43 post(s)

Day-to-day decisions for many companies can monopolize the energy of its key decision makers. Carving out the time to consider your higher level strategic view that could fundamentally impact the direction of a business takes a strict discipline and a strong determination. However, when this is accomplished, the rewards and long-term benefits make the effort so worthwhile. Take for instance the critical decision of whether or not to outsource your call center or call answering requirements. Here are top 4 reasons why you might consider outsourcing: 1. Cost savings: Outsourcing to vendors that specialize in a given function create efficiencies. It also reduces or, in some cases, eliminates the need to create and maintain the IT infrastructure needed to perform, manage and track these activities. That alone is enough for many to make outsourcing a priority. 2. Reducing staffing requirements: This is of particular importance for companies that experience demand fluctuations where having to increase or decrease staff (or worst, hold on to...

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Safety monitoring: unless you are in a specific part of a large operation, or your business heavily involves transporting materials or having unsupervised workers in the field, it’s a practice that you more than likely haven’t put much thought into. While it’s true that not every business is required by law to have a safety monitoring solution, there are plenty of choices available for those that do. Is safety monitoring right for your business, and if it is, would having an in-house or third-party emergency response centre solution be more advantageous? Why do you need safety monitoring? Jim owns a cargo trucking company, and on any given day, one of his employees could be transporting any number of things, including materials that could be considered hazardous. Jim is also a new father, and knows that quite a few of his employees are parents as well. This new life experience has brought Jim to consider the importance of him, and all of his employees,...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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