call answering hurricane

Using Call Answering During Natural Disasters

Disaster preparedness

The repeated natural disasters that broke havoc on the United States, Peurto Rico, and the Carribean in the past thirty days forces businesses to reconsider the effectiveness of their disaster recovery plan.  The hurricanes experienced in Texas, Florida, and the islands are a rude reminder of the Sandy hurricane that struck the New Jersey Shore in 2012.  Ensuring business continuity during and after a disaster is paramount for all company sizes. Maintaining business continuity for your business requires enabling tools such as an answering service. Too much to worry about when preparing your family for a natural disaster such as having enough food, water, and clothing for everyone.  Not to mention establishing an out-of-state contact and putting an evacuation plan in place.

Then, as a business owner or decision maker, it is also important to worry about obtaining adequate insurance for your business property and inventory and having a backup plan in case you are unable to fill orders. In any disaster situation, vital lines of communication often falter. Even when businesses like yours are prepared to handle the logistical and physical aspects of disaster recovery, no one can afford to lose contact with your clients and customers. This is where a business call answering service becomes indispensable.

What’s an Answering Service? Does It Work?

hurricane-irmaAn answering service for businesses provides services such as receptionist answering, and this ensures that anyone who calls your business phone reaches a live operator. Keep in mind that voicemail abandonment rate is between 50 percent and 75 percent, depending on the type of business.  Using a business call answering service for incoming calls are answered on behalf of your company according to a script you create, and operators can handle appointment-setting or inform callers of your status during a natural disaster.

Set-up and enabling a call answering service is relatively fast, this way you can focus on more important things as you deal with the aftermath of a disaster.  Once your account is set up by providing the approved script and forwarding phone number, the live operators will begin answering your calls as directed, with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality. Companies such as Anserve offers professional answering services to a wide array of industries such as law firms, doctors offices, medical facilities, hospice care, corporate and retail. This versatility guarantees proper verbiage spoken to callers. The operators then relay messages to you via email or text message. Depending on the services you have selected, they can also forward live calls, capture client information, collect ordering information or dispatch employees.

How Much Does It Cost Businesses Like Mine?

When a business considers the cost factor, it is important to remember to weigh it against the potential loss of business due to being unreachable during disaster recovery. How much business are you going to lose in ONE day of being down? How many labor hours are lost? What will this mean for your brand? These answers will help you evaluate the real cost and what you will be willing to spend.

Companies like Anserve offer services that operate all-hours of a day, seven days a week, including holidays. When the average business hires an employee to answer phones typically only during standard hours of operation would cost much more when you take into account insurance, workers comp insurance, required hardware and software, federal and state taxes, and hourly pay. With an answering service, you will not pay these taxes or insurance because you are employing a service not a person.  Call services offer flexible rates for high volume and disaster recovery. Or if you have a low call volume, there is a plan for that, too.

Is a Business Disaster Recovery Plan Necessary For My Business?

Natural disasters seem to be on the rise.  We as a civilization depend on continuity to survive.  A single incident of hurricanes, flooding, fire, high winds or human-made disasters such as utility outages could easily drain your sales pipeline. Businesses small and large, thrive on relationships with their customers, and when one side of a conversation goes silent, relationships can easily disappear. If your communication goes silent and you are suddenly unreachable after a disaster, you may lose all of your customers and have to start over from scratch. Making a preliminary plan ahead of time will save a business time, effort and the amount of time needed to get back to operational speed.  If you are interested in how to create your disaster avoidance and recovery plan to ensure business continuity, give Anserve a call.  They are skilled at figuring out the best plan for all sizes and industries of business.