Powerful Software to Increase Productivity in Your Floristry Business

Whilst many industries seemed to have soared ahead as a result of the tech boom we have seen over the last 20 years, not all required the boost that software developments delivered. With regards to floristry, for example, this still has something of a traditional feel about it. Flower deliveries after all have taken place for decades, and the only thing which really changed has been the emergence of online ordering. With this being said, however, and much like many small businesses, the software can be used to make things better for those running a floristry business.

Large scale businesses in this field such as Pearsons Florist, rely on powerful software to manage their operations. Smaller businesses can learn a lot from these kinds of businesses, and use the same software to deliver increased productivity and better service to their customers. Here are some examples of software that florists can use.

Details Flower Software

This is one of the finest software suites for any florist, and it is a purpose-built platform that provides a wealth of solutions to large and small operations. Flower shop owners can use this software to do simple stuff such as tracking sales and managing costs; they can also perform high-level tasks like managing inventory, working out margins and dealing with international sales. The team at Details has worked with some of the big hitters in the florist industry in order to design software that worked perfectly for those in the sector.


FloristWare is a great option for small florists around the country. This is a low-cost piece of software that actually packs quite a punch for both online and offline sales. At the heart of this software is a Point-of-Sale function that enables the digitalization of everything that goes through the business. Additionally, however, users can count on a pretty impressive Customer Relationship Management feature, which helps companies stay on top of customer care. This software focuses less on the numbers side of things, and more on helping you to increase customer relations and drive more sales to the business.


Floranext will help you to maintain and improve your online presence, as well as helping you to seamlessly integrate what is sold in the store, with the information which you keep online. For those florists who are looking to add a level of E-commerce to the business, this is the perfect option for you. Floranext is built by florists and it is designed to help any business launch online and manage its sales through a well-built E-commerce platform.


BloomNation is yet another one-stop-shop that will take care of all of your daily needs in the business. This software package offers a POS portal, an E-commerce management platform and it can also be integrated with other software so that you can manage inventory and track orders coming in and out of the business. The target market of BloomNation is very much small businesses, and each aspect of the software package has been created with those florists in mind. This is a software suite that is updated on a regular basis and which has a dedicated team that is always looking to add tools and features to the package to help its customers be the best they can be.

There are many software choices to choose from and these are the top picks for us. The choice will come down to what you are looking to spend and where your business fits within the floristry landscape, in terms of size and customer base.

Best Cybersecurity Tips for your Home-Based Small Business

The Pandemic has meant a significant switch in lifestyle and even career. Many people decided that this is the perfect time to pursue that small business idea they’ve always flirted with.

Despite the comfort of running a business while sitting in pajamas, there are still a million things pulling business owners in different directions. For example, security isn’t always a top concern and sometimes goes unnoticed until something goes wrong. But it is a crucial element. Keeping up with cybersecurity basics for a business can prevent irreparable damage and more than $25000 in losses.

So it’s time to get those ducks in a row before something happens! Here’s a short guide to the best steps business owners can take right now to protect their home-based businesses.

Set Up Admin Access Control

Access control is one of the most important things any business can do if it has any employees. It’s crucial for anyone who works remotely or with freelancers. This goes for online accounts, internal systems, and work accounts that are used by many people.

Access control is a security technique that regulates who can view or use certain accounts or data. For example, if the business has a website on WordPress, then the owner can control who gains admin access to the site and what they can do.

This prevents people from gaining full control over the website. And if their login details get stolen or their account hacked, the hackers will also have limited access. The same goes for data and account sharing. Give people access only to that information they need to perform their duties.

Keep Those Passwords Secret

There will be some preaching about passwords on a list like this because passwords are that important.

With passwords, it’s best to stick to the advice of cybersecurity experts, which are reiterated in such trusted sites as Wired, TechCrunch, and Forbes. The standard best practices stay the same:

– Use a unique password for every account.

– Make passwords long, with multiple characters, numbers, and symbols.

– Don’t share passwords on unencrypted chats.

If it’s hard to remember all those passwords, then it’s best to make use of a password manager. Also, always enable two-factor authentication on accounts.

Keep Off-Site Data Backups

A lot of businesses are not prepared to deal with the consequences of having all their data stolen in a cyber-attack or locked away by ransomware. Not only do many not have up-to-date backups, but those that do often make the mistake of storing them on the same premises. Sometimes even on the same devices/servers. That doesn’t help anyone.

