A Small Business “Wish List” for Santa
It is difficult to turn on the radio or walk into a store during the winter holiday season and not hear the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” First released in 1934, it became an instant hit with orders for over 100,000 copies of sheet music and 30,000 record sales in the first 24 hours of its release. In addition, the list of artists who have song versions of it over the years is a veritable “Who’s Who.”
Though the origins of making a wish list and mailing it to Santa Claus at the North Pole date back to the 19th century, the song popularized the concept—particularly Santa deeming each child as “naughty” or “nice” and determining what gifts to give them (or “coal” in the case of the “naughty” ones). In preparation of Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve, millions of children around the world prepare a wish list of what they hope Santa will bring them in letters they mail off to the North Pole.
As small businesses reflect on the past year and Santa’s coming visit in a few days, they too may want to prepare and mail their wish list to Santa and his Elves. Knowing small businesses are stretched for time and resources, the team at Davinci Virtual pulled together a list of things that you may want to include in your letter to Santa.
Get More Engaged with Customers
There is probably nothing more important that you can do than to find new ways to engage with your customers. Indeed, engaged customers spend more and have higher margins than other customers. Engaged customers are also much more inclined to become advocates.
- Digital Presence. Small businesses without a digital presence need to get one. Research shows one-quarter of small businesses still have no website. If you don’t have a digital presence—both website and social media—this should be the number one item on your list to Santa. Check out our two-part blog post on “10 Things to Consider When Building and Optimizing Your Website” on how to get started.
- Digital Engagement. A static, informational website is no longer sufficient. Small businesses must engage with website visitors, forming digital connections with them throughout their buying and customer journeys. One way is to leverage real-time personalization to target content offers based on the identity of the visitor—buyer and customer—and/or their behavior. For example, if a visitor is looking at pages and content related to a specific topic or product, then content related to that topic or product should be dynamically offered to the visitor. (Read our blog post, “Personalized Omnichannel Engagement,” for more detail.)
Despite many customers preferring self-service, live digital engagement sometimes is needed. This is where live web chat comes into play. And like content offers, live web chat is much more than a static button; rather, based on the identity and behavior of a website visitor, small businesses proactively extend chat invitations to visitors.
Think your engagement with visitors ends when they leave your website? Think again! With intelligent ad retargeting, small businesses can continue to engage with visitors after they go elsewhere on the web.
- Live Phone Agents. But just as self-service sometimes proves inadequate, so does live web chat. Certain questions and problems—as well as some buyers and customers—want to speak to a live customer service agent. Here, just as with live web chat, professional, subject-matter experts need to be leveraged to deliver memorable customer service experiences over the phone.
Get More Engaged with Employees
A joint report by Harvard Business Review and Achievers found that 71 percent of organizations believe employee engagement is very important to achieving overall organizational success. Yet only 24 percent of those respondents say their employees are highly engaged.
Business results speak volumes at the same time. An in-depth study by Gallup discovered that organizations in the top quartile outperform those in the bottom quartile in a number of areas:
- 10% better customer ratings
- 22% high profitability
- 21% in productivity
- 65% better in low staff turnover
- 37% lower absenteeism
- 41% fewer quality defects
- 48% fewer safety incidents
Engaged employees are also much more likely to advocate on behalf of a company, and this translates into tangible business returns. So what should a small business include on its wish-list to Santa when it comes to employee engagement? Below are a few, though certainly not the only, ideas:
- Communications and Transparency. Davinci Virtual believes strongly in the importance of communicating goals, strategies, and business outcomes to employees. As part of that process, we provide business transparency to our entire team; they know how well—or not—we’re doing as a company and how their work is playing a role. But unfortunately this is not the case in a majority of instances: only about 40 percent of employees know about their organizational goals and tactics. As a result, if your employees are in the 60 percentile who do not know, make sure you have communications and transparency on your list for Santa.
- Social Media. Amplify your content, activities, and promotions by getting your employees to retweet and post them on their own personal social channels. Simply asking them to do so isn’t sufficient. Instead, you need to institute a strategy and implement a basic workflow process when you publish social media posts. And for organizations seeking to streamline the process and make it fun through gamification and leaderboards, there are some employee engagement technology solutions that are relatively easy to implement and manage. What better than to include one of those on Santa’s list.
- Face Time. Make sure your team has valuable face time together, whether team-building exercises, quarterly offsite meetings, or project post mortems (celebration and learnings). In particular, if your team is virtual or you lack an adequate space to host face-time interactions, include a virtual office location on your list to Santa.
- Empower Innovation. Employees need the freedom to experiment and innovate. This drives greater staff engagement and productivity in addition to new business ideas and initiatives.
- Career Development. Too many businesses often make the mistake of thinking that compensation and training are the principle lynchpins in career development. While they are undeniably important, they are not the end-all solution when it comes to employee engagement. Social connections and aligning work experiences with employee cultural needs and areas of interest are just as important, if not more so.
We’ve certainly found this to be true at Davinci Virtual. Corporate responsibility has always been an important priority for us, and we allow our employees to determine what activities and organizations we support. In addition, we’ve made being a customer service agent fun, enabling agents to graduate to higher levels that include expanded scope and responsibilities and eventually ascend to the level of what we call a “Super Agent.”
Get More Productive
Every business aspires to achieve greater productivity. For small businesses that are constrained for time and resources, outsourcing certain tasks and functions can make a big difference. Suddenly, rather than fielding customer service calls and emails or performing rudimentary administrative functions, small business leaders can focus on building their businesses.
Our Live Receptionist teams were created with this in mind. The following are a few of the things small businesses can include on their list to Santa:
- Call Forwarding and Screening
- Voicemail Management
- Appointment Scheduling
- Outbound Calling
- Advanced Call Routing
- Order Processing and Customer Care
- Administrative Tasks and Work
- Auto Receptionist
- Online Faxing
To understand the ROI of Live Receptionists, check out our ROI Calculator. And when you need a virtual office to host a team, partner, or customer meeting or a day-office when you need to work from a physical location, simply reserve one of our more than 4,000 meeting spaces in over 1,000 locations.
Need Help Writing Your Letter to Santa?
Running a small business is not an easy undertaking, and your list to Santa might be quite long.
If you find that you need some help while writing your letter to Santa, just let us know. You can call us, email us, or chat with us. After all, all three are much faster than mailing a letter to the North Pole.