Monday, March 20, 2017

Ease of Communication Is Essential to Your Success

According to an article published on, what people want from the future from communication is less noise, more context, ease of use, ease of access and the certainty that our listeners understand the message. We’d like our messages to end up with the right person, without governments, corporations or cybercriminals peeking at information that isn’t meant for them. We’d even like to spur people into action. We have always used communication to convince or even make other people do what we want. Improved communication technologies help us to do that quicker and on a larger scale, hugely influencing the next divide between the haves and the have-nots.

An answering service helps address the future needs and current needs of callers.  An answering service, like All City Communications, provides live answering immediately to the caller which overcomes the roadblock of communication that comes with voice mails, answering machines and recorded greetings telling your callers to remain on hold for the next available person.  All City Communications will listen to the needs of the caller and acknowledge their concerns and then will communicate the message by text, email or phone to the correct person to solve the issue or concern of the caller. 

Most businesses strive to attract more customers to their product or service.  Money and time is spent to do this.  An answering service provides streamlined communication between your callers and your business.  Anytime a caller calls your office, our Operators will answer the call as your business, without the caller ever knowing we are not physically in your office.  There will be no lost customers on a voice mail system or answering machine waiting for you to remember to access and listen to.  Invariably, if you forget or if the wait is too long before you listen to the recording, someone else provided a solution to the caller’s needs.      

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Immediate Customer Contact Is Essential to New Business Growth

Many businesses, both large and small, typically utilize some sort of advertising for their business. Advertising can be a costly expense and the moment that a potential customer decides to contact you for your services, there needs to be someone answering those calls live without a voice mail. If that potential customer gets a voice mail or a busy signal, the potential customer most likely will find someone else that is available. If there isn’t someone available to answer the calls as your business name, ensuring the caller’s needs are immediately addressed, the money spent on advertising is wasted since the potential customer will most likely call someone else that is available. This is what I call a “so what” for why a business should utilize an answering service.

An answering service can help increase your availability to potential clients and current clients by providing a person to answer every one of your calls live as your business name, capturing that potential lead or satisfying the needs of your current customer. An answering service’s ability to answer your calls live and dispatch your urgent or service related calls immediately while not disturbing you or your on call staff with general message calls can be a boost to sales and allow you or your on call staff to only receive calls that are urgent. Additionally, an answering service allows you to benefit from the availability of our staff of over 40 Operators without the expense of needing to hire someone specifically to answer your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you miss 1 call a week by not being available to the potential customers, what does that 1 lost customer mean to you? If you are advertising to grow your business, not only are you losing the lost revenue from the potential client at their time of need or the potential for repeat business from the client but also the waste of money you have spent from your advertising campaign to attract the potential customer in the first place.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Why A Property Management Company Should Have A Live Answering Service

My good friend recently relocated from one apartment to another.  It wasn’t to save money and it wasn’t motivated by needing to be closer to work.  He moved for one reason.  He never could contact a person, without leaving a voice mail, to have his issues addressed at his apartment.  The only way he has been able to have his issues fixed was for him to show up in person at the office, during normal business hours.  If he didn’t have time to show up in person, he would call and leave a voice mail and like usual, nothing would ever get fixed or corrected.  His frustration led to him finding a different apartment complex that gives him better service by having better response time and availability to his needs.    

He was explaining this to me this weekend when he told me why he moved.  This made me think to share this story with other Property Management companies.  A Property Management company should have a live voice answering their calls for emergencies.  Some emergency type calls include no heat calls, no air conditioning calls or water flooding.  Some of our current Property Management companies utilize our services for situations I just mentioned but our service also helps their on call people avoid answering every call by having our operators tell their callers, for example, their lock out is not considered an emergency and will have to wait for morning or that if there is a parking emergency, they should call the police themselves or if is regarding an invoice they should call back during business hours. 

We will answer all your calls live, as your company.  The callers will not know that we are not in your office.  We can take detailed messages and dispatch any emergency calls to your on call staff while filtering non-emergency calls to be sent via email in the morning.  We will provide 35 operators to answer any calls live from your callers without the added expense of hiring someone to be responsible for answering the phones after hours and weekends.  We will speak to your tenants and listen to their concerns immediately and based on your instructions, dispatch the call accordingly.  Don’t lose tenants because you have nobody available to answer your calls.  Utilize an answering service to enhance your availability to your tenants.      

