Answering services are not the antiquated relics of a bygone era in technology. They’re alive, well, and kicking. And many companies rely on them with good reason.
After all, about 80 percent of business is still conducted over a phone. In the following article, we’ll be focusing on the 7 reasons why call answering is the way to go. So, if somebody would get that phone (!), we’ll begin.
1. Establish a Professional Voice Around the Clock
A call answering service ensures that your business never closes. And that’s a good thing, especially when you consider how much more demanding consumers are today than they were 15 or 20 years ago.
Near-instant gratification is the norm. A customer will give you a certain degree of leeway if you’re providing a highly-specialized service. But when it comes to picking up a phone and getting answers to their questions, they need human contact now.
The service you use can give your customers that connection around the clock without forcing you to work a 24/7 schedule. It also makes your business feel more established, which can be appealing if you’re just starting out or operating from a limited budget.
Now don’t get us wrong. There’s a lot that can be gained by keeping a desk person or receptionist on-site. But he or she will have to go home sometime, and that’s when a call service can really shine.
2. Stay Focused
Call answering can ensure your business doesn’t get sidetracked with the things that don’t matter as much. Task switching has been a problem for the modern workforce since technology made it a thing about a decade ago. (Thank the smartphone, kids!)
Nothing is a bigger distractor than a chirping business phone, though. At least with mobiles, we can set it to “Do Not Disturb” or vibrate. When’s the last time a business has ever done that to their office phones?
Answering phones through an outside service can prevent this costly distraction. And so long as you can fight the dangers of self-distraction, your productivity should recover nicely.
3. Respond Instantly to Your Customers
Instant response is a great selling point of today’s answering service. We’ve already touched on this some with No. 1, but it warrants further emphasis.
That’s because there is a wide manner of issues your service can take care of without bogging down the work of your specialized employees. Two that come to mind: product defect/replacement and user error.
The business call service industry has become about more than simply answering phones and taking messages. It’s offered companies a chance to handle some of their most commonly received complaints without getting in the way of higher-level operations.
This low-hanging fruit enables companies to make improvements in two key ways. It gives them the opportunity to focus on innovation as well as correcting critical issues whenever they may arise.
4. Find Your Next Customers
Any healthy business requires a strong marketing funnel if it’s going to maintain its position or grow within the industry. That means staying stocked with qualified leads.
You can’t be guaranteed your current customers will be there in five or 10 years. Life circumstances and interests change.
The fix to this is to go out and continually find a new pool of clients. But most don’t come to you ready to buy. They need nurturing.
Using a call service for business growth or maintenance is a solution to this issue. It’s a solution because it allows you to work on the business and your outreach approach while the service does the challenging work of qualifying the lead (i.e., deciding whether they’re the right fit for your product or service).
5. Maintain Cash Flow
One of the most common uses of phone service is still the best: order or claims processing (for those of you in healthcare or insurance). That’s because it pretty much automates cash flow. And your business demands cash flow if it’s going to keep the bills, taxes, and employees paid.
Empowering your service to take payments by phone or to direct individuals to the proper payment locations (online or otherwise) ensures the functionality of your business. When most people compare prices on answering services, this is a prerequisite.
6. Make Sure Nothing Gets Missed
You don’t have to work in business long to know redundancy is your friend. There are days when technology just won’t cooperate. And when your phones or Internet is down, it can cost you big-time in lost sales and productivity.
An answering service will not solve every one of these issues. But it can help you maintain the lines of communication with the public while you work to address the unexpected.
7. Streamline Every Process
A service that screens your calls before transferring to the proper department also cuts back the frustration your customers feel. Who among us hasn’t been transferred to the wrong place or put on hold for an hour before being told the party we need to speak to is out today and won’t be back until next week?
Call answering that specializes in proper routing will cut back on the frustration. They’ll do it by solving the dreaded phone transfer dilemma once and for all.
Other processes you can streamline through the use of call answering include fulfillment and the actual work location itself. Employing a service gives more of your staff the ability to work remotely, whether that’s from their own homes, a rented office, or a coffee shop.
Answering Services Enhance Service Delivery
Answering services may not always have the specialized skills needed to fully automate your business. But they do have two key factors going for them that will help you scale or reduce workload (whatever your preference).
As we’ve established, they allow you to maintain customer communications and relations even when you’re unavailable. Secondly, they give you and your core team members the chance to enhance the way you deliver products or services.
Consider giving one a try. And for more tips on starting and growing a business, make sure you check out these and other entrepreneurship posts at AtYourBusiness.com.