Backups should be stored on encrypted hard drives in an off-site location that isn’t easy to access or on a secure cloud server. The second usually costs a monthly or annual fee, but the upside is that it can’t be lost or destroyed in a fire. Both of these off-site data protection options are essential if you want to safeguard your business from a data disaster.

The downside of using cloud servers, however, is that they aren’t infallible. Hackers have managed to break through in the past.

Use Encryption Tools

Encryption is a method of changing the original plaintext of computer code into a different, undecipherable code. This code can only be decrypted by the person that has the key (app). Everyone else sees scrambled nonsense.

So, there are apps and software that can encrypt hard drives, emails, and even network connections. Even messaging systems like WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption to keep messages private.

Look for encryption apps and software that have received good reviews online. Make sure to encrypt any files and drives on devices used to run the business. Also, use a secure email provider that encrypts emails and a VPN to encrypt the network connection.

The last is important because hackers can use digital devices to gain access to the home’s network and infiltrate the business’ accounts. There are even VPNs for Fire Stick for watching shows in the background while getting work done (it’s okay, we don’t judge).

Keep in mind that this advice goes for any employee as well.


It’s obvious that a lot of work could be done from home. That’s why people switched to running their businesses from the home offices. But it’s important to remember that this comes with a number of cybersecurity risks as small businesses are big targets for hackers! It’s much easier to do a little preparation now than having to deal with the consequences of a cyber-attack later.

What Radio Waves Can Travel Through and What They Cannot

When Guglielmo Marconi began research into long-range radio in the late 19th century, the scientific community was skeptical. That he succeeded in transmitting radio signals more than 2000km met with much astonishment. What he had unwittingly done was discover the ionosphere, a layer in the atmosphere that is ionized to a degree by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. 

This affects radio waves and reflects them to earth, which bounces them upwards again. This repeated sequence enables us to transmit radio waves around the world. So, if radio waves can’t penetrate the ionosphere, what else will hinder them? Let’s look at what radio waves consist of, and then we’ll talk about their ability or otherwise to pass through certain materials.

Radio Waves Explained 

Developments in radio technology have brought us a long way in the past 100 years and more, but how do radio waves work? Before Marconi’s discovery, scientists believed that radio signals could only travel a straight line, as they were known to do in free space. Hence, there was a necessity for tall towers from which to transmit signals. A 100m high tower, for example, could send a signal up to around 30km, the limit set by the curvature of the earth. Marconi showed that radio waves could be bent and bounced by the ionosphere.

Radio waves form a small part of what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). This consists not just of radio waves but also other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as gamma rays, microwaves, visible light, and more. Radio waves have among the longest wavelengths on the EMS. Imagine a rope held between two people. Move the rope up and down at one end, and a waveform moves across the rope.

This is what a radio wave would look like if we could see it. The wavelength is the distance between two ‘peaks’ in the wave. We also have to consider the frequency, which the number of waves that pass a given point in a set time. This is vital to understand so that different transmissions do not interfere with each other. 

Television signals are radio waves, but they are broadcast in a different frequency range to the radio.

What has this to do with the materials that radio waves can and cannot pass through? Let’s look more closely at this. 

What Can’t Radio Waves Pass-Through?

We’ve already seen that radio waves do not penetrate the ionosphere. We should explain that this refers to radio waves of up to 40MHz, the highest frequency bounced off the ionosphere. Why do radio waves bounce back?

As we mentioned, the ionosphere is partly ionized. 

This is because the UV light from the sun causes electrons to shake free from atoms, leaving a large proportion of free electrons hanging about in the ionosphere. When a radio wave hits the ionosphere, the energy created by the free electrons, as a result, causes the radio waves to be repelled or reflected. 

So, we know that radio waves up to 40MHz won’t pass through an ionized layer in the atmosphere. Remember that we explained the perceived limitations of radio transmissions before Marconi’s discovery. A line of sight was necessary, without obstructions, for successful transmission.

In some radio transmissions, interference can be caused by the waves being blocked by materials that they cannot penetrate. While radio waves can move through wood, bricks, and concrete to a certain extent, these materials can still cause interference. This is because radio waves meeting such objects can be reflected from buildings and other large structures, just like the ionosphere. This explains why the reception of radios and other radio frequency devices such as smartphones vary between locations.

