There can be few journeys in life as challenging as starting up your own business. It comes with a lot of promises, such as freedom and improved work-life balance. It also comes with a lot of rewards. The feeling of being in control of your own destiny, master of your own fate. No more clock-punching, working at something you dislike, or feeling unrewarded for what you do.

There are also a lot of things to worry about. Starting up a business can be daunting. Building the relationships you need with accountants and suppliers. Setting up an office. Becoming familiar with the law, with HR, with Health & Safety policies.

Then there’s Marketing and Branding of your company to worry about. Even choosing the right name can be problematic. Do you choose something generic, to appeal to the mainstream, or something personal and original, to stand out from the crowd?

We don’t pretend to know all the right answers to these things. Possibly there aren’t any. But there is something we can help with – providing an appropriate telecoms set up.

To see how this can help, we need to stop a minute and delve a little into psychology, in particular how a person actually perceives things. Any new company, in fact any company at all, relies heavily on customer perception.

It is possible to manage this. You have probably observed this right in front of you. Think about the last time you went to a nice hotel or restaurant. Compare it to the last time you went to a cafe, or bed & breakfast. The nice hotel is projecting an image that you expect to see. This is to place (or ‘position’) them at the desirable, luxury, end of the market.

To position your brand as a quality, trustworthy name people can rely on is a target most business people aim for, and the quality of your telecoms system is no less important than the quality of your product.

It is as important as cleanliness and tidiness if you run a shop, or keeping the front of house clean if you run a hotel. There’s a good reason why up-market establishments invest so heavily in appearance. Imagine checking in to the nice hotel, and noticing an unsightly brown stain on the floor in front of the check-in desk. You would certainly feel a bit disappointed, and would probably mention it when reviewing the place and discussing your stay with friends. There is a reason a place like this invests time and money into keeping the reception area clean, tidy and well-appointed with good fixtures and fittings. As the saying goes – “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”.

Your company’s customers are just as prone to ‘Perception Bias’ as you are when you are in the role of customer.

Paying attention to managing this perception is very important as you make your first impression with customers. Having a dedicated company phone number, not using your own mobile, having the appropriate staff member answer. All these things, and more, add up to the perception that customers takes away of your company.

“I can start off as I am,” I hear the reply. “I will add these things later”. The problem with this is it’s very difficult to change someone’s perception of anything. Once we have categorised someone, or something, it is very difficult to change. Basically, if you put yourself in the amateur, cheap n cheerful category, then be prepared to stay there forever.

However, a telecoms service over VoIP can be used to create the impression you desire. It can help you create the right Brand Positioning to appeal to your most profitable customer base, and contribute to business growth.

When you called to book at ‘Hotel Posh’ (as I’m calling it), it’s very unlikely you called someone’s personal mobile. You will have called their advertised number, and were probably given the choice of selecting bookings, or accounts, or enquiries. They may have had a recorded message playing, listing plus points of making a booking with them, or telling you about their new health spa that’s opened.

Not only can a good VoIP telecoms set up serve to present you well to customers, it can also be a positive resource for you to use. If you ever have a dispute about something, and you have Call Recording, then you have factual evidence to back up your side of the story.

You can use one company number, and have calls directed to whoever is best placed to answer. Customers hear your music as they wait on hold.

You can ensure staff time isn’t wasted by answering calls they can’t help with, by directing calls using an IVR Menu. You can also ensure all calls are answered using Ring Groups, making sure customer calls ring appropriate staff members in a predefined pattern until answered.

You can even emphasise products or services, or advantages of using your company, with a recorded message which plays when customers call in (for instance, in the example given above, Hotel Posh opening their new spa).

So we’ve covered all aspects telecoms, and particular, how VoIP can help when starting or growing a company.

Not only can you set up a customised service specific to you company’s needs, but you can do so cost-effectively, saving time and money, and unlocking a suite of useful features and functions. Present yourself to customers in an effective way, and add to your business toolkit with additional features.

If you’d like to see how we can help your company, no matter what stage of the journey you are at, just get in touch.

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