Leadership

How Small Firms Can Win Big from Mega-Events

Toronto's SpiderTech will supply the Pan Am Games. What they did to prepare

Written by William Payne

It’s common for major brands to sponsor mega sporting events like the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, but thanks to new tools and technology it’s now possible for small businesses to compete on the world stage too.

As a proud supporter of the Games, my company, SpiderTech, is set to provide approximately 131,000 feet of elastic therapeutic tape—that’s almost 40 kilometres, or roughly 72 CN Towers worth of tape. It’s quite the investment for a small, Toronto-based operation with only seven full-time employees.

With thousands of potential new customers about to try our products for the first time, we’re anticipating more questions than ever before. Ten years ago, a small company would’ve had to double its staff in order to prepare for an event of this magnitude, but today entrepreneurs can get their employees ready to deliver a gold-medal level of customer service relatively easily.

Whether your business is quickly scaling up for an event like Pan Am Games, or for a big new client with hundreds or thousands of new users, here are three ways to deliver elite customer service.

Every employee is a brand ambassador

Servicing new customers and mega-events likely will require you to add staff. Whether you’re bringing on a few interns (as we did) or hiring full-time employees, it’s important each one is educated on your products or services and ready to answer every possible question.

When your brand is on a global stage and everyone is watching, the last thing you need are dissatisfied customers complaining about your customer service on social media. Proper training ensures your staff will be able to effectively manage the influx of customer questions/complaints and increased demand for your products during busy times.

Invest in the right technology

Hiring and training great staff only goes so far. You also need great technology. Just as an elite athlete would never run the 100-meter final in old shoes with broken laces, your employees can’t perform their best using antiquated tools.

Before implementing Desk.com from Salesforce last fall, our staff was drowning in emails and voice messages. We were wasting valuable time and effort mistakenly answering the same inquiries twice, and things were slipping through the cracks. Today, we have a solution that’s able to segment incoming requests. It allows our small staff to control the flow of information—live chat, social media, phone calls, voicemails, tweets, Facebook posts—and figure out the quickest, most efficient way to get back to our customers.

Set a fast pace

Unfortunately, it’s no longer just enough to give customers a thoughtful, well-considered response. You also need to do it fast! Supplement your desktop support solution with a mobile support app and provide incentives for agents to solve customer problems around the clock, from the office or anywhere.

In our case, if say a medical practitioner from Chile emails, calls or tweets us a question about how to apply SpiderTech tape on an athlete, we are able to respond with lightning speed and, hopefully, turn that prospect into a new customer.

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Like all the athletes about to compete in Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, we’re ready for the challenge. By taking the proper steps to make your customer service elite, you can ensure your small business gets to the next level as well.

William Payne is the VP of Sales and Marketing at SpiderTech, a Toronto-based developer and world leader of pre-cut and ready-to-apply kinesiology tape.

MORE STRATEGIES FOR SCALING UP:

Have you ever had to scale up for a new client? Share your experiences and strategies using the comments section below.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com
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