If you asked a random business owner what their biggest struggle is right at this very moment, what do you think their response would be?
The smart money is on “hiring”.
Recruiting is a massive challenge for virtually every company right now. The economy is in a weird place—not quite a recession, but not too far from one, either. That uncertainty is making any kind of long-term planning a challenge.
As a business owner trying to manage the push and pull of the economy, how can you ensure your business can keep up with an unpredictable labor market?
One word (actually four): on-demand customer support.
What is on-demand customer support?
It feels like everything is “on-demand” these days: video, music, even food. But what does it mean in the context of customer service?
Many businesses rely on full-time or part-time customer support solutions to engage with callers and website visitors during specific days and times—for example, during normal business hours or on weekends.
On-demand customer support gives your business access to the same team of trained service professionals whenever you need them. Maybe your office receptionist is leaving for a week-long vacation, and you need coverage while they’re away. Or you might be experiencing an unexpected spike in site traffic and need help handling customer questions.
Or, like many business owners, you’re having a hard time finding new team members and could use some backup while you search. Let’s look at a couple of examples where that kind of flexible support can help streamline the hiring process:
Putting the “backup” in backup plan.
Picture this: your front office admin of five years is moving on to another opportunity. You throw them a goodbye party, write a letter of recommendation, and wish them well in all their future endeavors.
Sounds like a sweet scene, right? That is, until you realize that your busy season is right around the corner, and now no one is available to answer the phone.
You hastily put together a job listing and begin the search for a replacement. One week goes by. Then another. You interview a few candidates before finally finding someone who seems perfect for the role…
…only for them to drop out right at the last moment.
Now, you’re left handling customer service during your busiest time of year—requiring you to put a pause on the recruiting process until things slow down. That means longer hours, decreased productivity, and, worst of all, poor customer experiences.
Here’s how that same scenario plays out with a support solution on your side:
Now, let’s say you’ve partnered with a customer support solution like Ruby before your busy season hits. The above scenario still tragically plays out…
…but this time, you’re prepared.
Instead of scrambling to find somebody, anybody, to fill in for your former admin, you’re able to have a team of fully trained virtual receptionists step in to answer calls, schedule appointments, and chat with online customers for as long as you need—whether that’s two weeks or two months.
Focus on finding the right team with on-demand customer support.
The truth is that, in a tight labor market, the best way to assemble the right team is by focusing on retaining the employees you already have. But people will always come and go. On-demand customer support makes hiring easier by giving you the time and space you need to find and onboard new employees—while preventing the people you serve from noticing any difference in your service.
And personnel changes are just one example of how small business needs can fluctuate. There are a whole host of other situations that can disrupt your best-laid plans, such as:
- Economic changes
- Fluctuating customer demands
- Increased number of calls
- Global economic events
- And more—possibly at the same time!
Instead of letting your service slip when your business gets thrown a curveball, investing in the right solution provides the flexibility you need to meet unexpected challenges head-on.
Interested in learning more? Check out our guide to virtual receptionists to see which solution might be the right fit for your business!