When people have any issue related to any company or store, they want to talk and convey their problem to a live person rather than the cheap answering machines or auto attendants. Businesses that are expanding worldwide include professional phone answering services as a must feature of their company to cater to the needs of their customers.
Most businesses hire professional answering services with live representatives to engage more clients and boost productivity and performance. Today, we will elaborate on what does a professional answering service offer, the advantage that it has and how you can benefit from answering services if you are a business owner.
What is Unique about Answering Services?
Auto attendants are, although very much advanced, a part of the last decade and with continuous innovations, live answering services are gaining grounds again because people prefer to talk to real humans than machine, with being able to convey their issues or queries to people than automated systems.
Answering services offer to process phone calls and customer inquiries during peak business times and even on the closing days. These services offer a ton of features other than just handling inbound and outbound calls. From setting appointments to sending emails to managing faxes, and solving complex help desk issues, these professional answering services offer a lot to their clients, which aids businesses to generate productivity and profit.
Why Companies Should Choose Professional Answering Services?
Just like we mentioned above, professional services can handle a lot of day-to-day tasks rather than just answering calls, for owners wondering why they should go for a professional answering service? Well, the answer is they offer great customer service with an affordable amount of money.
Professional answering services ensure that your calls are always answered, your clients are always happy, and get their issues are resolved. With such managing systems, business owners have the perks to focus more on productivity and other serious tasks rather than spending their precious time worrying about customer care.
Advantages of a Professional Answering Service
These services are dedicated to answering inbound and outbound calls and top-notch customer services to leave a positive impact on the customer about the company. We have enlisted some of the other advantages of professional answering services that you should consider if you are thinking of signing up one for your business:
1. High Productivity
When you implement an answering service in your office and business, you will be free from all the tiny hassles that you have to do daily related to management, customer services, feedbacks, and appointments. Everyone working in the office will be able to focus more on their tasks rather than being directed with the phone ringing and micromanaging stuff.
2. Saves a Ton of Money
An in-house receptionist can be costly for some small businesses specifically when you want your operations to expand and require 24/7 service. A professional answering service will guarantee to answer your call no matter what time of the day or night, without being heavy on your budget and offering services according to your company’s demand.
3. Call Overflow
During peak business hours, call volumes can get out of hand due to a variety of reasons such as ongoing seasonable campaigns, new product launches or just because your business has started to outgrow your customer support capacity. In this case, companies need dedicated personnel to answer the calls without any delay as even a single call not answered in time can lead to a business opportunity lost or a disgruntled feedback on an online forum, eventually leading to business being impacted negatively.
This is where professional answering services will aid companies with their continuous call management services. With any and all calls being answered in a well-mannered and professional style, you are sure to keep your customers happy.
4. Call Recording Feature
This is one of the answering service tools that is not being talked about a lot but plays a vital role in making customer service efficient for many companies.
Call recording helps in a twofold manner. First, it helps you to keep a record and make statistical analysis of what issues or queries are most given, enabling you to get to the root of the problem and fix it. Secondly, it helps your answering service to review the records and improve their services specifically to your industry and business, increasing quality of service.
Disadvantages of Professional Answering Service
Like everything else, professional answering services also have their disadvantages that you should consider before you choose to plan an answering service for your company:
1. Less Control
With the ease of having all calls under control with high-quality management, many business owners develop a sense of carelessness and tend to ignore the daily micromanagement tasks. Your staff might go completely ignorant of what’s happening on the calls and this creates a loophole for mistakes to occur.
2. Lower Expertise in Some Matters
Some businesses require some extra technical expertise for specific issues and answering services sometimes lack the understanding of them. This is why some companies tend to prefer picking calls by the staff and not by the hired answering services staff.
What You Should Consider Before Signing Up
Before you think of signing up for a professional answering service, you must need to understand what your company demands and what your budget allows you to have. There are specific deals for both small and large businesses that you can check before choosing any costly services. It’s better to go for a free trial before you fully commit to hiring any answering service staff.
Be careful when it comes to pricing and avoid the cheap route as well, prefer quality as these answering services can or cannot aid to build your reputation in front of your clients.
