Any service-based business is aware of the importance of building customer trust. For small businesses it is almost directly linked to the financial success of the company. Over the past few years, business leaders have identified trust as the biggest factor in the success of any business.
Building a buzz around your brand, but failing to grow customer trust will result in the brand fading away over a period of time.
The key to building customer trust
There are numerous ways in which a small business can build customer trust, but in all such strategies the one thing that remains common is the quality of interaction with your customers. This has a direct bearing on your customer's experience.
Ensuring smooth and effective interactions with customers comes at a price. Most businesses can no longer depend only on the local market. Global markets have become the real playground.
It's financially impossible for most small businesses to set up offices in other provinces, and/or other countries. This puts undue pressure on customers to call an international number to get in touch with your business, which may mean they don't call you.
How virtual local phone numbers can help
Opting for a virtual local phone number reduces your financial burden and at the same time, improves your customer's experience. A virtual number is basically a telephone number without a physical telephone line or location. Virtual numbers are programmed to direct any incoming calls to the virtual number to a phone number you decide to send it to (in this case your bricks and mortar business).
A virtual number creates the impression of your business being a local one. Your Ontario or British Columbia or American customers will be happier if they feel their call is being attended to within their province or country and not a few thousand miles away. It helps you project the image of a local business.
Most virtual number service providers offer call forwarding to more than one pre-set number. So, during the week you could direct the calls to your office phone number and during the weekends to your cellphone. Or you could have the virtual number ring both your office phone and cell phone at the same time so you can answer whichever one you're closest to.
Virtual numbers are used a lot for customer care call centers. These call centers appear to be based in a particular country, but in fact are spread across more than one country and time zone. This allows the business to provide 24/7 customer care.
Virtual numbers offer a number of other useful features that help in improving your customer service:
Automated Attendant – which basically operates as a virtual receptionist. Calls are transferred to the right extensions without the physical intervention of an operator. Calls can also be routed to VoIP phones or cellphones.
Call Forwarding – Instead of making a customer wait, the call is forwarded to any of the other pre-set numbers.
Business-class Voicemail – This allows you to access voicemail messages from anywhere in the world through phone or online. Some services also send you email notifications when a voicemail has been left.
ACD Routing – Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) is a system that distributes incoming calls based on pre-set parameters, which include the type of customer, what they need, and the skill sets of the customer representative the call is being forwarded to. ACD's usually distribute calls based on how many each agent has answered as well, trying to make it so all agents answer an equal number of calls.
Internet Fax – Internet fax or e-fax is exactly what the name suggest; fax over the Internet. Why purchase and maintain a physical fax machine, with paper, toner, and the space it takes. You can send or receive faxes via an internet fax number, and then use your printer to print only the ones you want to have on paper. Delete, forward, print or save these faxes just like any document file.
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