For small businesses that are service providers ranging from plumbers, electricians, and construction to HVAC and beyond, taking on or missing customer communication during work hours can cost a lot of revenue during the course of a day. This becomes an even more costly venture during the holidays when every appointment is an “emergency” and the workload in the field is intense. These are truly the times when an answering service for small business can make or break it.
Customers expect to have a service provider’s full attention on the job at hand when they are on the job site, and this is especially true during the holidays. The challenge is that this is the time of year when calls can be heavy and the feeling of emergency becomes widespread as people prepare for guests and events. While small business service providers cannot afford to take calls while they are on a service call, they cannot afford to have every call go to voicemail.
The first problem is that you are losing business as people are far too impatient to leave a message when they don’t know when you will return the call and they see it as an “emergency.” When voicemail picks up, they hang up and are on to the next service provider on the list.
In addition, you run the risk of missing real emergency calls. The same result can happen with new customers, but it also can involve returning customers. In either case, you are losing business in the short term and throughout the New Year with repeat business and referrals.
Taking these calls during appointments can lead to potential mistakes on the job as well as add time to service calls. This can add up and mean that you will be able to handle fewer service calls during any given day, not to mention missing appointments due to time overruns.
You may choose to hire a receptionist, which ensures that you have a live voice to answer all of those “emergency” calls during the holidays, but the costs can be prohibitive. Additionally, it’s difficult to find good help in any time of year and nearly impossible during the holidays.
By having a small business answering service during the holidays, you know exactly what the person that represents you will say and be assured that every call will be answered. You can provide daily instructions that can be modified so that they can provide more definitive timeframes for callback as well as schedule appointments for you. When you provide the details of what actually constitutes an emergency, they can forward the call directly to you so that you can take it immediately.
Between service calls in route to the next appointment, you can review recorded calls in order to determine callback priority and fit in new appointments when the current schedule moves faster than expected. With many calls coming after business hours, you’re sure to have an informed and courteous live voice answering them and following protocols for appointments or contacting you in the event of an emergency.
By having an answering service for small business service providers, you can have a cost-effective customer communication solution that works well for the holidays and beyond. There is no better way to keep your appointment book full, keep revenue flowing and set the stage for a productive new year.