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Building Relationships with Customers and Gaining Their Trust

If there’s one thing about being a successful business owner, it’s the need to consider who is keeping your business afloat – namely, your customers. While you may be involved in the day-to-day operations that help your organization function, considering how the customer factors into your long-term strategy often goes overlooked. This is especially important for businesses that may have a popular product/service, but may not have considered how to remain competitive after the initial buzz and hype has worn off. The secret? Building relationships with customers and winning their trust.

In this article, we’ll explore a number of ways that you can build better relationships with your customer base, ultimately gaining their trust, loyalty, and business for years to come.

building relationships with customers
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Communication is Key

Perhaps the single most important factor in building relationships with customers is the ability to establish a relationship with your customers through direct communication. Easier said than done, of course.

First, you’ll want to offer as many ways as possible for customers to get in contact with your business and be accessible to them. This means that you should accommodate emails, live chat, in-person office hours, virtual phone numbers (domestic and international), the company’s social media presence, conference calls, discussion forums, and so forth. If a customer can’t get in contact with your business easily, expect to lose important connections.

Second, you’ll want to adjust how you communicate. Instead of just telling the customer about your business, you want to have conversations with them to create engagement. Ask probing questions, such as what they want, what doesn’t work, and then offer solutions to their problems that address these needs. Chances are if you’re hearing the same thing from several customers, there’s probably a silent majority that feels the same.

Additionally, make sure that your employees follow this same protocol of deeply listening to what customers are talking about. Customer service is often the front-line of what makes and breaks a successful company, so make sure that new employees are trained in deep listening. For extended conversation, make sure your staff returns voicemail messages, follows up on inquiries, and respond to emails promptly. All of these methods of communication will create trust with your brand.

Be Transparent

Because our world is so fast paced, it’s not uncommon to hear how another business swindled its customer base or misrepresented its intentions from the get-go.

To be transparent, you need to keep your customers informed of any changes and be as forthright as possible. Customers are more understanding about the setbacks that a company may face, particularly if your brand has been transparent from the beginning. For instance, the founder of a company that continually addresses the customers that make the business possible can directly address possible controversies and conflicts (i.e. a price increase on products) before they escalate. And if your company is experiencing unprecedented growth, you can also make that clear to customers to show that your company is thriving thanks to their participation.

Always Exceed Expectations

Just as consumers get jaded by a company’s lack of ethics, potential customers are looking to bring companies into their lives that go above and beyond expectations. After all, your customers expect great products or services from you; otherwise, they will choose your competitors and seek solutions elsewhere.

In order to remain competitive, it is important to continually raise the bar on what your company offers to keep the spark alive and reestablish trust, again and again. One simple way to do so is to under-promise and over-deliver. It is the mistake of a new company, especially startups, to promise the world but have objectives continually delayed. By making too many promises and underperforming, you kill the trust and predictability that your business should be delivering. On the other hand, when you impress customers by keeping your word, they keep coming back.

Therefore, you need to continually exceed customer expectations faster than anticipated and ahead of schedule (if possible). As a side effect, if your company does experience unforeseen delays and setbacks, you are able to still have a timeframe in which to still deliver on your promises. Similarly, you may want to add additional items at no charge, samples for new products/services your company offers, and coupons that come from a spirit of gratitude and generosity.  

Show Genuine Appreciation

It is important to show appreciation for your customers, particularly the ones who have extended their own loyalty in your brand for a long time and/or have been with your company since the beginning. There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this, such as offering long-time customers a loyalty discount program, exclusive deals, and freebies. For smaller companies with VIPs, you can write handwritten letters with specific details to show that you spent the time and effort to convey your deep gratitude for their business.

 

United States Phone Numbers

Are you looking to get U.S. phone numbers for your business? In this article, we will cover a number of aspects about United States phone numbers, including how they work and the many benefits of using them for your business.

How Modern United States Phone Numbers Work

In order to understand how United States phone numbers work, there needs to be an understanding of how virtual phone numbers work, which is the technology behind modern telecommunication.

