Professional firms are realizing that to effectively synchronize the needs of their customers, vendors and support staff they need to upgrade their technology to streamline services and create a more productive work flow. Below are some easy-to-implement suggestions that can improve your company’s ability to serve customers, process paperwork, avoid undesirable situations and make the most of free internet resources.
Your clients can be quickly discouraged if their call to your business is not answered promptly or if they have to engage with an automatic answering machine. To avoid missing important calls, many companies utilize answering services that provide live operators 24 hours a day. These operators are available to take calls when your lines are busy, when your staff is out of the office or after business hours. A reliable answering service can present detailed reports about the calls they handled and have back-up records at your disposal if you need to verify contact information or message contents.
Many firms start out using their secretarial staff to handle their bookkeeping but quickly find that the other distractions in the office limit their effectiveness and consequently client relations start to suffer. By hiring a professional bookkeeper who is not involved in other office chores, you can add a level of expertise to your accounting practices that insures your financial dealings reflect your professional integrity. A competent bookkeeper can assure that outstanding payments are collected by the due date, insurance claims are filed in a timely manner and that bills are paid on time.
Regardless of your profession, there are software developers who have analyzed your business and created programs designed to streamline office procedures and improve client relations. Custom-made database programs can give your staff instant access to client records and links to vital documents that relate directly to the case. Customized software can also create web forms and printed material that makes it easy for clients and staff to input and retrieve data, print out detailed reports and summarize figures for meetings and annual reports.
Take advantage of the public access to information on the Internet and through private investigation firms to do background research on potential employees, vendors and even your competition. By using search engines to access public data, you can often uncover undesirable past behaviors in applicants for employment. If you require further information, you can hire private investigators to interview past associates and employers. When considering new vendors, use services like “Angie’s List” to read reviews from previous customers to determine if they provide the level of service your require. You can even use the Internet to research your competition to understand their marketing methods and devise strategies to improve your public image.
When you are looking for reliable answering services, professional bookkeepers, innovative software programmers or private investigators, take advantage of the free Internet billboard provided by your local Craigslist. You can check the postings for potential candidates or post your own announcement detailing your requirements so you can receive responses from interested parties. You can also use Craigslist to buy and sell used equipment, advertise your services or attract new clients. You will have to pay a modest fee to post employment ads, but it is still significantly less that printed ads.
Sylviane Herzog is the Director and writer of Concorde Answering Service which has offices in Los Angeles, CA. Concorde has won multiple quality awards for customer care and service and is a member of ATSI and CAM-X.
Image License: Creative Commons by brendahallowes