For the record, as it covers a large bandwidth necessarily, television signals need to be above 40MHz so they cannot be bounced off the ionosphere, hence the tall towers in high locations used for TV transmissions. 

Radio waves will also be adversely affected by metal and water, which they cannot pass through. That is because water and metal are both electrical conductors. Like the ionosphere, metal and water contain many free electrons, which will vibrate when a radio wave hits the surface, and the wave will bounce back. 


To summarize, we now know that radio waves are affected by free electrons in electrical conductors such as metals and water and cannot pass through these materials. 

We have discovered that they can pass through non-conducting materials quite well but are losing propagation power with reflecting surfaces such as water, metal, and other materials. Furthermore, worldwide radio transmission is made possible by the radio waves being reflected by the ionosphere and the earth in a continuous sequence, allowing for transmissions to be made across great distances. 

Optima Tax Relief provides tips on what Taxpayers can do if they Filed on time but can’t pay back their Tax Balance

Although the filing and payment deadline for most 2020 federal tax returns has passed, taxpayers should start preparing for next year’s tax season in order to ensure they get the most out of their return and avoid any big tax time surprises.

Optima Tax Relief  provides helpful tips on what taxpayers should do to prepare for next year’s tax filing deadline:

  • Make sure to file a tax return or request an extension of time to file by the tax deadline.
    • Individuals who owe a tax liability but fail to file their return on time or request an extension could face a failure-to-file penalty.
    • Taxpayers are reminded that an extension of time is not an extension of time to pay.
    • Taxpayers typically have until October 15, 2021, to file their taxes, however, taxes are still due by the initial tax deadline.
  • Pay as much as possible by the tax deadline due date.
    • Individuals that are filing a return or requesting an extension should still attempt to pay their tax bill in full by the tax deadline to avoid any interest and penalties.
    • People who fail to pay their tax bill by the tax deadline will face a failure-to-pay penalty.
    • The IRS website provides additional information for taxpayers who are unable to pay taxes they owe.
  • Set up a payment plan as soon as possible.
    • Taxpayers who do not have the ability to pay their tax liability in full by the tax deadline do not have to wait for a tax bill to request a payment plan.
    • Taxpayers can apply for a payment plan on the IRS website or speak with a tax professional to help assist with the negotiation process with the IRS.
    • Taxpayers can also submit a payment plan request in writing using Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.

Want To Lower Your Business Electricity Bill This Summer? Find Out How

Every business aims to increase production and reduce operating costs to the barest minimum. Electricity usage plays a crucial role in every business operation irrespective of the company’s sector. So, the higher the electricity utilized by a company, the higher the payment for the electricity bill.  

However, energy cost payable varies, and usage is subject to weather conditions. For instance, during winter, when the weather is cold and snowy, air-conditioning, refrigerators, and other cooling appliances usage drop drastically due to the cold weather, thus reducing the electricity bill. But the situation changes inversely during summer due to a high level of heat. 

To reduce your business electricity cost during summer, here are some tips to help you achieve your goal.

1. Install Daylight Control 

Daylight control is a technological device that uses sensors to adjust electric lighting in response to available daylight. This device reduces electrical bulb energy consumption, and it is suitable for a business situated in areas where sunlight is prevalent. With daylight control installed within your business premises, you will be able to minimize energy usage and cut down energy costs payable by at least 20% – 80%. 

In addition, if you newly install daylight control, ensure you check if it is compatible with your bulbs. However, if you have previously installed one before, check them out to see if they are still in good condition. 

2. Change The Air-conditioning Filters

When the weather is hot during summer, your air-conditioning needs to be in good shape due to rising heat. To minimize the cost of air-conditioning, always prioritize maintenance by changing the filter when the need arises. The continuous usage of a damaged filter usually causes the air-conditioning unit to overwork, leading to increased energy usage to power the appliance. In addition, if your business is situated in an area prone to dirt or dust, ensure you change the air-conditioning filter at least once per month.

3. Change your energy provider 

A lot of businesses use the same energy provider for many years, without realizing that they may be spending thousands of pounds monthly when there are cheaper options out there. The energy market is highly competitive and each company tries to offer the best price to their clients. Take advantage of this fact using this link and compare the pricing you are currently on with what other companies are offering. You might just be able to save a couple of pounds by just changing your energy provider. 