First of all, virtual phone numbers are made possible through developments in Internet-based technologies like VOIP and cloud computing. When a virtual phone number is dialed by a caller, the call is instantly routed to another phone number, which can be located anywhere in the world. This phone number is referred to as the ‘destination phone number,’ and it is where inbound calls are received.

Phone numbers in the US
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Because of this, there is a modern usage among businesses to leverage this technology to establish a sophisticated means of routing calls from inbound calls made to their preexisting phone numbers in their home country and/or region, to open up lines of communication anywhere in the world. In other words, your destination phone number could be located in a country like the United Arab Emirates but you can receive inbound calls from callers in the United States without restrictions from service providers. So, in essence, U.S. phone numbers that are powered by virtual phone numbers enable businesses to bridge gaps of international communication simply by subscribing with Global Call Forwarding.

Benefits of U.S. Phone Numbers

Now that you have a basic understanding of how United States phone numbers work, let’s take a look at the many benefits that come with using them creatively.

United States virtual numbers give your business the ability to penetrate the most lucrative economy in the world without having to establish a physical presence. This means that your business does not have to set up a branch office or other physical presence in the United States to interact with Americans. Because of the popularity of virtual offices and virtual locations, businesses are able to provide goods and services to American customers without the need for face-to-face interaction. Considering that many Americans live busy lives, the ability to efficiently handle business transactions over the phone can you give your business immediate traction versus competitors that do not.

Another viable benefit of using United States phone numbers is that your company will gain professional clout amongst your peers. For instance, imagine you ran a business that offered a way for domestic and U.S.-based customers to reach your business – even if they lived abroad, they can see that your company’s reach is available around the world. This is something that most businesses would only consider larger enterprises and established organizations capable of. Instead, using United States phone numbers from Global Call Forwarding gives your business – like many startups – the ability to tap into global markets immediately.

Because of the aforementioned technology behind virtual phone numbers, there are a number of add-ons and features that come with using United States phone numbers. Some of the most popular add-ons include call recording, which allows businesses to store and later access calls made to and from their business. Another popular add-on is CallMeClick, which enables visitors to your website to immediately initialize a call by clicking on a link posted throughout your website. Because of this immediacy, your business is able to take advantage of the coming trends for a ‘mobile-only’ and ‘mobile-first’ future that will make the future of communication relegated mainly to smartphones and similar devices.

Last, United States phone numbers are available in a number of varieties that you can use for various parts of your business model. Considering that the United States is a large country with a number of time zones and commercial centers, choosing a United States phone number can be relegated to states, major cities, and national toll free phone numbers that span the entire North American Numbering Plan. For instance, your business may want to use a virtual phone number on the West Coast to handle clients in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles; for those on the East Coast, businesses can use phone numbers in major economic hubs like Atlanta, Boston, and New York City. Also, Global Call Forwarding offers toll free United States phone numbers, which can enable inbound callers to reach your business without having to pay long-distance fees or be blocked by their service provider. Therefore, using United States phone numbers can make your organization as accessible as possible no matter where in the country they are calling from.

Getting United States Virtual Phone Numbers

If you’ve finally decided that you want to gain all of the benefits of virtual communication with Global Call Forwarding, the first step is to visit GCF’s homepage at www.globalcallfowarding.com. There, you’ll find an intuitive website that can easily guide you through the process of purchasing not only United States phone numbers, but phone numbers from over 140 countries around the world. The process of signing up can be completed in minutes and your business can begin using virtual phone numbers of your choosing within 24 hours or less.

Is Your Virtual Number Provider Big on Credibility? How to Tell if You’re Getting the Best Services

Checking the credibility of a business or provider is an important step in building a long-lasting working relationship with any organization. Though most companies can look good on a TV commercial, sales brochure, or other marketing collateral, these types of materials most often only provide the consumer with a snippet of positive information. Truly getting to know an organization and the people who run the organization requires research, observation, and time. Building a relationship with an organization and learning about the people, products, and track record of the business will increase the likelihood that you will get what you paid for.

