Solopreneur: Customer Service and the New Way to Start-Up

 

Life as a solopreneur can be a breeze!

Your phone alarm beeps and you wake up at the crack of dawn.

You head to the kitchen to put a pot of coffee on to brew. Surveying the fridge, you wish you had just a bit more time to catch some zzz’s.

Breakfast in tow, you sit down to check your schedule for the day: Industry research, appointments, meetings with investors… (and at this point in the process for a solopreneur, everything feels like it’s live or die!)

You ask yourself: How do you build a brand with the prowess of a successful company when you’re starting out as one-person show?

And what does it take to harness the customer service to make your name stick, all while attending to the many needs of an up and coming company? It’s not easy to be superhuman, with only so many hours in the day!

Here’s the truth: You love your business, but the endless to-do lists sometimes make your head spin.

That’s okay. Another cup of coffee might help you. But maybe, just maybe, there’s another way.

After all, polishing your presentation to get in league with the big dogs as a solopreneur takes work.

Fear not! We’ve got a few insights that can give you a running start.

Use Tools and Tech to Work Smarter

Though your company might seem incomparable to bigger businesses, your technology helps level the playing field.

But how?

Well, it’s all about the infrastructure. After all, you’ve already got the goods (a great product or service). As a solopreneur, your offering might even be yourself! The next step is building processes to serve as the foundation of your customer service.

Ask yourself:

  1. Are your customers able to get in touch?
  2. Does a friendly voice answer your phone?
  3. How quickly and efficiently are you meeting their needs?

During our time as a start up, Ruby quickly learned that we cannot deliver on the apex of customer service (making personal connections) without mastering the basics. In response, we developed The Ruby Service Pyramid as a road map to striking the delicate balance between people and process.

Proper infrastructure creates better experiences. Even as a solopreneur, by investing in tools that enable you to work better and faster, you’re well on your way to fostering a little happiness.

And giving that coveted above-and-beyond customer service (that leads to referrals!), puts your business a cut above the rest.

Mastering Your Touch Points

Just like an interview or a first date, your potential customers are sizing you up from the moment you meet. From the tone in your voicemail to the look of your website, your customers get to know you from the way you present or display your business. Each touch point counts!

More than anything, the phone call is what wins business. So when a customer calls, giving them an exceptional experience starting from the first “hello” can keep them calling…and buying!

Here are a few flawless phone answering tips that you’ll be wanting up your sleeves…

  1. Greet your callers graciously
  2. Mind your manners (your p’s and q’s)
  3. Deflect with style
  4. Avoid dead ends
  5. Keep calm and carry on!

Curious? Get the full scoop here.

So, whether it means starting a blog, personalizing your invoices, or sending a handwritten note, take the time to make the extra effort. No opportunity to impress is too small or insignificant. Every step along the buyer journey is a chance for your customers to fall in (or out of) love with your business. Be sure to keep them swooning.

Hint: maximize your impact through accessibility. When your website shows up on the first search, and your emails include a click-to-call phone number, they don’t have to take that extra step to get in touch. Make it easy to connect!

Grow In Grace

Once you’ve got the building blocks lined up and business begins to flourish, don’t lose momentum.

More business=busyness—and when calls are coming in and you’ve got work to be done, the growing pains can be real.

Kind of like where you are, right this moment: schedule jam-packed, to-do list ever-long, still waiting for the coffee to kick in.

The good news? You don’t have to go it alone. If you have the cash flow, bringing on an employee can be a great way to increase productivity, as well as your customer service offering.

But…that isn’t your only option. If you don’t have the extra wiggle room in your budget for a full or part-time hire (or simply don’t want to complicate your business by adding another person to payroll), going virtual is an excellent solution.

What does it mean?

A (good) virtual receptionist service fills the customer experience gap that so often gets missed by a hustling business owner. There to answer your phones when you can’t, a team of live, remote professionals gives your company a polished, established appearance, while building trust with every answered call. At Ruby, we take messages, answer and transfer, make outbound calls, collect intake, and more (just like an in-house hire, but like…waaaaay less expensive).

Our mobile app is pretty cool, too. You can change your call-handling instructions on the fly, view messages, and all call activity. We can *also* give you a local number so you can choose to use your personal or local business number when making a call. BOOM. Two lines, one phone. No more giving out your personal phone number to customers or juggling two separate devices.

Whether you’re just starting out or find yourself uncomfortable in the midst of a growth spurt, Ruby can help. With our small business roots, we know what it can take to ramp up business, and keep it booming. From the solopreneur still working a day job, trying to get their dreams to take flight to the more established, tenured business owner needing just a little extra help, we see you. Ruby’s got you covered.

Plus, we grow (and go) with you.

 

Happy callers turn into customers, and happy customers bring in referrals. With the proper tools, a little mindfulness, and some customer service skills, you’ll be bringing in steady business in no time.

You’ve got what it takes to bring your vision to life, but if you need it, we are…

Here to help!

 

 

 

 

 

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