When you’re running a business, you have a lot on your plate every day. Your attention is likely being pulled in all different directions when you need to focus on priority tasks—but sometimes, everything feels like a priority (and all at once).
You wish you could alleviate some of the stress, but you don’t want to overburden staff either—they have a lot of tasks, too, and both work quality and morale are important to you. You could outsource, but what if an outsider doesn’t understand your business as well as you and your dedicated full-timers?
These struggles are common for growing businesses. The thing is, call centers aren’t the dimly-lit, depressing cubicles they used to be. The industry has made leaps and bounds since then, and with the influx of calls this year due to COVID-19, more business owners are realizing how valuable the right answering service company can be.
Highly professional answering service teams come trained to learn a company inside and out, so they can speak intelligently about your brand while communicating with a customer—and act as a true resource that you’d be proud represents your voice.
It’s becoming more and more useful for businesses to seek out this type of service. It can help managers and employees alike refocus their efforts on other responsibilities—without wasting their days sitting in front of the phone. Discover how an answering service can increase your business’ productivity and help it grow.
How an Answering Service Works
Each answering service may be a little bit different, but if you decide to begin your search for one, we suggest you make sure they have the following offerings (at least):
- Virtual receptionist. One of the most valuable resources you can have for your business is a dedicated person to act as a virtual secretary. They’ll devote their time to handling the majority of your incoming calls during normal business hours. Take a load off and bring on a service that can get you a person like this—for less than you’d have to pay a full-time employee.
- Virtual office service. Why spread your in-office staff thin when you could have a trustworthy, seasoned team take care of the more repetitive or smaller (yet, still critical) tasks?
An answering service can do things like text and email delivery, order entry, appointment scheduling, reminders, customer relationship management, emergency and maintenance dispatch, help desk and trouble tickets, and even disaster planning and recovery. It could be your ticket to making everyone’s lives easier at work—and making the day flow more smoothly.
- Automated answering service. So you never miss a caller, no matter the time or day. Pre-recorded messages can help guide your current and prospective customers through the customer service journey, getting all their questions answered 24/7, without tying up precious resources at your company.
- Call centers. Like IVR but the next level—real, live human assistance, for when a customer just doesn’t want to deal with a bot. Whether it’s after-hours, a holiday, lunch-time, or there’s simply an overflow and you need help, routing calls to a dedicated call center will have questions answered and concerns addressed faster, so callers have a top-notch experience every time.
The Purpose of Using an Answering Service
Your business can benefit from enlisting the help of an answering service in several ways. As mentioned, you can save time and money by letting your full-time task force concentrate on other jobs. You’ll pay one set fee for an entire team, rather than hiring for salaried positions piecemeal. Easier, 24/7 access will thrill your customers as well.
People tend to be more satisfied with their support when they’re dealing with a pleasant, experienced professional who has a friendly demeanor. Short wait times help, too. This is harder to achieve when your employees have their hands full, and you’re more likely to see a drop in work quality or turnover when they feel rushed or pressured. There’s also a higher chance of them accidentally getting short with a caller, leading to poor reviews.
Why Customer Service Is Important
Poor customer service will negatively impact customer experience and quickly tarnish your reputation. If you want to maintain great customer satisfaction levels for your company, it’s best to hire people who will do that for you. It’ll allow you and your full-time workers to take care of other critical tasks that need your attention while offering your customers a lifeline, no matter the time of day.
You’ve probably heard this before, and it still rings true: if you can make your customers feel heard, they’ll remain loyal customers for life. People who have had interactions with someone representing your brand and liked what they experienced will often tell their family and friends about it. This can lead to more customers in the future, without any extra marketing or sales work. They’re free spokespeople.
On the other hand, if a representative gives them a frustrating wait, doesn’t solve their problem, or isn’t personable, it could turn them and future customers away—sometimes for good. In fact, 90% of Americans say customer service is a huge factor in deciding whether or not they will do business with a company, and 49% of them switched companies in a single year due to poor customer service.
It’s your job to make sure your callers feel like you’ve put in the effort and genuinely care about them—but doesn’t mean you directly have to stand watch over the phones yourself. You can set up a smart team outside of the office to manage this very important (but inevitably time-consuming) feat for you.
There are companies ready to do just that, who are dedicated to earning your trust and protecting your brand image.
How to Use an Answering Service to Help Your Customer Service
Good service will boost the happiness of your clients and customers, as well as the happiness of you and your staff. Simply choose the right service provider and watch your worries melt away. You won’t have to worry about picking up the phone for customer support again, and you’ll stay confident that customers are being cared for and getting the answers they need. After all, businesses do best when they don’t overlook customer happiness.
You’ll know you’ve selected a great answering service when they can offer a whole package rather than just one product or solution. The best ones understand customer service isn’t just one or two individual activities, but a full-fledged system to remove burdens from you and meet the customer where they are. A good customer service group will save you money and help your business grow. Over the long-run, it will prove its worth several times over.
Bring on the ideal partner in customer service, and give people a reason to rave about your company and come back to you for more—rather than a competitor. You can be sure you’ll stay ahead of the curve when you have specialists on your side, behind-the-scenes, ready, and waiting at the phones to delight each and every caller.