Why I Need a Call Center in My Small Business

Through the years, I’ve often tried to convince small business owners to set up a call center operation, primarily to conduct prospecting and selling. Here is the reaction I usually receive:

“I don’t need a call center. I’ve got my own challenges to worry about I don’t need to the headache to manage something that is too complicated to do.”

In the past and up until now, it always took me hours to explain what telephony is and what a call center is to a small business. I work for GoAutoDial Inc., a 14-person information technology company that markets and sells a “free to use” software solution to the small and medium enterprise (SME) market anywhere in the world. Having a small operation means we try to keep our expenses to a minimum; hence, we are able to provide a “free to use” software solution. Turn it upside down, we are able to provide a “free to use” software solution because we try to keep our operating expenses to a minimum. The way we make money is through services — we can install, set up and configure our software system into your onsite servers, you can sign up and use our cloud or web based app on a “lifetime free use” model, you can also use our Voice Over the Internet Protocol (VoIP or voice over the Internet) regardless of what brand of software system you are using in your onsite servers, and lastly, you can have GoAutoDial manage the technology resources — hardware and software — that runs the GoAutoDial telephony software system.

Anyway, after a few years of trying to come up with an elevator pitch, I’ve managed to find this simple description of what our technology is all about.

The primary objective of a call center telephony solution is workforce productivity and efficiency. The way to do this is to reduce the idle time (or the time in seconds between hanging up from the last call and receiving or making the next call) of your front-line employees, be they sales agents, telemarketers, customer service reps or technical support specialists. The more time they are on the phone, the chances are higher of closing more sales or resolving more customer issues.

So, intelligently automating the activity of routing calls to the next available rep or agent, predicting how many telephone numbers the software system should call so that idle time is always kept at minimum, and other features like whisper mode (listening to the conversation of your rep and the customer), barge-in (three-way conversation between you, your rep and the customer), lots of analytics and more productivity reports a small business owner can imagine.

A cloud or web based version of this telephony system is even better. It now allows the small business owner the ability to hire people who do not have to be in the workplace. People like sales agents and customer service reps, or supervisors and managers who are all remotely managing their teams. Even small business owners can monitor their people talking to the customers at the comforts of their homes, on the white-sand beach of Boracay or the U.S. Virgin Islands, or at the al dente dining area of a Paris cafe. All of a sudden, your old world operating model gets thrown in the trash can and you begin to operate in the digital age of smartphones, in the level of competing head-on against the big but slow moving conglomerates. But here goes another rebuttal from the small business owner:

“Can’t I just do that through text messaging and social media networking?”

Ahh! The idea that people just love to read so much stuff you throw them that they will all be enamored about your product and service, drop everything they are doing, and immediately call you or drive like mad to your office or store. Really? Ask yourself, is this reality or a myth?

Ask yourself again and again. Would you rather read it or listen to it? Would you rather type your question or reaction or just say it out loud? Would you rather wait for hours for a reply or get the answer seconds after you asked your question?

Until the world develops Star Trek and Star Wars technologies, we can never get personal with our customers using text based media such as text messaging and social media. Half of the decision to buy (or decision to continue using a product or service) is still about trust — trusting the sales person or customer service rep. Can you really build trust without hearing or seeing the other person?

And so, going back to the technology of the telephony software system, I offer you to try JustGoCloud out. One such example is JustGoCloud by GoAutoDial Inc., my company that always provides “free to use” software solutions. The cloud or web based version is called JustGoCloud.

In JustGoCloud, there are no contracts to get tied into the web service, no upfront deposits to make, no monthly subscription charges to worry about and, being a cloud based ready-to-use web app, there are also no set up fees. The only cost to you is the amount of time you are going to spend on the phone, or prepaying that amount. Prepaying or “pay as you go” means giving yourself the financial freedom to decide how much to spend on any given amount of time. Whether you decide to spend only $50 for now or use it only for two weeks because that’s the forecast timeline of your sales or marketing campaign, that’s up to you. We tech people will leave the business decisions to you because you know your business more than we do. But GoAutoDial knows technology; so, they will take care of that aspect — for free! And in the context of phone calls, GoAutoDial charges every six seconds of each call made, not the full minute when nobody really uses the entire 60 seconds of the last minute of a phone call. The only people not really happy with the pay-as-you-go system are accountants. But hey! Always remember your small business is about customers and customer relationships, not accounting. Your financial geniuses just need to do things using prepaid accounting. Simple, ey?

Go or click to www.justgocloud.com and sign up for free now. JustGoCloud is a full DIY (do it yourself) web app like Facebook or LinkedIn, and no annoying sales person is ever going to bother you to start and keep using it. Your pace, your time. JustGoCloud has tons of getting started guides and video tutorials for you and your entire organization to cull over.

For all new sign ups with JustGoCloud, it gives out 120 minutes worth of calls to the U.S. and Canada. GoAutoDial cannot convert those minutes for calls to other countries because it has a partnership agreement with its telecommunications partner to provide all new sign ups with just that — 120 minutes of free calls to the U.S. and Canada.

Anytime you encounter a technical challenge using JustGoCloud, there’s a “Help” button on the web page. Clicking it opens a chat window where you can initiate a chat conversation with GoAutoDial’s technical support specialist. The help service is always on, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yep! Even Sundays.

“Why can’t I just call for assistance?”

Because if GoAutoDial allowed all its thousands of customers to call them, they will have to hire and pay dozens if not hundreds of full-time technical support specialists. That kind of scenario will result in asking its customers to shoulder the cost; hence, not anymore a free app. Again, lowering its operating expenses to a minimum is the means to providing a free technology that fits right in the budgets of the small business owners, worldwide.

However, with online chat, its technical support specialists can multitask by chatting with several people at the same time. Also, for the benefit of the small business owner whose expertise is not information and communications technologies (ICT), a chat conversation can be copy-pasted or stored for later reference or sharing it to everyone. In the end, the SME workforce actually preferred support by way of chat.

I guess that’s about all I can tell you why you — the small business owner — need to get yourself onboard to a telephony technology, change the way you do things with your prospects and customers, and start reaping the benefits of automating and managing customer contacts the way everyone else is doing today. Social media may be cheap or free but human nature will always opt for a human voice than reading a text when it comes to a short spiel. Besides, the decision to buy or continue rests on a person — a human being, and human nature will always err on a subjective reasoning of trusting the person besides wanting or needing the product or service.

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