Any business needs to communicate in some or other way. Big companies have call centres and smaller businesses a receptionist and often, one man operations makes use of a cellphone. That’s all good, and obviously the popular way to handle client communications.
The right question here is: how much do you spend on internal communication? You can add: can that data be useful, again.
Okay, I get it, you work alone and use chat applications for personal use, nothing much to change there, but a website can still be used in a good way, to handle customers, especially when your phone is off during meetings.
When your operation goes beyond a single person, especially when your employees work in different areas and not in one building. Companies with sales people in the field will be a good example. When choosing services you have many mobile and landline packages available, some might be more convenient and others more cost-effective. The trick is to find out which will work for you and not only save you money but, contribute to improving your service.
How about I tell you the story, behind the reason for this post.
At one point, some years back I opened a second business, not far away from the first, maybe less than kilometer. It quickly became clear that being in two places at once was not one of my special powers, damn. Using mobile devices was not an option because most of them did not come with color screens. What to do? both places having phones, led to a phone bill with historical value….sky high! And at the same time my delivery guy ran documents up and down like a mad man. This wasn’t going to work.
Between a rock and a hard place, I decided enough, and got both the computers online, bit of a challenge THEN, and started using Skype. Problem solved.
In the first few months other headaches popped up, but they where easily overcome. At some point I moved into my office at home and that went without a glitch. Skype worked really good. Once cell phones and tablets came with the ability to run Skype, all sorts of doors opened. Skype is super useful, but what if you need more than just talking? Maybe you want to share and archive documents?
This one is easy to guess, use your website.
Forget the idea that a website’s sole purpose are advertising, we are long past that.
Here is a usage example or scenario.. call it what you like.
I sell a technical product
Meet John. John is a rep on the road, selling the latest model drilling machines. Some times it happens that the clients ask John a tricky question, maybe John does not know the answer or need a second opinion.
The popular way to get help will be for John to get on the phone and start explaining, this can get challenging.
On the flip side John can easily click into his web app take a photo, add his description and share with the rest of the company. With everyone connected, the first person with an answer can respond.
That sounds pretty much like the phone call, but it’s not. Three major differences here. First via the site John easily add as many photos as he may need. The second difference is that this costs less than a phone call. The last and biggest difference is that the question then becomes archived in category with time.
Why do that? Lets say the problem John encountered is the first of 4000 other machines that are still going to act up, with exactly the same problem due to a manufacturing oversight. First you will pick up and keep track of the situation, and secondly if the question pops up again, you simply refer to the already solved solution online.
You can take it further, moderate the posts and add them into your business knowledge base, and only then make it available to website members.
Now the client, doesn’t have to wait for John, maybe this problem where solved a long time ago. Adding a knowledge base to your site works good to gain points in the credibility department, too.
Credibility is more important than telling people about specials.
When a customer walk into you place of business, they can immediately see what you have on show and/or lying around in your workshop. You may not think so but those signals is what convinces the customer if you know your job or not – credibility. On the internet you cannot simply forget about the things that makes your business credible, but one often find that.
A last point on this are, because you have to use different ways to prove your credibility on-line does not mean it is more difficult, it’s simply a matter of making your visitors realize that you know what you are doing.
Let’s stop there before I bore you to death.
In conclusion, by making the right choices on communications packages and devices, combined with the right website set-up, you not ony save money but add value to your services, and as a by-product gain credibility. What more can you ask for!