Small business owners will look for any advantage that they can find to help them succeed. Technology is often seen as the answer, offering greater ranges of service for less money. This is great in many areas, but one place where many small business owners are steering clear of the lure of technology is in customer service.
There is a certain feeling of disconnectedness that customers feel when they call a business and are greeted with a cold and impersonal machine. Even worse, the machine often tells the caller that his or her call is important. This just doesn’t ring true, and many callers will simply hang up rather than leave a message or spend the time and effort to navigate through the recorded maze that many companies set up. While this might be a good business practice for a huge corporation that needs to cut costs and isn’t worried about losing a few customers here and there, for small businesses this can be a disaster.
So what are small businesses to do? They need to offer personal customer care, but they often cannot afford the employees that it would take to adequately cover all of their phone calls. PCN is an answering service that has seen this need and is offering small businesses an affordable way to provide the personal care that their customers expect. Brian White, a vice president at the Riverside, CA based live answering service, says, “We know that small businesses need to offer excellent customer service, but the cost and time commitment that goes into hiring and training receptionists is often prohibitive. That is where we come in. We provide professional and friendly operators ready to be the voice of your company.”
Kurt Abel of Two Cans Media, an internet marketing company based in Southern California, is one of the small business owners that appreciates the personal touch that an answering service offers. He says, “I know that whether I am on the road or in a meeting, when a client or a prospect calls, they will be well taken care of and that I will get the message. And an added bonus is that they give my business a more professional feel. My customers think that I have a receptionist who answers all of my calls. Before PCN I used voice mail when I was out of the office and I found that most people would not leave a message. I’ll never know how much business I lost.”
One service that small businesses are especially excited about is on-call scheduling. On-call scheduling is an incredibly complex task, and it has to be done perfectly or it doesn’t work. Employees do not want to be bothered when they are not on-call and callers do not want to wait while an employee is tracked down. White acknowledges this, and adds, “At PCN, we understand the hard work and complexity behind the task of on-call scheduling. We also understand the importance of reaching the correct person every time. Our operators are on-call scheduling experts and we use state of the art technology to integrate your schedule into our system. We can customize each schedule and we can program schedules daily, monthly, or annually.”
It sounds complicated, but it is actually quite easy for the small business owner. They are able to send their on-call schedules to PCN via email or fax and it is quickly updated in the system and is displayed on the computer screen when the operator answers a call. Then, when a customer calls and they need to reach an on-call employee, the PCN operator knows who to call and can quickly and seamlessly connect the caller to the employee. Just what every small business owner wants – great service for customers, less stress for employees, and it’s easy on the bottom line.