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To Handle Call Volumes Effectively, Businesses Should Have a Call Center

With more and more people owning mobile phones, businesses can attest that there are increased call volumes. The calls must be handled otherwise the business will no longer remain competitive in a volatile market. Consumers know that they should be given priority and whatever issue they have should be solved as soon as possible. This is vital for every big organization and the best way to do so is to select a call center.

The First Thing to Do

The first thing that a business should do is to determine whether it needs a call center and why. Is it that the call volumes have increased? You need customer service improvements or you need to have all the functions in one center? This will help in the guidance of how it should be outsourced or set up.

Things to Consider

For a call center to be effective and to ensure that it serves its purpose, there are various things that a business needs to do. A call center cannot be just set up and it’s up and running without some processes. 

  • Training of the Call Center Agents

Training is part of quality assurance programs. The only way to ensure that customers are assured of quality, the agents must adhere to the script, have the product knowledge and the accent is neutralized. These are some of the training that should be done and standards that must be adhered to. 

  • Varying Agent Skills

Agents should have different skills while working at the call center. This ensures that the center is well-rounded up to offer the best possible customer service and solutions to customers. In addition to this, they should understand the culture of where the call center is based, have good communication and listening skills. 

  • How the Calls Will Be Distributed 

Calls must be distributed equally. It would not make sense to have some agents receive more calls than others as long as they have the same working hours. Distributing calls equally eliminates the need for others to work more than others. 

  • Consider the Call Center Capabilities

For a call center to be effective, a business has to consider its capabilities. Will it be able to handle the call volumes and will it be possible to maintain quality customer service? The capabilities should be considered first as this will help to make a decision on how it will be set up.

Top 5 small businesses to start-up with less than $500

The choice of which business to do is somewhat dependent on some factors such as skills possessed, funds availability, profitability, societal demands, associated risks, etc. But if we are to consider profitability and fund availability in the range of about $500, there are some businesses that top the chart. Many opportunities abound with little funds requirement. Let’s explore some of these opportunities.

1. Social Media Management

With the increase in a number of social media users on a daily basis, social media assistant has evolved as a business. Many influencers do not have time to manage their handles on these platforms, yet it is necessary that they mark their presence there. As a result, they require assistance in managing their social media accounts. This is a business opportunity you can explore, costing you an internet data plan and a  laptop or other mobile devices. Meanwhile, you may even be provided with these.

2. Blogging

The numbers of internet users are multiplying on a daily basis. Some developing countries have as high as 100 million internet users. An amazing thing is that the whole world is connected by the internet. All you have to do is to get your own web hosting page that costs cheaply less than $500 a year and create captivating content and enticing outlook. The more hits your web page gets, the more money you accumulate. You can increase your profitability by doing advert placements, content marketing, using affiliate links and so on.

3. Tutorial Handling/Personal Training

For the academics savvy, it costs you less than you acquire that knowledge to market it and earn more. If you hold a certification or a degree that qualifies you to tutor people, you already have a business. You can even tutor people online. Similarly, you can take advantage of people who are in need of personal trainers. With a relatively low amount, you can get your certification as a personal trainer and you can start earning.

4. Online/Digital Marketing

The internet is fast becoming a big market with billions of participants. Reports said that if Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous country after India and China. Imagine that you market goods to over a million people on the internet on a monthly basis and you earn $1 each from them. That makes you a millionaire in no time. And this is quite possible with less than $500

5. Virtual Assistant

Apart from selling or marketing goods online, you can also render services on the same platform. Without having to look for clients around, you can do business online and earn as much as you want. You can join websites like Fiverr or Upwork with very little upfront cost to attract many clients.

With your skills, you can earn as much as possible without having to financially invest so much.  When you begin to consider the numerous problems you could provide solutions to, the list just becomes endless. Hence, don’t just think about it, act on it. Wherever your strength lies, harness them and watch your less than $500 initial investment earn you lots of cash.

Keys to Creating an Ergonomic Work Environment

Ergonomics is the science of arrangement and designing workspaces, systems, and products so that people who use them can do so safely. Tweaking the looks of your workspace(in terms of equipment placement and furniture positioning), and another aspect of work to suit the workers’ physical requirement and also provide comfortability is the true essence of ergonomics. Instead of forcing workers to adapt to jobs, it is best to let the jobs suit them.

Why have an ergonomically structured work Environment

Many companies of different sizes and industries are beginning to come to the realization of the benefits of an ergonomically structured business environment. When workers are more comfortable at work, health care costs borne by the company is reduced because they (the workers) are always fit; workers are motivated to work and thereby curb absenteeism, and there is also the place of increased productivity.

Here are some Key adoptions for  workplaces to consider:

Appropriate working position

If you are looking to create an ergonomic work station, the first thing to consider is the position to be assumed by each worker. A neutral body position is recommended for all workers. If the worker will be in sitting position, ensure that the hands, wrists, and forearms are straight and parallel to the ground while the head is forward facing and level.

Bear in mind too that the chair is high enough so that the two feet are comfortably placed on the floor. For workers that will assume standing positions, the upright standing position is recommended while arms and wrists are in a normal stance.

Reduction of Cyclical Processes

Stress may be inevitable in a situation where a move is repeated continuously over time, even with a structured ergonomic procedure in place. In order to reduce the chances of potential injury as a result of stress from repeated moves, workers should be allowed to perform tasks different from the ones they have been performing before or be asked to do what they have been doing in another way. This may even be for a short period of time. The aim is to ease or relax the tissues that are stressed because of constant usage.

Intermittent moving around

A worker should not be allowed to stay in a particular position for too long. If he is standing, allow him to sit for a while for relaxation. If he works in the office and always sitting, let him take a few minutes out of the chair from time to time.

