As a (starting) business owner you’ve got lots of things on your mind. And the more successful your business gets, the busier things will become and the more challenges will be thrown at you. Some of these challenges are internal and easy to solve. Others are external and difficult to manage – think of the recent year(s) with lock-downs, governmental restrictions or other factors and that you can’t control.
Internally, there are some common matters that are easy to prevent and fix. Let’s take a look at them.
As a small or starting business I don’t need complicated tools.
One of them is that a great idea is launched, but when success hits, the business is taken by surprise because everybody hoped for success, but did not really take it very seriously. It normally results in long, 20 hours working days and peddling as hard as you can to stay afloat.
Another fact would be that not everyone is a great natural leader or never had any experience in leading a business. And, not everyone has the organisational skills to build that business with regards to delegating, organising and simply getting everything and everyone in the right shape or form.
The good news is that all these skills can be obtained and supported by the chosing the right tools that help you communicate and deal not only with customers, but also with your suppliers and your team.
Think ahead. Think big.
So one thing you can control is making your business future ready. That could start as simple as dreaming up where you’d like your business to go. Nothing wrong with thinking that you’re going to buy that big office tower, having tenths or hundreds of employees or, thanks to your success, living a lavish lifestyle. Having goals makes you, almost automatically, identify and avoid the potential bears on the road because you can see the big picture as well as the details.
Many successful businesses have a thing in common: their owners thought ahead, or as it is often called, “had a vision” and knew where they wanted to go. They were conscious of where they would be in the next x-number of years. For them, it’s like a natural mindset to already have dreamed up their future business structure, how teams would look like, what they’d be doing themselves and so on.
But, besides the few gifted ones, most of us learn these things the hard way and along the journey. One avoidable future scenario is that once you start seeing that you’d need help or other tools, you’re facing the dilemma that you don’t have the time to make any changes. Simply because it’s too busy and you can’t afford the time. This result mostly in a vicious circle that only results in ‘having to work harder’ the more successful the business gets.
How does that slot into help desk software?
A lesson that can be taken from all this, is that the sooner you start structuring and organising your business and prepare yourself for success, the more time you will save and the more time you’ll create for yourself in the future. Work smarter, not harder – because inevitably, you’ll run into a wall.
More business means more customers and everything that comes with that: questions, quotes and complaints because no matter what you do, there are always customers for whom nothing is good enough. A commonly heard tongue-in-cheek remark is that “business is great, but customers keep on disrupting and ruining my day”. Keep in mind, that in order to do business, customers knock on your (virtual) door and they can be difficult and obnoxious. But in the end, complaints should never originate from the avoidable ‘our own house not being in order’.
So a good starting point is to manage the communication with customers from day one. Perhaps a bit of a technical name, but the “best help desk software” used for customer communication, simply aims to help out and support the customer side as well as your team’s side. It also assists you with the internal challenges, such as making you aware of the performance and providing the tools to fairly review your team. The result? You have assistance in managing your people, you create a better team and everyone works more transparent and effectively. The statistics that a good platform provides you, gives you a good basis to start the conversation with the team, since you can compare performance fairly (everyone works in the same way) and build up your experience in managing people.
You’d be surprised how these systems have repeatedly shown how the silent team member, who was on the verge of being replaced, turned out the best performer within the business. And that loudmouth actually well, just a talker.
If you start implementing structures that help you managing customer contacts at an early stage, it also means that you’ll start with low costs, since there is not that much traffic. Additionally you learn along the way and the platform grows with you. And to top things off, you’ll avoid big changes and disruptions in the future.
Customer contacts, communication, support and help have come a long way.
In the past you’d have all the components separately, such as an office of business phone system, your company email, a fax machine and some form of a customer filing system. Not to mention individual tools such as email clients, word and excel sheets that are individually kept on each team member’s computer. This fragmentation makes it harder to share information, and dependency on individuals is big. Over the years, we moved on to use help desk software or a help desk ticketing system, a separate email management platform, or more generic said, programs that could be shared more easily such as dropbox, box or for instance the Google suite of products.
The latest development involves communication platforms that perform much more than just a single function. Platforms that make sharing easy, combine functions that were never combined before and allow you to work from anywhere.
So it’s never too early to start thinking about how you are going to deal with customer queries, warranty cases or complaints across the various channels that customers use these days. Start early and you won’t be caught out when the enquiries rise, and the number of people in your team grow. The latter makes it important that you choose a communication and service desk software or system that is instantly scalable.
Important takeaways when choosing your customer contact, help desk or communication tools. A summary
- Think about how you want to deal and manage a growing number of customer contacts. If you grow, who is going to do what? Who will be responsible for what and when?
- Make sure that you chose a help desk or service desk software that combines channels, such as telephony, email, sms or web live chat. With that you’d cover 92-95% of your customer contacts in one place.
- Choose a platform that also integrates the tools to evaluate your team. It should give you the information to manage your resources and help you getting the optimum out of every team member. Remember, good products or services combined with a happy well-functioning team are the foundation of happy customers and a good reputation
- Choose a platform that is not location bound and completely cloud based. You don’t need a telephone box or server room to get your communication right, you’d be sure of updated technology and the latest functions.
- Make sure the platform you chose has got the capacity, scalability and has a low basic fee that includes all features and charges for usage. This means that you can start early in your journey, and your service desk software and system costs will be a foreseeable percentage of your operational costs vs your revenue.