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Maintaining Communications with Your Prospects and Clients While You’re Traveling

Going on Vacation or Traveling This Summer?

Forty percent of solopreneurs and small business owners indicate they take 16-plus days of vacation every year, and this doesn’t factor in the weeks or months that you spend on the road meeting with prospects and clients.

So, as you get ready to depart on a vacation or go on another business trip this summer, the question is who looks after your business? Even if you’re one of the 40 percent of professionals who say you’re “always-on,” the reality is that you’re not available 24/7.

At the heart of your business are your clients and prospects; they don’t shut down and go on vacation when you do or get on the same planes and attend the same meetings as you.

Hiring more staff isn’t necessarily always the answer. More headcount costs more money, and not every business can afford to do so. This certainly makes a lot of sense with revenues for solopreneurs and small business static or even decreasing. Working more hours isn’t an option for most. Ninety-seven percent of small business leaders work weekends; almost half work 50-plus hours, with 19 percent reporting 60-plus hours a week.

Outsourcing Tasks and Functions

There is an alternative; Growing numbers of business leaders recognize the value in strategic outsourcing, bringing in experts who are more efficient and effective at a particular task of business function. In some cases, outsourcing may even be cheaper. Fifty-five percent of small business report some level of outsourcing today. The other 44 percent delineate a list of reasons why they are unlikely or very unlikely to outsource any tasks or business function.

So back to the original question: how do you manage communications—digital, email, and phone—with clients and prospects when you’re traveling—whether for business or leisure? For many businesses, this may be a broader issue than when you’re traveling. Prospect and client engagement may be problematic whether your traveling or in the office.

Missed Customer Engagement

Research shows that an astonishing 60 percent of callers will abandon a call in less than one minute. One-third will not call back again. The same is true when it comes to digital engagement. Forty-one percent of customers who submit an email for support expect a response in less than six hours. Visitors to your website will leave within an average of 76 seconds if they cannot find what they need or get their question answered.

This data should be quite concerning, not only when you’re traveling but when you’re in the office. It also provides you with a solid business case for looking at outsourcing options.

Strategic, Targeted Outsourcing to Davinci

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions launched Live Receptionist, Auto Receptionist, and Live Web Chat services to provide businesses with the means to outsource these functions—when traveling and when not traveling.

Live Receptionist services provides customers with a dedicated team of sales and services agents who are experts on your business and able to route and answer inbound calls and emails, quickly and effectively. Call workflows, which extend to Davinci Auto Receptionist, route inbound callers to the right voicemail or person in your organization.

Davinci Live Web Chat changes the dynamics of digital engagement on your website. Whether you’re selling merchandise on your website or simply using it for lead generation, the ability to engage proactively with each visitor based on their identity and behavior is critical. Davinci’s Live Web Chat service uses predictive analytics to determine which visitor needs assistance and when.

In addition to all of the above, Davinci’s various communications services are fully integrated. This is particularly important considering the fact that 95 percent of customers use more than one channel to communicate with companies. Eighty-seven percent note that an integrated experience across all of these engagement channels is important.

There is no reason to risk missing that important prospect call, making clients and prospects countless hours waiting on hold or waiting days for a response they had to a question. Get Davinci Live Receptionist, Auto Receptionist, and/or Live Web Chat and ensure that your customers have optimal, fully integrated engagement experiences, irrespective of the channel they use and whether you’re on vacation, on the road, or back home in your office.

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How Live Receptionists Can Help You Unwind on Your Summer Vacation

If you are like most small business owners, you are working more and vacationing less. In fact, you feel like you’ve got far too much to do in a day to take a day off.

A Sage North America survey reveals 37 percent of small business owners are working an extra 11 hours or more a week than they did before the Great Recession. Sixty-eight percent are working longer days and weekends too. And 43 percent said they have taken “significantly” or “somewhat” less downtime over the past three years.

Sound familiar? You may reason to yourself, “Who will hold down the fort while I’m gone? Who will answer the phone lines to deal with new business inquiries or customer service calls? How can I rest well knowing the phones are ringing and nobody is answering?”

You can take vacation—you can take your much-needed downtime—without leaving your phone ringing off the hook or sending callers to a lifeless voicemail. You can tap into Virtual Receptionist services, also called Live Receptionists, while you are unplugged.

You can temporarily opt for a Live Receptionist service while you take some deserved days off. In other words, you don’t have to get tied down to a virtual receptionist service full time just to get some downtime. You can keep your well-oiled machine running and put the call-answering hat back on when you’re refreshed and ready to run again.

Although Live Receptionists have been in the market for many years, many small business owners don’t consider this solution. There are misconceptions around virtual receptionists. For example, a Live Receptionist answers calls—but that’s not all a virtual receptionist does.

When you hire a Live Receptionist to cover you during your vacation, they can take on varied administrative tasks to keep your business rolling forward. A Live Receptionist can offer your business hours, answer questions about what you offer, make sales calls, take product orders and handle any number of other customer service functions in the interim.

Backed by technology, Live Receptionist services can offer up data that helps you better understand how your business is performing. You can, for example, access a report that offers details about incoming call history. You may recognize patterns in this data that helps you grow your business.

