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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Must have communication tools for Startups


We have seen a lot of action in the business communications space off-late, whether Internal or External – with customers. In the case of internal communications, gone are the days of sending emails for every file – Google drive, Drop box and many more alternatives have made life easy for collaborative work. Even the internal communications space has transformed with the advent of services like Slack & others.
What got me started with this blog was the idea to create a tool kit for startups to ease communications with their customers/consumers.

How should startups handle external communication?
  • Priority 1 - All customer queries to the business are handled, irrespective of the channel being used
  • Priority 2 – All customer queries are handled in a timely manner
  • Priority 3 – All customer queries are handled in a professional manner, directly impacting customer experience
First step is to identify the preferred medium of communication of your customers/consumers. The popular channels that customers use & how should one handle the, are listed below.

 Customers “Call” you


Basics – It’s a Must to capture ALL calls, whether answered or unanswered – who called, when did they call, what did they talk – all in a professional manner.
Best practices – Create alerts for all unanswered calls & record all conversations. In a startup phase it’s critical to “Not miss a call” and also know what the customers are saying.

Customers give you a “Missed call”
Basics – This is typically used to avail standard information readily available in the customer database.
Best practices – Log all such calls in the customer database & choose a platform which can handle a surge in calls, possible linked with a promotional activity.

Customers “Email” you

Basics – Provide a timely response and be able to store this emails in a customer database.
Best practices – Communicating a resolution time and adhering to it. Depending on the type of email, specific to a support center, immediate response might be critical.
Most CRMs have this functionality built-in and easy to setup.

Customers “Chat” with you on your website or Facebook 

Basics – Provide a timely response and be able to store the interaction in a customer database.
Best practices – A fast response & ability handle multiple chats without delay
Note – the trend of directing customers to Live chats whether on website or facebook is increasing. 
Even traditional businesses, like Tommy Hilfiger, are adopting such platforms to reach out to their customers - Tommy Hilfiger

They ping you on “Social media”
Basics – Provide a timely response and be able to store the interaction in a customer database.
Best practices – Similar to chat and hence a fast response
Most CRMs have this functionality built-in and easy to setup.

Tool for pre-scheduled web meetings with customers
While the above mentioned priorities are for customer queries, there are scenarios of pre-scheduled web meetings also. Here again, the right set of tools needs to be used. While Google hangouts, Skype are freely available web meeting options, their quality is highly dependent on the quality of internet and often perform poorly while showcasing your product. Not being able to showcase your product rightly adds to the woes compounded with a lack of a physical meeting. Since our product Cloud agent needs to be showcased over a web meeting primarily, we rely on Webex, Gotomeeting and Joinme.
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Ozonetel systems(ozonetel.com) is India’s only full stack cloud communication platform. A Deloitte fast 50 technology company, we cater to the Contact center needs of over 1000 enterprise customers in India - HDFC Life, RCom, WIPRO, GE, Shaadi, Agarwal packers, United spirits, BNP Paribas, DHFL PR America, just to name a few. 



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