An Emergency Answering Service Is an Important Part of Your Disaster Recovery Plan
No one can predict when disasters will happen but, when they do, individuals, cities, and businesses can all be devastated. At the end of the day, the way in which a company responds to a disaster will reflect its level of commitment to its customers. Today, having a disaster recovery plan is essential, and an emergency answering service is a vital component.
Do You Really Need a Plan?
Many business owners wonder if they really do need a plan for emergencies and disasters. The short answer is “yes.” Even a power outage can be enough to cut your side of the conversation with customers. This not only will significantly reduce your sales, but if customers are unable to reach you, it will also damage your relationship with them.
However, with an emergency answering service, it’s all taken care of whether your business is involved with disaster recovery, medical, HVAC services, or a number of other industries.
If a Natural Disaster Occurs
If a weather or another natural event occurs that causes your business phone system to be inoperable, your customers have no way to reach you. A professional answering service can save the day, stepping in to ensure that customers always have a way to get in touch when they need more information.
Patients who try to reach their doctors in the middle of the night are doing so because they need medical assistance due to current pain or sickness. A live answering service that allows patients to get in touch with their doctors or healthcare providers at any time of the day or night can allow patients to get the care and information they need.
Multiple and Simultaneous Calls
When something happens that affects an entire city, such as a widespread power outage, customers are left without many of the services they need. One of these needed services concerns heating and air conditioning. In this case, no business can be everywhere. However, when a professional answering service is in place, all calls can be handled and service appointments scheduled.
Personal vs. Automated Service
Automated answering service is very common these days. We are used to calling a number and being greeted by a recorded voice that offers a range of choices. Many have experienced frustration with these services, and for several reasons.
Sometimes, a particular concern doesn’t appear on the list of choices, and an individual has to wait long periods of time to speak with a real person. Other times, technical issues force customers to call back more than once and deal with the same list of choices. None of these benefits the customer, especially not during times when they need to get in touch with a company.
Simply put, automated service doesn’t provide customers with a sense of familiarity. Although this may not seem significant, familiarity is what keeps customers coming back to you.
The personality projected by your business, when combined with familiarity, is what a personal emergency call answering service will provide. This is what will allow you to continue building customer loyalty for your brand, even in the middle of a disaster.
The ability to speak with a real person about their individual needs will make your customers feel important, instead of like just another face in the crowd.
Real Value Around the Clock
Your emergency answering service provides a way for customers to get in touch with your business whenever they need to. Professional live operators are there all the time, which means no calls to your business will go unanswered.
How to Determine if a Professional Answering Service Is Right for You
There are a few ways to tell if your business will benefit from having a professional answering service and if a particular service will work well for you.
You Don’t Have a Way to Reach Spanish-Speaking Members
If your customers include Spanish-speaking individuals, it’s important that they be able to not only reach you but also communicate with your business when they need to. A Spanish-speaking answering service can ensure that all calls from Spanish-speaking customers are handled professionally Your customers can speak to a representative of your business in their preferred language, which will increase their appreciation of you.
You Don’t Have an Option for Emergency Calls
If there is a chance that your customers may need to reach you outside of business hours, you need to ensure they can do just that. A customer needing help who is, due to lack of a disaster recovery answering service, unable to get anyone from your business to answer the phone will call another business; it’s as simple as that.
However, when customers can not only reach you but speak with a live person who can empathize with their situations and ensure their messages get through, they will return this with loyalty.
You’re Not Sure About Your Phone Pickup or Hold Time
How many times would you wait for a phone to ring before you hang up? This is called pickup time, and not knowing it can be detrimental to your business. Each time your phone rings and goes unanswered, your customer loses confidence in you. Even if they only experience this one time, it can be enough to cause them to go elsewhere.
A professional call answering service will ensure that each and every call is answered quickly, well before your customer can ever even think of hanging up. Not only will this prevent your customer from losing confidence in you, but it will communicate to them that you are well-staffed, even outside of your typical business hours.
Hold time is another important item to know. A customer who has been placed on hold for too long will be an unhappy one. The right emergency answering service will ensure that no caller is ever put on hold, because they understand that the most important call is the one they are handling right then and there.
Ensure That You Choose the Right Company
There are certain characteristics which make it possible for all calls to be handled in the way that you and the customer expect. Any live answering service you choose should possess these.
They Should Be Professional
An answering service should have operators that have been professionally trained. This means that they are able to handle any type of call. Training is incredibly important; it ensures that each and every call is handled in the same way. As well, the training operators receive will show in the quality of their calls. They will be motivated to help and be interested in solving each caller’s issue. And don’t forget about experience. Ask your prospective answering service partners how long their average agent has worked there. Be cautious if it’s anything less than a couple years.
They Should Be Compassionate
Professional phone agents know the importance of making callers feel understood. This requires having a sense of compassion. Being able to project that compassion in their voices is a hallmark of experience and should definitely be included on the list of what to look for in a service.
They Should Specialize
Regardless of the products or services you provide, your chosen answering company should be able to communicate specific information about your business to your customers. This specific information includes hours of business, as well as information about particular products or services.
They Should Be a Partner
As mentioned earlier, there is a big difference between those answering services which are automated and those which offer a more personal and customized approach. Taking messages is definitely useful. However, when a company can also empathize, converse with, and reassure your customers, this elevates the perceived value of your business to an entirely new level.
Regardless of which company you are considering, you must ensure that it goes beyond simply answering calls or taking messages. The live answering service you choose should act as an extension of your business, allowing for a seamless and open line of communication between your customers and your company.
A Trusted, Nationwide Leader
The quality of your customer service is one thing that you should never leave to chance. AnswerMTI understands the value of providing accurate information and knowledgeable answers to your customers. A nationwide leader in live answering service, AnswerMTI offers affordable services from warm and friendly operators.
Discover how a live emergency answering service can start benefiting your business today. Call us at 1-800-673-2000.