For example, many businesses are turning to virtual phone numbers for their communications. Is your virtual number provider big on credibility? How to tell if you’re getting the best services involves some time investment, but it’s well worth it. Here are a few ways:

Reach out to the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Better Business Bureau exists in order to help maintain an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust one another and consumers are able to have confidence in the companies they choose to do business with. Checking with the Better Business Bureau to verify the credentials for a business prior to purchasing any products, using any services, or entering any kind of business agreement with the company helps in establishing a trustworthy and solid relationship.

Search for and Read Consumer Reviews

Reading what others think about a company is easier than ever, thanks to the Internet. Many people share their experiences whether they are good or bad, provide ratings and comments, and even provide when specific inquiries are posted. This can be very helpful when doing your due diligence to determine if a company is credible.

Ask for Feedback From Family and Friends

Reaching out to ask family members, friends, and neighbors about a particular organization prior to scheduling a service or purchasing a product or service can help to narrow down the businesses that you should do business with and which ones you shouldn’t. Your family and friends will typically know the quality you expect, so having these types of conversations with people you already trust can save you money and time.

Access Consumer Reports

Reading consumer reports to learn more about companies is one of the oldest and most widely trusted sources when it comes to learning about products prior to buying something. This is the same when you are purchasing a service and looking into a company. So, when determining credibility, going to consumer reports as a reference is an obvious choice. Looking for basic information on the Consumer Reports website, www.consumerreports.org, you have the option to subscribe to the service for specific ratings and other important information. Subscribers are also able to take advantage of online discussion forums to converse with others about products and services, ask questions, read reviews, and share reviews of their own.

How to Tell if You’re Getting the Best Services
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Other Ways to Learn About a Business Include:

Google Searches

When almost anyone has a question about anything these days, they turn to Google. Putting the company name into a Google search will help you discover a plethora of things, from reviews to feedback pages to articles mentioning the company and more. The trick is to decipher which sources are credible or not, so don’t automatically believe everything that comes up in your search. Read up on the company from multiple sources and draw your own conclusions from what you gather.

Check the Company’s Website

It is fairly easy for anyone to put up a webpage, so the fact that a company has a website is not the only determining factor in figuring out if they are credible and legitimate or not. Check to see that contact information listed on the website is accurate. If there is no way to contact a company, that is typically a red flag. You can look up registration information for the web address using a website called who.is.

Ensure Modes of Payment Offered Are Secure

Another important determining factor is whether the company offers secure modes of payment. PayPal and Google Pay are a couple of commonly used secure modes of payment. A truly legitimate company will offer these types of options because they know it offers the customer an extra layer of protection and confidence in the organization.

Before deciding on a virtual number provider or any other type of company you need to do business with, it is important to do some research and look to ensure that the company is big on credibility. This will help you to trust the company and support a solid relationship between you and the organization.

Building a Professional Name for Yourself: Why Credibility is so Important

In today’s market, brands and products are introduced at super speeds. Research indicates that approximately 250,000 products are launched per year and these products have an average of an 85 to 95 percent failure rate. While new brands come and go, some stand out and last. At the root of being a brand that lasts, is credibility and trust. Trust and transparency rank even higher than product quality. This brings us to the topic of building a professional name for yourself and why credibility is so important.

Customers are wary of scams and shady marketing tactics and they are more often basing their purchasing decisions on how genuine they believe a company to be. Unfortunately, many companies do not practice authenticity and instead try to build their companies on what they believe customers want to hear. Listening to customers, however, is not all about repeating back to them whey they say. This is not the path to building a professional name for yourself. It is not about trapping customers with empty promises. Instead, it is about steadfastly proclaiming what you believe in and then taking a step back to see who is drawn to the message.

Brands that are authentic are able to establish and maintain a loyal following. In discussing building a professional name for yourself, it should be part of the business’s core to maintain authenticity and produce results and outcomes based on this. Customers will then share their experiences with their friends and family and if the company stays true to their message and continues to provide products or services that are in line with customers’ expectations, you will develop a brand that will stand the test of time.

If you are thinking of launching a startup or introducing a new brand, here are some points which are key to building a professional name for yourself.

Clearly define your mission and values. This could take a while to mull over. You will need to choose which values you are ready to commit to unwaveringly and you will want to convey this with clear messaging.

