This may not come as a surprise to you, but not every business answers their phone calls. And of the calls that are answered a large and growing number are answered by call answering services. These companies include physiotherapists, accountants, solicitors, estate agents, construction companies and many more. In fact, anyone can use a call answering service. That includes you. Does your business need an answering service? If you want to make sure your callers always reach a real person, but you or your team are unable to answer every call (or just don’t want to). Then it may be time to consider using the services of a call answering service.
In simple terms, a call answering service is a company, that you hire to answer your business phone line for you. Answering services and virtual receptionists come in many shapes and sizes. But at the core driver for all is the same, the services are built on the same basic value, making sure callers reach a live human being representing another’s business, particularly when that human can’t be you or one of your team members.
One Person Business
For one person operations, an answering service allows your business to be available at all times, during the standard working day, while ensuring you have the time to eat, focus, have meetings and even take days off. This buffer is a plus for the reasons mentioned while also adding scale which brings a certain credibility to a business.
Medium or Large Sized Business
If you have an in-house receptionist or a small team of receptionist who answer your calls, call answering services can act as addition support or back-up. Covering lunch times and holidays and so on, perhaps enabling a receptionist in a solicitors to do some typing undisturbed and so on. Perhaps you just want your calls answered on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, flexibility is part of what we do.
Why use an answering service?
Why would you take on the cost of an answering service? All your information is on your website and social media channels. 65% of customers still prefer a phone call over other means of connecting with business. Plus after one bad experience, around 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor (Zendesk).
Call Answering Options
There are different call answering options (these are the definitions that we use):
- Call Answering: the standard service we provide with details taken and a message relayed, we offer customised call answering so we answer as directed by you.
- Virtual Receptionist: which is the above, plus call transferring
- Interactive Voice Responses (IVR): we can build these systems for you, press one for support, press two for accounts, press three and so on, plus we can answer the call depending too as selected.
Add-ons: Diary Management would be one of our main add-on services which many of our customers particularly those in the medical field avail of.
Call Answering Benefits
What can a high quality answering service do for you and your business:
- Answer calls quickly & professionally
- Optimise the caller experience through empathetic and personal call handling
- Ensure calls/messages get routed to the right people at the right times
- Help you grow and scale your business on your own terms
- Give you time away from the phones to tend to other aspects of the business or for down time
- Allow you to not lose business to sick or holiday days, your phone is always attended
- Filter or screen junk calls
- Provide a structure in terms of how calls are answered and handled, that is systematic
The Pro and Cons
As with any choice you make with your business the decision to use an answering service requires careful though and consideration. One of the reasons we offer a two week free trial for call answering is to enable businesses to see how our service works for them in action. You are investing in your customer’s experience and your business’s future after all. And although any business can use an answering service, not every business should.
Answering Service Cons:
- Costs more than voicemail or an automated tool
- Limited to the call answering instructions and information you provide to the service
- Variable quality between providers (the cheapest is rarely the best option)
Answering Service Pros:
- Flexible and customisable
- Is more cost effective than hiring a full-time or part-time employee
- Ensures callers can reach a real person when you or your team are unavailable
- Reduces the number of callers reaching out to your competitors
- Captures more opportunities
- Allows for outsourcing or flexi-work in relation to other work often done by a receptionist
Are you unsure?
As with any choice Your business’s customer support reputation and growth potential are on the line. Moreover, the wrong provider can create more headaches and work against you in terms of problem solving. Look for a provider with a stellar reputation for customer care. Companies large and small use answering services to answer the phones. Larger companies with customer service teams or departments using answering services as support or backup. Smaller companies and one-person businesses rely on answering services some or all of the time as their primary receptionists.
Not sure if you need a call answering service? Here are some questions to think about.
Do you have the budget for a full-time or even part-time employee? (Don’t forget about costs such as hiring, holidays, providing a work space and so on)
Who covers the phone if the in-house staff are out of the office?
What days and times of day do your calls tend to come in?
What type of business do you run? Are you in a high-touch industry such as healthcare, law, home services, where responsive, personal service can make or break your business?
What are your long-term goals for gaining and retaining customers or clients?
The Bottom Line:
If it is important that your callers reach a real person – but your business is unable to ensure this happens – you should strongly consider using an answering service.
Kendlebell Naas’ provide telephone answering services that are tailored to your needs and will enable you to work smarter while saving you money. Kendlebell Naas – Here to help.
To see the benefits of our services for yourself, get the ball rolling on a Free Trial here.