What is an Answering Service? What Your Business Needs to Know
Every business’ bottom line is about saving on cost. Whether you are a new start-up or looking to downsize your companies non-core processes, there are ways to always stay within your budget.
Companies large and small are hiring a professional answering service to keep track of their calls in a professional manner, save on money and save time. No matter the field; from technology and medical, to the start-up working from home, everyone can benefit from an answering service.
Wondering what is an answering service even is? Here, we will explain what they do and how you can benefit most from utilising one for your business.
What is an Answering Service?
Answering services have been around almost as long as the telephone, from the singular receptionist coping with multiple lines to a dedicated centre. The ability to have your calls answered when you are not at your office or out in the field is just scratching the surface of what modern day services can provide you with.
Here are some of the services you can expect:
Answer Your Calls
You get to choose your own greeting, so when the phone is answered, the caller won’t know they are calling an answering service, keeping your brand reputation secure.
You can have some of your calls answered or all of them. This way, if you are away from the phone or in a meeting, you can be reassured you will never miss a call. You can forward your business and your personal phone if you need to, just to be sure you don’t miss any business- when you’re busy with the business.
You can decide what calls they answer, whether it is an always on service, or only comes into play when you are unable to take the call yourself. You can retrieve your messages and get back to your clients, all without them knowing that it was an answering service all along.
When your customers call in and get an answering machine, or worse, a phone that just rings, it can hurt your business. They may be reluctant to call back. If they have a problem, they may just go somewhere else. That’s a lost customer that you will have to pay more to replace or retain.
Don’t fret, answering services can even help you there.
If someone calls your business after hours and still get a live voice, with a greeting personalised to your business, it matters. It makes the customer happy to be able to talk to someone and it makes your business look professional.
Not only that but you will be providing excellent customer service.
This is particularly true if someone is calling to complain. Finding a real person at the other end of the phone can often defuse the hostile situation. They have your information and can relay back to you right away.
The answering service will collect all of your messages making them easily accessible to you at any given moment. This can be really important for your productivity, especially if you are away or you are running a small business, having easy access to your call info can save you vital time.
You can log in to a centralised system and even have your messages sent to you in real time via text or email. Allowing you to stay on top of any important business, take care of problems and still run your business. That way, you don’t ever miss an emergency or a big lead.
Hiring a receptionist is nice, but it can have some obvious downsides. A receptionist requires holidays, can get sick or have a sick child and needs a physical space to work in. That’s even before we talk about salary.
The people taking your calls at the answering service need all this too, but it no longer becomes a problem for you. The company takes care of all of that for you so you are always covered and don’t have to worry about missing a call.
You are not paying for an office space or equipment, and you don’t have to pay wages or insurance for someone who is there but not taking your calls. The answering service packages allow you to only pay for the time a person is physically taking your calls, no wasted money and a better bottom line.
High Tech Equipment
An answering service has the best equipment and cutting edge technology to ensure all the calls are answered and relayed to their clients. Trust that extra assurances have been made to operate in unlikely events, even during a power outage, to make sure your service is never interrupted.
Reputable services will have an in-house technical team on duty at all times to make sure the show runs as smoothly as possible. Any glitch or problem is seen to and taken care of right away. There is even the option of live chat, to make sure people can get in touch.
Highly trained and experienced staff are prepared to handle all your business needs. Most operators are trained for their empathy and emotional intelligence when dealing with people to ensure that every customer calling in for a client receives the level of service that is expected from great companies. They will talk to your customer as your company and get all the vital information from your caller.
If you are running a small business and have had to rely on your own mobile phone or hired a part time person for help, you know that availability can soon become a problem.
Great customer service is what keeps your business going and that is the same for the answering service. Friendly, efficient staff around the clock, so you don’t have to be.
Modern day answering services can offer so much more than telephone answering.
You can also have the option of a virtual receptionist, adding additional numbers for dedicated lines and even have a managed live chat on your website for a 360 customer service experience.
There are also options for dedicated email management, a more detailed script for clients with specific needs and even outbound calling campaigns.
Take the Next Step
Those missed calls are missed opportunities and potential income. Having your incoming calls managed professionally means you never miss a call. You can rest easy with a professional answering service, so you can get busy building your company.
Once your small business or start-up starts to grow, your service can grow with you.
Moving up in the business world can be scary and exciting. Once you are too busy to handle the phone yourself, that is a good sign your business is succeeding. But when you need to branch out, it’s time to ask for help.
What is an answering service? We are, and this is what we can do to help you and your business.
Contact us to see what type of services we offer can help you get off your phone and get back into running your business.