Virtual Receptionist workstation.

The Virtual Live Receptionist: Available and Knowledgeable

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Delivering exceptional experiences to customers seeking service is critical. Consider this factoid: 89 percent of customers will stop doing business with a brand because of bad service.[1]

Being available to answer a customer’s questions and provide them with the support to resolve whatever issues they encounter using your products and/or services is pivotal. There are some intriguing data points corroborating the importance of delivering prompt support: 33 percent of customers in a recent study indicate they would recommend a company if they provided fast service but inadequate service.

The flip side is just as telling: only 17 percent of customers noted they would be willing to recommend a brand that provided effective but slow service.[2]

Who Has Time for Phone Calls?

Entrepreneur pondering advice

7 Bad Pieces of Advice about Entrepreneurship You Should Ignore

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When you are first starting a business, you are bound to receive a lot of advice. However, not all advice that new entrepreneurs receive is good advice.

Although much of the advice you hear may be based off of personal experiences, all businesses are different, and the way they perform in the market will reflect that. You can follow all of the entrepreneur advice in the world and still run the risk of failure.

That being said, there are still seven bad pieces of advice for entrepreneurs that you should ignore:

  1. You must copy your competitors to succeed.

If your competitors are successful, copying them doesn’t necessarily mean your business will be successful, too. The key to running a successful business is offering something your competitors cannot. Rather than focusing on what’s working for the competition, spend more time strategizing how to differentiate yourself and draw attention to those differences when marketing your business. The most successful start-ups will always be the most innovative. Be different and continue to evolve as your business grows to remain relevant.

Millennial Using Mobile Phone

Omnichannel Customer Service and the Small Business

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A study by ClickZ found that customers are 58 percent more likely to tell others about their customer experiences today than was they were five years ago.[i] An important enabler and outlet is the social sphere, which gives consumers and businesses alike the ability to reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions of individuals.

The New Millennial Landscape

As Millennials comprise a larger and larger percentage of the population and workforce, their assumptions and ideals are changing about how companies engage with them. It isn’t simply a phenomenon related to online businesses; it is just as applicable for businesses that have traditional customer relationships.

“Millennial” customers expect their vendors to engage with them through digital channels. Further, it isn’t merely one engagement channel, but rather an omnichannel approach that includes email, the web, social media, among other channels.

Omnichannel Customer Service: It’s for Small Businesses, Too

Young African Businessman Working at His Desk

Hiring a Good Employee versus Hiring the Right Employee… There is a Difference

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Perhaps you’ve experienced it as an employer trying to make the right hiring decision, only to result in a relatively quick exit, non-match, or worse yet, a revolving door of hiring misfires and mismatches. You thought for sure you did everything right by crossing all your T’s and dotting your I’s while lining up the ideal hire for the job and for your team.

So why didn’t it work out? You were so psyched and proud of yourself for what you thought was a thorough job-filling effort. You had big visions of teamwork and efficiency dancing through your head, only to find yourself humbled and back at square one with the position to fill all over again. What an emotional roller-coaster.

Each new employee is like a new relationship – almost like a new boyfriend or girlfriend – where hope springs eternal, and all parties involved dive in with only the best expectations. Rarely does a cautionary thought of the worst-case scenario enter into anybody’s mind.

5 Cost Reduction Strategies for Lowering Business Overhead [Infographic]

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5 Cost Reduction Strategies for Lowering Business Overhead

Learn five simple cost reduction strategies, recommended by the experts at Davinci Virtual Offices, sure to significantly lower overhead while improving efficiency and sustainability across your entire organization.

Limit travel expenses

Limit travel expenses

On average, small businesses spend more than $2,500 each quarter on travel, including expenses for airfare, accommodations, dining, and car rentals. Reduce the amount your business spends on travel and hold teleconferences whenever possible. When travel is necessary, find cheaper lodgings and book flights in advance.

Cut energy costs

Cut energy costs

Create long-term savings by tackling your energy bill. With multiple small changes, your office energy bills can drop significantly. Turning the thermostat down two degrees, unplugging electronics when they’re not in use, and switching to compact fluorescent bulbs could save you approximately $500 each year!