The data you now have access to can show you the draw of various promotions you’ve pushed out through e-mail or social media or some other marketing campaign. Let’s say before you go on vacation you did some Facebook advertising for a summer special on your service that is redeemable the week you get back. The Live Receptionist can help you capture and process those leads so you can hit the ground running when you return to the office.

Live Receptionists can be a godsend if you want to rest peacefully on your vacation. And, who knows, you might find that it’s a virtual office technology you want to keep using.

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Davinci Live Receptionist vs. an In-House Receptionist [Infographic]

Davinci Virtual Receptionist Services is proud to present this infographic guide that compares the savings you get with a Davinci Live Receptionist.

Contact Davinci Receptionist Services to learn more about what a virtual receptionist can do for you today.

Please share our infographic using the image below:

Davinci vs In-House Receptionist

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How Would Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Use Virtual Offices?

As they battle for the Oval Office, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are working on planes, trains and automobiles—and likely using virtual office technologies of one sort or another to keep up with a grueling schedule.

When Donald Trump gave the Wall Street Journal a tour of his office in the Trump Tower in Manhattan, he had all sorts of memorabilia stacked up on cabinets—and all sorts of folders stacked up on his desk. He even had the chair from The Apprentice in the corner. These days, however, he spends more time standing in front of a podium than he does sitting in a chair.

Trump has a view of New York city from his offices—but he’s getting a view of the fruited planes as he travels across the nation on the campaign trail. I imagine that Donald is making impromptu stops at meeting rooms, tapping into an online command center, leveraging unified messaging and more to run his business while simultaneously running his presidential campaign. If he’s not, he should be using virtual office technologies to drive greater productivity.

With her jam-packed schedule, Hillary could use a virtual office assistant or a live receptionist to field calls, book appointments, arrange gifts to be sent to loved ones, and more.. She could whip out the smartphone she’s so often seen toting in photographs and use a mobile GPS apps to find a meeting room space wherever she is stumping on any given day.

Hillary and Trump could get creative and hold a debate using virtual meetings technologies—making history in the process. Trump has already declined to show under the bright lights of the television media in the past. A virtual meeting would give him the ultimate control. He could just click a mouse and shut down the debate if he didn’t like it. Hillary could mute her line if she started coughing, skirting speculation that she has some strange illness.

If they want to keep up with the campaign news, Hillary and the Donald can download a variety of mobile apps on their phone. Hillary might especially enjoy the Trump Wall, a parody app about Donald Trump that emerged as a big hit. She’s probably also a fan of the #ImWithHer app that helps Clinton supporters connect and take daily grassroots action.

The point is, technology and alternative workspace—from virtual offices to live receptionists to meeting rooms to productivity apps—are a key part of the 2016 presidential election. And you can be sure that Trump and Clinton will leverage any advantage they can get in what looks to be a hard-hitting campaign on both sides.

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5 Tips for Boosting Your Profits as an Entrepreneur

Building motivation to increase your profits sounds easy, but in actuality self-motivation can be extraordinarily difficult. However, being motivated is a key aspect of improving your personal gains. Here are a few ways you can get started.

1. Eliminate Excuses

You may feel your business is one of a kind or you don’t have any strong competition. These concepts are a way for you to feel comfortable working less or reassure yourself that you can succeed regardless of effort.

Convincing yourself of these things is detrimental to both self-motivation and profit increase. You should behave competitively and as though you need to fight to stand out. Competition is one of the best motivators for any entrepreneur.

2. Cut Struggling Products or Services

If there is an aspect of your business that isn’t creating the revenue you’d like to see, cut it. When the business is more successful, you might try the service again. For now, there is no reason to maintain an unprofitable aspect of your business.

This is an easy thing to motivate yourself to do as it means less work for you. For example, if you sell jewelry and your earrings aren’t quite flying off the shelves, stop making them. Less work for you, better profits for your business.

3. Use a “Middleman” Service

In the age of the internet, it is all too easy to find a cheap or even free service to advertise yourself to a wider audience. Find a site specifically geared toward your line of work and create a profile. For example, Redfin is a site where local real estate agents can interact with local homebuyers and sellers. If you work as a freelancer, Upwork is a great source to finding short and long-term opportunities. No matter what your business entails, there is a site out there for you. As the business grows, this aspect can be cut out to further improve profits.

4. Get a Good Accountant

Though accountants can cost a pretty penny, the amount they can save you in the long run is worth it. Not only can they help you with the more technical documents and legalities, but they can also aid you in streamlining your business.

A good accountant can identify where money is being wasted or overlooked, making your business more efficient and more profitable. Sometimes, you need to spend money to make money.

5. Go through the Proper Channels

When starting out, it can be easy and tempting to cut corners. However, it’s extremely important that you start your business using the correct methods and abiding by applicable laws. If necessary, hire a lawyer to ensure you stay on the correct path. This way, your focus can be on your clients and career rather than the fine print.

It may also be beneficial to seek out the advice of experienced entrepreneurs at small business events. These events can be a fun way to feel out the competition and compare notes with others in your position.

Starting a business is risky and finding ways to keep it afloat can be even more challenging. Keeping yourself motivated through the hard times is one of the most difficult aspects of growing a business, but when you break the key components down, increasing profits doesn’t need to be hard. If you tackle the problems step by step, you will feel less overwhelmed and more satisfied with yourself and your business.

Image via Pixabay by Tumisu
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