How important is it to a business owner that their phones are answered quickly? If they like happy customers, speed of answer is absolutely critical.
Think about some of the times you have called a business. How long do you let the phone ring before hanging up? Maybe 6 or 7 times? After that, you give up and call another company to see if they will actually answer their phone. If a business or their answering service is slow to pick up, (say the 8th or 9th ring) then they are already losing potential customers that didn’t have the patience to keep waiting for someone to answer. Companies with a slow speed of answer are basically giving business away to competitors.
But some people do wait! Sure, but how happy do you think those callers are after they’ve had to wait through roughly 10 rings before someone bothers to pick up? Not only are they upset at the long wait time, but they have already developed a first impression of your businesses: not prompt. not professional. not customer-focused.
So what are the big reasons why speed of answer matters? Businesses that don’t have their phones answered promptly…
- Miss sales opportunities
- Aren’t providing superior customer service
- Create a poor brand image
A good business answering service is one that makes it a priority to pick up the call within the first 3 rings. So when you are shopping around for a service provider, make sure you ask them about their speed of answer. But don’t just stop there, because a salesman can say whatever they think you want to hear. Go beyond that initial question and ask what systems and procedures they have in place to achieve a quick speed of answer on a regular basis.
But as they say, the proof is in the pudding. So test them! Call your answering service and see how long it takes them to answer. And then try them again. Never be afraid to make sure your business partner is providing the best possible service for your callers.