Professional answering services are surely something that can elevate your business game to the next level in the swiftest way. However, to hire an answering service is a personal decision for one’s business and if your budget is short then try going for other cheap alternatives rather than focusing on this one tool.
Make sure to consult a professional expert or an advisor before taking a big step and causing a big dent in your pocket.
How to Optimize Your CRM for Winning More Customers
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management tool, is an all-embracing software solution used to manage relationships and interactions with partners, potential customers, and existing customers. CRM solutions like crm.com.au is a useful tool that can streamline the operations and functions of teams in different departments of an organization, like business development, marketing, or sales. All the important information required for the company, like client data, leads, sales opportunities, and marketing campaigns, can be stored and managed centrally with the help of CRM.
Optimizing CRM adds enormous value to the business process. It will enable businesses to strengthen their client relationships, simplify processes, and improve sales and profits.
There are several ways to optimize your CRM to win more customers. Some of them include as follow.
Automate The Basic and Straightforward Tasks
Automating daily and repetitive tasks is an important step toward improving the efficiency of your business processes. Many businesses mention a shortage of resources and time as the reason for not automating such repetitive tasks. But this is a real mistake business owners are making in this digital age.
Automation helps businesses improve customer traction. It also gives companies the capability to inspect the intricate journey towards real customer-centricity. This process might feel a bit overwhelming for budding businesses with limited experience in CRM.
CRM automation can be used to eliminate repetitive and time-consuming functions like sending newsletter subscriptions, promotion offers, follow-up emails, and other marketing efforts. This will reduce the need to write the same response repeatedly while engaging customers. It is also possible to automate sales processes like call scheduling. All of this will save precious time for team members that can be diverted to more crucial tasks, increasing productivity and boosting business growth.
Understand from Analytics
Another important feature of CRM that makes it attractive is its ability to analyze consumer behavior and trends. Not only does CRM perform the analytics, but all the data is stored in one place, making it easily accessible. This will enable companies to easily access and understand the behavior of clients and push the products and services to suit those trends.
When one marketing strategy becomes successful, businesses should analyze the reason for its success and model the next campaign similar to it.
Having a better understanding of CRM analytics will help companies and their different managerial teams come up with the best marketing strategies and solutions. All the marketing and sales strategies should be designed based on client data to yield maximum results. When the sales team is aware of the location and inclination of the customer, the salesperson can come up with novel strategies to make a targeted sales pitch. It will also improve the chances of getting a good deal. Thus, carefully learning and understanding analytics is crucial for the growth of a company.
Establish and Maintain The Portfolio of Profitable Customers
CRM helps to collect and organize all the client data in one place. The advantage of this feature is that it will enable teams and customer service agents to access how a particular issue or client was handled in a previous similar scenario. This will help the agents communicate effectively in the said scenario and provide consistent customer service by predicting the wishes of clients based on previous responses.
CRM can be used efficiently for helping agents deal with new customers or specific interactions. Specific guidelines or playbooks can be created based on earlier interactions. This will allow the customers to have an idea about what to expect, and they will be happier with the service provided.
You can also prioritize the queries and issues of the most profitable customers and get them handled by the right agent. This does not mean you should delay the issues of other customers. The issues requiring urgent attention should be prioritized above everything else.
Make CRM The Core of your Company’s Marketing Strategy
It is beneficial for businesses to develop their marketing strategies and campaigns based on CRM intelligence. CRM intelligence provides critical insights into marketing, like the best technique to approach a specific market or the most successful tactic for a particular service. All of these crucial insights will assist businesses in developing campaigns that will result in agile and tactile business practices and corresponding business growth.
Long-lasting relationships can be made with customers when you give them what they want and approach them the way they desire. CRM will assist you in determining the most interactive and emerging market, the most desired products and services, and the channel receiving the most traffic.
Integrate CRM With Other Tools
Once you invest in CRM, you should remember to integrate it with other tools and internal systems used in your business processes. CRM can be integrated with enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) to create an automated inquiry management system that is fully developed and includes all client information.
For social media listening, your CRM should also be connected to all social media accounts of your company, like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. This will keep you up to date on important topics like emerging trends, the reputation of your brand, and the impact of your marketing campaigns. All this information can be used to create better strategies for your next marketing campaign.
