Today’s business landscape is a veritable battlefield on which you must constantly wage war against the competition – especially if you are a small business owner. You can use technology as a weapon, but you must wield it properly in order to make a difference. To help you in your quest, we’d like to arm you (through this article), with some winning strategies that you can easily implement, by leveraging simple cloud telephony solutions.
Don’t let your size dictate your ability to scale up and meet growing customer needs. You can give your business a huge boost by streamlining a few vital processes such as your communications system. If you’ve been operating with a single number, and losing customers due to missed calls, it’s time to upgrade to an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, from a cloud telephony service provider. Callers can then get the information they want by selecting from a menu of options and you benefit from new leads. In fact, don’t stop there. Add a little widget to your website to implement the click-to-call feature that lets prospects connect directly with you when they are online. Even better, ensure your number is toll free, so that people stay longer on the line as you convince them to buy your product.
Once your communications system is up and running, the calls will roll in. Not all of them will be inquiries. Customers may also call to complain about your product or service. Whatever the issue is, listen, learn and try change things for the better. When customers know that you care, they will keep coming back.
Trying to play too many roles will wear you down and reduce your productivity. Yes, diversifying your business functions and bringing new teams into the picture can be difficult. But, if you want to do better business, you may have no other option. A sales and marketing team can drum up valuable leads. A service team can handle any issues that your customers face. Once you have these teams in place, use cloud telephony solutions to save cost and effort, while increasing their efficiency. For example, your marketing team will benefit greatly from a call tracking solution that enables them to find out which campaigns are working best. Your service team will benefit from your IVR system and from the call recording feature, which records all incoming calls, so that nothing is missed. Talk to your cloud telephony services provider for more details on these services.
Small businesses play a vital role in creating employment opportunities. Your company in particular can become a highly preferred employer if you play your cards right. When you use technology to streamline your processes and become more professional in your approach, it reflects well on your company. This will make candidates knock on your door, instead of the other way around.
A work-life balance, that is. Hard work can lead to success. Overwork can lead to lower productivity levels. It’s not that difficult to find time for rest and recreation outside of work – a few technological tools can help you in your quest. For example, after working hours, program your IVR system to read out a recorded message and automatically forward calls to voicemail. It’s that simple.
Get organized. Set your systems in place. This is crucial for business success. You may think that there’s method in your madness, which works well for you. It may not work as well for your team members and for your customers. After setting up protocols and organizing paperwork, you may want to go further. Perhaps you could acquire a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Don’t stop there. Cloud telephony service providers allow you to integrate your IVR system, with your CRM system. That puts all your customer records, including their calls, in one easily accessible place.
Transparency is essential to ensure that your employees don’t feel insecure or worried about the future. A great way to share critical business information is to hold regular cross-functional team meetings, over a voice conference call. Doing this will enable even those who are on leave or those who are on the field, to dial into the conference call, via their mobile phones. Some cloud telephony companies, including Knowlarity, offer their conferencing service absolutely free.
Last but not least, bear in mind that no entrepreneur, or small business owner is an island. To successfully run your business and keep team morale high, you must be respected as a good leader. In your bid to become a great people manager, all the strategies we’ve mentioned in this article, will work to your advantage. They will take a lot of work off your plate and leave you free, to strategize and lead from the fore.
So, arm yourself, choose your weapons and get ready to send the competition packing.