Doctors work regular hours but need to be on call for emergencies. Sales reps don’t want to miss out on juicy leads but can’t take calls when they’re with other customers. Contractors need an easy way for clients to get in touch with questions, schedule changes, and changing job needs, but they can’t always use their phone in the field.
So how do these people manage their calls? Simple: they use an answering service.
What Is an Answering Service?
Put simply, an answering service is a specialized service that takes and screens calls. At a very simple level, this could just be an automated answering service, where clients press one to hear store hours, two for the company directory, and so on.
Of course, answering services can be more complex too. A live answering service an have reps take orders, handle appointments, manage product support, and all kinds of things. Lots of modern answering services do this stuff over the Internet now. And it’s worth noting that when your organisation is big enough you don’t get an answering service, you get a call centre. But let’s focus on the needs of SMBs. Here’s why your small business should consider a live answering service.
We live in a world where people what service and satisfaction on demand. However, you can’t be on demand at all hours of the day. That’s where the answering service is helpful.
People don’t like talking to impersonal call trees or leaving messages. A live answering service provides the interpersonal experience that makes sure your customers stay your customers.
Not all the calls you get will be important. In fact, as you grow, so will the number of irrelevant phone calls. With an answering service, you only get presented with what is truly important.
Calls Eat Up Time
If you’re a small business owner, you already know that there are a million things that need your attention. Your calling customers are important, but why not delegate that responsibility to a dedicated service?
Maybe you’re a start-up getting ready to change the world from your mom’s garage. That’s okay. A professional answering service will give you some credibility and create a great first impression when a client calls.
Spend Your Time Where It’s Important
The most valuable resource you have is your time. You get the exact same amount as everyone else and you can’t get more than 24 hours. So why spend that time on calls when you can spend it elsewhere?
The Bottom Line
Ask yourself the following questions: Does your SMB deal with a lot of customers on the phone everyday? Are there times when important calls aren’t forwarded to you as quickly as they should be? Does the time you spend answering calls detract from the time you need to spend on other work? Is there always a pile of voicemail messages waiting for you? And finally, do you have trouble answering every call that comes your way?
If you found yourself saying ‘yes’ a lot, maybe it’s time to look into answering services.