Ergonomic Equipment

There are various items that could make the working environment more comfortable. These items are categorized as ergonomic accessories or equipment. They include but not limited to; headrests, footrests, balance ball chair, and hand rest. All of this should be factored into creating an ergonomic workspace

General Environmental Set Up

The general outlook and outlay of an office environment speak volume of how ergonomic the environment is. The general environmental set up is composed of the lightning of the office, the temperature, humidity and layout of furniture and equipment. The availability of other things such as office kitchen or dining area and conventional materials such as water dispensers too are not left out.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS

Customers are the most important part of any business; they are the reason why market places exist in the first place. If customer needs are not put into consideration, there is a likelihood of business discontinuation. Several factors such as horrible customer relationship in most cases, and failure to identify customer needs can contribute to business failure.

Changes are always occurring in the external environment of the business; failing to take note of such changes and birth serious problems. What competitors are doing better, changes in technology, best practices, changes in your customers‘ buying patterns and many more require constant monitoring if you intend to get your customers coming back to you.

Why Keep A Customer?

Business survival and continuity depend on the ability to keep and satisfy customers. There are so many customer-based theories and the most popular is “Customers are always right”. They determine the business environment with their insatiable taste for satisfaction.

Satisfying your customers means that you 100% sure to get them coming back every now and then.

Here are some tips to keep your customers:

1. Say things they like to hear

From a buyer’s viewpoint, if your business mannerism does not appeal to them, then they don’t come back again. Hence treating customers the right way is integral to earning their loyalty. You could consider encouraging them to patronize you more by using carefully curled persuasive words like instantly, get this free, no extra charges, etc. Such words when fulfilled will ensure that your customers always patronize you more than any other.

As a seller, you must learn to reduce frictions and pain points. In some cases, you might be dealing with conservative spenders; using reassuring words such as changing “$20 fee” to “just $20 fee” or “a small fee of $20” could help open their pockets.  

2. Adaptability to change

It is not the strongest of the species that survive or the most intelligent, It is the most responsive to change – Charles Darwin (1809-1882). As suppliers, flexibility towards customers’ demand is important. As the day goes by, customers taste bud increase and they feel the need for an add-on to the products and services being provided. Taking cognizance of such changes will definitely help keep your customers with you.

3. Attention, Incentives and Reciprocity

Customers need some sense of belonging, and you must respect that. Customers need to feel like they are open and free to interact with you – the business owner. Gaining a customer is one thing, keeping them is another. There is a need for you to be socially inclined by paying attention to what customers want as they interact from time to time.

On the other hand, reciprocity and incentives drive businesses around the world. As a business owner, you must learn to go over and above for your customers in other to reap repeated business transactions. One of the approaches you can adopt is giving back to your esteemed customers.

This can seem expensive but it necessarily doesn’t have to be. The smallest of gestures, even a 20 cents cashback can help build reciprocity with your customers. You could also adopt out of the blue surprises (cash backs, cuts on referrals, customer recognition awards, bonus products, free consultations, promotions, etc.) –   this stamps a strong impression.

4. Conduct Customer Satisfaction Oriented Surveys

To be able to satisfy customers’ need, we assess them. But the question is ‘on which basis is the assessment inclined’? A survey can be a means of assessment to identify what they need to be satisfied. Survey solves numerous ‘what’ questions such as; what do they want, what improvement is needed on an existing product, what more can we do to convince them that we are the best, etc.

Through this, the customer will be in our grasp because they are made to believe we consider them first and trust their feelings. Post customer survey, assess the results and work on the recommendations.

5 Must Do Things To Grow And Promote Your Small Business

Promoting a business idea and the business itself may not be as exciting but it is a must do activity if such businesses intend to grow and survive. As a small business owner looking to grow bigger in the next few years, it is important that you set aside some time towards enhancing and promoting your business. You must also ensure that your plans are consciously executed.  

Below are some key things a small business owner must do to ensure that their business remains relevant and continue to provide its economic gains:

1. Be strategic

In this stage, long term goals of a business are set. Provision is made for business blueprints, its mission and vision statement are set and ways of achieving them are being put into effect.

One of the questions to ask is: What service do I need to add for my business to break the market?

Identify the key facts that your small business needs to remain relevant in the ever harsh business world. Assume what your local competitors are thinking, and identify what you can achieve in relation to your business. Think Big!

2. Knowing your market

This is part of the strategies needed to break the market. Through a market survey and customer relation, one can get what the market is in dire need of. Relevance depends on how well you can provide services that are tailored to the current need of the consumers.

Knowing what your prospective customer’s desire will put in pole position to satisfy them better than your competitors. Consequently, your business gets more rep and experiences rapid growth.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Satisfaction comes to people in many different forms. It might be that attitude of yours towards the presentation of your goods and services that intrigued the customer to be more concerned or interested in you or, it could be the utility derived from your products.

If your business will ever get past the tag “small,” you must learn that customers are perceived as kings, and they should be treated like one.

4. Consistency

Consistency runs deep throughout all business practices and can help small scale businesses make a real impact in the business sphere. You can have the best, most perfect strategy in the world, but if you don’t execute it consistently, it won’t do you any good.

It must not be a seldom act rather, a continuous one. Imagine starting a business you are unable to continue, this can be damaging to your market as it can cause you to lose customers and credibility of your service.

5. Social Media Marketing

Thanks to technological advancements most especially, the internet; a market does not necessarily have to be a location anymore rather, it is now referred to as a point of contact between a buyer and the seller. The internet creates opportunities and one of it is harnessing social media marketing as a means of promoting your small businesses in a rather cheap manner.

Every add-on or benefits that will interest the customer can be made known through the existence of the internet. Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms can provide the magic your business requires for a quick turnaround. You can post promotional videos, flyers or even skits detailing your business offerings.