Do not half-heartedly commit to something that you are not fully prepared to embrace. Customers will see through this and credibility will not be established.

Determine how and where you will showcase your authenticity in establishing credibility. Whether it is online with social media or your blog or behind the scenes interactions with others, really get to know your audience and allow them to get to know you as well.

Keep your messaging consistent. The messages that you are sending out through marketing, promotions, and social media should be completely in line with the in-person experience that you are providing to customers.

Prepare for opposition. When a business gains a certain level of publicity, this often attracts backlash. Do not let this distract you or discourage you from your values and mission. Stay true to your messaging, your core beliefs, and you will gain the respect you deserve from those around you. Loyal customers will continue to support you based on the trust and credibility you have established.

Why Credibility is so Important
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Credibility in leadership is just as important as establishing credibility in the brand. Actively engaging, as a leader, in actions that follow the same value system as the brand is a critical part in establishing credibility and trust for your brand. Again, acting with integrity, being consistent, communicating, caring for others, being committed and inspiring others as a leader will support you in building a professional name for yourself as well as establishing credibility and trust.

In the end, launching a business and building a professional name is about being true to your values, expressing those values unwaveringly, and following through on promises to customers and clients. For those who adopt this method in embracing authenticity for establishing a business or a brand, you will find that building a company on a solid foundation provides lasting and tremendous stability that is unparalleled, no matter the challenges that lie ahead.

Sounding Professional When Customers Call Your Business

How many times have you dialed the phone number to a business’ customer service department and been greeted by someone who sounded like they were less than enthused to answer your call? It happens often, unfortunately, but businesses do not realize how much this can hurt them. Just because a customer service representative is on the phone all day does not mean that they have to be bored and sound really unhappy. The proper etiquette and some enthusiasm can go a long way in sounding professional when customers call your business – ultimately giving your business a reliable appearance.

Here are a few tips for sounding professional when customers call your business to help you make each phone interaction with your customers an amazing customer service experience:

Using the right phrase will start a conversation off on the right foot. Beginning a conversation with good morning, good afternoon, or a similar greeting and thanking the customer for their call is a great way to start. Stating your name and then asking them how you can help them comes next. Also, it is important to be friendly, upbeat and act like you love your job while providing the best customer service to them. This can all be heard in the tone of a customer service representative’s voice, as well as in the words that are chosen in speaking to customers.

The Power of Positivity

Positivity is also paramount. Ensuring a customer that you will work diligently to resolve whatever issue they have called about and that it will be solved as quickly as possible is important. If you are not able to resolve the issue yourself, ensuring the customer that you will then find someone who is able to is important as well. Saying something like, “I am sorry that you are dealing with this issue, but we will figure this out and resolve this for you as soon as possible” exudes positivity versus sitting on the phone and telling a customer, “I just can’t figure this out” or “I don’t know what the problem is and I am not getting anywhere with this.” Fill your conversation with positive statements, no matter how challenging the issue is to resolve.

Sounding Professional When Customers Call Your Business
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Pay Attention to the Energy You Give Off

Displaying energy through the sound of your voice also goes a long way. Even if it is super early and you have not had your coffee yet, sound like you are excited to speak with them and be of service to them through the resolution of their issue. Even if they are agitated and possibly raising their voice, it is your job to remain calm, energetic, and positive.

Being patient is another principle part of sounding professional when customers call your business. If you happen to ask the customer a question, be patient and wait for them to give you an answer. Do not talk over a customer. Talking over a customer is not only rude, but it may also cause you to miss out on hearing something very important that they are trying to convey to you. If you talk over a customer, they will need to repeat themselves and this will not only potentially aggravate a customer, but also force things to take a longer period of time to resolve. Remember to wait patiently for their full response.

Dealing with distractions in an appropriate way is another tip to sounding professional when customers call your business. There will always be distractions. It is part of life, no matter if you are working from a call center, your own office, a home office, or some other location. How you deal with those distractions is key. Callers know if you are distracted. From the moment you answer their phone call to the moment the call has ended, your one and only focus should be on the customer you have on the phone, their explanation of their needs, and how you are going to go about resolving any issues and fulfilling their needs. It is important to be attentive and helpful and treat the caller in the same exact way that you would want to be treated.

