All posts by Stephanie Jones

Here’s Why Your Business Needs to Use a Live Receptionist

Nov 9, 2015 by

3 call center agents illustration
All of your hard work is paying off. You’ve taken your company from a small, one-woman show operating out of your basement and turned it into a flourishing, medium-sized business. With revenue, and sales, and…dare we say it? Customers.

This is amazing, brilliant, everything you ever wanted – except for one problem. You don’t have the time to deal with all those customer calls on top of your other responsibilities as a business owner.

No need to panic; this is why the universe invented live receptionists. The right answering service can make a bigger difference in yours – and your customers’ – day-to-day life than you might think. Let’s take a look at the three major reasons you should be considering working with a live receptionist service.

Read More

5 Tools That Will Make Every Real Estate Investor’s Job Much Easier

Nov 4, 2015 by

Toolbox saw ruler real estate investor customer service tools
The life of a real estate investor is kind of like a tornado. The moment they wake up, they turn into a whirling dervish, collecting tasks that crop up in their path and spitting them out in their wake.

When you have so many things coming at you at once, it can be hard to manage what needs to be done and what has already been accomplished. From missed phone calls to managing your marketing to updating contracts, there is a lot for an investor to manage.

You are one, single person trying to make it in the world of real estate investing. You will never be perfect. But there are tools you can use to manage your tasks so nothing slips through the cracks. There is nothing more detrimental to an investor than a lost opportunity – especially a lucrative one.

Here are some tools that can help all real estate investors stay on top of their game and always in front of the next big deal.

Read More

Online Business: Providing Customer Service That Brings Happy Tears

Nov 2, 2015 by

Mobile Phone Online Business Retail Freelance Customer Service
You are living the dream. The online business you’ve always longed to have is quite successful. Who knew so many people wanted a t-shirt that features a cat in a smoking jacket? You did.

With all of its success, your online business is far from perfection. You have an inbox loaded with customer emails, unanswered questions on your social media pages, and no phone for customers to call when they have an issue. It sounds like you could use some help.

Your customers love your t-shirts – that’s true. But providing a great experience for them is the one thing that will ultimately determine your staying power.

No one wants to make their customers cry out of frustration, anger or sadness. We want them to cry tears of joy because the service is beyond exceptional. Here are a few ways your online business can create an an experience that makes them well up from happiness.

Read More

15 Spooky Bad Customer Service Stats To Make Your Knees Quake

Oct 30, 2015 by

spooky halloween ghosts illustration black gray white bad customer service
Horror movies can be abhorrent, spine-chilling and downright gross. Statistics on bad customer service can conjure up similar feelings; unlike a movie, these statistics have very real implications for businesses of all sizes, and they don’t end after 2 hours of white-knuckling an armrest and spilling popcorn.

Feel like you need to scream? Go ahead. It’s about to get even scarier.

Read More

Hiss! These Cats are Freaked Out by Your Customer Service

Oct 27, 2015 by

Scared Black Cat arching back  orange bad customer service
We’ve caught you and we aren’t impressed. Do you have a personal vendetta against cats or do you just love providing bad service?

Your business is really doing some serious harm with its poor customer service. Not only are you freaking out these cats, but you’re doing phenomenal damage to your bottom line and driving away your customers all the while.

Unfortunately, you aren’t alone: U.S. brands are losing approximately $41 billion each year due to poor customer service.

We know you don’t want to keep these cats on the skids forever. Here are 10 horrifying customer service traits you need to start avoiding today to make your customers (and these cats) so much happier.

Read More

Is Your Customer Service Like Night of the Living Dead?

Oct 26, 2015 by

Zombie Business Man Green Skin Arms Stretched Out Customer Service

It’s the zombie apocalypse in the world of customer service.

Your customer is in a dark room, her heart racing and body trembling. A cold sweat drips from her brow. Her fists clench tightly to the phone. Frightened of what she might find on the other end of the line, she bravely dials the number. One ring, another and then the phone picks up.

“Hello! Thank you for calling Acme No Service Company. Press 1 for English; Press 2 for Spanish; Press 3 for Martian; Press a combination of your birth date and social security numbers to reach our next menu…”

She screams out, but no one is around to hear her. She’s just been attacked by zombie customer service.

