Many businesses of all sizes still use the voicemail that comes with their cell phones and hardlines. But, things are changing. The number of freelancers, 100% virtual companies, and solo-preneurs has increased from 15 million in the nineties to over 45 million today. Many analysts are predicting these people will comprise over half of the US workforce (75 million) by 2020. This silent and fast transition of the US workforce is having a significant impact on both enterprise businesses and freelance communities. Freelancers, 100% virtual companies, and solo-preneurs are now facing a much more competitive environment.
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 an 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.
1. 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.
Most importantly, though, an answering service frees up time to 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.
2. Flexibility of Service
Directly related to the value time management provided from answering services is the organizational flexibility they allow. Most 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.
3. 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 an answering service, click here.