How Virtual Phone System Can Help Cleaning Business
The article covers:
- Cleaning as a promising, yet challenging, business field;
- why customer service should be a top priority;
- what features of a hosted call-processing system can improve customer service and overall performance;
- what makes the MightyCall virtual phone system a top option to consider.
Virtual phone systems in a cleaning business: why, how and which ones?
Starting up a cleaning business is comparatively easy. It doesn’t require special training or massive funding: a willingness to work hard usually does the trick. Ability to get the job done in an optimal way without spending much time comes as your experience grows. As your profits keep increasing, it becomes possible to expand your team, purchase more sophisticated equipment and extend your operations to encompass new areas. The horizon of possibilities seems cloudless, but there is one undeniable condition for expansion: the constant flow of clients shouldn’t run dry.
The price for poor customer service
A start-up cleaning company has to work hard to retain existing customers and attract new clientele. Ways to do it are numerous and well-known: advertising, customer-oriented approach, careful attitude towards reputation and efficient management.
According to surveys, acquiring a new customer is almost ten times more expensive than retaining ones you already have. What’s more, while the average probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere between 5-20%, while an existing customer will buy in 70% of cases. Naturally, active “hunt” for new customers is hardly a feasible long-term strategy: it is just too costly and rather risky in terms of yield.
Low barriers to entry mean that a market of any size is likely to spawn numerous competitors. Local businesses are waging an incessant war with national chains and clientele is a prize. While chains promote their state-of-art equipment and flash thousands of positive testimonials, local companies emphasize their personal touch and care for the customers. In fact, the range of available cleaning services varies little from company to company: the same principles apply whatever the job is. Therefore, nothing ties a customer to a particular business except for force of habit ― if something goes wrong, they can effortlessly migrate.
Why do people switch? Multiple surveys show that 65-80% of customers quit doing business with a company because of poor customer service. The major part of frustration stems from facing unhelpful staff and inefficient management of their requests. Naturally, the former issue can be resolved though better employee selection and staff training. The latter problem is closely associated with phone calls. This includes lengthy response times, inability to reach a live operator quickly, busy lines and negligence towards voicemail. Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t take much to enhance your call-processing model: modern virtual phone systems offer a plethora of useful features at affordable rates. As such systems are often hosted or cloud-based, you won’t have to buy any equipment and assign a person to maintain it.
Make people value your business ― improve call processing
A good example of a hosted phone system is MightyCall: with enough power to cater for the demands on a small/medium business, it can easily serve as a core of your communicational system. Getting started takes no time: choose a virtual phone number, subscribe to the service and start receiving calls in several minutes. And here’s how a cleaning business can benefit from an advanced cloud call-processing system.
- Your company will project a more professional impression
Prospective customers will likely call a cleaning company office to ask general questions about rates, availability, types of chemicals used for cleaning… Others may touch upon more specific topics: possible allergic reactions, safety for pets and children, suitability for particular materials/fabrics and so on. Current clients will probably schedule a cleaning or follow up with questions before or after the procedure.
More often than not, callers talk to the business owner or a hired administrator, who often rely on personal smartphones to get in touch with the cleaners and communicate customer requirements. A particular cleaner available for the job will likely contact the client him/herself via a mobile phone if the necessity arises. However, this communication model doesn’t present a professional image to callers.
MightyCall offers a variety of features designed to improve your image and make communication more efficient:
- Virtual phone number. Brings consistency to your communication model and makes your business look more serious in comparison with a list of mobile numbers.
- Virtual receptionist. Allows to provide information to customers via a self-service voice menu and to forward calls to desired locations. Additionally, you can have after-hours calls routed to voicemail.
- Music on hold. A powerful tool of caller retention: music on hold is known to increase time until hang-up twice. It is also possible to play promo records, information about special offers, etc.
- Several incoming lines and a call queue. Nothing is so frustrating for a caller as “busy line” beeps. Several lines enable you to receive more calls, which then can be forwarded to any device.
- Customizable greetings. A standard feature of business communications. You can record greetings yourself or let professional actors do it for you. The system is configurable according to time, day and calling numbers.
- You’ll be able to deliver better service
A cleaning business involves a great degree of movements: working on site at a customer’s home or office, driving around the city (and waiting in traffic jams). The always-on-the-run routine makes answering phone calls problematic for employees. Therefore, if you can’t devise a sophisticated call-management model, a great deal of call will end up in voicemail. But as studies show, 8 out of 10 callers won’t bother to leave a message; they will simply hang up and never call you again.
