If you are running a small business, you have to balance a lot of different jobs. Those who work in a big corporation typically handle one or two primary tasks. As a small business owner, though, you have to deal with many more tasks. You have to be the one who answers phones, fills orders, works with clients, and many other things. Even if you have a few employees, you are likely going to be in control of the bulk of the tasks, which is perfectly fine for a business that is small and responsive to only a few clients and customers. However, if your business starts to grow rapidly, you’ll need to be able to respond to more obligations.
In many instances, your growing business can be handled by simply hiring more people. However, there is a doughnut hole of sorts. This occurs when your business grows more than you can handle, but not so much that you can hire more employees and still be profitable. For example, if you are receiving a high volume of phone calls from clients and customers, you need to be able to respond to them. However, if your sales only increase by a few hundred pounds per month, you might not be able to afford a receptionist who you’d have to pay more than that. That would sink you into the red each month without money to cover the new expenses. To deal with such a problem, many people choose automated phone systems.
An automated phone system is one that picks up when someone calls. The customer then uses voice or dial pad commands to get to the different services they need. It’s highly likely you’ve dealt with these types of systems before. Also, it’s very likely you dislike them. Researchers at different universities have found that as high as 80% of customers do not like dealing with automated phone systems. Of those customers, 40% say they have or are willing to avoid doing business with a certain company that uses an automated phone system.
Therefore, you could create the opposite problem for your growing business. In an attempt to deal with a higher-than-usual call volume, you could try to save money by installing an automated phone system. That system, however, will end up costing you calls and customers. You will have then paid for the phone system and cut even deeper into your profits. How do you avoid this? A phone answering service such as Message-Direct will answer your phone calls without costing you customers.
A message-taking service is fairly simple. You set up an account with the service, so when you need them, you can automatically forward your calls to them. They will answer the phone on behalf of your business, take a message, and deliver it to you in the way you prefer. The person on the other end of the phone is a live human being who answers the phone as a representative of your business. This is a great way to get your phone calls answered without a large commitment of money and resources.
You can forward your phone calls while you’re asleep or while you’re in a meeting for a few hours. Alternately, you can forward all of your calls for weeks. You should choose a company that allows you to forward calls without a contract and only pay for calls they answer. That way, you won’t have to spend extra money on a service you’re not using.
The problems of call volume and changing business needs are very common for seasonal businesses. For example, if you sell Christmas trees, you will have a high volume of calls during the holiday season, but not very many during the summer. You will likely hire seasonal workers for that time period; however, if you want to boost your profits, you would also benefit from forwarding many of your phone calls to a message-taking service. They will answer your phone calls during your busy season without obligating you to pay them during your slow season. So what do you do if you have busy times of the day and not busy seasons?
For many people in the 21st century, their business is 24/7. As the Internet has expanded to every corner of the globe, you have to be available to customers all over the world. When it is the middle of the work day in London, it might be the middle of the night where your customers are and vice versa. So if your customers need to get in touch with you during their work day, you might be asleep. You could keep your phone on all night and wake up whenever a customer calls you, but a better option is a messaging service. They will answer your phones 24/7 so you can keep normal business hours.
Also, that will help you expand your business faster to more markets.
If you run a business and want to go on holiday, you have to trust your employees to run it without you. If you do not have enough employees, you’ll need someone to step in while you’re on holiday. A message-taking service will be able to step in and answer your phones while you’re on holiday. You can then have the message delivered to your phone or computer if you’d like. You can choose when to respond to your customers and clients. Some people like to wait until they’re back from holiday to deal with work-related details. You can even have the messages held until you get back from holiday.
Those are all great options for dealing with different staffing issues. Your business should not have to go on hold just because you are out of town or busy. If you want to expand your business rapidly, you have to make it more easy to scale up. A message service allows you to rapidly scale your business up with minimal expense. You definitely shouldn’t trust such tasks to an automated system.