Grow without spending more money!

New technologies and customer trends rise to the surface every year, but the year 2020 really broke the paradigm. Just as Zappos revolutionized customer experience with the move to free shipping and returns, curbside pickup and delivery services have now brought a level of convenience to consumers they won’t soon forget—and the ripple effects are already being felt across all industries.

Even though the trends may have shifted, we say be gone, missed opportunities! We know the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on small businesses. There are ways to rev it up without spending a buck.

Answer the Phone!

A ringing phone is an unanswered opportunity and an annoyance for potential customers. “Voice is the new killer app,” said Chris Sambar, AT&T’s executive vice president of technology and operations. “It’s been a real surprise.” With so many changes affecting our hours, procedures, and other factors related to handling our day-to-day business, people have a lot more questions for companies prior to choosing to purchase. The result? A massive upswing in the number of phone calls businesses are receiving. AT&T reported a 35% increase in cellular calls in 2020 and that voice calls have remained high throughout the day and into the weekends.

Meet customers where they are (hint: online!)

More often than not, customers are now starting interactions with the companies they do business with online. This means websites and social channels are now the first places people go to find information about a business and get their questions answered.

Communicate proactively:

It’s important to communicate proactively with customers and potential customers. Take the time to make sure the following channels have updated operating hours and important information related to safety/health protocols:

 • Google “My Business” profile

• Website headers

• Social media bios and info sections

Also, consider:

• Writing a blog post or posting a video outlining the safety/health precautions being taken to keep customers and employees safe.

• Sending out a special email campaign letting customers know what to expect

• Creating a FAQ list, a receptionist or chat specialist can use for quick reference

Make it personal:

Making the necessary changes to meet customers where they are (on the phone and online) while offering personalized, friendly, and safe ways to conduct business in a quick and easy fashion.

• Refrain from using acronyms, buzzwords, or industry terms. Remember that language familiar to you and your team may not be easily understood by potential customers.

• Talk to customers in a natural voice, rather than pre-packaged phrases. Use your personality to build that connection and draw people into what you’re all about.

• Following up with customers after every exchange is a simple way to keep the engagement warm and show you care. Make it part of your workflow for every interaction. Even a simple ‘Thank you’ email can go a long way.

We all know from experience that happiness has a ripple effect: treat people with kindness, and they’re likely to pass it on. So, for business owners looking to get a leg up on the competition in 2021, it makes sense to look into solutions that offer consistently friendly and personalized connections with customers over the phone and website.


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