Increasingly, companies are using automated services to interact with their customers. From phone answering to social media, engagement with a company’s customers is becoming less of a priority. While this can save a company time and money, it’s incensing for a customer who would prefer to speak to a live person.

You need an antidote to avoid becoming a drooling, leg dragging customer service zombie. Here’s how to create an engaging customer experience – big or small budgets alike.

Read More

Follow These 10 Customer Service Influencers on Twitter Now

Oct 23, 2015 by

One different colored fish influencer Twitter customer service

Twitter is one of the greatest business tools on the planet. Not only can you use the social network to connect with your customers, provide support and generate leads, but you can also find in depth information and discussions on almost any industry. There is no shortage of helpful content.

Keeping industry secrets close to the vest is so antiquated. Social media has created a world where people can connect with industry thought leaders in an intimate way; Twitter makes it easy to get influencer insights on the latest trends and even ask questions without paying for the fancy conventions.

Here are our top 10 favorite customer service influencers you should be following on Twitter.

Read More

This Is Why Successful Real Estate Investors Use Live Receptionists

Oct 21, 2015 by

Business Man in Suit on phone using computer real estate investor customer service
To say real estate investors are busy is a gross understatement. Agents are constantly rushing to appointments with partners or to show one of their available properties or putting out any number of property management fires; it is not a career choice for the timid.

The very nature of the job has the investor on the phone or connected to email the majority of the day. And if they are one of the best in their market, their phone is ringing off the hook and it can be hard to track who is calling or how they were found.

So, how do successful investors keep up with the flood of phone calls they receive on a daily basis? They hire a live answer service to manage their phones and keep them connected.

If you want to be a top real estate investor in your market, you have to give yourself an edge. One of the best ways to put yourself ahead of the pack is to return calls in a timely manner, but that isn’t always possible. Having your phone calls managed is one way to provide service that impresses.

Investors can use all the help they can get to deliver exceptional service. Here’s why successful realtors use live receptionists to manage their calls.

Read More

Customer Retention: Are Candy Freebies A Good Idea For Your Business?

Oct 19, 2015 by

junk food sweets cupcake suckers cookies candy customer service freebies

It’s October and Halloween is just around the corner. And we all know Halloween means piles and piles of free candy. Free candy is usually a good thing. When I was growing up, my grandpa Tommy had a whole bread box brimming with full-sized candy bars. My sister and I put away at least 3 bars a piece before he would get wise to us.

As much as I adored that free candy, I’m not so quick to grab a sucker when I’m at the bank or a butterscotch disc when I visit the insurance office. I know there are people who enjoy a nice Dum Dum, but does free candy really do anything for customer retention? How is it possible that one cinnamon disc is going to sell me on a lawn mower?

I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. The point is whether it’s candy or a free or discounted product or service, you’ll want to be careful what type of customers you’re attracting. It’s true that nothing grabs eyeballs quicker than a big “FREE” sign, but thinking long-term, what is the lifetime value of customers like that? There are a few things to consider prior to offering freebies to unleash the masses to come banging down your door.

Read More

Customer Service Insight: How We Combat Call Center Burnout

Oct 16, 2015 by

Bright Explosion Stress Customer Service
Call center agents have one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Sure, they aren’t the President of the United States or a general in the army, yet handling customer issues can really take its toll on a person physically and psychologically.

Why is the job so stressful? If you boil it down to its essence, an agent’s job is to listen as customers complain and then use their problem solving skills to figure out how to best help those customers. And it’s not just one problem, but rather many problems back-to-back for an agent’s entire shift. Didn’t you get exhausted just reading that paragraph?

Call centers have a high agent turnover rate because the position, under certain circumstances, sets the stage for burnout. The greatest contributors to service agent burnout include:

  • Bad Management
  • Little or No Proper Training
  • Lack of Tools and Resources
  • Not Enough Recognition
  • Tedious Work

Even the best, most employee friendly call centers are going to have higher turnover rates than other businesses. Yet, there are ways you can help your service agents put a damper on their stress levels. Here’s how we combat some of the biggest stressors of our call center agents.

Read More