It’s tough to imagine the potential for growth in a phone support industry, especially in the face of a stagnating PC marketplace. Yet the Internet is virtually jam-packed with phone support directories (or support forums), all of which are geared toward helping Internet site owners. In addition, each directory lists all sorts of phone numbers, and there’s no shortage of people who need help with their websites.
However, the primary target of the telephone directories isn’t so much small business websites but rather big corporations and high-profile Internet businesses. No one wants to go to these directories expecting to get help with one of many common problems. Instead, it’s best to search for directories that focus on helping Internet entrepreneurs and business owners get support with common issues, such as answering emails and fixing broken links.
Once you have a basic understanding of what sort of problems online entrepreneurs and business owners experience, it’s best to search for listings of phone numbers. There are a few reasons for this. First, it’s difficult to tell how good a service is based solely on its web address. A good directory will list phone numbers in the first couple of pages, allowing the customer to scroll down the page and locate the right person for the job.
By focusing on answering emails, fixing broken links, and doing simple computer maintenance, a support person can really shine. To find a good directory, take a look at the customer reviews.
Do your research before signing up for any phone support program. Get an understanding of the different programs out there, including how long it will take them to be available to you, how much it will cost to call, and whether they will put you on hold while you wait. Find out about customer service policies as well, whether they can be monitored, and whether or not the customer service representatives are trained and ready to answer questions.
Most telephone support is provided by trained experts, who use professional voice clips, script, and graphics to provide online help. These are professionals who may not be local, and your service may be required to pay a remote charge for the phone call, usually just a few cents.
It’s wise to avoid companies that bill a fee for all calls to long distance or international. The bottom line on this is that the company makes its money off of the calls. They’re not going to be concerned with your needs if you don’t pay a fee.
Look for sites that allow the user to enter a few keywords and share information. Many sites require the customer to enter certain amounts of data, such as the issue number or a name, email address, and such. Some allow customers to enter numbers.
With good web directories, the customer will be able to contact an expert in seconds. They won’t have to wait for the email to arrive in their inbox or spend minutes looking for information in Google, or spend weeks trying to figure out how to connect to an answering service.
What’s more, a lot of companies with phone numbers also give out online technical support by way of its “Help” links. If the site’s domain or telephone number has a technical support link, it’s probably a good idea to choose a directory that offers free technical support.
If the site doesn’t provide a help desk staff or technical support, it’s probably a good idea to choose a site that focuses on online business. There’s a lot of value in knowing that you’ll always be able to speak to someone who can help when you need it.
The bottom line is this: phone support can be a huge asset to online business owners and entrepreneurs. But before using phone support, make sure you are clear on the type of help you want, and go with a directory that offers you the information you need.