Just as displaying energy and positivity is important, the tone of your voice in demonstrating energy and positivity is just as important. Customer service agents should examine how they sound when they answer the phone. You should sound happy. Practicing with other coworkers in training can help customer service agents to hear themselves and adjust, if needed, accordingly.

Sounding professional when customers call your business is critical to the vitality and growth of a business. Remember that the person on the other end of the call is a human being and they are calling for help, guidance, answers, and to determine if they will invest in your brand or not. Make sure conversations are kept professional, focused, and upbeat from beginning to end.

Your Digital Footprint: What You Should Know About Your Online Presence

Your digital footprint, or online presence, stick to you like glue and will be with you for your lifetime. You need to make sure that your online reputation is upstanding, particularly if you own a company so that your brand is not affected.

The Importance of Online Presence for your Business

Your digital footprint is comprised of anything you put online, and anything put online about you by others. That includes business information, photos, comments, social media posts, customer reviews, and complaints. It also includes all your websites, and any articles or blogs you have written and posted online. Once it’s accessible on the internet, it is potentially there forever, which is a very good reason to stay on top of it.

Who is looking at Your Digital Footprint?

Anyone who is looking for information about you can access your online presence. It will usually carry information about your location, political views, demographics, affiliations, and interests. Your digital footprint is used by headhunters and prospective employers, recruiters, marketers, businesses, and if you’re a business owner, your customers. That gives you plenty of reasons why you need to maintain a good online reputation.

How to Make the Most of your Digital Footprint

Here are some tips to help you manage your digital footprint and keep control of your online reputation.
Google yourself: Yes, it sounds self-indulgent, but it’s the place to start if you want to find out what’s out there for people to see.

Get alerts: You can set up a Google alert for any keyword phrase, so why not create one for your name. This will tell you when a post crops up with your name in it.

Stay private: Don’t post your personal information such as your phone numbers, personal address, bank account details or credit card numbers. If you own a business, consider getting a virtual phone number for your company, so you don’t have to give out your personal number.

Lock up your login: Don’t share your login and password details with anyone.

Use your discretion: Always stop for a moment and think before you post. Don’t post if you are angry; your feelings will pass, but your post will be permanent.

Avoid pictures: Unless they are promotional pictures for your business, avoid them altogether. Personal pictures can be pulled up and used to your disadvantage when you least expect it.

Digital Footprint Online Presence
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Benefits of a Digital Footprint

It’s not all bad; your digital footprint can be beneficial. In today’s competitive job market, a healthy online presence can be a big asset for your career. These days, most employers conduct online searches to supplement resumes and cover letters. The reason for this is that a search can reveal much information about prospective hires’ interests and involvements, as well as how good they are at marketing themselves.

If you own your own company, your digital footprint will reflect the strength of your business. Make sure you address all customer comments, even negative ones. If you are getting negative comments or reviews online, make sure that you address them straight away in a positive way. Always apologize and correct the issue, so that other customers will see that you care about them.

Keeping Your Digital Footprint Strong

Now that you see the advantages of a strong digital footprint, here are some ways to maintain a good online reputation.

Be deliberate and plan for the long-term: Build yourself a positive digital footprint from the beginning. It’s much easier to start out right than to have to try and clean up your image later. This might be something you also want to talk to your children about if they are old enough to use social media.

Don’t over-share: Of course, social media is all about sharing, but some things are best kept out of the public eye. Check your social media privacy settings before you start posting. Remember, if you are having an issue with someone, sort it out offline.

Say no to tagging: Even if you are keeping your online reputation pristine, it doesn’t mean that your friends are. If you’re getting tagged in videos or photos, it might give the wrong impression. Go to your social media settings and turn off tagging, it may save your reputation.

Positive can go public: If you have already established a great digital footprint, then you should make the most of it and share your successes and accomplishments. These are the posts that you want to be making public both on your professional profiles and your social media channels.

Be articulate: Always speak clearly and with respect when you post online; whether it’s your own social media channel or someone else’s. Let loose your talents and creativity and make sure to check your posts for clarity and correctness before you put them online.

