To compete with large and global business operations, you must investigate various cost-effective solutions for your type of business. Most small businesses, and even many medium-sized businesses, do not have the resources to employ their own staff to provide round-the-clock call coverage.
Covering all of the employee salaries required for this venture is not the best use of your resources. However, business opportunities do not cease to exist simply because the office closes at 5 p.m.
What is an answering service?
A phone answering service allows businesses to outsource their phone answering. These services can be as simple as answering the phone and taking messages, or as complex as providing complete customer service.
Virtual answering services are typically used by businesses that are unable to handle their incoming call volume or simply want to hire experienced customer service professionals to manage their incoming phone calls for them. Furthermore, many virtual answering services provide omnichannel support, including email management, social media moderation, and live web chat management.
Wouldn’t it be great if all business phone calls happened during business hours? There would be no debate between answering service vs. call center services. Answering services come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
What they can do for your company depends on the type of service you use. But, at their core, all answering services provide the same basic value proposition: ensuring that your callers reach a live human being who represents your company — even if that human being isn’t you or one of your team members.
Businesses frequently face the dilemma of choosing between missing important phone calls and paying to hire someone to cover the phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Outsourcing your call answering services to a qualified third party is a viable option. This allows your company to reap a variety of benefits, such as:
1. Get more done.
A company of any size may struggle to manage its call volume. However, it can be especially difficult for small businesses to manage. Many responsibilities are a team effort with several employees wearing multiple hats.
However, because answering the phone is often a lower priority, a busy time during the day could look like this:
You take one phone call and have a 10-minute conversation with your customer.
During that time, you receive two more calls that you are unable to answer. One of the callers leaves a message. When you return the call to that customer, another call comes in, which you miss. And, in the end, you’re unable to contact the person who left the message. That’s three potential customers who couldn’t reach you within a 15-minute period.
It doesn’t help that some calls are simply inapplicable to you. A telephone answering service, on the other hand, can sort through your calls for you. Taking the responsibility of answering calls away from your team also frees them up to focus on more value-added tasks. Only the most important calls are forwarded to you when you use an answering service, freeing up your entire team.
2. It legitimizes the business.
If you’re trying to run a professional service, the last thing you want is someone answering your incoming calls rudely, incorrectly, and/or colloquially. As a result, using a call answering service is highly recommended if you want complete control over how your incoming calls are answered. You have the option of recording your outgoing messages to ensure they meet the professional standards you require.
Even if you hire an in-house receptionist (note: high costs will be incurred), you will not have complete control over how well they answer your business calls. If your receptionist is having a “bad day” or is faced with a difficult situation, you are relying on their ability to provide a service that you deem “correct.” With a call answering service, the consistency of someone answering your calls is unquestionable.
According to a Forbes article, 92 percent of 1,000 consumers polled in a study about customer experiences say they would stop purchasing from a company after three or fewer poor customer service experiences. In comparison, 26 percent would stop after just one. As a result, your company’s customer service can make or break your brand.
Furthermore, with automated menus in an answering service, your customers can get to the right person for the right help from your team members. Such a wide range of menu options suggests a well-established status as if you’ve been in business for a long time.
A telephone answering service strengthens strong customer relationships. It maintains a professional image of high quality, whether you are a young start-up, an independent accountant, or an established business owner. Your partnership with your client begins the moment you answer the phone; providing a response service will make all the difference.
3. Don’t miss opportunities.
Partnering with a telephone answering service means you will never miss a call ever again. Just one call can seal the deal that has been so close for so long, it can delight a returning customer who will become your biggest advocate.
Safe in the knowledge that a dedicated professional receptionist is in place to take your calls, you will never have to worry about disappointing a customer or missing an important message, every opportunity will hence be captured.
4. 24/7 service.
Your customers can get help from live representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can even have the answering service take calls on holidays if you want. Working with a small business answering service 24 hours a day, seven days a week allows you to tap into their established processes to help provide support for your customers.
When customers aren’t forced to call during regular business hours and instead have the freedom to contact you when it’s most convenient for them, it’s a huge win for your customer experience. An outsourced receptionist service will help you develop a reputation for commitment to customer satisfaction and earn higher customer retention rates by using a customized script that accurately portrays your brand voice.
5. The deciding factor.
First impressions are essential in business. A telephone answering service makes it simple for customers to contact your company, meaning the difference between gaining new customers and losing them to a competitor.
It also allows you to focus on other aspects of your business while ensuring that no potential customers are overlooked. An experienced small business answering service that offers 24-hour support should tailor a solution to your specific needs.
You are free to select from a wide range of services and only those that you believe will benefit your business operation. Furthermore, as your company grows and your needs change, you can modify and update your solution to align with your current business strategies.