The Ansacom blog is a fantastic one-stop resource for all the information you need on call answering services and telemarketing. Covering everything from industry news and developments to advice, tips and guidance, the blog offers insight whether you are interested in using Ansacomâ€™s services or would just like more information on the value of business telecommunications.
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Have you ever tried to call your own business? It is not something that many managers or business owners ever attempt, but it can […] The post Call yourself: how to test your customer services appeared first on Ansacom.
Have you ever tried to call your own business? It is not something that many managers or business owners ever attempt, but it can be quite enlightening in terms of helping you to understand the kind of customer service that business provides. The level of service that you offer can be crucial to your relationships – not only with customers but with suppliers as well.
The next time you get ten minutes free, try giving your business a call. Plan out a fairly complex range of queries that may require being transferred between members of the team for information. This can be a very effective test of the kind of call that your business might be dealing with every day; it’s important to know that they are doing it right.
Firstly, check how long it takes for your call to be picked up. If the call has rung several times before it is answered this can be an indication that your team is either very busy or they aren’t recognising how important it is to pick up the phone quickly. Either way this is bad news. Having to wait on the line for a long time can make a customer simply hang up and try somewhere else. Equally, your staff should treat every incoming call as a priority.
Now you’ll get the chance to see how your team answer the phone. Do they sound friendly and helpful? Are they professional in the way that they speak to clients? Do they listen properly to your queries and provide helpful responses? It may be the case that they have never really been trained in call answering and this can be a new opportunity to learn.
Finally, ask yourself how well your team dealt with your query. Were you passed to the correct person to answer questions? Was the information accurate and useful? This kind of test can be extremely elucidating.
Of course there is the chance that the test reveals that your customer service is very poor. If so, it could be a smart idea to invest either in training for your team or professional call answering. This can make an enormous difference to your dealing with clients, potentially earning you more business and certainly improving your customer relationships.
Every business would love to have more productive staff. Fortunately this is something that almost any company can achieve if it uses the right […] The post Three ways to make your business more productive appeared first on Ansacom.
Every business would love to have more productive staff. Fortunately this is something that almost any company can achieve if it uses the right strategy and tools. Here are three ways that can help make your business more productive.
1 – Improve employee morale and satisfaction
Undoubtedly the most effective way to get your productivity out of your staff is to improve their morale and the amount of work satisfaction they get. When staff feel happy and that they are being treated with respect they are more likely to be motivated to do a great job to help the company succeed.
Improving employee morale does not have to mean giving a pay rise. Consider carrying out anonymous survey of staff to find out what needs to be improved to help them feel more motivated. This is often the smartest to do it as you are addressing the real concerns of staff rather than assuming what is best for them.
2 – Have dedicated call handling
Answering the phone is a part of almost every business. Whether you are providing customer service, taking orders, negotiating with suppliers or simply fielding new enquiries, your team may have to deal with a huge number of phone calls every day. But while this is an inevitable part of running any organisation, it can also be a huge drain on productivity.
This is especially true for small businesses – if you are a relatively small team of specialists, each member of staff will have important day-to-day roles to get on with. Having to constantly answer the phone can be at best a drain on resources, and at worst a waste of time.
That’s why it can be a great idea to invest in call handling services. A professionally trained and highly experienced team can pick up all of your calls, dealing with any standard queries themselves, while taking a message or passing the call over to you, only if it is necessary. Many issues can be dealt with directly by the call staff so this can have the benefit of freeing up a significant amount of time for your staff.
3 – Trial flexible working
Another potential idea that you could implement into your business structure is flexible working. Standard shift patterns are becoming a thing of the past in many businesses, as employees prefer to structure their working day so that is more convenient for them. This has been shown to be an advantage for many companies.
Flexible working won’t necessarily be a workable solution for every business and many owners and directors may be sceptical about whether it is right for their organisation. If this is the case for you it could be worth investigating the possibility of trying a flexible approach for a couple of months to see whether you see the benefits.
Summer brings a challenge to any business because it is a popular time for staff to take annual leave. Whether they are jetting off […] The post How to cover your business for summer holidays appeared first on Ansacom.
Summer brings a challenge to any business because it is a popular time for staff to take annual leave. Whether they are jetting off to relax in the sunshine or just taking time off to look after their kids while school is out, summer holidays can present you with a number of logistical challenges.
If you are small business that relies on each member of the team to handle incoming calls, having a few people out of the office at the same time can result in two problematic issues. Firstly, other members of staff will have to take on the burden of taking calls more often which can take them away from their regular working schedule. Secondly, over busy periods you might start to find that no-one is available to answer the phone, leading to unanswered calls and missed leads.
Almost any business can begin to struggle if they don’t have as many members of staff available. So it’s important to have a solution in place. That’s why you should consider using professional call handling services. If you’re about to enter a period where you know you’re going to have members of staff out of the office, a highly trained call answering team can deal with your incoming calls for you.
Skilled phone operatives will field initial calls, dealing with basic queries, taking messages and providing excellent customer service. Any messages are passed on immediately to you and your team so that you can deal with them at a convenient time. The call answering team will be personalised to your business to give a professional service to your potential clients and customers – just as if they were there in your office.