Bouqet of flowers for administrative professionals day.

5 Fantastic Ways to Show Thanks on Administrative Professionals Day

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On April 22, 2015, many companies will be celebrating Administrative Professionals Day, one of the most commonly observed workplace celebrations in the world.

Administrative Professionals Day was created in 1952 as a way to honor and show appreciation to administrative support professionals such as secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and live virtual receptionists at companies all over the world. It is generally celebrated by recognizing the hard work of administrative staff with gifts and corporate activities.

As the time to show thanks draws near, you may be thinking about the right gifts for your administrative professionals. After another year with the help of their invaluable help, you want their gift to be personal and meaningful. If you are struggling to come up with ideas, here is a list of five fantastic ways you can show thanks on Administrative Professionals Day.

Gift basket

Generation Y Employees

How to Make Your Business More Attractive to Gen Y Employees

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Generation Y has been called many things: entitled, lazy, and perhaps unconventional. However, many businesses are realizing that not only does Gen Y work hard, oftentimes they become the best employees you could imagine.

As baby boomers are leaving the workforce and retiring, Gen Y employees are flocking to the corporate sphere, bringing with them their tech-savvy knowledge and unmatched ambition—but they aren’t seeking what their predecessors valued in a workspace. Gen Y job-seekers are looking for flexibility and innovation.

If your business needs fresh ideas, proficiency in the latest technology, and continuous innovation, hiring Gen Y employees can help your business flourish and ensure your company’s success for years to come. While competitive salaries might help you stand out among the many other businesses making offers to millennials, Gen Y is looking for so much more.

Be modern and informal

Talented entrepreneur

3 Ways to Overcome the Talent Shortage

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As the U.S. economy bounces back and skilled workers are finding it easier to get jobs with better pay, as much as 40% of employers report difficulties filling positions. But there is still much debate surrounding the looming talent shortage: is it because the pool of qualified candidates is dwindling, or is there a fundamental issue with businesses’ current recruiting practices?

Increased competition with other companies to recruit the best candidates is troubling for many employers because it increases employee turnover, reduces productivity, and impedes their ability to meet the needs of clients, ultimately costing businesses thousands of dollars.

The problem may not be with the candidates themselves, but with recruiters’ unrealistic expectations. If employers take a step back and reevaluate their hiring process, they can overcome the struggle for talent acquisition and retain skilled workers for long-term success.

Here are the top three ways businesses can quickly find the right fit for their open positions:

5 Business Tools You Should be Utilizing Infographic

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5 Business Tools
You Should Be Utilizing

Discover the five must-have business tools, recommended by Davinci Virtual Offices, to keep your business competitive with low overhead while maintaining that personal feel necessary for great client relationships.

Google Analytics
1

Google Analytics Platform

Site traffic data is necessary, but finding cost-effective analytic tools can be difficult. Google Analytics is a great free tool offering comprehensive reporting and easy site integration.

Atlassian JIRA
2

JIRA Task Management

JIRA is an organizing, task-management tool that acts as a tracking system for all phases of a project. JIRA’s system allows you to organize items by task phases, assignees, dates, etc.

Virtual Office Services
3

Virtual Office Services

At a much lower cost than paying for an office space lease, you’ll have access to fully serviced meeting rooms, conference rooms and office workspace whenever you need it – paid for by the day, or hour.

Business woman touching interactive map

Small Business Trends: What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead

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In order to advance as a small business, it’s important to follow the latest small business trends. But with an overload of information available, it’s sometimes difficult to know what trends are pertinent and what ones are just extra noise in the media.

To simplify your search, here are five small business trends you should have on your radar to stay ahead throughout the coming months:

Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

Having an ineffective marketing plan is one of the several reasons why many small business startups fail. In the linked article below, you can learn how to write a marketing plan from the very beginning by creating a “situation analysis,” describing your target audience, listing your marketing goals, developing a strategy, and setting a budget. Following these five steps can help you initiate a strong marketing plan specifically targeted to your niche market while staying within a previously defined budget.