Cost-Effective Communication For Your Business

This is a guest post by Cassie Lummus, an independent writer who works for Answering Service United as a virtual receptionist.  Her area of expertise lies  in call center solutions.

Modern communication technology

Modern communication technology © Sergey Nivens – Fotolia.com

All businesses, whether it is a worldwide corporation or a home-based operation, need to exercise positive communication at all times.  Whether it’s a marketing campaign, press release or interoffice announcement, being able to get the message across immediately is the key to success.

Communication in day-to-day operations is also important and sometimes it is hard to find staff members that can live up to a company’s needs.  In these economic times, a business may find itself going through a transitional stage where it can be hard to target those needs right away.

For instance, a large business may have had a person whose primary job was to answer phones but due to layoffs, this person may need to help out in other departments and be away from their desk.  Or, the receptionist may have had their hours reduced and in their absence, all incoming calls go to a general voicemail.

Then, there are some companies that started off small but have grown outside of the spare room and into an office.  For the moment, there is money in the budget for a receptionist but not enough time to screen, hire and train someone.

In both cases, money is being lost.

Another factor to take into consideration is that depending on the nature of the business, marketing techniques may be utilized as a way to build leads.

The company that uses the voicemail may save money for the moment but not having a personalized touch could cost them potential sales.  Say there is a caller who has a gravelly voice or bad phone connection.  The message is detailed but difficult to comprehend.  Though Caller ID services may help with the phone number, it can take time to get their name and the nature of the call.  During this time, this prospect could have received the same product or service from your competition.  By having a live person that will verify incoming calls and relay messages immediately, this can help a business a great deal.

When it comes to a new business, target marketing is a company’s life blood. In other words, a large corporation can run an ineffective marketing campaign and chalk it up to experience.  Small operations cannot always afford this because it is not in their budget.  This is why every phone call or contact matters so that the company can find out the customers’ needs.  Having someone that has cross-selling or promotional experience can help a great deal.  Even if they close every phone call with an email request so that the caller can receive company news alerts and announcements.  Doing this with every caller can help to build strong future alliances.

So how can a business determine these needs without spending more money than necessary?

Determine what a person can do better than a machine. Are you looking to make immediate contacts or sales?  Will every contact be used to add to an existing mail list or create a new one?  Even if you just want a cheery voice to receive the calls before they are transferred, this can bring a more personal feel that is not always found in a phone menu prompt.

Are your contacts local or worldwide?  If you have an online presence, chances are strong that your business has received orders or inquiries from overseas.  Anyone who has conducted business outside of their country knows that communication styles may differ as well as time zones.  However, slow communications can result in lost sales and missed opportunities.  Having a live person on your team 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can relay messages in a timely manner will help tremendously.

If you don’t have the time or resources to find someone who is experienced in taking orders and cross-selling, consider using an outside call center.  This can save your business as there is no concern about someone being utilized in elsewhere and unable to answer the phones in a timely manner.

There are professional services that can assess and meet a company’s communication needs in order for that business to grow steadily.

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