Make the most of your digital footprint and always remember: what goes on social media, stays on social media.

How to Earn a Reputation Based on Credibility in Your Industry

There are a number of traits that can help a business earn a reputation to become more successful. Credibility is at the top of that list. Credibility means others look to your company as a reliable source and if others rely on you, they trust you and do business with you, and this propels your business ahead.

Being credible means that you establish and nurture a very specific set of qualities. It really doesn’t make a difference which type of organization or industry you are in – these qualities work the same across the board.

Learning How to Earn a Reputation for Credibility: Step by Step.

If you are serious about establishing yourself as credible, here are some tips regarding how to earn a reputation based on credibility in your industry:

1. Build trust: If you are wondering how to earn a reputation based on credibility in your industry, you have to start with trust. In order to cultivate credibility, you have to build trust, earn it, and maintain it. If people like you, they will trust you and they will be more willing to do business with you. The trust you build with your market is more important than your bottom line.

2. Become an expert: Being competent within your industry means having the ability to analyze a situation and develop several potential solutions. Being confident in your capabilities is important so that others know they can count on you.

3. Consistency: Another important tip regarding how to earn a reputation based on credibility in your industry is related to consistency. Everything that your company states and does should be consistent. The messages that your organization is sending out, the actions that you take as an organization, and the things you allow in your organization should all be in complete and total alignment. In figuring out how to earn a reputation based on credibility in your industry, this should be carefully considered as people do not trust a person or company that “flip flops.” They feel safe with consistency, knowing what to expect, and whom they can rely on.

4. Authenticity: In mapping out how to earn a reputation based on credibility in your industry, you need authenticity. When trying to earn trust, you cannot rely on the “fake it until you make it” approach. This will lead to disaster. The basis for establishing yourself as a leader and your business as a leading organization is a solid foundation that offers others long-lasting stability, no matter what challenges are faced.

5. Sincerity: Being credible equals being sincere. This means that you don’t necessarily say everything that you think, but you do mean everything that you say. True sincerity requires commitment and a willingness to be unmovable and straightforward no matter what.

6. Respect: Truly considering the feelings of others could mean everything to them. Treating others with respect because they deserve it and understanding why that is important is paramount. Respect earns credibility.

7. Accountability: In order to establish credibility, you have to be accountable for your actions and decisions. When making mistakes, it is important to own up to them and correct anything that stands as an error.

8. Loyalty: Credibility is connected to serving and protecting others. When you have the best interests of others in mind, and this is clear, this tends to build loyalty and credibility.

9. Honesty: In figuring out how to earn a reputation based on credibility in your industry, it is extremely important to be honest. Total transparency is a fundamental keystone to business and it is at the core of credibility.

10. Communicate: Communication is at the core of establishing credibility. This means that you need to make sure you are effectively communicating the vision of your business, helping your market to understand what sets you apart from your competition, and helping to carry your brand message through each of your marketing initiatives. This is also important within your organization, in building credibility with your staff and other team leaders.

Earn a Reputation Woman on Laptop
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Credibility Builds Better Business

Credibility as a business leader allows your staff to look at you as a reliable resource for decision-making and information. A leader that is credible has gained the respect of their peers and their staff by displaying positive and strong attributes. Credibility translates into improved employee morale, improved staff performance, and the ultimate success of an organization. Credibility is essential in building relationships within your industry as a business leader and as a brand.

Whether you own a brick-and-mortar shop, a virtual consultancy, or another kind of business, all businesses need to display honesty and credibility in order to gain trust and earn a reputation based on credibility within the industry they are in. Credibility has to be earned. It takes time and consistency to establish it, along with an effort to maintain it, but it is necessary on the ultimate path to success.

Building Credibility with Professional Toll Free Numbers

If there’s one thing that new businesses need when they enter the market place, it is the credibility to attract customers. And there’s no better way to do so than with the help of professional toll free numbers from Global Call Forwarding. In this article, we will explore a number of ways that professional toll free numbers build credibility with customers around the world.