4. Nothing Compares To Natural Air

The primary purpose of installing cooling appliances such as air-conditioning and ceiling fans is to cool down the hot atmosphere, especially during the summer when the sun is more burning. If your company location is close to areas where the climate is cool at night and breezy during the day, using natural air to reduce heat is not a bad idea to conserve energy.

To reduce your energy cost and consumption, open your windows during the day, using natural ventilation to cool down the atmosphere without relying solely on air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Using natural ventilation is costless and healthier for the body system than air-conditioning other appliances.

5. Check out for insulation

Insulation is when air from outside enters the building, and conditioned air escapes through cracks. If your office space is insulated, it can be challenging to identify, making it difficult to ventilate. Always check through for any form of roof leakages to identify leaking spots. Eliminating the flow of air from outside and inside will keep your electricity consumption and cost at bay.

6. Unplug unused devices 

During working hours or close of business, ensure that devices that are not in use are correctly unplugged from their respective outlets. Depending on the company’s nature of business, only devices needed for daily operation should remain plugged. In a situation where some appliances or equipment will have to remain plugged consistently, you can reduce their energy consumption by using power strips. The use of power strips ensures that power consumption by devices is minimal when not in use. 

Every business needs electricity to sustain its operations. However, as a profit-oriented establishment, there is a need to block loopholes and manage cost-effectively. During summer, the weather becomes hotter compared to spring, autumn, and fall. To make the atmosphere around the business facility cooler, heat-controlling appliances such as ceiling fans and air conditioners must be in good condition. 

Following the tips outlined in this piece, you can effectively minimize your business energy cost all summer and reap the benefits of reduced energy consumption. Apart from saving you so much money, it’s also so much better for the environment. 

How COVID has Changed Executive Assistant Roles Forever

The full impact of COVID has been devastating and as well as the obvious changes to our lives, such as social distancing, not seeing family and friends for long periods and being required to wear facemasks, the job market has also seen significant shifts.

When the pandemic first began to impact the economy, the government instructed people to work from home wherever this was possible. Where this was not possible, many businesses had no choice but to furlough staff and close their business or run their business in a different way.

One positive that has come from the need for businesses to adapt, is that more businesses have explored the ways that technology can help them to run more efficiently or to enable them to diversify their products and services.

Many businesses have seen that there are many benefits to having home-based employees, from reducing the cost of running business premises, to giving employees more flexibility in their work-life balance. One job that has arguably changed forever is the role of Executive Assistant, one that traditionally involved working in close physical proximity to the executive that is being assisted.

Throughout the pandemic, this type of role has had to adapt quickly, by utilizing online solutions to provide support while working in separate locations to the exec. For businesses that already had a good technology infrastructure to enable home working, the changes were less disruptive. However, for many companies, setting up the right IT frameworks to enable employees such as executive assistants to work from home was one of the biggest challenges they faced.

The impact on the skills required for Executive Assistants

With many EA roles now being performed from home, there is an increased demand for people with good IT skills. Executive Assistants have always been required to have good office management skills and to be proficient with the relevant business systems but now they need to be up to speed with more types of software.

For example, project management software is integral to collaborating with execs and their management teams, in the place of having physical meetings. Also, being proficient in arranging video calls through software tools such as Zoom, or Microsoft Teams is also important with many businesses encouraging employees to work from home as much as possible and to avoid physical meetings.

Therefore, Executive Assistants looking for new roles, or to continue to be able to perform to a high standard, need to have the right experience and qualifications to suit the new world of more digitally-reliant working processes.

Completing executive assistant courses can help people to develop the necessary skills that enable them to proficiently use all of the technology tools that are required for modern day exec support. There are a wide range of different courses that are available to complete online, that will help people to get offered a role as an Executive Assistant.

Businesses use different types of online collaboration and project management tools but some of the most common ones include Monday, Asana, Slack, Google Docs and Microsoft Teams. Becoming as familiar as possible with these tools will give you a big advantage over other job applicants, so try to practice using them and discover all of the main features for each one.

During an interview, you may be asked about your knowledge about some of these online solutions, so if you can demonstrate in your answer that you have an in-depth understanding, then you will certainly improve your chances of being offered the role.