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What we can learn from the Chicago Cubs

I am a huge Chicago Cubs fan.  I have been since I picked up a glove and bat when I was 5.  My mom is an equally devoted fan, as her mom was.  The Chicago Cubs are intertwined in the roots of our family tree, going back multiple generations.  I even named my puppy, Wrigley, after the ballpark where the Chicago Cubs play, Wrigley field.   
The devotion, as a fan to the Chicago Cubs has been questioned by some for many years.  The nickname “Loveable Losers” was attached to the Chicago Cubs.  As a fan you would hear about the curse of the goat and that it has been over a 100 years since a championship.  The losing became the identity of being a part of the Chicago Cubs, either as a fan or a player.

The fate of each season seemed to be pre-written every year.  There was one constant similarity during all the years of losing.  The ownership.  The ownership accepted the losing and I believe actually enjoyed the identity of a “Lovable Loser.”  Every year, the same philosophy and the same processes were in place that resulted in the same results.  Losing.  Over and over and over again.  For 108 years.  The culture of losing became the norm.  The pattern of losing continued not because of the curse of the goat or because of bad luck.  It continued because nothing changed. 
A new owner purchased the Chicago Cubs in 2009, Tom Ricketts.  Tom Ricketts, who grew up a Chicago Cubs fan, tolerated the losing for many years and experienced first-hand the “Lovable Loser” culture.  He confronted the culture of losing and at the highest level demanded change.  The change began when he trusted the baseball decisions to a known winner, Theo Epstein in 2011.  In his opening press conference, Theo Epstein who recently built a similar losing franchise to a winner, The Boston Red Sox, had this to say, "I don't believe in curses, (and) I guess I played a small part in proving they don't exist, from a baseball standpoint," Epstein said. "I do think we can be honest and upfront that certain organizations haven't gotten the job done. That's the approach we took in Boston. We identified certain things that we hadn't been doing well, that might have gotten in the way of a World Series, and eradicated them. That's what we'll do here."  Theo Epstein knew the reasons for years of losing was that the Chicago Cubs kept doing the same thing over and over again and expected different results.  He also said, "When I got to Boston they hadn't won in 86 years. We didn't run from that challenge. We embraced it," Epstein said. "We decided the way to attack it was to build the best baseball operation that we could, to try to establish a winning culture, to work as hard as possible and to bring in players who care more about each other and more about winning than the people around them thought or the external expectations, the external mindset. That's something that is going to be important to us here as well. He knew that they had to change the culture of losing and he had to put in place new processes and people that produced positive results in a variety of baseball operational areas. 

Fast forward 5 years and the Chicago Cubs experienced their first World Series Championship since 1908.  The World Series championship never would have occurred without the changes that was made at the highest level.  The owner, Tom Ricketts and the President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein confronted the culture of losing by changing.  They were honest in their evaluation of themselves and made the necessary changes in hiring, training, drafting and managing of the Chicago Cubs.  These changes occurred throughout all levels of the organization.  We can learn from the story of the Chicago Cubs in our personal life and in our business life.  If the direction you are going in isn’t resulting in positive results, change.  Even if the changes can be painful.  Don’t wait 108 years like the Chicago Cubs to do so though.  Most of us don’t have that long.     

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Importance of “Holiday Cheerfulness” When It Isn’t the Holidays

As we are approaching the Holiday season, many people are undoubtedly looking forward to enjoying the wonderful foods such as turkey, stuffing, cranberries, ham, pies, cakes and a menagerie of cookies and candies.  I would wager a bet that the foods and treats are not the main reason we are looking forward to the Holiday season.  I would wager that the thought of spending time with friends and family and the fellowship we all receive from strangers are the main reasons to look forward to the Holidays.  The warmth of a friendly conversation or an understanding smile represents what I call, “Holiday Cheerfulness or a Holiday Spirit.”
I really enjoy the Holiday season because of the “Holiday Cheerfulness” that I warmly receive from most people.  It made me think that this same “Holiday Spirit” is exactly what we should expect from ourselves every day, not just on the Holidays.  The “Holiday Spirit” should be the standard at work, at home or even when you simply check out at a grocery store line.

