How to Protect Your Customer Service from Staff Shortages

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The U.S. is plagued by staff shortages. The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ is in full swing and impacting small businesses in multiple ways.

Research from the National Federation of Independent Business (October 2021) found that 51% of small businesses had job openings they were unable to fill, while 92% had received few or no qualified applicants for available roles.

The problem is this shortage might not be short-lived.

It may be part of a historic shift relating to a mismatch between available roles and workers’ skills, which is creating long-term structural and worker-driven changes.

One thing we do know is that persistent staffing shortages hampers business growth. That’s why it pays to put measures in place to alleviate any negative fallout this ‘shortage’ is likely to have on your small business.

This may include automating roles, re-skilling existing workers, raising salaries, improving compensation to attract new workers (or bring back ‘boomerang’ employees who previously left), and outsourcing roles to flexible service providers or freelance workers.

Protect Your Customer Service Standards

Having invested time, effort, and money into building your brand credibility and reputation, one area of business that’s well worth protecting is your customer service response. After all, you certainly don’t want to let staff shortages ruin the relationships you have built with valuable clients, suppliers, investors, and brand ambassadors.

Good news is, even if this part of your business is affected by staff shortages, there are several options available to you.

One of them is a remote live receptionist service, which is a flexible offering that can be utilized as a short-term measure, or as part of a longer-term customer service response strategy.

These fully trained customer service professionals take care of incoming calls, customer enquiries, and calendar management on your company’s behalf.

Why is this important? Because if a customer takes the time to call, it means they want to talk to a human being; being greeted by an automated message can leave clients feeling dissatisfied and under-valued. With a remote receptionist service, even if your team is busy with other priorities, having a friendly, professional voice greet callers is a surefire way to build loyalty and protect your company’s credibility.

There is the added benefit of ensuring that calls and service-related tasks don’t fall on (and distract) other members of staff, especially if they’re not trained for the job.

What’s more, by choosing a flexible service you only pay for the time you need — which means your small business won’t need to pay the equivalent of a full-time receptionist’s salary.

For example, a Live Receptionist service from our partner, Alliance Virtual Offices, starts from just $95 per month.

This base-level plan includes 50 minutes of live call answering and appointment scheduling from a team of U.S.-based professional receptionists. If you need more, you can increase the number of minutes or customize the plan to better fit your requirements.

It’s a flexible and reliable way to ensure calls and enquiries are handled efficiently, leaving you and other members of your team to focus on other business priorities.

Whether your business is weathering, or suffering, from current staff shortages, it pays to consider the solutions available to you. Far from a ‘quick fix’, outsourcing your requirements to a flexible service provider could provide the right solution that enables your business to free up resources, operate more flexibly, and achieve sustainable growth in 2022.

Find out more about Alliance’s flexible and cost-effective Live Receptionist service and chat with a member of the team online at www.alliancevirtualoffices.com/live-receptionist

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