As a consultant you’re often tight on time.
You have clients to deal with, projects to work on, marketing to do …and the list goes on.
One area that consultants should give more consideration to is outsourcing. You can outsource a whole host of areas of your business, but let’s just look at one today – your telephone communications.
When you first hear the word call center you probably think of a big open office floor with hundreds of cubicles and phones ringing off the hook … a buzz of men and women quick talking to take an order or to provide support filling the air.
Valuable in More Than One Way
Today however, call center services go way beyond this and as a consultant can help you in more than one area of your business.
Here are just a few examples:
• You’ll be out at meetings or on the road all day … call centers generally offer an answering service and can receive your calls for you and forward them to your mobile phone if and when needed.
• You’re putting on a seminar or have created an information product you want to sell – of course you’ll have registration online, but many people still prefer calling in – this is a perfect job for a call center to help you with.
• Your business is growing, and while you’re not quite ready to hire a full time assistant you do want and need someone answering your day to day calls … call centers often have receptionist services that can help you with all of that and more.
• And there’s a whole other angle to this too. Call centers can be useful for your client projects. When you want to conduct a survey or some research … call centers can help you get that data by making those calls for you.
Choosing the Right Provider
The hosted call center market is a crowded one and you’ll find all kinds of companies offering a wide array of services. Before you choose one to work with be sure that they clearly understand your goals, are open to doing an initial project like a trial so you can see if you like the working arrangements, and be sure take a look at their client list (and don’t be afraid to give one or two a call to get the whole story).
Virtual Call Center Strategy to Find New Clients
Let me share with you another way that all of this can help you to bring in new clients. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big believer in edu-marketing – that is marketing through educating prospective clients and not bombarding them with hardcore sales messages.
A classic edu-marketing strategy is to offer a free video or report on your website, in your marketing materials, ads and so forth. By giving your prospects the option to call a 24/7 voice mail system that automatically collects their name and contact info they feel better because they know they won’t be ‘pushed to buy’ and are then more likely to request your information … which is great for you because the more people that see your materials and the value in what you offer the better.
Hope you enjoyed this look into how you can make call center software work for your consulting business. We’ll continue to look at other ways you can outsource aspects of your business for growth in future posts.
If you’ve used call center services and have a story (good or bad) to share, would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Check out also for Small Business VoIP