Now you know how the role has changed in the last two years, you can acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to be more successful as an Executive Assistant.

Kicksta vs Sprout Social

In this digital world, having an Instagram presence is very crucial for promoting your brand or content. And to influence people on Instagram, you need to have a large following and increased engagement rate on your Instagram profile. Several tools and growth services can streamline the process of content creation, post scheduling, increasing followers, and gaining engagement on Instagram. 

Two of the most competitive growth services are Kicksta and Sprout Social. Both the tools focus on increasing followers on Instagram. And both of them are the best sites to buy Instagram likes to improve engagement rate. So which one should you choose? Check out the comprehensive comparison between Kicksta and Sprout Social given below to pick the best Instagram growth tool for yourself. Let’s get started!

Product Features 

Sprout Social 

For social media management, Sprout Social offers several services such as – 

  • In-depth social media audit
  • Advance scheduling and post automation 
  • Social media content calendar 
  • Data analytics and reporting 

Besides these services, it also provides major tools required to gain engagement on Instagram. It is compatible with a lot of different social media networks and helps in increasing your followers at every platform. 


Kicksta is an Instagram growth service and the best site to buy Instagram likes, comments, and followers. These tools are also crucial to gain engagement on Instagram. Some features of Kicksta include – 

  • Smart targeting algorithm – Kicksta’s AI-powered technology helps to get high-quality followers on Instagram. 
  • Automation – Kicksta automates finding similar Instagram profiles along with auto-engaging of the target audience. 
  • Kicksta focuses on growing genuine Instagram followers, likes and comments. This helps to improve brand awareness. 
  • Data analytics and reporting 

Pricing Plans 

Social Sprout 

Social Sprout offers three different pricing plans – 

  • The standard plan at $99/ month/user – this plan allows the user to connect up to five social accounts. Here, you can get a content calendar, publishing tools, an all-in-one social inbox, comprehensive reporting, profile, and keyword monitoring. You also get some paid promotion tools to boost your profile. 
  • The professional plan costs around $149/month/user – this plan allows the user to connect ten social profiles. It offers custom workflow, content tagging, detailed analytics reports, helpdesk integration, and optimal post scheduling. 
  • The advanced plan costs around $249/month/user – with this plan you can connect the ten social profiles. Along with this, you get access to automation tools like Chabot, digital assets library, custom URL tracking, message spike alerts, and automated inbox rule builder. 


Kicksta follows a ‘pay for what you use’ model. In this model, the user can cancel the subscription at any time. And the money for the remaining days on the scheduled subscription will be refunded back. There are two subscription plans offered by Kicksta – 

  • The standard plan costs around $49/month/user. This plan assures moderate growth speed with automation tools. The user can target up to ten new accounts. 
  • The premium plan costs around $149/month/user. This plan assures four times faster gain in genuine and real Instagram followers. It also provides more engagement rate with the automation tools. Additional services include live chat support, email support, advanced targeting options, and blacklist capabilities. 

Data Analytics and Reporting 

Sprout Social 

In terms of data analytics, Sprout Social offers plenty of reporting features. For example, this tool compares your post-performance with your competitor’s post. Additionally, it tracks team productivity and task performance. If you opt for upgraded plans, Sprout Social offers custom reports, interactive charts, and graphical representations along with advanced filtering. All of these tools are excellent in gaining engagement on Instagram.  


Kicksta provides insightful insights on profile performance and individual post-performance with the help of graphs and numbers. All the data can be accessed easily from the user-friendly analytics dashboard. In addition to this, Kicksta also allows the user to analyze their engagement rate and followers gained during a particular time frame. 

Which among the two is best?

Considering all the key factors that are required to gain engagement on Instagram with quality followers, Sprout Social wins them all. Although Kicksta is also an excellent tool to get genuine Instagram followers. Perhaps it is one of the best sites to buy Instagram likes, comments, and followers. However, its limited features and data analytical tools do not match the level of Sprout Social. 

Another factor that makes Sprout Social a much better growth tool is its ability to generate traffic to your website using social media posts and marketing. Additionally, flawless user experience, customer support, and excellent product features make Social Sprout the number one choice. 


