A big part of a successful business is about ensuring it continues to run smoothly and efficiently, all while providing customers with a positive first impression. Responding to customer calls in a friendly and professional manner can go a long way toward building your reputation, but you may not have the time or resources to do so during busy times or around the clock on a 24-hour basis. Read on to discover how a business answering service can help.
What Is a Business Answering Service?
You’re already familiar with the concept of having a receptionist to answer your phone. These days, it’s also very common to make use of an automated phone system which takes callers through a range of options. A business answering service is different from both of these, in that it is actually the best of both worlds. Your callers get to speak with a live, helpful representative and you get to save money by not hiring additional employees while giving your existing team the freedom to focus on what they do best.
The Live Operator Difference
The live operators employed by this kind of answering service have been professionally trained in communications. They are able to handle calls of every kind. Depending on your requirements, live operators can do much more than answer the phone. They can take messages, help place orders, schedule appointments, provide information/answers to questions, and transfer callers to their desired department. When people call with a sensative matter, a live operator is able to empathize with callers and help them reach a solution. All of these benefits can be available to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Let’s look further into the many benefits of a professional business answering service.
The Benefits of Live Service to Business Owners
From cost-savings and higher efficiency to higher call quality, there are many ways that a live answering service can benefit your business.
Helps You Stay Within Budget
If you’re looking to save money without sacrificing the quality of your customer service, a business answering service can be your ultimate solution. Hiring, training, and paying in-house staff to answer the phones will cost you thousands of dollars. The services you get from live operators won’t force you to hire, train, or pay anyone; rather, you pay only for the service you use, adjusting your service level according to your specific requirements.
Keeps Staff on Task
When you’re trying to complete a task and are interrupted, it can take time to regain focus. The same is true of your staff. During busy times when your call volumes are high, one person to answer the phones may not be sufficient, forcing you to take staff members away from their regular jobs. When you have a business phone answering service working for you, it’s no longer necessary to do this; you and your staff can place all your focus on the task at hand.
Live operators are trained to provide service that’s specific to the industry in which you do business. This means that no matter when customers call, they can speak with someone who knows what you do and understands your industry, allowing for high call quality and value to the customer.
No More Missed Calls or Hang-Ups
Technology has allowed for the creation of “set it and forget it” systems, which handle customer calls automatically. While this may be a very convenient option, it may not offer your customers the level of service they’ve come to expect from you. If customers need to get in touch with your business right away, only to be forced to listen to a seemingly endless list of options, be put on hold, or get sent to voicemail, they may simply hang up. A business answering service ensures that you never miss another customer call or opportunity to create a new customer.
Makes Your Job Easier
Your live answering service is the gatekeeper to your business, giving customers a good impression. However, as the manager, it will be your job to ensure all calls and messages are followed up in a timely manner. A professional operator can ensure that all of your calls and messages are organized in order, whether that means by urgency, time of call, or another parameter you identify. This can make it far easier for you to get back to customers in a shorter amount of time.
Customer-Specific Benefits of Live Answering Services
In addition to the many business benefits that a live answering service offers your company, there are also several benefits to your customers.
Makes Customers Feel Valued and Understood
In a time when so many businesses are using automated systems to handle their customer calls, choosing a live answering service can help your business stand out. Imagine customers’ surprise when they call your business expecting a recording, only to be able to speak with a live person. This kind of personal service can make all the difference to how your business is perceived; your customer feels truly valued—a vital ingredient of long-term loyalty.
Top-Quality Service That Includes All Customers
Part of your customer base may not speak English, which can make communication difficult. Live business answering service can eliminate this by having bilingual operators. This helps customers to feel more comfortable about asking questions or stating their needs. As well, in being able to communicate in their language, professional operators can obtain information from callers clearly and accurately, which eliminates any guesswork.
You Are Always Accessible
When something unexpected occurs, such as a power outage, damaging storm, or another event, it can stop a business dead in its tracks. No phone system, no matter how sophisticated, will work without electricity. However, because a small business answering service is in a different location than your business, customers never have to worry about being unable to reach you. Instead, they can know what’s happening with your business and be assured that you’ll get in touch as soon as you can.
Now that you know some of the business and customer benefits of choosing a live answering service, it’s time to look at how to ensure you find the right service the first time.
Elements of Quality Live Answering Services
Although a service should fit in with your budget, going with the lowest cost is not necessarily the best route to take. Instead, try to look for a company that has a track record of outstanding service at an affordable price. They should offer competitive rates and customize a plan that takes your budget and requirements into account. Scalability is a must-have as well. A professional business answering service must be able to scale and grow with your company, as well as throttle back during any seasonal downturns or slow periods. This will help you save as much money as possible and offer the best possible customer service.
The company you choose should also be well-established, with several years of experience. The same is true of the operators who work for them. Before committing to any company, make sure that their receptionists have received formal training for professional phone manners and dealing with emergencies and unhappy callers.
The service should also be able to handle all of the tasks you need to be completed, whether that means they only greet customers and take messages or schedule appointments, provide general information, and redirect customer calls as well. This ability to multi-task will offer you much peace of mind.
Your Complete Customer Service Solution
As a business owner, your time and energy are best spent on ensuring that your company grows and thrives. Professional live answering services from AnswerMTI can provide you with the freedom to run your business without worrying about how your customer calls are being handled. We offer a range of services to fit any budget and solve any challenge. And they can all be seamlessly implemented right away. Learn more about how your business can start benefiting from professional answering services by calling AnswerMTI today: 1-800-673-2000.