Getting Professional Toll Free Numbers

Think about the last time you contacted a high-level organization, like a government organization, non-profit, or multinational corporation. Or, what about a high-volume business, like law firms and large retailers? Chances are that in each case, those entities offered a toll free number to the public to enable communication that would otherwise be pricey – or impossible.

As you may be aware, toll free numbers help accommodate the broadest audience for your business by picking up the charges that would normally be incurred by the caller. Instead, your business foots the bill to enable all callers to reach your business. By offering this service, your business gains an edge over lesser organizations that demand more out of prospective customers. Even subconsciously, customers immediately appreciate a business that makes it problem-free to contact them.

Geographical Agnosticism

One way to build credibility is to have a national presence instead of being tied down to a specific area code. With toll free numbers, your organization’s toll free numbers help to create something called “geographical agnosticism.” This component enables your business to gain a professional sheen that automatically implies that your organization has the capabilities to handle inbound calls from nearly anywhere.

And because most toll free numbers are national, geographical agnosticism can help obscure where your business is calling from, particularly if it is located in a less-favorable location or one not known to carry the same weight as major cities.

Accommodating International Customers

One particular challenge that comes with offering toll free phone numbers is that international callers are not able to receive these benefits when dialing a phone number located outside of their country and/or numbering plan. Instead, these callers are saddled with long-distance fees, saddled with the chore of dialing outside of their country, and may not be able to complete the call depending on their telecom service providers’ requirements. This can reduce credibility in the eyes of international markets and may render your efforts useless. Is there a better way to guarantee ease of communication?

Yes, there is. Luckily, with the help of Global Call Forwarding’s services, you can use two forms of toll free numbers that help bridge the gap: ITFS numbers and UIFNs (International Toll Free Numbers and Universal International Freephone Numbers, respectively). Both types of toll free numbers enable international callers to reach your business without incurring charges or service blockages. In most cases, these phone numbers match the area code and remaining digits identical to “normal” toll free numbers that those customers are already used to, which is something your international callers will certainly appreciate.

Professional with Toll Free Numbers Customer Service Directory
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Adding Professional Toll Free Numbers Directories to Your Business

Going back to our first example, another component you’ve probably encountered with large, high-volume organizations is first encounters a directory that allows you to self-select which person and/or department you’d wish to speak with, as well as provide information relevant to your inquiry (i.e store hours, frequently asked information, voicemail services, staff list, etc.). One common form of directory available from Global Call Forwarding is called Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which uses spoken voice commands to navigate through your company’s directory, which can reduce the hassle of constantly dialing numbers to navigate (or eventually dialing ‘0’ to reach an operator to guide you, if available).

Global Call Forwarding also offers PBX services, which is short for “Private Branch Exchange.” Essentially, by using a PBX, you can expand one phone number into many sub-directories for callers to reach various departments and staff members, usually by dialing * and the appropriate digits. Callers appreciate this and it helps build professional credibility, particularly when multiple calls need to be made quickly and directly.

Better Functionalities with Add-ons from Global Call Forwarding

Because modern professional toll free phone numbers are powered by cloud computing (supplanting the limitation of landlines), there is a host of new advancements that can be added to regular phone service to augment how your business operates. Let’s cover a brief list of some of the most popular add-ons to build credibility:

CallMe Click: As the name implies, when you use CallMe Click, a visitor to your website can initialize a call from their device to reach your business with a simple click. This makes contacting your business more instantaneous instead of having the customer dial the number manually. This allows for fast action, allowing for almost-instant connection with a customer, and wasting no time.

Time of Day Routing: This add-on enables inbound calls to be routed to a specific destination depending on when a call is placed. For instance, if callers reach your business outside of regular business hours, those calls can be forwarded to another destination, such as a call center in a favorable time zone or voicemail.

Call Recording: This add-on records and stores calls made between your phone number and the public. By using call recording, you can more adequately assess if your staff is following company protocol to establish the best customer service possible and follow best-practices – a crucial component to building credibility.

