For thousands of years, business was conducted in a very similar way: at brick-and-mortar shops or markets that only opened during specific hours of the day. If you were unable to get to the shops during these hours, you knew that you simply had to wait until the next day to acquire the goods that you were shopping for.
But as technology has advanced, the way we do business has also evolved. In just a few decades, online shopping and 24/7 customer service have revolutionized businesses across the world, to the point that these features have become a necessity if you’re hoping to expand your customer base and increase your profits.
Nowadays, a business that doesn’t offer some type of 24/7 customer service has a much higher risk of losing potential customers, receiving bad customer reviews, and developing a poor reputation that can hinder future growth. As any business owner knows, few things are harder to overcome than a bad reputation.
The appeal of instant gratification
New generations have gotten used to instant gratification, which heavily influences the expectations that customers have of different businesses. Unlike how it was in the past, customers now expect to be able to find all the information they require in a convenient and fast manner.
Our schedules have become busier and we have to deal with more responsibilities than ever before. As a result, we don’t want to feel like we’re wasting time on something as seemingly trivial as shopping for products or services.
Additionally, there are many more businesses operating than before. This is a reality that affects practically all fields. If you can’t offer instant gratification to your customers, they will simply need to perform a quick online search to find another alternative. Thanks to all the shipping options that are now available, your competition doesn’t even have to be located in the same zip code as you – which makes it even more important to make sure that you’re offering everything that your customers could want or need.
How you can incorporate instant customer service to your business
For many small business owners, it can seem nearly impossible to keep up with the demand for instant gratification. Hiring staff is an expensive and time consuming process, and many small businesses simply don’t generate enough revenue to justify adding additional staff members to handle customer service, let alone 24/7 customer service.
Even adding one additional employee can be cost prohibitive for many businesses. Advertising for a new position, interviewing candidates, training a new employee, and paying for their salary and benefits isn’t a viable option for most local businesses.
But at the same time, not offering this service can severely impact your customer base and bottom line. As we mentioned above, potential customers won’t have to try too hard to find another business that can meet their requirements.
It may seem like you’re stuck in an impossible situation and won’t be able to find a realistic, affordable, and effective solution. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, outsourcing your customer service by hiring a virtual answering service can be just what you need to improve your customer service, satisfy your customers, and run your business more efficiently.
The benefits of a 24/7 answering service
A virtual answering service can offer many different solutions for small and medium businesses. When you hire a virtual answering service to take your business’ calls, you will basically be enabling the creation of a remote call center that will work around the clock to provide customer service that is catered to your needs.
Remote call center operators are highly-skilled professionals who have received extensive training before they start working directly with customers. Thanks to their remote work, they can also work from different time zones to ensure that your business can provide 24/7 customer service. This way, clients won’t have to wait until you open your business the next day in order to communicate with someone who works there. This system will enable customers to find answers to their inquiries quickly, which will prevent you from losing potential sales after your office hours are over.
Answering services also offer an impressive array of customizable services. Operators can take messages, answer inquiries, schedule meetings, help with bill collection, send reminders, and even transfer calls directly to you if the need arises. Thanks to this service, you will be able to satisfy your customers’ need for instant gratification without going over budget.