I am a movie buff and because of that my business acumen is usually rooted in unforgettable lines of dialogue, a catchy tagline or film title.
I make my way in business through colorful characters; from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “I’ll be back” (Only promise what you can deliver), Sean Connery’s, “Bond, James Bond” (Never underestimate the importance of a great first impression) and the title of Oliver Stone’s 2010 sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (If you are not available, your competition will be).
A global economy, lost opportunity and customer service are three reasons that remind me of why as a business owner my company should have a 24 / 7 presence; web or phone.
I’ll be back.
The internet and online steady rise of online purchases have pushed businesses to a global level. You may have three employees but that will not stop someone in Hong Kong from purchasing an item on your site or reading your blog. Time difference aside, we need what we need when we need it. That Hong Kong customer is satisfied because you have what he needs when he needs it and guess what? They will be back because of that.
We are creatures of habit. Customers are creatures of convenience. Make it easy and they will buy.
Money Never Sleeps.
The “path of least resistance” is commonly used when referring to electrical currents or water. Like electricity and water (both used to power other things), money or currency is a key to most businesses. No customers means no business. If a potential client needs to reach you and your phones (both office and cell) are off then he or she will most likely go to the next business on the list.
Today’s global economy means people needing what you are selling may just be getting up when you are laying down for the night. Make the internet your partner with a secured and user friendly website highlighting your business and making it easy for anyone to purchase, read or research your product.
Bond, James Bond.
Sometimes a lost art in business, customer service can never be replaced with a phone tree or an answering machine. I understand automation has moved us along, but the human touch will always be an important part of your business. A calm voice in the case of an emergency, a kind voice for a troubled client or just a human voice to take a message is part of a successful business. Your customers only know you care when you show them you care.
I am not asking you to have your cell phone’s volume on blast in the event of a 2am call. Look around for a call center that specializes in your business. Get a company that speaks your language and understands the needs of your clients. With the flip of a forwarding switch, whether you have a medical practice, a law firm, a property management company and a myriad of other business types having someone to talk to goes a long way. Your business and sleep will not suffer.
Business, no matter the product needs to be available at all times. As a business owner it is your job to figure out what is the most cost effective way to achieve this.