Update Customer Data
CRM is most effective when the data is up-to-date. Your marketing and sales strategy will only be effective if it is developed using the latest client data, like changes in preferences, location, or contact method. By designing strategies based on the changing needs and desires of the customer, your relationship with them will continuously evolve and become stronger.
CRM is like the real face of your company or support team. This system plays a great role in shaping the opinion of the customer about your company. You should use CRM to create a positive and lifelong impact on your customers. Remember to meet the expectations of your clients and provide a cohesive and consistent service. Also, give focus on providing a seamless customer experience.
CRM is an invaluable tool that can be used for the overall development of the business. By properly optimizing it, you can get more customers and generate higher profits.
Solo Traveler to Solo Entrepreneur
I became a solo traveler to a solo entrepreneur through my love for travel.
I started traveling around 10 years ago and lived to explore the world. I was constantly trying to find packaged adventures that offered to explore off-the-beaten-path corners of the earth, but was unable to find anything. I became tired of the cookie cutter tour companies that only highlighted the touristy attractions and popular regions. Eventually, I gave up trying and decided to create my own trips. I figured if I was looking for adventures like this, then other travelers would too.
photo credit: BornWild
After 4 years of traveling solo, I combined my passion for travel and wild animal conservation and decided to start my own adventure travel company – BornWild.
I began selling unique day trips for the first two years of business which went relatively well, however profits were low. To succeed at making a business out of day trips alone, you would have to be selling the majority of weekdays and dedicate much labor to make an honest living.
Multi-day trips is where the vast majority of profit can be made so I focused into this sector and it has really paid off.
Entering into the adventure travel industry world is no easy task. If you are a solo entrepreneur that has a travel start-up, you have your work cut out.
What I found most challenging is that consumers are parting with much more money and tend to be very careful before purchasing. It takes someone a lot more thinking time and deliberation before buying a trip, than it does to buy an item of clothing for example. Selling travel requires trust built between consumer and business and it’s essential for the business to have a great reputation too.
The travel industry isn’t overcrowded but there is a lot of choice so it requires work and the right marketing techniques to be seen by the right buyers.
Having a socially conscious angle on your business also helps too. From a business perspective, travelers are becoming more proactive in traveling consciously and impacting the planet positively. Consumers are gravitating towards eco-friendly, sustainable and conservation based trips and adventures. It’s a preference that has become highly favored in today’s world.
Being socially committed not only gives your brand kudos and credibility but it helps people see how dedicated you are to doing good.
We have just devised an African Lion Safari which is a groundbreaking adventure that bridges adventure travel with lion conservation. It exposes travelers to resources and experiences you will only encounter through this adventure. It’s the only adventure like this on the market and sets us apart from other companies.
photo credit: Roya Ann Miller / BornWild
Digital marketing is key when getting your business off the ground. I taught myself how to become a digital marketing expert and it’s paid off in many ways. I have tried numerous marketing tactics when it comes to selling travel, from magazine articles to ads, to cross marketing, to social media, facebook live etc. I’ve found that the most effective way is to master the world of SEO so that you can start ranking on google and be visible when consumers are searching for an adventure. The goal is to capture people as they are ready to buy a trip and that’s what’s so powerful when you crack digital marketing.
My advice to all new entrepreneurs in travel is to learn to master SEO and become a digital marketing expert so you become a pro at the very beginning. This will set you up for success from the offset and be extremely beneficial to getting your business off the ground as well as throughout your whole business journey.
Tips on starting your own travel business:
- Find a niche that isn’t already being done
- Become a digital marketing expert
- Post, post, post to rank on google using SEO
- Concentrate in on where your buyers are coming from
- Pinpoint what search terms consumers are using when they are poised to buy and start ranking for these search terms.
- Don’t waste time on marketing avenues that don’t work, plug away at avenues that do.
- Cross marketing with other companies really helps
- Make sure your customer service is 5-star and that you gain great reviews
Running a Business in the Metaverse: Virtual Services, For the Win
The metaverse is a network of the 3D world that can be accessed using a virtual reality headset. It is a virtual universe that offers unlimited possibilities. It is estimated that the metaverse would be an $800 million market by 2024. It is no wonder that top corporations are investing in it.
