What Exactly is a Telephone Answering Service
Are you considering using a telephone answering service within your business model? It’s important to understand what this solution is, what advantages it can bring and the type of businesses it could benefit. Below you’ll find all the information you need.
Are Calls Still Important?
Research suggests that business phone calls are more important than ever, particularly to customers. Indeed, one report suggested that only 24% of customers are satisfied with a web form when contacting a company. Many demand a human interaction that goes beyond the typical email response. There are numerous reasons for this, including the desire for a rapid solution.
This could be why 65% of customers are found to prefer contacting a business directly on the phone.
It’s not just customers that are contacting your company by phone either. You may also receive queries from other companies keen to offer vital services that you could need. If they can’t get through, it could weaken your company.
However, while calls are a vital element of your business, you don’t want them to take up the time of your team. That’s exactly what can happen.
Indeed, research suggests that 25% of a CEO’s time can be spent answering calls. This means that a lot of their focus is taken away from core processes connected to business growth. Of course, the typical CEO won’t be answering the calls of customers, but other team members certainly could and that can be a massive distraction.
It can draw their attention away from the tasks that they should be focusing on and weaken your business as a result. Particularly, in terms of levels of productivity.
So, while calls are critical, you don’t want to waste time dealing with them yourself. A Telephone answering service is the solution you need here.
Everything You Need To Know About A Telephone Answering Service
Essentially, a telephone answering service is an outsource solution. Rather than answering calls yourself or relying on in-house members of your team, you can pass these off to a professional customer service solution. Here a team of highly qualified, skilled and experienced customer service operators will answer the calls for you.
At the same time, they will ensure that your brand ideals and concepts remain intact, particularly when engaging with new and existing customers. The aim here is to ensure that customers receive the level of human interaction that they want without putting more pressure on your business team. It’s a fantastic cost-cutting opportunity too because it’s far cheaper than hiring a full time team to answer the calls.
Through a solution like this, you will be provided with a new contact number. You can then advertise this as the main contact for your business so calls will be transferred directly to your telephone answering solution.
One of the reasons that businesses avoid outsourcing services like this is that they want to avoid relinquishing control over their brand. They are often concerned that a service like this won’t be able to deliver the level of support and high standards that customers expect.
However, with the right telephone answering service, you will remain in complete control of the solution. For instance, you can decide the percentage of calls that are passed through to the telephone answering service.
Some companies will use a solution like this to handle the overflow. Others will want a telephone answering solution to take care of all their calls. These are possibilities when you invest in the right solution. You may also want to separate calls based on the type and this is another option.
Furthermore, you can control how the calls are handled. You can start by choosing the exact greeting that representatives use. So, from the first point of contact, you will be able to make sure that this service matches your brand.
The aim here is to ensure that the call handling solution feels like a connected piece of your business model. Customers will have no idea that they are engaging with an outsourced solution.
Tasks A Telephone Answering Service Can Be Used For
You will also be able to determine the tasks that this service is used for too. Many companies are surprised by just how versatile a service like this can be. It may certainly go beyond the typical answer call solution.
For instance, you can decide to use this service to call patch. This means that the answering service will determine which calls should be passed through to actual members of your staff. This might be the case when customers are ready to commit to a sale. You will want to ensure that they can speak directly to a sales representative.
Alternatively, you might want to use a telephone answering service to take messages for your business. This can be useful if you are using the solution to answer calls outside of regular business hours. A customer may want to leave a message but will often be unwilling to engage with an automated response system. A telephone answering service will allow you to avoid this issue. It will ensure that customers leave a message that can allow you to get back in touch when your office reopens. Ultimately, this can ensure that you aren’t going to miss any potential sales.
Or, you may want to use a telephone answering service as part of a click to call campaign. A click to call campaign will allow your customers to call directly after clicking on a button displayed on your website. This is a lead generation tool and a telephone answering service can be used to guide generated leads further down the marketing funnel. Potentially the aim here will be to ensure that they do reach the point where they are ready to make a purchase.
All of these options are possibilities when you use the right solution.
