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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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Today a municipality must fulfil a number of responsibilities in order to give its residents the best possible quality of life. From coordinating everything from snow clearing to the repair of street lights, municipalities have a never-ending list of things to do, often on a tight budget. Communicating with, and responding to citizens inquiries should be at the top of the list. There are many reasons that municipalities get calls after hours, even under optimal conditions. These may range from critical emergencies, such as water main breaks and flooding or animal control issues, to the more routine, such as questions about garbage and recycling collection. How do you ensure that emergencies are dealt with immediately, but routine messages are dealt with but with a less sense of urgency? What may be surprising is that many municipalities, regardless of their size, are not equipped to best support a high volume of calls. Often, most calls end up being fielded by a single person, sometimes...

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From the small business to online retailers, there is nothing like the holiday season to get people in the “store” and drive revenue. With this season quickly approaching, many businesses are getting their ducks in a row. The unfortunate fact of the holidays is that it is the one point where customer loyalty goes out the window, and no matter what your relationship with your customers is like, they will go elsewhere if you can’t meet their needs. If this is a situation that you’re familiar with, you may be interested in exploring what an order-taking service could do for you. Despite the staggering revenue per year in online sales, many customers would prefer a live voice, or run in to issues during the online purchase and need assistance to complete the sale. Order-taking is a service offered by most call answering and call centre service providers. While a call answering service answers all calls and helps the caller with whatever they may...

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Recently, one of our team members, Laura Fudge, attended the 2016 Canadian Society of Safety Engineering conference. Here is the first part of her account of the event. This year marks the third year in a row I have attended the annual conference for the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, from September 18th to the 21st. As a supplier of employee monitoring and emergency response solutions through Telelink's emergency response centre, I initially started attending the conference as a way of networking and gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges safety professionals faced with lone workers, drivers and mitigating losses during an emergency event. This year, there were several sessions that shared some great insights and lessons learned from some of the world’s most safety-focused organizations. It would be impossible for me to highlight everything I learned, but let me share a few tidbits that really hit home with me. The BC Safety Authority, joined...

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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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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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