It’s no secret that the way we do business has changed dramatically over the last few decades. Before the internet and social media changed our lives, we simply had to go to a brick-and-mortar store in which we could find the product we needed and make a purchase. If you didn’t know where to find something, you’d simply look it up in the yellow pages and make a telephone call or ask a friend for advice on where to go.
These days, things are not quite so simple. You have internet retailers, phone sales, shopping mobile apps, and many other technological advancements that have completely transformed the landscape of business. Brick-and-mortar shops still exist, of course, but they’ve also had to adapt to new marketing and sales techniques.
These changes have brought about many benefits, both for consumers and for businesses. The modern way to do business has also created many more jobs and careers than ever before. However, not all changes have been positive. Nowadays, clients have become used to businesses that offer around-the-clock availability. In order to run a successful business that is able to grow and thrive, you need to be able to guarantee 24/7 customer service, shipment tracking, returns and refunds, and many other services. Otherwise, inpatient customers will easily flock to your competition, as long as they can provide these features.
The average consumer is exposed to thousands of brands and marketing messages each day. New options are always just a quick Google search away. Therefore, it’s no wonder that customer loyalty is harder to build each day, and that clients migrate from one business to the next if they feel that their needs aren’t being met.
In order to create new marketing strategies and provide 24/7 availability to customers, many businesses end up spending large amounts of money. Small businesses, however, don’t tend to have the kind of budget that would allow for these expenses. So how can a small business manage to keep up with the times, provide a positive customer experience, and still stay within its budget?
One of the easiest ways in which you can provide instant satisfaction to your customers without overspending is by outsourcing a virtual answering service. Creating a virtual reception for your business can be extremely beneficial in many aspects, from increasing your business’ bottom line to creating a more positive environment for your on-site staff.
When you hire a virtual answering service, you can request 24/7 operators. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pay overtime; instead, virtual assistant companies work with operators who are based all around the world and who work from many different time zones. This is how the best virtual answering companies can provide 24/7 services without being extremely expensive.
The operators who will work picking up each phone call work remotely, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t consummate professionals. Each operator who works for these companies has received extensive training before they even get their first position; you’ll simply have to provide some basic information about your business so that they can get to work.
Through the use of a virtual answering service, you will be able to ensure that each customer is greeted by a friendly, professional operator whenever they call. It won’t matter if customers are calling after-hours, on holidays, or while your on-site staff is holding a meeting or on their lunch break. That way, their question will be answered quickly and without delay. You can also leave instructions for operators to take messages and forward them to your staff, or for them to transfer certain calls, when needed. Your on-site staff will also benefit from this service, since they’ll be able to put all their energy into other tasks without feeling overworked.
Virtual assistants can also handle collections, track shipments, schedule appointments, and deal with providers. It all depends on what your business needs; soon, your customer service will become a huge positive asset for your business and clients will have a positive experience that will increase customer loyalty. These customers will be much more likely to return to your business and even recommend your services to new, prospective clients.
Research shows that word-of-mouth advertisement is one of the most affordable, yet most effective forms of marketing. You achieve a positive word-of-mouth reputation by delivering great services and impeccable customer service around the clock. It might sound hard to do this when you’re running a small business with a limited staff, but outsourcing a virtual answering service can be the first step in the right direction.