Ideal For Small And Medium-Sized Businesses
Small and medium-sized businesses can struggle to provide the solution that customers demand. Particularly, when compared with larger corporations. Larger businesses will often have entire teams of staff dedicated to answering calls. Small and medium-sized businesses often think that a solution like this is outside of their budget range.
But this isn’t the case. With a telephone answering service, the solution can be accessible and affordable. It can also ensure that you are playing on a level field when competing against larger companies.
There is also a vast array of different businesses that could benefit from this solution for specific purposes. Here are a few of the possibilities
Regardless of whether you are running a small or large ecommerce company, you are guaranteed to get a steady influx of calls. Many of these calls will be based around checking the status of an order or asking questions about products that you are selling. Some will be contacting your business to complain or attempt to get an issue resolved. It is absolutely vital that you provide a rapid solution.
Remember, these customers are sourced from an online platform. They already expect a rapid service and will want this to continue when they call your business. With a telephone answering service, you can guarantee that these customers are left on call. Instead, they will feel valued and this is always going to lead to a more positive experience. That’s crucial as a poor level of customer service can be a reason for customers to switch to a competitor instead.
Local Service Businesses
Local service companies are another key section of the market that do experience a high volume of calls. The reason for this is simple. Most local services provide a solution based on dealing with a problem that customers are facing. A problem like this can be completely time-sensitive and customers believe a phone call will provide the most rapid response. They will also call companies like this out of hours and that’s where taking messages can become vital. It will ensure that customers can be contacted immediately the next business day. Service companies that fit this category include plumbers, construction and contractors.
Medical businesses are a special case because they won’t just receive calls from customers. They will be receiving calls from patients who may require immediate medical support. Many medical businesses are already stretched to their limits so it’s important that the right patients are prioritized. A telephone answering service can ensure that this is the case. Patching services will guarantee that the right calls are put through and patients do receive support from medical professionals as quickly as possible.
This is where being in complete control of how telephone answering service team members respond can be of particular importance. You can guarantee that patients will be handled with the utmost level of care, attention, and respect.
If you are running an IT support business, then you should be prepared for calls from people with tech problems. These are going to be the main calls you receive, whether they are from existing clients or new customers. It’s worth noting that issues with tech do not follow a strict time point. They can occur during hours when your offices are closed. However, you still need to make sure that customers receive the right level of support. Remember, a tech failure in a business can cost companies a fortune every hour it isn’t resolved. With a 24/7 telephone answering service, you can guarantee customers receive an immediate response. This can stop them from seeking out the competition if you’re not able to answer their call.
Telephone answering services are completely scalable as a solution. This means that you can decide how much or how little you want to use this service, even at key periods throughout the year. That’s a valuable option in the accounting sector. If you run an accounting firm, you will already know that there are times when you receive a far great inflow of calls. Many business owners and private individuals leave their tax returns until the last minute. This means that calls flood in at the end of the tax year.
With a call answering service, you will be able to handle this demand. However, you also won’t need to worry about a full team of staff that are barely used the rest of the year but are costing you a fortune.
What Are The Benefits Of A Telephone Answering Service?
There are numerous benefits to a telephone answering service when utilized in business. First, you will be able to ensure that you improve your customer service. You won’t need to worry about customers waiting on hold for hours or even missing calls from customers completely. This also ensures that you won’t miss out on crucial calls and potential profits for your company.
At the same time, you can improve your customer service without putting any more pressure on existing team members. Instead, you will be able to rely on experts outside of your company. They will handle the calls to the standards that match your business brand and guarantee that your brand image remains intact. While the outsourcing team manages your calls, vital team members can focus on key processes to strengthen your business position on the market.
A solution like this can also be used to ensure that your business is always accessible to customers. This is something that modern customers are demanding now more than ever. They want to be able to engage directly with businesses they buy from, even outside of typical office hours. A telephone answering service is the only solution that will allow you to cater to this demand.
Similarly, with a telephone answering service, you will be able to provide your business with a competitive edge. Many businesses now rely on automated solutions to handle calls. These frustrate customers and lead to poor levels of interaction and engagement. The right telephone answering service will help you stand out by offering a far superior solution.
With a telephone answering service, you can strengthen your customer support system and elevate your small business to new heights.