As your business continues to grow, so will the number of customers who call or email you with questions about their accounts. This presents a problem for many small-business owners: When is it acceptable to stop answering customer calls? And when should those calls get routed to someone else in your company?
Whether you have a central office where most of these inquiries can be handled or work from a home office that’s often left unattended, a 24-hour answering service might just provide the answer. Here’s how:
Lets You Focus More on Core Tasks
An answering service can take messages and deliver them directly to you by voice mail, email or fax – anywhere, anytime – allowing you more time to focus on growing your business rather than fielding calls from existing customers. It also means that business owners don’t have to worry about being accessible to customers 24 hours a day.
Saves More Time
An answering service can provide callers with accurate information and refer them to the appropriate people in your company when necessary, which will cut down on the number of repeat questions you get from customers. In other words, it saves time and money by helping keep customers happy.
Answering services typically offer a combination of standard features, such as call forwarding and unlimited voice mailboxes for customers who need more flexibility. It could even include special features, such as low-cost conference calling or caller ID blocking (in case you’d like to speak confidentially basic answering machine or answering service). Business owners can pick and choose the services that will best meet their individual needs.
Saves Business Money
An answering service may even save your business money in the long run. Most providers will price their services according to call volume rather than by the hour or require a minimum number of hours per month. This means you only pay for what you need.
Callers “see” someone knowledgeable about your company at all times, too – no matter what time it is or where they are calling from – which makes it appear as though your company truly cares about them.
Helps Resolve Customer Issues
An answering service can provide customers with useful information about your company and be the first point of contact for new customers. This means, of course, that you have to provide your service with accurate information on company policies, hours of operation, and contact names.
Just as importantly, however, is making sure the information given over the phone properly reflects any changes in your company’s operations.
Provides Call Forwarding Feature
A 24-hour answering service can help keep all of your calls in check by forwarding them to different people in your company depending on whether it’s business or personal or what topic they pertain to. For example, calls about new orders could go to one person while technical support questions are directed to another team member rather than mixed. That way, nobody has their day disrupted by what would otherwise be considered a nuisance call.
No Need to Hire Additional Staff
The right 24-hour telephone answering service means you’ll no longer have to hire an additional person just to field customer calls, which saves you money on overhead expenses such as office space, equipment, and salaries. And in addition, it frees up the time of employees who might otherwise be required to take messages or transfer calls.
Maintain Professional Image
An answering service allows you to maintain a professional image in front of your customers, regardless of whether or not someone is available at that moment to answer the phone. This means, for example, that after-hours calls can be handled by an experienced, knowledgeable service representative who will have the information customers need to make a purchase.
Ensures Reliable Communications
Answering services provide reliability and security because the business owner isn’t required to be physically present. This means businesses can continue to do what they do best while their telephone service takes care of incoming calls professionally and efficiently 24-hours a day.
Acts as a Point of Contact
Answering services provide a point of contact for customers who may otherwise have calls or emails go unanswered.
If your small business would benefit from a 24-hour answering service, there are several things to consider before choosing a company or service. For instance,
- What languages are available?
- How many lines does it offer?
- Can you keep or forward voicemail to another mailbox?
- What is the cost of the service, and will your business qualify for an account?
An answering service provides invaluable service to any business—no matter the industry. If you’re thinking about hiring one, consider all ten of these benefits carefully—and enjoy your newfound success!