Great Ways to Use a Contact Center to Build Your Business

Imagine a small business owner whose company is taking off. The phone is ringing off the hook and calls are getting ignored simply to get the business already contracted completed. Or, a company whose growth demands customer service representatives, but with no space on-site to accommodate that new division. Perhaps you could envision an advertising campaign that calls for direct response from consumers, but you have no one to interact with those response. Companies that specialize in providing contact center services are equipped and experienced at dealing with all of these situations, and more. Businesses can avoid losing valuable profits by taking advantage of these call center services.

Contact center agents can fill many roles for your company. They can be an extension of your company, performing the duties of salesmen, customer service agents, or lead generators. With the advent of technology, agents can communicate with customers and potential clients over the phone and on the internet. Most of these services look like a large facility filled with hundreds of contact stations, where employees answer phones and respond on the internet to those contacting your company. Some run very effective software that allows you to keep track, almost in real time, of call agent productivity and customer responses. This software also helps to route calls to the agents who have the most appropriate skill level for the consumer’s needs.

These trained professionals can help find out customer needs that are not being met through your company, allowing you to make informed changes that can boost profits. They can also offer additional services or products to current clients, expanding the profitability of your customer base. With friendly, efficient representatives, customer service calls can turn into lucrative opportunities. For example, the representatives can take care of the customers’ complaints or questions and then sincerely ask about other needs or offer a special or time-sensitive offer tailored to the consumer. Utilizing soft sell offers with trained call agents is also a great sales tactic. This is when companies offer a free trial period or something similar to generate new business.

Contact center agents can make outbound calls for your business as well. They can work to generate leads, follow up on leads, or locate decision makers for company or organizational clients. They can also serve as debt collection notification agents. There are so many ways a teleservice agency can help grow your business. Why not take advantage of them and start increasing your revenue streams today?

Has Your ‘Small Business Development Center’ Actually Helped You?

And especially, have they helped you learn effective, affordable and creative ways to market your business?

I’m curious because I often hear mixed reviews. These organizations are often branches of a govt agency and the leadership within the group (the directors, etc.) many times has no personal ‘hands on’ experience running a business. On the other hand, it seems that occasionally someone runs across an organization that has lucked out and has a great leader with tons of background.

I point this out because often ‘traditional’ books and consultants will tell you to reach out to your local Small Business Development Center and/or your local Chamber of Commerce. I confess, I love my local Chamber of Commerce (especially our lovely, vivacious and charming Executive Director) so I’m certainly not suggesting you overlook this resource. But I AM suggesting that you recognize that they are only a piece of the puzzle. It’s critical that you drill down into exactly they type of support and information you need and get that help from people who know exactly what you’re dealing with every day.

As much as it may kill you to step away from the business of running your business for a few hours, you must force yourself to make the time. I am NOT going to encourage you to get a mani/pedi or watch a movie during this break.

Instead, gather the training and education material you’ve been planning to read but haven’t made the time. Turn off the phone, put our your mental ‘do not disturb’ sign and dig in. Have a notebook with you and capture ideas that come to mind. It doesn’t mean you have to do them all today, it just means they are things to think about and you can execute on them when the time is right.

Or, use the time to connect with a fellow business owner…and DON’T waste the time with small talk. Prepare a list of 4-6 topics you want them to weigh in on. Maybe you need someone to brainstorm a new product or marketing idea. Maybe you are feeling frustrated or discouraged about another aspect of your business and need a new perspective. Make sure you stay on track and talk about the business issues you’re dealing with and get some objective input about the situation.

Owning a small business can be isolating and often you may feel like you’re out there all alone. Sometimes we all have to force ourselves to make planning and collaborating a part of our business, even when we feel like we don’t have the time.

How to Start a Business Information As a Unique Christmas Gift

Starting a business in no “walk in the park” for most of us. There are expenses to consider, the likely hood of success verses failure. A person has to take their time to research their idea, find out every scrap of information they possibly can about this business. In truth starting a business from scratch is a whole lot of hard work. Just when you think you have asked every possible question there is a dozen more pop up. Would it not be a unique Christmas gift to find a way to help your friend or loved one with some of that much needed information?

When searching for a business to start many of us do not have thousands and thousands of dollars in liquid assets to invest in a franchise. Today’s new business owners have had to get creative and find “real” businesses that can be operated from home. This is where the word “real” applies, there are many scammers out there trying to get your money. You will see overwhelming amounts of sites that offer to make you rich while you are lazy, asleep, in your pajamas – you name it! And get this – it will only cost you 29.00 to start your business. Get real; it is not going to happen so easily.

Creative people need to think outside the box to find a business that they can work from home. Look at service businesses especially. Mobile gyms, mobile pet care, mobile car wash, mobile windshield, mobile oil change and mobile lawnmower repair. People are starting cleaning businesses, delivery service and daycare centers in and from their own home. These businesses allow you to start and run them from your own home at a much lower cost than your typical “sticks and bricks” businesses.

Back to the unique Christmas gift, that is easy. If you know someone who is looking to start their own business but needs guidance, support and most of all information why not do a little research yourself and print it out, put it in a binder and present that as a gift? Or better yet, if you can find a “How to Start” manual that applies to the subject your friend or loved one is interested in buy it as a gift. It not only shows that you are a crafty shopper but a person who cares about their dream. It shows your support for their idea.

Just a thought…