As a call center, the “Holiday Cheerfulness” can be extremely important in helping our clients with their phone answering and dispatching needs.  A simple act of kindness in the voice of our Operators when our client’s customers call, can make or break the caller’s view of the company’s product or service we answer for.  A little “Holiday Spirit”, when it isn’t the Holidays, is what we strive to provide on each and every call we take for our clients.
Let us all embrace the “Holiday Spirit” on a daily basis.  Let that become the rule and not the exception that takes place for only 2 months of the year.  It truly is amazing what a simple act of kindness can do for you, your company and your family. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Phone Coverage During Holiday Season Is Essential

As we are approaching the hectic Holiday season many businesses struggle to keep up with the demand on their staffing resources associated with phone coverage, when typically, most vacations and personal time off takes place.  Juggling your employee’s roles to temporarily fill in for your receptionist or after hours on call people can make a hectic Holiday season, unbearable.  This is where a Call Center like All City Communications can help.

All City Communications has helped many companies during the Holiday season with their calls, ensuring a call is never missed.  We answer as your business without the callers ever knowing that we are not in the office.  Our well trained and professional Operators are available to answer all calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including all Holidays.  We are always available and you can trust that when a caller is contacting your business, it will be answered clearly and quickly in a professional manner.

Instead of scrambling to find temporary help that may or may not be a fit for your business, allow All City to lend a hand with their experienced staff of qualified Operators.  Instead of spending valuable time interviewing potential employees for a temporary problem of staffing your phones during the Holidays, allow a Call Center like All City Communications handle your calls.  Instead of trying to handle all the afterhours and weekend calls yourself, while the demands of your time during the Holiday season are increased anyway, let All City Communications help.     

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Value of Personal Service

Personal Service.  A buzzword used so often – by support agents, customers and marketers alike – that it’s lost meaning for many of us.
Which is a darn shame, because personal service, when done right, is incredibly powerful.

It can be the difference between a customer forgetting about you the minute their transaction is over, and that same person returning to become a loyal customer for life.

But there’s a difference between saying that you deliver personal service (as so many companies do), and actually doing it.

Today, I’m going to share what personal service really is, why it’s so important for your business, and actionable tips you and your team can use to start making your support more personal.
The Value of Personal Service
A few years ago, a survey by Genesys asked more than 9,000 consumers about what mattered to them most when it came to doing business with companies.

What did the respondents mark as the improvement they’d like to see most among the companies they do business with?
40% of them – more than double the responses that the second place answer received – said “better human service”.

Personal Service is about making the person feel like they are doing business with a person, not a company.  It’s a simple concept, but incredibly valuable. Why?  Because when customers feel like they’re getting personal service, they become better customers.

The benefits of personal service extend beyond your customers and their immediate social circles, too.  As your business builds a reputation for great service, you’ll begin to draw more customers from around the market.

In fact, another study found that 72% of customers are “very” or “extremely” likely to do business with a company because of their reputation for strong customer service.  The benefits are clear. Now let’s talk about the approach.

How To Make Your Customer Service More Personal

Am I making the customer feel like they are doing business with a human or a business?

Just by keeping this question in the back of your mind, you’ll begin to subconsciously add personal touches to every support interaction.
To get you started, here are a few tips you can use to make your support more personal right away:
Use Names (Both Yours and Your Customer’s)
When Dale Carnegie said that “a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language,” he may not have had access to the latest medical research.
But as recent studies have shown, he was spot on.  As it turns out, our names are so important to us that hearing them light up an entirely different party of the brain than any other words.

Using your customer’s name makes them like you more, and on the flip side, using your own name makes the interaction feel more personal, too.
Who would you rather get an email from, “Mike” or “The Support Team”?
Show Your Face
Want to make a deeper connection with your customers when they read your emails?  Help them put a face to your name.
Using photos of faces doesn’t just increase conversion rates on your site; it help to humanize your business, build trust and make your customers feel as though they’re dealing with real people.
And real is key here. No cheesy stock photos of “business” people wearing headsets.
Try putting photos of your team on your site’s about or customer support pages, or even in the emails themselves.
Know Each Customer’s History With Your Business
Last week, I had to call DirecTV to fix an issue with my service.  After I told the support agent about my problem, she told me that she’d be happy to help. But right before she put me on hold, she casually noted:
“…and by the way, thank you so much for being a DirecTV customer since 2001. It means a lot to me that we’ve had your business for so long.”

That small touch made the interaction for me.

Simply by knowing a tiny detail about me as a customer, the agent made me feel like she (and the company) cared about my business, and made the interaction a lot more personal than a simple support transaction.
You can do the same thing
Personal Customer Service Is Worth It
Don’t let the buzzword status of “personal service” fool you; it really is an important, and valuable concept that can help you increase retention and grow your business.
Delivering personal support isn’t terribly hard, but it can pay off in a huge way.