There are two main ways, utilizing technology, that a small business can project a big-business image. A dynamic and professional website, and a dynamic cutting-edge phone system. These two can compliment each other and are often used in conjunction as marketing, customer service and revenue generation tools.
As a marketing tool it's obvious what a website can accomplish. It states for all to see what the business does and other promotional items. A phone system can be the second part of that marketing campaign. A customer who calls the business, as a follow up from the website, is already under a good impression. This positive feeling can be built upon with an advanced PBX (phone system). A multi-level menu system, with a professional-sounding voice, can greet the potential customer. The menu can be divided by departments. For a small business this can be valuable by giving the impression that there really are departments! The Sales, Technical Support and Customer Service departments can all be going to the same person. When a person is waiting on hold, or is being routed through the system, they can hear music or a recording about the business and what they do.
As a customer service tool a website can inform a customer on the different policies of the company. It can have technical support questions and answers. Contact can be initiated through the website via email, contact forms, instant messaging or web-VoIP (Voice over IP) calling. An advanced phone system can be setup to route calls based on priority or caller-id to the appropriate individuals. For example, if a small company of eight people lands a large account they will try extra hard to please this client. The phone system can be setup so that when the large client's caller-id, or a group of caller-ids if the company has multiple numbers, comes up it will be routed to the owner/manager. After business hours it can be routed to a special number. Losing a client has never been harder.
As a revenue generation tool a website can have a store. It can do lead generation by offering information or demos of your product which would require the customer to fill out a form. A sales associate would be able to follow up on these leads to convert them to sales. A phone system can be setup to make appointments for a service business. It can also be used to call past customers as a reminder for further service. The system can route calls to a salesman on the road to close a sale. No one even needs to be in the office, as the system will route the calls appropriately.
This is a small sample of how a website and an advanced phone system can make Sam's Discount Drug Store look like Walgreens.
Cy Yablonsky is a realtor associate at Othello Realty, www.OthelloRealty.com. Cy has an extensive background in technology and communications and applies that to the real estate market. Feel free to reprint this article as long as all links stay live and no changes are made.