Choosing the best social media management tool is a very challenging task. There are several factors involved that decide which tool is the best for maximum social media growth. While both Kicksta and Sprout Social provide unique features to get genuine Instagram followers, Sprout Social beats it in terms of superior automation tools, improved product features, and data analytics. Although the pricing plan of Social Sprout is slightly expensive as compared to Kicksta. It is the best out of the two when it comes to growing your Instagram. 

5 Common Mistakes to avoid when designing a Banner

One of the tried-and-true methods of generating leads is by having an excellent eye-catching banner. As a bonus, not only can they be effective, but they are incredibly cost-efficient and can be designed yourself. However, even though banners can be created with relative ease, mistakes can turn a great marketing tool into a bad idea. Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid when designing your banner.

Spelling Errors

Your banner should not have an essay’s worth of text on it. Short, simple, and to the point should be the focus of any text on the banner. This means that all text should be free from spelling and grammatical errors. As there is so little text on a banner, any mistakes stick out like a sore thumb. Any errors picked up by customers can easily lead to assumptions that the business is unprofessional. Be sure to proofread all text before the banner is published. To that extent, there are several online text editors that are free and can be a lifesaver.

No Contact Information

You have spent hours looking up current UI/UX trends and even tried to dive into the psychology of your target audience. You have spent just as long designing your banner, and it’s a work of art. But you have committed a cardinal sin and included no contact information. One of the key reasons to create a banner is to generate positive leads. No contact information, no leads. It is as simple as that.

Complicated Message

Returning to the importance of the text on the banner, whatever the message is that you want to convey, it must be simple and only take a few seconds to get across. When thinking about how to make a banner for a sales campaign, for example, take a moment to think about what the message is you want to get across. If the message comes across with multiple meanings it will need to be reworked. Keeping text as simple as possible can help in this regard.

Design is Crowded

Having too much information and complex graphics can lead to the banner being a failure. When it comes to designing your banner, be mindful that not all information is needed or helpful. For example, customer testimonials, business history, or sales records might not be the best information for a banner. Including such information can easily confuse your customer.


Be sure to size your banner appropriately. In general, this does require you to have a good idea of where and when the banner will be placed. This also requires careful consideration of where elements will be placed to make sure the contents are readable.

It is hard to argue how beneficial a great banner can be to specific campaigns, but as has been highlighted above errors can be made that detract from the overall effectiveness. Avoiding the above-mentioned errors can certainly help businesses to generate positive leads.

What to Do in Your First Year of Business

The first year of a small business can make or break it, and indeed, many businesses fail within their first 12 months. The tips below can help you spend that first year building a strong foundation and hope to reduce the likelihood that you will not succeed.

Prioritize Your Finances

You need to track your finances carefully, understand how your revenue differs from your profit, and have a plan in place in case you run low on money. For the first item, you should keep your business and personal accounts separate. If you aren’t good with money and numbers, you might want to pay a bookkeeper or an accountant to do this for you. For the second item, keep in mind that while you might be generating a certain amount of revenue, you need to subtract your expenses from that to figure out what your profit is.

Finally, you might want to get your own finances in order so that if you need to inject a little cash into your new venture, you are able to do so. This could be especially important if you don’t qualify for a business loan. If you’re already paying off some debts, consider whether low interest personal loans could help you pay them off at a better rate. You may be able to get these from a private lender.

Have a Solid Plan

Technically, you only need a business plan if you are seeking funding from investors or you are trying to get a business loan. However, the truth is that writing out a detailed plan will benefit any small venture. The reason for this is that it forces you to ask and answer so many questions, and this can be a great way to identify weaknesses in your market research, pricing, mission, plan for growth or any other areas. It can help you stay focused as well, especially if you have a tendency to run after new ideas that occur to you. You can also think about and practice how you pitch the goods or services that you offer to others.

Work With Others

There are many different ways for you to do this. First, you should be networking. This lets people know what you do, but it can also be a way to find potential mentors or partners. You should also think of working with others to pay people to do the things you aren’t as good at. For example, it may be cheaper, in the long run, to hire an attorney to look over contracts or other legal documents than to find out later where you have gone wrong.

Eventually, you might want to hire employees. Even if you don’t need to do this in your first year, you can think ahead about what kind of a culture you want to create within your company and how you can empower your employees to work effectively and independently. Reading some books on leadership and management can help you better prepare for this role.

