2016 was quite a ride, any way you slice it. Whether you’re looking forward to the next year or are just glad this one is over, there are some things your business should do to make 2017 as good as it can be.
Have a Great Customer Experience
Let’s face it, being on hold sucks. Who wants to keep the phone to their ear listening to terrible music that was outdated even in the ‘80s? That’s why it’s important to have good customer service. Part of that is answering the phone promptly, which is a lot easier for smaller businesses. That comes back to having courteous, professional receptionists as mentioned. There are other, newer tools mentioned later that will let businesses reach out to customers in other ways.
Appeal to Millennials
Millennials, generally defined as the generation born between 1980 and 2000, are a rapidly growing force in the consumer market as they continue to move out in the work force. Technically sophisticated, they have high standards and are skeptical of sales pitches. That’s why, true to the Cluetrain Manifesto, businesses will have to treat them as partners in a conversation rather than blasting marketing messages at them. Since Millennials are so adept at using technology, you’ll have to reach out over nontraditional means, including social media.
The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, and nowhere is that more obvious than the number of languages other than English that are spoken here. While English is still the most widely spoken language, Spanish is also common, and will be even more common in the future with the growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. in the future. That’s why having customer service employees who can speak more than one language will be crucial. Abby Connect also offers virtual receptionists who speak Spanish.
Take Advantage of New Technology.
Effective customer service is changing the way customer service is done. It was only with the wide deployment of VoIP and broadband internet in the ‘00s that made things like virtual receptionists viable. Other technologies have broadened customer service to include SMS messages and social media so busy people don’t have to wait on hold anymore. And people who do call in don’t have to wait on hold anymore either. It’s becoming more common to simply have a company call a customer back when a slot in a call center opens up. The lesson is that you should take advantage of technology that makes life for your customers easier. They’ll thank you with their repeat business.
Get a Live Receptionist
Even though more people use the internet to find local businesses, the first contact will likely be over the phone. And like many other jobs, it’s better to find someone who knows what they’re doing rather than just some random person. For many businesses, that means hiring a receptionist. While it might seem like an expense, good businesses know that hiring courteous receptionists who answer the phone means the difference between potential customers getting the impression that competent professionals work there and choosing someplace else. Finding talent is always a challenge, so you might want to consider Abby Connect. Who says we can’t toot our own horn?
Reach Out on Social Media
It’s a cliche that whatever you need to do on social media, you need to be doing more and better. Like some cliches, this one is true. Not only can you reach out to customers immediately, it gives you a chance to show your personality.
From the loss of people like David Bowie, Prince and Alan Rickman to the election of Donald Trump, how many people could have seen the crazy events of 2016 coming? With a new administration taking office in January, things might get even weirder in 2017. The only certainty is change, and we were certainly reminded again and again in 2016. In 2017, you’ll need to be ready for anything. Good customer service, which includes top-notch receptionists, will help you do that.
We hope you take some of these suggestions to heart. All of us at Abby Connect wish you the happiest of holidays and a successful new year.