It’s a known fact that manning phone lines while carrying out other business activities can be somewhat distracting. For small businesses whose staff need to act in double or triple capacities, answering the phone may not be their priority. However, excellent customer service is essential for attracting prospective customers and retaining the existing ones.
But when there are not enough staff to handle your phone calls, or when the volume of calls begins to spike beyond what you can handle, an answering service company can come to your rescue.
How Will a Phone Answering Company Help?
Hiring a company to answer phone calls holds a lot of benefits. It will help you deliver positive impressions to your customers. Also, missed calls or delay in answering calls, time spent on sharing service or product knowledge, support ticket submission, scheduling appointment, and much more will be eliminated.
When you provide consistent, meaningful experience to your customers, it builds loyalty. Above that, your customers will help to advertise your business by word-of-mouth which will in turn increase profitability.
Tips to Choosing the Right Answering Service
When looking for an answering service for your business, you need to look out for one that will meet your needs. There are lots of companies offering answering services but not all of them will be suitable for you. Here are tips to use when choosing the right answering service:
1. What Type of Industry Do They Cover?
Ensure that the company handles clients from your kind of industry. For example, IT and Tech businesses will require a different answering service from a medical care business. Some companies cover a variety of industries. You can check out Main Line Telecommunications for specialized expertise in various industries.
2. Do They Offer 24/7 Services?
Answering services are meant to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. However, some of them are not usually available round the clock. So, you need to confirm that the company will always be available. If you operate a health care business, for instance, your patients can call at any time and if there is an emergency, someone needs to be available to attend to them.
3. How Many Calls Can They Take at Once?
It is important to know the call capacity of the company. Some companies cannot handle more than one caller at a time. They will either send the other callers to voicemail or give a signal that the line is busy. When this happens, the aim of hiring an answering service will be defeated.
Additionally, if you are planning on running radio or television ads, ensure that the phone answering service company is aware. This is because this kind of advert results in tons of extra callers within one or two minutes. And if their calls are not taken, they drop the line and never call back.
4. What Are Their Quality Control Measures?
You need to ensure that the answering service you want to hire has some quality control measures. Find out if they record or monitor their calls and if they work from home or have an office space.
Furthermore, if they are working from home, you need to find out how they deal with background noise. It will be odd if your callers hear dogs barking or kids screaming in the background. On the other hand, if they have an office space, find out how they make the calls sound like they are actually being answered within your business premises and not a call center.
You can read this article to find out how to assess an answering service quality control measures.
5. Can They Attend to Non-English Speakers?
If your business has clients who speak other languages apart from English, you need to be sure that the company you hire can bridge the language gap.
6. Do They Give Monthly Reports?
Statistics is very important in business because you need those numbers to make plans for the future. A good answering service company will give you monthly reports on the calls received. The statistics will include the following:
- The nature of the calls (appointment verification or scheduling, customer service, question, etc)
- Total number of received calls
- Time of each in-coming call
This information will help you know what time you receive more calls and why the customers are calling. You will also ascertain if you need a “live” customer care rep in your office during the morning hours, then switch to an answering service later in the day or at night.
7. How Do They Bill Customers?
It is quite sad that answering services have a lot of hidden charges. As a result, you need to know if they round up call times or have maximum call times. You also need to verify how frequently they bill and how they charge for outbound calls. Most importantly, ask if they have any hidden fees. This will help you plan accordingly.
If you need to know more about answering services, click the link: https://www.business.com/articles/what-is-a-virtual-answering-service/
Hiring a company for answering phones calls 24 hours every day can boost your customer retention. It will also prove that your customer management skill is top-notch. Despite the fact that we are in a digital age, customers still prefer getting assistance from a real person to surfing the internet for answers. That is where answering services come in handy.
In this article, we discussed how answering services can help to boost the reputation of your business, which will in turn, boost profitability. So, before you hire a company to handle your phone calls, ensure that it fits into your needs.