Small businesses have to be very particular about their customer service. The only way that a small business can compete with the big hitters in the industry is by offering excellent customer service. Most people are often willing to give a chance to local companies in lieu of multinational corporations, but they expect good value for their money. However, while the rewards of setting up a small business are great, you should know that there are serious risks involved as well. One of the biggest challenges that most small businesses face is when it comes to managing the capital in their company.
You will start your company with a limited amount of capital. A large chunk of the funds will be invested in setting up the company and buying the fixed assets with which to start your business. Then, you will need to put in money for product manufacturing and development, not to mention handling the company’s payroll and other elements. As you can see, most of the money will be used for managing the essential functions of the company. This leaves very little money for supplementary functions, such as setting up a customer service department or bringing on new staff so that you can provide quality service to your customers.
After sales support plays a crucial role in today’s world. If your business doesn’t offer proper after-sales support, it won’t be long before customers become disillusioned and stop buying from you. As competition has increased in the local industry, there are plenty of alternatives from which customers can choose. Selling a product isn’t all that difficult; the real test is retaining customers. One of the most important metrics that companies use to gauge businesses is the ratio of repeat customers that a business is able to retain.
If you aren’t providing a reliable after-sales service and aren’t willing to accommodate customers who have problems with your products or services, they won’t want to buy from you again. One of the first things that you need to do is set up a telephone answering department so that you can directly engage with your customers. Setting up a telephone answering department is expensive, but it certainly has its benefits. For starters, you can directly engage prospective customers by calling them via directories and pitching your products. On top of that, if a customer has a problem with any of your products, or would like to know more about your products or services, they can simply call the provided number and get in touch with your support staff. It’s easy and hassle-free, and most importantly, customers get a response in real time. They don’t have to wait for an answer to their mails; they can simply discuss their problem and get support right away.
Limitations of Setting Up a Telephone Answering Department
The benefits of having an in-house telephone answering department are quite clear. Unfortunately, most small businesses are unable to set up their own in-house support department because of the many limitations they face. In the early years of launching a business, funds are likely to be tight. Unless you have found a major company that is willing to invest money into your business, most of the capital will be put up by the founding members, who will obviously expect some sort of return.
With limited funds, you have to be careful that you only invest money in the crucial operations that directly contribute to your company’s profitability. Setting up a telephone answering department is going to cost a considerable amount of money, and it is not something that will directly affect your company’s profits. Most of the working capital in companies is generally tied up in production, and the rest is kept as reserve in case of an emergency.
If you want to set up a separate telephone answering department, you will need to invest money in buying new equipment. You will also need to bring on more staff for handling and receiving calls, and will need to invest in their training as well. Not only will this put a significant burden on your company’s payroll, but it will also increase your operating expenditure by a significant margin. For a business that is still in its early stages and has very fine profit margins, it’s not exactly the best move to invest so much money in setting up a customer service department.
What Is the Alternative?
In the United Kingdom, there are many companies that are currently offering telephone answering services to local businesses. Companies such as Message Direct have established a name for themselves as one of the best in the industry. Basically, these companies make it easy for businesses to offer a quality after-sales service to their customers without having to set up a separate telephone answering department. All you have to do is to open an account with the company.
They will give you a telephone number that you can then give to your customers to contact you in case they need help. The company has trained staff available around the clock to answer any complaints that might arise. All you have to do is to provide relevant details about your business so that it doesn’t seem that you have outsourced the call centre to another company.
In case there is a customer that has particular requirements, the company’s staff will take down their message and transfer it to your offices. This means that you won’t need to have an employee constantly waiting by the phone. In case you are going on a vacation or taking your employees on a company retreat, you can leave without having to worry about leaving someone behind to attend to phone calls. These are just some of the many benefits that you get for hiring another company to attend to your phone calls. Most of the companies don’t even charge a high fee for their services, so it is a great option for small businesses that don’t want to increase their operating expenditure.