Top 10 Tips to Choose the Best Phone Answering Service in Manchester

Poor customer service is the main reason over 50 percent of people stop doing business with a company. From the way an organization communicates with its clients and customers to how quickly they respond, can make – or break – a reputation.

Although one of the top consumer frustrations was having to communicate by phone, it doesn’t mean your company is at risk. In fact, the good news is that great customer service is the top reason customers and clients remain loyal.

If you find yourself too swamped to manage your phone lines properly, then it might be time to consider hiring a phone answering service. No matter what size your company is, a phone service can provide an added layer of personalised communication that sets you apart from the rest.

What is a Phone Answering Service?

A phone answering service utilises live telephone operators (versus outdated voicemail or automation) to answer phone calls and deliver messages to your business. Similar to a receptionist, a live operator is available to speak to customers, can transfer a call to you, take a message for future delivery, or answer calls after business hours.

This type of service can be greatly beneficial to your business and is a smart investment to help grow your clientele. Not only are your callers’ needs being met, it also demonstrates your dedication to their needs.

Who Benefits from Using This Service?

There are several types of businesses who benefit from having an answering service. Having the ability to speak to a live person offers reassurance and dependability to your clients and customers.

A few industries that should consider hiring an answering service, especially in the event of an emergency, are:

  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Veterinarians
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Estate Agents
  • Plumbers
  • HVAC technicians
  • eCommerce
  • Property management companies
  • Contractors

There are many more industries that could be added to this list, which is just a small sample.

Is It a Need or a Want?

Are your clients’ needs getting overlooked because your business is understaffed? Do you find it would cost you more to bring on an in-house receptionist than to pay for an answering service? Consider the damage you’re doing by not wanting to hire an outsourced answering service.

For small business owners, training a new staff member and taking the calls themselves swallows up a considerable amount of time. This is time that could be better spent onboarding new clients and expanding the business.

10 Tips to Help You Make the Best Decision

A great place to start looking for a phone answering service is your network of family, friends, and colleagues. Hearing about their experiences, both good and bad, can help you pinpoint exactly what you need from an answering service.

It can also raise any potential concerns you have about what to expect.

1. Reputation

The reputation of your phone answering service will be a direct reflection of you, so make sure you select one with a great reputation. Ask around for positive referrals. Read the company’s online reviews.

Don’t take any chances if their reputation is not spotless.

2. Availability

The ideal company will be able to provide the availability you need, so it’s important to know what type of services you require. Will you need a live operator 24 hours a day? Or would you be comfortable with an automation system?

Do you need an outgoing message listing your company hours, along with limited access to a customer service representative? Will you need someone on holiday and weekends? These are just a few details about how to help you get the availability you need.

3. Staff Expertise

If you need staff to schedule appointments and make reservations, make sure to address these concerns with the company you’re considering hiring.

Internet access, answering email, text messaging, faxing, and answering voicemails are areas of expertise that need qualified staff to handle with ease.

4. Certifications

Up-to-date staff and company certifications is a sign that staying current on training and education is valuable. This is a highly coveted asset to have and proves they are committed to excellence.

5. Dependability

If something were to happen in an emergency, make sure the phone answering service you hire is prepared. Whether it’s a solid disaster plan or data recovery back-up, make sure to ask for an up-to-date copy of the plan.

6. Compliance

Avoid any compliance issues by making sure your phone answering service staff know the laws. Outbound calls might pose a problem if a detailed message is not left on a voicemail account, stating the reason for a returned call. Impeccable record keeping must also be a top priority.

7. Confidentiality

If you’re in a legal or medical profession, clients and patients might need to leave messages with detailed private information. Understanding whether or not your call center adheres to strict confidentiality and/or privacy regulations is very important.

Non-disclosure training is an excellent quality for operators in these industries to have so make sure to include it.

8. Call Center or Phone Answering Service?

Sometimes these two terms can be confused, so it’s important to understand the difference. A phone answering service provides a more personal connection for smaller companies and functions similar to a receptionist. They must have excellent personal communication skills and be empathetic to callers needs.

Call centers are more focused on handling a large volume of calls in a quick manner. They gather information in non-emergency situations and are trained to handle multiple phone calls in one shift.

9. Pricing

Know your budget limitation and service requirements before you contact a phone answering service. A deciding factor for pricing might be the size of your company and how many services you might need. Smaller companies might benefit from several services to help expand their business.

10. Awards

Has the company received any industry recognition or awards? Call centre and telecommunications awards are given to companies who provide caller experience excellence.

The more awards a company has, the more they value the quality of services they provide.

Call Us When You’re Ready to Talk About Services

Picking the right answering service is an important step in expanding your business. We’re here to talk, whenever you’re ready!