apps on...

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Even in 2016, there are many businesses that still face challenges in delivering great service to their customers, especially if they operate internationally out of a single location. Imagine waking up to find an inbox flooded with emails from unhappy customers, or an answering machine clogged with messages regarding an issue that could easily be resolved. The world may be increasingly connected, but this connectivity has, in some respects, actually made it more difficult to get a hold of a real person. Technology is supposed to create convenience, but does it? From website chat tools to automated phone menus, there are an increasing number of options that people can use for their customer service needs, and while many of these options may be convenient, they are not optimal due to their passive nature. Out of sight really is out of mind, and the unfortunate truth is that business-customer relationships suffer due to the lack of urgency typified by such tools. The overarching joke...

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What is Journey Management? Different organizations may define Journey Management in different ways, but at its core the objective of Journey Management is to eliminate driving related incidents that bring harm to people and property. Organizations can minimize this potential injury and damage! What sets Journey Management apart from other employee and asset monitoring programs is its preventative nature. Journey Management is focused on risk mitigation, on preventing incidents before they happen. The 5 Fundamental Components of a Journey Management Program 1. Journey Management Policy & Procedure What Constitutes a Journey? When developing a Journey Management policy the first thing to do is to define what constitutes a journey: How do you categorize a journey for your employees? How a journey is defined has to make sense for your company and operations. Is there a minimum distance requirement? Is it defined by geographical areas? It’s important to clearly define what constitutes a journey in your organization, so your employees know when to book...

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Some companies operate around the clock, but even if yours doesn’t your customers will have questions outside regular business hours. Normally, they just hold their questions and wait until you open before calling in. Then, once you open for business and your customers finally call in, it’s no surprise they’re eager to reach you right away. Do your customers end up on hold? Even businesses that answer their phones quickly run the risk of being bottle necked by high call volumes or heavy workloads at busy times. And in some cases, the customers who have been waiting for your business to open, and waiting to speak to you directly, get stuck on hold. Businesses lose customers every day by leaving them on hold for too long. How long are your customers willing to wait? Data collected by dialogtech shows the average time a caller waits on hold is 56 seconds. It’s much longer for small businesses, who have the longest hold times at...

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Picture this scenario, one that we’ve all experienced at one time or another: it’s late, and you’re asleep. Suddenly, your phone starts to ring, jostling you out of your slumber. Your alarm clock glares at you as you reach over to answer the phone. Who could it be at this late at night? The office doesn’t open for hours, but the person on the other end of the phone could be anywhere in the world, across the country or in a distant time zone, and they could need your help. How can you choose between your life and your business? In today’s connected world, the convenience of being able to reach anyone at any time can certainly have drawbacks. Even if science can’t quite explain why just yet, all humans need to sleep, and yet when you’re part of a successful business it’s likely the first thing you sacrifice. In 2007, Huffington Post owner Arianna Huffington passed out from exhaustion, injuring herself in...

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Business owners work hard to make their business grow. But growth always comes with growing pains! There’s no debate about the importance of customer service along the way. Every business understands that keeping existing customers happy is a top priority. The challenge may be to maintain quality services as your business expands and your customer base grows. And as you work to meet increasing demands, achieving a healthy work-life balance seems lost somewhere on the horizon. An organization becomes bewildered rather than energized when it’s asked to do too much at once. - Michael Hammer & James Champy, Reengineering The Corporation When your business is growing and you’re in the thick of it, that’s when it’s time to consider outsourcing. But when do you know for sure that you ARE in the thick of it? It’s time to consider outsourcing your customer service when: 1. Your Business Is Sacrificing Customer Service In Order to Scale There comes a point as your business grows...

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How to Reduce Your Lone Worker Risk With A Simpler Safety Program [embed]https://youtu.be/v3qLhVaw10c[/embed] Building a risk-based approach to safety is usually more streamlined, simpler and more engaging for your lone workers. The approach can support one safety standard for all your employees while allowing flexibility for different safety procedures across various business units and operating regions. Typically, a risk-based safety program will actively engage your employees in an initial hazard assessment process. When employees undertake a hazard assessment, they take into consideration their own work tasks, location and communication risks. Employee participation in this process not only results in a more optimized procedure but one that is simpler for them to use. And employees naturally use simplified processes more consistently. Whenever employees are engaged in developing safety procedures, there are other inherent benefits that typically result in their greater safety awareness and more consistent compliance. That’s good news for everyone! Any company can build their safety program using a risk-based approach following a...

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Three Steps Toward Good (Really Good!) Customer Service We're all customers. We've all made customer service calls to businesses. We've all experienced good service and bad service. Most of us have never called a company to make a complaint. Instead, most of us voice our complaints to family, friends, neighbours, co-workers or anyone who will listen. That’s why companies are fortunate (really fortunate!) when dissatisfied customers fall into the first group when they call in with complaints. It's easy to forget that complaints are an opportunity when handled effectively. The vast majority of dissatisfied consumers fall into the second group however. They never voice their dissatisfaction directly to the company - a missed customer service opportunity. What can a company do to avoid the type of dissatisfaction that leads to hang ups, frustrated silence, and lost customers? 1. Be There: Your Customers Want to Talk to a Real Person Customers who need help want to be able to talk to a customer service...

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Safety & Savings: The Case for Outsourcing in the Energy Sector As a safety service outsourcing company to the oil & gas industry, Telelink has learned from our customers that certain forces in the market make outsourcing an ideal way to reduce costs and lean operations. Now more than ever, as oil prices linger below $50/barrel, organizations are feeling the pressure to reduce costs and make due with less. Divesting of business processes which do not fall in line with your organization's core competency can result in that same process requiring less time, money, and resources. For example, drilling companies focus on getting oil out of the ground. Hiring a team of professionals to run an internal lone worker monitoring centre for field staff will cost more in terms of time, human resources, and infrastructure than outsourcing to a monitoring partner who specializes in this work. In the current economic environment, certain market forces are making outsourcing a more attractive and logical option...

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