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Small Business Owners Can Manage Time Effectively With Communications Technology
Small business owners have a unique challenge when it comes to time management. On the one hand, every new customer presents a new challenge, creating additional work without adding additional resources to fill the need. On the other hand, if you hire more employees you’ll have to shell out the bucks on payroll, benefits, taxes, and other expenses, and you may not have quite enough work to justify that expense. What can the small business owner do?
The answer lies in the latest technology. I’m talking about a specific kind of technology, not just arbitrary and vague, undefined techno-gadgetry.
Specifically, a voice logger allows small business owners to handle customer service issues without creating reams of paperwork. You can record up to 10,000 hours of phone conversations, keep a backup record of every call, and reference them as necessary. The alternative is to pay someone to file written notes of your telephone conversations. That may be the way business owners in the past solved the problem, but that solution in today’s global marketplace is too expensive and creates an uncompetitive environment for your business.
Recorded conversations of phone calls between you and your customers can save you hours of research time when you have a customer service issue that needs special attention. Plus, your customer will be much more satisfied when you can pull up a specific record of past communications that will help you resolve any issues.
Another piece of relatively new technology that is gaining ground is the virtual assistant. Your virtual assistant will greet callers just like a receptionist, but you don’t have to pay her. Instead, you can have your customers route themselves to the correct department within your small business through a series of assistant-led button pushing commands. This increases customer satisfaction and saves you time and money.
Some of the things your virtual assistant can do include notifying you by e-mail when you have an incoming fax, forwarding your calls to you at any number with a simple push of a button, taking a message then sending you an e-mail to let you know who was calling, and forwarding calls to the appropriate person within your small business – even if you just have two employees. But that is the short list. A virtual assistant can do so many more things as well.
Communications technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. Voice loggers and virtual assistants can work in concert to streamline the business processes of your small or medium-sized business. And the cost is much cheaper than you’d expect. You can have an integrated communications package that includes both services for less than a week’s entry-level salary. This allows you to handle customer service issues rapidly, take only the most important and appropriate calls as necessary while letting the others go to voice mail to be handled later, and you can manage your time as well as the complete set of small business resources within your company.
Whether you have a small business that operates out of your home or you commute to an office each day, modern communications technology is a small business godsend. Your time and your money are too important to keep wasting with business processes that are unrefined and not streamlined. If you own a small business, you should shop around for a virtual assistant and voice logger that is compatible with your business processes and will help you manage your time and money with an eye toward your bottom line.
About the Author: Randy Moretz has been involved in the telecommunications industry since 1993. He has owned and operated his own business since the early 1990s and currently serves as the guide and principle of The Cardinal Group. His corporate services involves the promotion of telecommunications technology, including “Maxie” the virtual attendant and Total Recall voice loggers, as well as Web design and hosting services. For more information about the latest communications technology for small businesses and Web services go to www.thecardinalgroup.org.