5 ways SMEs Benefit from Automated Call Center Services

Fact: any contact center can benefit from automation. Generally, contact centers are the part of the business that most benefit from automation.

Bringing down costs is often the main motivation, and that’s especially important for SMEs.

But the impact of automated inbound call center services actually runs a lot deeper than that. The other benefits may be less obvious… but that can have as big an impact on a company’s success.

1. Automation can improve the customer experience

If you say ‘automation’ in the call center context, many people think about systems which save money, but which also create horrible experiences for customers.

It doesn’t need to be that way!

Automation can have a major positive impact on how your customer interacts with your brand.

Take Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) for example. CTI can automatically identify customers when they call in.

That’s helpful because:

  • It cuts down on the time they spend in IVR
  • It means they don’t start the call explaining who they are to an agent
  • They don’t need to dig out some long-forgotten customer reference number

CTI is a small example. Automation also enables more ambitious call center services like virtual queueing. Virtual queuing is one of the best ways to reduce waiting time and means your customers don’t get stuck listening to hold music.

One more example – automated outbound SMS. Sending customers an SMS with whatever information they need might mean they don’t even need to wait for an agent. That’s a simple bit of automation that’s guaranteed to reduce call volume and make life a whole lot easier for customers!

2. Automation can improve the *agent* experience

Call centers are bad at retaining staff. Why is that?

One problem that’s common to practically every customer service team is this: they hire people who are bubbly, fun and chatty. After all, that’s the kind of person you want helping customers.

But – most of the work those people end up doing is data entry. And how many people are a good fit for both data entry work and customer service?

Not many.

Here’s how automation can help.

It’s actually pretty simple to automate data entry. In the last point we talked about CTI. Well, CTI means your systems know who your callers are, and can find them in your call center CRM.

And if your system knows who’s calling, it can record information about their call.

There are a ton of examples like this. Automating tickets, automating follow-ups, automating scheduling… the goal is to automate all the boring stuff that no agent wants to do.

That leaves them free to focus on having great interactions. 

3. Automation means clean and shiny data

While we’re thinking about data entry, let’s think about where it goes wrong.

The main issue is human error. Take this blog post – it’s written by a startlingly talented professional, but I’m sure there are a few typos in the mix…

Meanwhile, it’s almost unthinkable for an automated system to make a data entry mistake.

Therefore, if you can automate large swathes of data entry, you’ll get cleaner customer data. What’s more, you can automatically update data across *any* number of systems. 

Here’s an everyday example. An important customer gets in touch to discuss an ongoing issue which the agent is fully able to resolve for them.

No automation? Then the agent will need to update the call log, lose the ticket in your Helpdesk software and make a note in the CRM.

Yes automation? The agent only needs to close the Helpdesk tickets – that information is automatically replicated everywhere else. 

4. Automation makes you far more flexible

Is there anything more important to the long-term health of a contact center than flexibility? Probably not.

Flexibility means reviewing and improving the way you work… but there’s a catch!

If you change the way you work, you have to retrain staff. That costs money and it costs time. It can also be quite frustrating for agents if they;re forever playing catch-up.

But how would it be if your processes are mostly automated? Surely then they’re easy to update?

Yes! In theory… butin practice it 100% depends on how involved the contact center is in designing its own processes.

Here’s a crazy fact: under a quarter of contact centers enjoy full collaboration in the design of their own processes.

It’s for this reason that planners are turning to No-Code automation to bring their ideal call center services to life.

Because there’s no coding required, a non-tech person in the contact center can design and implement the processes they’ve always wanted – and that’s the ticket for an incredible amount of flexibility!

5. Automation can create super personalized services

This is counter-intuitive, right? The more you automate, the more you can personalize services. 

Here’s why.

With automation in the mix, you can design services for every eventuality. You can draw from every piece of data you have about customers and feed that into the service you provide.

Take call routing. The first step in a really personalized service because your ACD system will receive information from surrounding systems. That influences the routing decisions it makes.

What about automatic follow-up actions like SMS or email? You could even be totally proactive by automatically contacting customers with known issues.

And let’s not neglect those cost savings!

Back to where we started. All of the benefits we’ve covered here will, in their own ways, contribute to a healthier bottom line. Some, like clean data, reduce costs. Others, like greater staff and customer retention have a massive cumulative impact on costs.

OIt’s benefits like that which make automation such a must-have for modern call center services!