Why Inspiring Trust and Trusting Others are Important Leadership Skills

To trust others and to inspire trust in others is a top trait to look for when finding a leader for your team. It’s not an easy thing to learn; it is dependent on the ability to stabilize a precarious scale that can easily tip in one direction or another. For example, those that are too trusting can get duped very quickly, and those that don’t trust enough will lose the faith of those around them. Even great leaders have lost the trust of their followers at one time or another. However, the key is to know how to gain that trust back. Continue reading “Why Inspiring Trust and Trusting Others are Important Leadership Skills”

Important Things to Know When Starting A Business

Starting a new business is an exciting venture and a constant learning experience. Undoubtedly, there will be lessons learned and mistakes made along the way. Still, there are rules every new business owner should follow, regardless of their industry.

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Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 – ID#100022150697

Read on to learn five important things to know when starting a business.

You Need A Business Plan

This is first in the list of important things you need to know to start a business because it will be the foundation of your decisions and success. You know you will start a business, but your business plan will give you a specific outline of deadlines you need to hit, financial goals, and advertising strategies.

Some new business owners think a business plan is only necessary for financial support from outside sources, but this isn’t the case. A business plan is an invaluable tool that helps you sort out the big and small details that, if overlooked, could be detrimental to your business. Your business is your passion. Analyzing that passion strategically will pay off financially and strengthen with your branding.

Word Of Mouth Will Always Be Valuable

While various forms of advertisements are effective, word of mouth will never lose its popularity or value. This is one of the most important things to know when starting a business because people trust the word of people they know personally.

We all see up to 5,000 ads daily aimed at influencing our purchasing decisions. This constant exposure to advertisements means that businesses must be creative and show the human side of their brand.

If you use traditional ads, compliment them with behind-the-scenes stories, user-generated content, or vlogs. You could also share customer testimonials to prove the positive impact your business has on customers and in your market.

You Must Evolve With The Market

As a new business owner, you shouldn’t feel compelled to know it all from the start, but it is important to know the basics and to keep up with the ever-changing landscapes of business and technology.

When you’re starting a business, you can’t live in the past. Tactics that worked in 2015 may not be effective today. The business world is fast-paced and marketing strategies are always changing to meet the desires of customers. Research your industry frequently to learn the latest trends works so your business won’t be stagnant or left behind.

Remember these key pointers:

  • Keep your website updated
  • Invest in digital marketing
  • Make sure you have the right tools to keep you and your team organized
  • Use reliable phone services and email to stay in contact with global customers
Pick A Niche You Enjoy

There are numerous reasons to attribute to the fact that 50% of small businesses fail after 5 years. One of those reasons is burnout for solopreneurs. But this burnout doesn’t always occur because there’s too much to do it in too little time.

Burnout sometimes happens when new business owners enter a niche for the money or convenience without enjoying the work. One of the major benefits of owning a business is doing what you love while serving as a valuable resource for customers.

Here’s another important thing to know when starting a business. Is the industry you’re entering personally fulfilling? Before starting your business, take the time to find out what you would love doing every day and dedicate yourself to making that business a reality through your business plan.

Make Things Convenient For Customers

There are many things that can make a business unrelatable, such as confusing messaging, inconsistent branding, or poor customer service. Your business will not be successful if people can’t relate to you.

If your business becomes known for poor customer service, it’s unlikely that you will continue to profit. Avoid this by letting your business be a safe space for customers to express their concerns and issues without hassle or long delays.

Of the most important things to know when starting a business is that having a virtual phone number can give you a competitive edge. A virtual phone number allows you to work from remote locations while retaining full communication with your associates and clientele. Remember: you and your team should be should be knowledgeable and patient to provide solutions that add value for customers.

Also, recall that one of the most important things to know when starting a business is word of mouth marketing. Customers always appreciate quality service and are more likely to give personal referrals. This will help your small business to grow quickly.

Delegate Tasks Accordingly

Scalable solutions are important for every business. Being a new business owner means your business won’t stay the same size as you implement strategic growth methods.

As your business gets bigger, you won’t be able to handle everything without support. Everyone you hire will serve as a representative of your brand. Therefore, it’s imperative to establish a team with the same vision and work ethic.

As we conclude the list of important things to know when starting a business, we recommend automating small, repetitive tasks and allowing trusted staff members to use their innate skill sets to contribute to the company’s success.