With rapid development in technology, comes rapid improvement in efficiency… right?
It’s very easy to find new technology to enhance your answering service capabilities; from new phone systems, to new call handling software, there are countless ways to upgrade your business. But what is often left behind is adequate and consistent training.
We might be getting ever closer to technology working on its own, but for now, it’s up to us. We need to be in a constant state of learning if we’re going to get the most out of the tools we willingly pay for and use on a daily basis.
How often do you use a Microsoft Office application (e.g. Word/Outlook/Excel) and aimlessly look around the options menu trying to locate a specific setting, only to find yourself completely lost in the weeds? Or how often do you have to repeat the same lengthy process to apply your company letterhead and styling to a document, or breakdown your pricing in a frequently used table?
Most of these tasks can be streamlined saving you minutes every day, hours every month, adding up to days every year (per staff member!) – without even mentioning the time wasted correcting errors from doing things manually…
Time is money and you need to claim it back.
It would be foolish of me to assume what kind of training is required in your business to improve your processes, but I’m positive there are dozens of things you and your colleagues do every day that are time-wasters. The good news is there are tools, functions and settings hidden deep within your currently used tech that will dramatically assist your daily routines.
What can you do about it?
Assign specific applications or devices to individuals in your team and ask them to look up some tips and tricks (Google and YouTube are good places to start), join the relevant mailing list for useful info and updates, and devise an action plan to apply these improvements across your business and speed up the mundane tasks everyone completes on a regular basis.
A few examples:
- Use macros to save time typing out frequently used info
Use abbreviations for email addresses (e.g. [employee initials]email), phone numbers (e.g. support#), addresses (e.g. regaddr), instructions (e.g. payhelp). And setup a macro in Word (or similar) to quickly apply your company styling/formatting to a document. Then simply print out a cheat-sheet with a list of abbreviates and macros.
- Set triggers for automated response emails.
Configure a trigger to send an email outlining your payment instructions: if an email arrives to info@ inbox containing the phrase ‘how to pay’, reply with [insert name of template].
- Use APIs to streamline how information is inserted into your various programs.
Automatically enter new or updated information into your CRM or billing software by having your website contact form automatically create a new contact entry in Salesforce (or similar).
- Use social media schedulers to save time manually sending new posts.
Pre-plan a week/month’s worth of posts by using Hootsuite (or similar) to send out the same post across all of your social accounts every day at a specified time.
- Use automated file syncing to cloud storage services.
Automatically copy a frequently used spreadsheet to a hosted storage service (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox etc.) every hour of every day.
These are just suggestions, but I guarantee there are numerous ways to optimise your use of technology. And don’t let certain individuals become the gatekeepers of your systems; ensure knowledge is shared across your team so that you are not relying on a single person to fix problems as and when they arise.
To get the most out of nCall be sure to sign up to nCall NEWS, and regularly check out the nCall Help file for the latest hints and tips. You might also find some useful insight from other users in the nCall User Group forum.