The Bottom Line About IT Support

In the early stages of developing an IT support business, the owners typically wear all the hats: the sales hats, the technical hats, and the administrative hats, until the company has established enough of a client base that it can justify delegating certain things to a salesperson or a couple of different technical people. In this article, you’ll learn why you need to wear so many hats in the beginning and when to start handing the hats to someone else.

Why So Many Hats are Important in the Beginning? Many people come to me and say, “Well, I’m just the owner. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m good at pulling it all together, but I’m not really a techie. And I’m not really the sales guy. What should I do?” I’m going to be very blunt. You’re behind the 8 balls already because a lot of your local competitors are wearing all of these hats, especially during the startup phase of their IT support business.

In a lot of cases, your firm is going to be competing for these sweet spot clients against one-person consultants who may be working out of their homes with extremely low overhead. These are the rare folks that are pretty good technically and happen to have pretty good sales-oriented kinds of personalities.

When to Start Passing Out Hats? That’s not to say that you couldn’t have a good technical person and keep him or her very busy and a good full-time salesperson. Typically, however, your IT support business evolves over time. The owner starts out by being both the salesperson and the technical person. As the company gets busier, your firm starts subcontracting out some of the overflow work or work that is not up against your tasks. This frees you up to go out a little more on sales calls.

Then, when you get to the point where you have a couple different subcontractors that you consistently sending this work to, your light bulb will start to go off. You realize for the money your firm is spending on subcontractors, you could put someone on the payroll.

The Bottom Line about IT support? Keep in the back of your mind that some of your competitors are going to be able to be skilled at sales and technical issues right off the bat. And they may give you a run for the money. You will want to think about this issue carefully as you start to position your business.

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How to Market Your Brand

So, you know what a brand is. You know what makes up a brand and which parts of your company you might be able to exploit … I mean use, to define and manipulate your brand and the way you are perceived by the public. But, well, how?

The combination of So, you know what a brand is. You know what makes up a brand and which parts of your company you might be able to exploit … I mean use, to define and manipulate your brand and the way you are perceived by the public. But, well, how?

The combination of a successfully developed brand and the implementation of a great marketing campaign will do wonders for your business. Think of the TV advertisements that stick in your mind – what makes it so? What have they done differently? If you make a list, you’ll notice that each and every one of them has taken advantage of creative and innovative ideas. It is not enough to only have a great logo or great radio ads. The entire marketing package, when done properly, is your key to building your business into a wonderful success.

There are a great number of business tools that are widely accepted as forms of advertising. The key here is to put your brand on everything. That might not even mean to put your logo on everything (although in most cases it is advisable), but just to make sure that all of your business material fits in with the business image that you’ve already determined. For instance, if you have a particular corporate color that’s fairly unique (that is, it’s not black), you can use that to your advantage by putting all of your correspondence in color-coded envelopes. If your brand is a particular scent or perfume, make sure you’re always wearing it when you meet with your potential suppliers or customers. Brand everything.

You should have two main ports of call, depending on your industry: your business card and your website. These are the first places your customers will look for your information. If your brand isn’t apparent through these two mediums, you’re probably in a bit of marketing trouble. Stop reading, find a brand developer and have them redone. Right now. No excuses.

Marketing your brand need not be incredibly expensive or difficult. If you can understand that your brand is in everything you put forth to the public, you’ll become more and more in tune with the ways you can alter their perception of your business, or at least let them become aware that it exists.

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How to Ensure Customer Satisfaction With Call Centers

Call centers provide phone-based services to clients or customers either in the private or public sector. Call centers have become an important communication channel to acquire new customers as well as to support existing ones. During the past few years, the number of call centers and the number of employees or agents has been growing rapidly demonstrating the increasing importance of call centers.

The direction in which the contact between the customer and the agent is distinguished through inbound and outbound call centers. In inbound call centers, the agents receive calls from outside customers, and therefore these call centers are driven by random customer call arrivals. In order to achieve customer satisfaction, short expected waiting times are important. The performance can also be measured by waiting times, availability of service, or customer abandonment.

Inbound call centers are there to receive calls from existing or potential clients. Normally, the quality of communication in these kinds of call centers, is perhaps more important than that of outbound call centers, wherein the agents initiate contact with potential clients. In case the client is the one to contact the call center, one thing can be certain: the client requires aid or information that the agent must be able to supply.

Typically, the client’s query can be answered by the first agent who takes the call. In that process, there is no waiting or lag time, and the client is assured that the company has the answers he or she needs. However, it is impossible to have an expert answer every single call due to the utter volume of inbound calls that a usual call center receives. For this reason, most inbound call centers rely on a tier system in order to deal with several incoming calls. Also called the multi-tier support, the tier system is a foundation of call centers handling inbound calls. In this instance, the client who has a specific question or complaint about a product he or she has purchased from the company, the first tier employee can transfer the call to a technical support specialist.

However, most inbound call centers that use the multi-tier support system have a total of three tiers with the third tier consisting of developers or engineers of the technology or the product. Through this, the majority of customer requests and questions can be dealt with effectively and quickly. Basically, if the client is satisfied with the responses and if there is no waiting time, the call center is doing a good job. The importance of satisfactory communication should not be underestimated.

Aside from the multi-tier support, technology also has a role to play in facilitating the company’s method in dealing with inbound calls. The data received from inbound calls are normally recorded and reported making the call center effectively predict the type of information and the number of agents in each tier that at which the calls are transmitted between agents continue to develop and calls can be answered faster. The technology that minimizes the waiting time and answers and transfers call quickly often leads directly to increased customer satisfaction.

However, the use of technology will always be a support instead of a substitute for human interaction. The agents or the employees remain the backbone of inbound call centers and the only means of ensuring customer satisfaction and preservation is through the quality of communication.

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