One of the major benefits of using call answering services is that they can work with your needs and requirements. It could be that you just need an overflow team to handle calls when you experience very high volumes. Alternatively, it may be the case that you would prefer the team to be the first point of contact for every incoming call.
If your business currently only works standard office hours you could be missing a real opportunity. The vast majority of small and medium sized […] The post The easy way to extend your opening hours appeared first on Ansacom.
If your business currently only works standard office hours you could be missing a real opportunity. The vast majority of small and medium sized businesses only work between the hours of 8am and 6pm from Monday to Friday. This can be a major drawback if your main client base is normal consumers, many of whom are at work during this period of the day. So it can be an excellent idea to offer longer opening hours.
There are many benefits. The first is obvious: it’s an opportunity to gain additional sales. But equally it gives you the chance to offer better customer service – no-one likes to have to leave a voicemail or be told that they need to ring back tomorrow. It’s also true that being open for longer can give you an advantage against competitors who aren’t available.
But this is an option that many companies don’t consider because they don’t want to expense of hiring extra staff to work the hours. However, there is a cost-effective way to extend your opening hours without having to hiring an extra shift of workers for the evenings and weekends: use call answering services.
Call answering services work with your business to provide customer services to your clients during the hours that suit your business. They will take your out-of-hours and overflow calls to ensure that you never miss another sales lead or let down a customer. They will offer a personalised service that understands your business so they can deal with the vast majority of simple queries and questions.
You can choose exactly how and when your call answering services work – it could be that you only want them to cover you in the evenings, or that you need help covering all the calls over busy periods. Either way this is an extremely efficient way to extend your opening hours that can boost your profits and improve customer satisfaction.
Having a small business can often be an advantage in terms of keeping costs low and creating a relaxed working atmosphere, but there also […] The post Four ways to make your business seem larger while your grow appeared first on Ansacom.
Having a small business can often be an advantage in terms of keeping costs low and creating a relaxed working atmosphere, but there also times when winning customers and impressing your clients can be more challenging. Even if your business is relatively new, it can be beneficial to appear larger than you currently are to give you the best chance of succeeding. Here are four ways to make your business seem bigger as you grow.
Get a professional address
As an entrepreneur or start-up owner it may be the case that you don’t currently have business premises and do your work from home. There’s nothing wrong with this as you start out, but having a residential address for your business could potentially be a stumbling block if your clients would prefer to work with established companies. That’s why it can be smart to use a business address service.
These services will set you up with an address, and this can then function as your official business address. Any mail they receive will be forwarded to you. But more importantly it gives your business the prestige of a professional address.
Use call answering services
When you own a start-up business it can be down to your small team to field all of the incoming calls. Not only can this be a significant use of their (and your) time, it can also seem a little amateurish if senior management are dealing with basic phone queries.
In this case it’s a great idea to outsource call answering services. A professional call centre with high trained staff will handle all of the initial enquiries and simple questions, they can either put calls straight through to the correct person or send a message, just as if they are in your office.
Improve your website
As a small business, it’s likely that most prospective customers will find you through your website. This is good news because it’s easy to create a highly stylish and professional-looking site that can rival that of a much larger business. Make sure you focus on improving and upgrading your website so that it is at least in line with the quality of your rival businesses – ideally, you should look to outshine theirs.
Register as a limited company
When you’re just starting out you will probably be looking to keep costs to a minimum – but there is one small expense that can be extremely valuable. Rather than working as a sole trader, you should register your business with Companies House. This means that you will be officially recognised as a limited company. If this is a step that you are thinking of taking, make sure you speak to a qualified accountant first.
The post Four ways to make your business seem larger while your grow appeared first on Ansacom.
If you are going to making sales calls to businesses and prospective clients, the first thing that you need is an effective sales script. […] The post Three vital features of a fantastic sales script appeared first on Ansacom.
If you are going to making sales calls to businesses and prospective clients, the first thing that you need is an effective sales script. The right script can make the difference between bringing in numerous new business leads and missing out on excellent opportunities. Here are three vital features that any cold calling or telemarketing campaign must feature:
1 – Adaptability
Of course you never want your sales script to be too rigid – there’s nothing that puts off a potential customer than feeling like they are talking to a robot. But aside from leaving room for improvisation, it is also essential that your script should be ready to adapt depending on who you are talking to. You could find yourself pitching to a Marketing Manager, a Head of Sales or a Managing Director – and the features and benefits that you want to emphasise will vary drastically for each of these people. So it can be a great idea to have a plan in place for every scenario.
2 – The cut to the chase
Firstly, it’s important to point out that your sales script should never waste time. It might seem like a good idea to exchange pleasantries and to attempt to humanise yourself, but don’t forget that this is a business call, and if someone is busy with work, you had better have a good reason for interrupting them (not just to ask them how their day is going). Get to the point and introduce your product or service. It’s also important to be as specific as possible – talk up your product as soon as you can.
3 – The right questions
Questions are a valuable weapon in the arsenal of the sales caller but it’s very important to use them in the right way. For example, you never should never ask a question that leads into a dead answer: “Your business sells office stationery. Is that right?” Instead try to ask open-ended questions where the person on the phone can give you an answer with information, you can then work off their answer in a way that is natural – the call should always feel like an organic conversation, rather than you trying to reach a specific line in a script.
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