Maintaining the ultimate in customer service is difficult for any business in a 24/7 business world where customers always expect prompt service. The reality is that regardless of your business type, you have obligations that go beyond your business and your customers. Fortunately, there are several valuable call answering service options and some of those you might not be aware of that can make all the difference helping to pick up the slack.
Real Reason to Use Call Answering, No Matter Your Firm’s Size
Many businesses of all sizes still use the voicemail that comes with their cell phones and hardlines. But, things are changing.
Experts speculate that 80% of callers that are sent to voicemail never leave a message, and 1/3 of all messages that are actually left are not listened to for at least THREE days and another 20% of people that have voicemail, never bother to check it.
For the companies that realize regular voicemail is hurting their business, the best alternative is a call answering service, with up-to-date technology with excellent customer service reputations, like Anserve. The advantages that are most apparent for business firms are three, overlapping ideas: efficient time management, flexibility, and customer service.
Let’s take a look at some value-added benefits of call answering services.
#1 Vacation Coverage
Customer expectations can over-tax the available time in any given day, week, or month for a small business. Despite the feeling that you must always be “open and available” for your customers, taking vacations is in the best interest of your health and, ultimately, your business. Today, a call answering service can go beyond answering your calls after business hours by providing the same service when you are on vacation.
When you incorporate a vacation answering service plan as part of your call answering services, customers get a live person to immediately answer their calls. Since the answering service knows your business, it can provide callers with answers to common questions that don’t require further action by you.
Service representatives can also take and forward messages and calls to you or someone whom you designate as an emergency contact in the event of an urgent call that must be dealt with immediately. Having this option as part of your call answering service enables you to go on vacation without worrying that you’re losing customers and profits while you’re gone.
#2 Fax to Email
Another service that can be very important for business owners or key employees is the ability to receive faxes via email. This can be a major key to fulfilling business processes when you’re on vacation or traveling for business.
#3 Smart Voicemail
Stop listening to messages over and over to get all of the details! Smart voicemail allows for transcription of voicemails, saving valuable time. This service can transcribe what the caller says and instantly send an email, so you have the details in writing. Those monitoring voicemails can quickly browse for detail and assign it the proper level of urgency instead of navigating voicemail prompts and writing down on paper. Anserve offers smart voicemail in support of other live agent services.
#4 Efficient Time Management
Time is both a shared and limited resource. In an ideal world, customers and contacts would call at times most convenient for you, when you have the time to address their concerns. In our real, unfortunately, unideal world, they do not; thus it’s impossible to give everyone reaching out to your businesses equal and divided attention. While answering services do not allow for every inquiry to get your full and undivided attention, it does allow for your business to meet all inquirers with a consistent response. Our live agents consistently filter urgent needs from routine matters.
Most importantly, though, a call answering service frees up time for small businesses to address other business concerns. The time and resources saved from using an answering service directly attributes to the perceived value companies derive from answering services. Recent Clutch research indicates that users are overwhelmingly satisfied with their answering service. Specifically, less than 1% of businesses claim that they receive “below average” value from their answering service.
#5 Flexibility of Service
Directly related to the value time management provided from answering services is the organizational flexibility they allow. Most call answering services are month-to-month and usage-dependent (i.e., dependent on how many minutes used). This is a crucial advantage for small businesses, as it prevents unnecessary resources from being wasted on a service that is needed at all times. For example, a business may only need to use an answering service during a period of heightened business, like a retailer during the holiday season. We offer access to an online portal for all of our clients. Clients can update on-call personnel in real time, as needed.
#6 Great Customer Service
Customer service is the lifeblood of small business. Many small businesses primarily thrive, and pride themselves, on providing personal and intimate care to their clients and contacts.
What time efficiency and value, along with the organizational flexibility for businesses, ultimately amount to is an improved customer service apparatus for small businesses. The use of an answering service can standardize and streamline your company’s response, which ensures that no incoming communications fall through the cracks, avoiding any frustration for those reaching out to your business, a guarantee that ultimately shores up a business’ customer service capacities. If you have more questions about converting to a call answering service, click here.