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Small Biz Bee features Grasshopper - 7 Tools that Can Take a Small Business to the Next Level

Competing with the selection and price offered through big box retailers and national service providers can be tough. But small business owners are quickly discovering that the way to win friends doesn’t necessarily always have to do with price alone. In fact, simply by enhancing your customer service, you can compete with and even surpass your larger competitors.

Sure, you can spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars each year on a variety of pricey customer service initiatives. But there are also a number of cost-effective and highly productive services offered through the web, often requiring no software installation and an extremely short learning curve.
Edge Out the Competition with Smart Tools

Whether you’re trying to enhance your level of customer engagement or simply trying to cut costs, the following six tools provide a simple and affordable way to minimize your effort while maximizing your return. And a few of them can even be used for free!

1. Snap Engage

SnapEngage – Ever wish there was a way to reach out and grab those who visit your site? With SnapEngage, you can integrate live chat with web visitors via popup window, allowing them to connect directly to you or a representative through Google Talk or Skype. For a set monthly fee, you also receive detailed information on your visitors including SEO keywords, source, history, physical location and technical environment. Plus, you aren’t required to learn or install any new software.

2. Hello Bar

Hello Bar – Grab the attention of your website’s visitors as effectively as the banner headline on a daily newspaper with Hello Bar. Providing an extensive variety of colors, fonts and even textures, you can create a personalized call to action that appears on the top of any designated web page, directing your visitors to the most important information or prompting them to take the next step toward purchase. With free signup, you’re also allowed to perform A/B testing on multiple versions and receive an analysis of your click-through rate to choose the best one.

3. Buffer

Buffer – Bearing the tagline, “Be awesome on social media,” Buffer is pretty hard to resist. But that’s exactly what it provides: an awesome way to continuously connect with your social network without the hassle of having to retweet everything you see. The Buffer service keeps tabs on what you’re viewing, whether it’s on your PC, laptop or mobile device, and shares that content with your followers on a predetermined schedule. Plans are based on the number of posts sent out on a monthly basis and can even be had for free if you can manage to keep the number of posts to 10 or less.

4. Free Logo Services

Free Logo Services is one website that allows business owners to be their own graphic designer with extremely simple online software that is as easy to. All you have to do is enter your logo text, choose a professionally designed logo in the color scheme of your choice, and customize it further with a library of font styles and different positioning possibilities, and you just created your own professional looking logo design. You could literally save thousands by just clicking your mouse.

5. Grasshopper

Grasshopper – Ideal for businesses that operate in the cloud or have a number of employees always on the go, Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that allows you to select a phone number, record a greeting, add associates and then receive calls, voicemail and even faxes anywhere in the world. Plus, for a set monthly fee, they also provide a transcription of each voicemail delivered in your email – a tool that is quickly rising to the top of efficiency tools for those with a heavy call volume.