A question arises on how you can run a business in the metaverse. Virtual workplaces are already a reality, thanks to remote work. Virtual services such as virtual reception – including phone answering – like those provided by www.virtualreception.com.au can be offered as a precursor to running a business in the Metaverse.
Remote Work and Virtual Services
Remote work is a powerful concept that allows people to work from anywhere. They no longer need to be physically present at an office to work. They can work from home or anywhere else. A question that arises is – what about a virtual office?
At present, virtual workers work from some corner of the home. This may even change from time to time. The metaverse now makes it possible to have an infinite office that has 3 types of virtual workspaces.
1. Private virtual office
With virtual reality headsets on, you can enter your private virtual office where you do your work. You can define your virtual surrounding while being able to see the physical world around you. Productivity tools can be used directly from the virtual office.
Let’s assume you need to attend a virtual meeting. With a tap of the screen, you can open the virtual meeting app and continue the meeting from your virtual office. This is the reality that seeks to transform the way we work.
2. Shared workspace
Some people find it difficult to remote work because they prefer working in a shared space with others. A close and collaborative shared workspace allows for greater productivity. Now, this can be done virtually using a shared virtual place. You can enter the shared space as a virtual avatar.
Sit in your own private office and be part of the shared workspace with others. Interact with them through your VR headset and watch the interaction in the virtual world. This is a great way to simulate an office space and ensure the best collaborative efforts.
3. The infinite office
The infinite office is a virtual office concept that goes to the next level. It takes your office just about anywhere, be it your home or even in a park. Just imagine, you are sitting on a park bench soaking in the warm sun and enjoying the pleasant weather. If you have a meeting scheduled in 5 minutes, you can continue it from the park.
All you need to do is use the VR headset to activate your virtual workspace right in front of you. You don’t even need a keyboard or a screen. You can activate work apps using a gesture. The infinite office is at a conceptual stage. But it won’t be long before it becomes a reality. When it does happen, it will truly take the world of work by storm. Working in the metaverse will become a reality.
Working in The Virtual World
The virtual world allows you to create a virtual avatar of yourself. Your virtual avatar will work in the shared space with others. An entire office can be created in the virtual world. This will allow you to get the best benefits of a virtual workplace with a real workplace. In fact, this has already become a reality.
A Korean company Zigbang has created a VR office spanning 30 floors and the avatars of employees can move around the office. As they encounter other avatars, their mike would be activated. They can then have a real conversation through the virtual world. This can make communication more effective. This was a drawback in remote working and with virtual communication enabled, the virtual workplace would be more effective.
Young people in workplaces would enjoy creating virtual avatars of themselves. They can allow their creativity to run amuck as they create an avatar of themselves. They can make the avatar look how they want it to be.
How Would The Metaverse be?
The metaverse is different from VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). There would be many changes that are significant. Devices like the mouse and keyboard would no longer be needed. Voice would be the main way in which communication happens. Voice instructions would help operate the metaverse.
The main feature of the metaverse is the use of virtual assistants. Virtual assistants would play an important role in the metaverse. Their primary interface would be a voice and not commands typed on the keyboard. People are ready to use voice today, thanks to Siri and Alexa. Voice commands are used on mobile phones and computers.
Voice search has become popular on Google with many people preferring speaking to Google rather than typing. Smart speakers have today become the norm. It is estimated that the smart speaker market would be worth more than $61 billion by 2024. The integration of smart speakers with Artificial Intelligence is making virtual assistants more useful.
In the virtual world of business, people would talk to virtual assistants using voice. Virtual assistants would have a major role to play in all types of businesses going forward.
It would be important to understand who or what a virtual assistant would be in the metaverse. A virtual assistant can be a software program or can even be a person who helps and guides users in the metaverse. The program can be AI-powered. When real people function as virtual assistants, they would be those who are skilled or specialized in the area of work.
The virtual assistant can make your life easy in the metaverse. They can help you keep track of your work and remind you of the things to do. They can even help you in your personal life with cooking, fitness tips, and even dating advice. Virtual personal trainers and virtual child care providers would be available to help you in the metaverse. These virtual assistants will be able to do more in the virtual world than in the real world.
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