PATLive Answering Services Blog

Small Business Tips: Guide to Working from Home

Apr 1, 2020 by

Man working from home on laptop

Social distancing has required millions of people across the world to stay home. As businesses face immediate and unprecedented in-office shutdowns in an attempt to flatten the curve from the coronavirus, they’ve been left scrambling to shift their team to a work-from-home setup.

While having your entire team shift to working from home is a transition, there are steps you can take to make this change quickly and effectively. In this post, we’re going to discuss how you can successfully adapt your business, your team (and your customers) to working from home.

Read More

Our Favorite Podcasts: Weekly Edition

Mar 31, 2020 by
Listening to Your Favorite Podcast

Right now, small business owners are searching for answers. Some of the questions business owners are asking are next to impossible to answer. And some have the same answer today as they did eight weeks ago.

If nothing else, this is a time to take a breath and reflect on your successes, challenges, and opportunities, and plan for the future that’s just on the other side of this crisis.

At PATLive, we’ve been curating some of our favorite podcasts to help small businesses plan and prepare for the future, hosted by business leaders and influencers who are bringing some fresh ideas to the business landscape. Here are just a few.

Read More

The Complete Guide to Starting a New Business

Mar 25, 2020 by

Man working on starting his own businessStarting a business is an exciting time but can also be stressful and very involved with paperwork galore.

According to the Small Business Association, more than 627,000 new businesses open their doors each year. Unfortunately, the same report found that around 595,000 businesses close every year, too, meaning that getting off to the right start can be crucial. 

In this post, we’re going to guide you through the initial steps you need to follow to start a business. 

Read More

How Technology is Changing Customer Service

Mar 18, 2020 by

customer service agent using technologyYour clients’ expectations for customer service have shifted dramatically in the past decade. 

The internet and all that comes with it have allowed for more businesses to flourish despite geographical constraints (thus creating a buyer’s market) and made it easier for brands to offer superior customer service if they wanted to go the extra mile. 

As a result, customer service is now a defining factor in how users perceive your business, and it’s essential to your business’s success. More customers than ever are looking at customer service when deciding who they want to do business with, and it’s crucial for client retention. 

Technology has clearly allowed customer service to take center stage, but it’s still continually shifting what customer service looks like and what customers expect. In order to help you stay up to date on all the latest trends, let’s take a look at each one and how you can start implementing them today.

Read More

Why Word Of Mouth Is So Effective

Mar 9, 2020 by

Two women shopping shopping togetherWhen it comes to growing your business, what worked for advertisers five years ago does not have the same effect today. For example, social media marketing platforms are so inundated with paid advertisements that users are conditioned to ignore them completely. 

Instead of spending more and more on the same ad channels to be competitive, marketers everywhere are shifting resources to building relationships with their customers. Why? Because it’s incredibly effective as a marketing tool.

When a business builds valuable relationships with its customers they become engaged and invested in your brand. When someone becomes invested in your brand, they promote your business for you via word of mouth. 

But does it work as a marketing tool? The answer is yes. Here are some of the top reasons that make word of mouth marketing so effective.

Read More

7 Surprising Ways to Save Your Small Business Money

Mar 4, 2020 by

Small business owner working at home saving moneyMost small businesses operate on tight budgets. They’ve got razor-thin margins, and with fluctuating markets and the need to reinvest money back into the business so that it can scale, it’s not surprising that most are constantly on the lookout for ways to save money.

Unfortunately, too many businesses end up cutting “mission-critical” expenses that come back to bite them all too quickly. They aren’t sure where to save, and as a result, end up trying to reduce spending in crucial departments like marketing or customer service, which aren’t seen as important as sales or management.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can save your small business money without taking a hit, but it all comes down to setting your team up for success and investing your existing budget into the right places. In this post, we’ll show you how to do exactly that by going over 7 surprising ways to save your small business money.

Read More

How to Find the Right Legal Answering Service

Feb 24, 2020 by

live receptionist answering a callSwamped with work, many law practices eventually turn to an answering service to help them manage their constant stream of incoming calls from clients and potential clients. 

High-quality answering services accept calls, answer questions, take messages, collect client information, and book appointments as if they were an in-office secretary who worked closely with the firm’s attorneys. This is an asset to busy team members who may otherwise struggle to tackle these calls on top of everything else they’re trying to do, especially since the calls come in at all hours of the day.

To receive these benefits, however, you need to find the right answering service. Law firms are typically particularly conscious of this due to the sensitive and confidential nature of many potential calls. 

Interested in hiring an answering service to manage your incoming calls? Let’s take a look at how to find the right legal answering service for your practice. 

Read More

6 Simple Ways to Create a Lifetime Customer Base

Feb 19, 2020 by

Happy customers making a purchaseAll businesses understand the value of customer acquisition, placing enormous amounts of time, energy, and money into attracting and converting new customers. Adding new customers to your roster is essential for growth, so this is a justified priority.

Too many brands, however, stop there; they land one customer, and they move onto the next. This is a crucial mistake, as it prioritizes customer acquisition over customer retention. You need both for growth, especially since it’s anywhere from 5-25x more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. 

You want to win over your customers over and over again so that you’re creating a lifetime customer base, and in this post, we’re going to go over six ways to do exactly that. 

Read More

How to Transform Negative Reviews Into Opportunities

Feb 12, 2020 by

Business owner responding to online reviews and providing customer serviceEvery business with an online presence will experience it at some point. That dreaded, awful feeling that comes when you see a “less than glowing” review from a customer pop up online. 

Maybe their order came late, or not at all, or arrived broken. Perhaps they felt they ended up with lackluster customer service. We’re all human, and mistakes happen. It’s also possible that your product or service just wasn’t a great fit for their needs, and that’s being expressed in a negative review.

Negative reviews happen, and often they can be turned into an opportunity for your customer service to shine. In fact, 73.8 percent of customers are either likely or extremely likely to continue doing business with a brand that resolves their complaints. So before you try to start hiding or deleting them, pause and take a deep breath. 

Besides, consumers who see nothing but dozens of five-star testimonials can get a little suspicious that it’s too good to be true; having one or two negative reviews pop up actually increases customer trust, as long as you have many more people singing your praises than pronouncing your flaws. They can also give you a chance to show customers that you’ll own up to mistakes and make it right and that your customer service is top-notch.

In this post, we’re going to take a close look at how you should deal with negative reviews and how to turn them into a positive for your small business.

Read More

6 Quick Ways to Spark Growth in Your Small Business

Feb 3, 2020 by

small business owner working on computer

When you first launch your small business, it can feel like growth is happening slower than you ever thought possible. Every time you gain two new customers, you lose one, whether it’s because a contract ends or natural churn rates have taken hold. And while you know that once you gain traction with your business, that momentum will help you grow faster later, you don’t exactly want to wait.

If you ever feel like your small business is bordering on stagnation, however, there are a few things you can do to change that up quickly. 

Let’s take a look at six quick ways you can spark growth in your small business. 

Read More