5 Tips for Success for Small Businesses
5 ways that growing SMEs can improve their customer communication operation ahead of this year's peak
July 27th, 2020
Hiya guys, Rob here from FM Outsource. Gonna talk today about customer communication for small businesses, and how you can use our five tips to make sure you're ready for what looks like could be the biggest digital peak ever on record.
1: BUILD A KNOWLEDGE BASE
So the first tip is to build a knowledge base. Now, what this means is having a repository somewhere your operators or advisors can use to make sure they're answering queries effectively and efficiently. Big businesses often have the edge when it comes to process, but by retaining your SME flexibility and ensuring your advisors are able to answer as themselves — combined with knowledge banks that give them the latest product and process information — you can be sure that you are providing the best kind of communication.
2: MULTI-SKILL YOUR OPERATORS
Tip number two: multi-skill your operators. We all know that an employee in an SME environment generally needs a broader skill range than a corporate specialist. So make that the same in your customer communication. Up-skill your operators in different channels, in different processes, and they'll be able to handle more queries and more contacts in a much more economical way.
3: FIND THE RIGHT SOFTWARE
Tip number three: find the right software. Now, there's a multitude out there. But, you can narrow it down by using our four key criteria to find the right solution for you. First up: make sure it's omnichannel, and can handle every channel that you need now — and are likely to need in the future — all in one system. Second: utilise workflow technology to make sure that you can use automation and AI to reduce as much of the manual workload as possible. Three: it should be integration-ready. If it can't handle integrations, it won't work with your other systems. And, fourth: have analytics. Data is so powerful, you guys already know this. Make sure that the technology you use can power your decision-making.
4: CRUNCH THE NUMBERS
That leads us on really nicely to tip number four: crunch the numbers. You have data in your system for all sorts of information around your customer contacts per hour, your customer satisfaction, your average time for contact, the average wait time. Stare at these numbers. Efficiency, but also quality, come from understanding your customer journey, how you can improve it, and how you can make your advisors faster and better than the others on the market.
5: HIRE AN EXPERT
And, finally, tip number five: hire an expert. Now, we know the temptation (especially in SMEs and earlier stage businesses) is to hire junior people and train them up. And there's loads of mileage in that, especially for your frontline customer experts. Find the people with the right attitude and teach them the skills. But, when it comes to creating processes, when it comes to choosing systems, and when it comes to creating an all-around customer care department, you want someone who has done this before, can show success previously, and can come in and go: "I can get you from here to where you need to be in as short a time as possible." And that is worth paying the money for.
So that's it! Those are the five tips that we think are really key to growing your small business customer communication platform. Um, obviously, I'm here for any information. If you want to ping me a question in the comments, send me a direct message, whatever's easiest, get in touch. And you can always reach us online at FMOutsource.com, and we're here to help with any questions you may have. Good luck with what is going to be a very interesting rest of the year.