Gone are the days of being chained to a desk or a counter top with a landline. We give some tips on how best to maintain close contact with your clients while you’re mobile. The main points are to be available, respond fast, and benefit from complex solutions like MightyCall, which enable you to consolidate your communications channels into a single news feed.
Until not so long ago it was pretty difficult to communicate with customers unless you were in an office or at least somewhere near your desk phone. But today’s entrepreneurs are rarely trapped inside their offices.
A survey shows that “around 56% of small-business owners spend a third or more of their time working away from the office and 2 out of 5 spend at least half their time working remotely.”
Although mobile phones have made our communication a whole lot easier, the truth is, no matter how good your operator is you probably still miss a certain number of phone calls. When you’re serving a client, taking another call, when there’s no reception in the subway or even some parts of your office — it’s not a complete list of situations when missed calls are usually considered unavoidable. But with all that competition out there, you can’t afford to lose a client who hangs up because you were out of reach and is calling your competitor at the very moment you’re reading that message about the missed phone call.
But not to worry — these simple hints will help you forget availability issues once and for all, depending on your company’s communication needs:
Traditionally, communication solution for inbound and outbound calls offered to business is the one involving VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) technology. Without being too technical, VoIP is just one more way calls are made, but unlike connection established through wires (land line) or radio signal (cell phone), it’s made via the internet.
VoIP has recently become popular among SMBs as it offers features that help them be more efficient in terms of communication and telecom cost reduction. The basic features provided include a single business phone number, voicemail, conference calling, music on hold, routing and — sometimes — video calling. There are also more advanced features offered:
- Find me- follow me call routing. When there’s a call, it can be transferred to your land line, then, after couple of rings to your cell and then to the next employee. The routing options here are limitless.
- If you don’t want to be bothered, you can choose “Unavailable” status so the calls will go directly to voicemail or, again, to the next available person in your team.
- Voicemail to email transcription. All the voicemails are transcribed into text and sent to your email, which saves time and makes important information easier to reach.
When a customer calls a business, he/she has probably done the research or become interested in your promotion. If the call is missed, the caller probably has your competitor’s number just one click away. VoIP helps a business avoid losing a prospective client by significantly decreasing the number of missed calls and helps to keep up with large companies in terms of customer service.
In today’s world, communication with clients is not limited to phone calls only. Emails still play an important role in customer-business communication. Responding to emails promptly becomes hard to fit into the busy schedule of a small business employee, especially if it involves being near the computer. And I think most of us have felt the frustration when you don’t get a response to your inquiry, especially if you need help with a service or product you’ve already purchased. If a company has a variety of social media channels like Twitter or Facebook, which also require monitoring, it means even more work which quickly piles up if the inquiries are not answered fast.
The variety of channels makes it challenging to manage all of them without it being frustrating for you and your customers. Luckily, there are now ways for small business to address tech savvy customers in a timely manner. A number of applications let you monitor all enquires coming to your email or from social media using a single console on your smartphone, which is much easier and less time consuming.
Benefit from complex solutions
While it’s quite clear that customers want their calls answered on the first try, how long do you think they are willing to wait for a company to reply an email? One or maybe two days at the longest? Wrong. The 2015 Toister survey revealed a surprising fact about customer expectations on this matter. 44% actually expect their emails to be replied to within 15 minutes to 4 hours and 43% allow one day for the company’s response. Even less time given for social media responses — a tweet is expected to be addressed in just one hour by the majority.
If you and your employees have to manage both customer calls and social media, having a complex solution that grasps all possible communication for some might seem more reasonable than overpay for multiple apps. Applications like MightyCall gather all incoming communication in a single news feed, where inquiries are prioritized for you so you know which voicemail, tweet or text message should be answered fast and which can wait. Whether you’re on a trip, in an airport or taking a bath — always be there for the customers when they need you.
A study by Infoquest revealed that satisfied customers contribute 2.6 more revenue than “Somewhat satisfied”. Don’t use any more time while you’re on the go, — use it to make your customers happier and they will keep coming back for more.