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Whilst small businesses use their more personal approach to differentiate from bigger players in their fields, directors are looking to call and contact centre tools to help their teams deliver the efficiency and diversity of contact that their customers demand in a post-Covid world.

young man at a call centre deskMost small businesses associate the terms call centre and contact centre with rooms full of headset wearing hustlers working scrips to either sell or support products as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They see their own approach as more personal, more customer-focused and more in tune with the intimacy they want to create between themselves and their customers. Technology however is now delivering an opportunity and even a need to merge the efficiency of multi-channel communications with customers and the interpersonal skills of their teams.

Phone and email have been the core communications routes of the small business sales and support desks for many years. In a world where almost everyone is capable of using virtual meetings, have been shopping digitally for 50% of the last 12 months and have experienced a very different kind of relationship with friends and family, it is time for small business to embrace similar technology and up their game.

Responding to a changing market

The link between the website and the business is ever closer with customers browsing for everything and exploring new ideas digitally. Responding to this is imperative to small businesses, as customers become ever more comfortable with remote commerce, undermining that key differentiator of ‘personal service’. That ‘personal service’ can however also be transformed by technology keeping smaller businesses ahead of their less personal, larger competition.

Cloud communications solutions are able to deliver highly sophisticated customer contact tools to teams as small as two or three and at a price per user that is still easily cost-justified by a small business. If webchat can be efficiently managed at a cost of less than £50 per month but that delivers one or two new customers in the same period the investment works. If it further aids the ultra-quick answering of current customer questions the cost can be returned in manpower savings or longer-term customer retention. A missed sales or support call is the most costly error a business can make so abandoned call management and call-back queues are as relevant or perhaps more relevant to the success of a small business, and these examples are just the tip of the iceberg when looking at the customer engagement options available.

computer screen surrounded by communication options. Twitter, phone, email and webchat

With the whole portfolio of smart technology aids available on 30 days agreements, small businesses need to throw off their cynicism towards using technology tools to engage with their customers. 15 months ago we rarely used video meeting tools to bring grandparents and grandchildren together but now it is almost the norm.

There is a point where we all have to change with the times.