A lot of businesses use old and outdated protocols. Whether this is because of familiarity, a lack of time, or worse, a lack of urgency, we live in a time of unprecedented technological disruption, and a time that makes cautionary tales of those who fail to innovate. The impact on businesses large and small and means that finding ways to improve efficiency using technology must be a consideration for any business leader.
For example, if a customer has a question about your business, how can they find the answer? If they’re proactive, they’ll call you up and chat with you or your employees, which sounds great. What if that happens ten, twenty times a day? 100?
This is an example of where citing a goal such as “reducing labor hours spent fielding phone calls” (a good problem to have) could be met by utilizing your website.
If you’ve ever tried to call a major corporation such as your Internet Service Provider, or your Cell Carrier, you’re familiar with the number tree and automated response systems they’ve set up.
While those systems are annoying and can be frustrating, they have been built because having an army of call center employees is not only expensive, it is less efficient for the company (arguments can be made about customer satisfaction suffering from this approach, but this is, after all, a post about efficiency).
Use your website as a customer service tool
You don’t need to go the route of automated call reception if you’re facing a high volume of incoming calls. Chances are if someone called your business, they looked up your number via search engine. If they’re calling you, they want something: an answer to a question, to buy your product or service, to figure out how to network with you, the list goes on.
However, the point here is that there is a good chance they’ve been to your website before they call, and that what they are asking is something that you could (and should) have answered already on your site.
Which leads us to our next question:
What does an efficient website do?
- It is easy to use and navigate
- It has a clear call to action
- It tells your story and gives a clear sense of what your company offers
- It provides 3rd party validation about your product or service
- It features special offers and personalization
- It expresses how your company/product/service is unique
- It encourages visitors to give feedback
- It has contact information and divulges your physical location
If your website is truly efficient, it will emphatically answer basic questions about what you do or how you do it. Offering the answers to popular inquiries on your website will then change the questions customers have when they call. Ideally, you’ll spend time talking to people who are further along in the buyer cycle, having had their initial questions already answered via your website.
Wouldn’t you rather answer the call of someone prepared to buy? This is an example of the kind of thinking you should engage in when it comes to utilizing your website as a tool. As margins shrink and the economy becomes more competitive, maximizing efficiency is one of the best ways you can help your business flourish.
Our team has helped hundreds of clients develop digital tools and protocols to optimize their business activities. The positive return on investment (ROI) of a well designed and thought-out business efficiency tool (such as your website) is always clear. It’s also a wise investment.
Read the next and final installment of this series here.