The economy is on everyone’s lips these days. We’ve all noticed the rising prices at the pump and the grocery store, but business owners are particularly concerned about what the coming year might hold. The Federal Reserve aims to make borrowing more expensive with the most significant interest hike in 30 years. It has many people wondering: are we headed for a recession?
While it’s impossible to know exactly how current inflationary conditions might impact the larger economy, our nation may indeed be on the brink of economic decline. Slowdowns in production, rising unemployment rates, and the tightening of belts across the country are certainly worrisome. If you’re a business owner eager to take action now to protect your company, a virtual receptionist could be the key to weathering the storm ahead.
How to Survive a Recession
Lean times call for lean business practices. Cutting down on operating expenses and staffing costs is often the first strategy business owners employ to keep their heads above water. Many act before they have to – being proactive is key in learning how to survive a recession. The cost of wages tends to be the most expensive item for any business. By operating with a skeleton crew, organizations can protect their profit margins.
Too often, though, when businesses lay off workers, the customer experience suffers. Longer wait times, slower response times, and insufficient customer support are all symptoms of such lean staffing strategies. The good news is that virtual receptionists can keep costs down while ensuring that there’s no gap in the kind of customer service being offered. They can take over many of the most mundane aspects of your day, ensuring that you’re present for your colleagues and customers.
Maintain a Consistent Presence
During a recession, business owners aim to operate as leanly as possible. Many assume that slashing hours is one way to cut expenses. While this may indeed save some cash upfront, limiting your hours may send confusing messages to customers. It may frustrate customers who call your business, only to find that there’s nobody available to chat. This is another way that a virtual receptionist service can prove essential during a recession. In lieu of closing up early altogether, consider limiting your service offerings to the telephone. Virtual receptionists can work around the clock to maintain a consistent presence for callers. Even if they can’t visit your storefront as they once did, customers will appreciate your availability.
Reinforce Your Image
Learning how to survive a recession often comes down to perception. If your customer base believes your products and services are the same great quality they’ve always been, they’ll be more likely to weather the tough economic storm with you. This is true even if you have to make sacrifices in staffing or output. A virtual receptionist serves as the voice of your business. With every phone call they answer, they send a clear message to callers. Their mere presence on the end of the line signals to callers that you’re open for business and successful enough to keep the midnight oil burning. This continuity of customer service is often enough to reassure callers that you’re not going anywhere.
Grow Your Customer Base
Though people are less likely to have spare cash to spend during a recession, that doesn’t mean growth is impossible. Instead, potential customers may be wary about how to make the best use of the cash they have. By maintaining high quality customer experiences, you can assuage these concerns and encourage people to choose your business over another. Doing so is easier said than done, of course, but a virtual receptionist can help you navigate the challenges ahead. They’ll maintain a consistent presence to answer questions, address concerns, and forward on the most important leads to you directly. Not all leads are viable, and a quality virtual receptionist can bypass the time wasters and ensure you’re only spending your time courting the most valuable leads.
Take the Pressure Off Your Team
Employees are just as worried about how to survive a recession as business owners. Unemployment rates often skyrocket during recessionary periods, leaving hard working Americans desperate for work. Your team may be feeling the heat, especially if you’re hoping to accomplish more with a skeleton crew. A virtual receptionist can prove to be an invaluable member of the team. As you assign employees new duties, consider taking some administrative tasks off their plate and letting a virtual receptionist take the pressure off them. While employees tackle their new tasks, virtual receptionist services can ensure there’s always someone available to answer the phone. Restructuring may take some getting used to, but outsourcing your calls may indeed be the best way to support a lean team.
Turn Coverage On and Off As Needed
As you’re shopping around for a virtual receptionist who can support your goals during a recession, it’s important to keep your priorities in mind. A remote receptionist service should be flexible, especially if your industry is prone to busy periods. Ideally, you’ll want to partner with a service that offers you the chance to turn coverage on and off as needed. This will allow you to save cash on the slow days – you’re not paying anyone to wait around for the phone to ring. At MAP Communications, you only pay for the time we actively spend on the phone with your callers. Turn on coverage during your busy periods and then turn it back off once things slow down again. This flexibility can save you serious cash in the long run.
Try MAP Today for Free
Nobody knows what the coming months might have in store. By taking action now, you can guard against the very worst effects of the pending recession. While you might not have all the answers as to how to survive a recession at the moment, beefing up your customer experience is always a good idea. Sign up for a free trial of our live answering service – it’s a great way to preview our offerings with zero obligation.