There’s an elegant decision to this conundrum, which doesn’t even require a live receptionist. MightyCall offers advanced call routing: after a greeting has been played, a call can be simultaneously forwarded to all staff members thus maximizing the chances that at least one of them will pick the phone. Forwarding sequence is fully customizable: ringing all phones simultaneously or in a desired pattern (e.g., receptionist->business owner->employee #1->employee #2). Such a setup helps to minimize the number of missed calls: a “win-win” situation for customers and the business alike.
Extensions are another handy tool: these short combinations added to the main number let callers a reach a specific employee/department. Existing customers may find it convenient to contact their favorite cleaning person directly. For business, such a setup naturally entails more prompt distribution of tasks and more convenient interaction within the company.
MightyCall forwards calls to any device. It means that a call to your virtual phone number can be routed outside your office ― to an employee’s personal mobile, for example. Keeping in touch with all your cleaners regardless of their physical location enables faster, more flexible cooperation. The resulting productivity increase can give you an edge over competing firms.
- You can record inbound and outbound calls to enhance customer service.
If market researchers are correct, 44% of US customers switched to a competitive company because they were put off by rude or unhelpful staff. Some 29% switched because they were annoyed by staff incompetence and 6 out of 10 respondents had to expend moderate-to-high effort to resolve their issue with customer service.
Statistics show that inadequate staff training poses a great risk to business reputation. Is there a way to make training more sound? A good option is to use a phone system like MightyCall to record inbound or outbound calls. Call records can be presented on staff meetings to show your employees how they a should/shouldn’t talk to customers and solve problems. Make sure that you follow local record disclosure laws, though.
Recorded calls are also a nice way to get feedback from customers. You might ask satisfied customers to leave a recorded testimonial for you to use in marketing campaigns. Alternatively, you can allocate a specific number for reporting problems. Let your customers leave a detailed description of a problem they faced when using your service, so you can take steps to avoid similar issues in the future.
Keep in mind that only 4% of dissatisfied customers are willing to report a complaint, while 96% will remain silent. At that, 9 out of 10 such customers will never return to you again. However, there’s a silver lining: resolve a problem in the customer’s favor and 7 out of 10 of them will likely do business with you again. That is exactly why it’s extremely important to stimulate feedback (both positive and negative) and have ways to analyze it. Needless to say, proper actions to resolve and prevent problems are a must.
- You can use SMS to send notifications, and customers can reach you online
Nothing can beat text messaging when you want to issue notifications unobtrusively. People appreciate your concern about their privacy: while a call requires answering, a person can read/answer an SMS whenever it is convenient. MightyCall virtual system enables its subscribers to send SMS notifications, letting customers know that a cleaning crew is on the way. It’s possible to supply the cleaner’s cell phone number or a direct extension, so that clients can text or call them directly to clarify something, reschedule, etc.
Any respectable company today is expected to have a website to present itself to online audience. While websites are universally regarded as an effective instrument for providing information, their capability for two-way interaction is often underestimated. MightyCall users get a free Click-to-Call widget, which lets website visitors contact your office via VoIP or instant messaging without leaving the website. Ask questions, leave a call-back request, schedule a cleaning ― all can be easily done online.
Multichannel connectivity is a new standard of business interaction: provide as much ways to contact you as possible, and prospects will appreciate the effort. Another advantage of MightyCall is seamless integration of all multichannel activities. You don’t have to monitor multiple channels ― your call-processing system will do it for you.
The MightyCall web dashboard aggregates all interaction directed at your company and provides a tool for assigning tasks on-the-fly. Thus, you can delegate a call-back request or a question to any of your team members and control the progress. To improve productivity even further, you can access all the MightyCall functions through a dedicated mobile application.
Like the Dashboard, MightyCall Mobile (available on iOS and Android) integrates social media channels, SMS, requests from website widgets, Voice-over-internet and telephone calls. Easy-to-use and reliable, it transforms your smartphone into a portable communication center.
A cleaning company is an easy-to-start, yet quite promising business. However, the major problem in the industry is a high level of competition, which renders superior customer service crucial. Effective interaction within the company combined with seamless accessibility for customers is what can make your business shine against the background of numerous counterparts.
MightyCall’s virtual phone number powered by advanced call-processing software is an affordable way to move your communication model to the next level of professionalism. A fully configurable user-friendly MightyCall phone system is designed specifically to help small/medium businesses create their own efficient communication environment.