Types of companies that benefit from an answering service
Many people assume that an answering service is only going to be suitable and perhaps even beneficial to larger corporations and big businesses. Particularly, companies that receive an incredible level of calls every day.
It's true, in a big business, there is certainly the need for this type of solution. However, even smaller companies could benefit from this type of solution and set up.
As well as ensuring a higher level of customer service, a solution such as this can make an entire business model more efficient and effective. Indeed, there are numerous sectors where small businesses would benefit from an answering service.
However, before we discuss these, let's explore what an answering service is and how it works.
Answering Services Explained
An answering service is a way to outsource a crucial element of your company to customer service professionals. Rather than wasting skilled members of your team answering countless calls a day, you use an expert team to handle this task for you. They will ensure that your calls are handled in a way that matches your brand message as well as the goals of your company.
With an on-brand, targetted solution, you can ensure that your reputation is improved. As well as this, it can even lead to an improved customer experience. You can forget about customers waiting for hours on hold to get through to your company. You can say goodbye to complaints online about issues being left unresolved. You will also be able to make sure that you miss fewer leads and sales opportunities. With an answering service, there can always be someone to pick up the call when a customer reaches out to your company.
Essentially, with the right answering service, you will improve the customer experience and boost your business efficiency at the same time. Instead of answering calls, your team members can focus on core processes connected to business growth. At the same time, you gain peace of mind that your business reputation will be preserved.
How Does It Work?
Through an answering service, you will be provided with a number. This can be local or toll-free and that number is used to divert calls from your company.
You can divert as many or as little calls as you want, depending on the requirements of your business. You then have complete control over how these calls are handled. You can arrange the specific greeting that is used and what the next step is once the call is collected. For instance, you can direct a company to participate in lead generation.
Answering services are completely scalable. This is another reason why they can be beneficial to small businesses as well as larger companies. You will be able to get the service you need for a cost that matches your budget. You can also cancel or change the solution as you see fit.
Many answering services also provide hands-on support. This ensures that if there are any issues you can address these concerns without delay.
Now, let's take a look at some of the small businesses that could benefit from this type of setup.
Clients who contact a CPA are always going to expect a certain standard of service. They will be eager to interact with a specialist and will immediately judge a firm or individual based on the quality of their solution. Leaving clients waiting for any form of human interaction will send the wrong message. It will suggest that your business is unable to handle your current client list. This can immediately cause an individual to lose interest.
A key consideration for CPAs is the ability of a service to handle payments. Rest assured, the right answering service will be able to manage a payment in a way that causes no hassle to the client and ensures that all the correct protocols are followed.
CPAs will also often deal with different levels of demand depending on the season. Indeed, many CPAs will find that the demand for their services rises significantly towards the end of the fiscal year. This is when tax issues must be dealt with appropriately. It is important that inquiries during this time are handled effectively and an overflow service can be the right solution. It can even ensure that a key inquiry is answered when qualified CPAs are unavailable to make direct contact.
A common misconception in the legal sector is that an answering service will not be able to provide a solution that lives up to the high standards clients expect. However, it is important to realize that professional answering services are able to match these standards and in some cases, surpass them.
Indeed, a high-quality answering service can go far beyond the typical, answer and message solution that businesses expect. Instead, the service offered can be based on ensuring that calls are handled when attorneys are out of the office and unavailable. It can also be based on handling the overflow that an office like this could be struggling to cope with.
For attorneys, the ideal use of this solution will be qualifying fresh inquiries. This can help generate new leads for the business which will lead to the growth of the company. It can even help deliver access to clients on an international level and ensure that clients are able to gain the human interaction that they may demand.
Individuals who are contacting an IT professional may be dealing with a tech crisis that is time-sensitive. This is particularly true for B2B companies where an issue with tech can cost thousands every day it remains unresolved. As such, clients will be anxious to ensure that the issue is corrected as quickly as possible.
Similarly, they want to ensure that they find IT professionals who will be able to offer a fast turnaround with their services. Again, leaving clients waiting for a response or even asking them to wait for a reply within 24 hours can send the wrong message. It even suggests that their query is not being regarded as a serious issue. This could easily lose you the client. However, with a call handling service, you can ensure that clients are able to immediately get the help they need.
A call handling service will also be able to address calls that are not going to lead to a potential service. The right service will ensure that calls are assessed and the right clients are prioritized.
If you are running an e-commerce company, most of the inquiries received will be based around issues surrounding deliveries. Customers will be keen to find out where the delivery is, whether it has been dispatched and if there is a problem that they need to be aware of. It's particularly common for companies that do not have the technological support to offer tracking.
A key issue for an ecommerce business is that customers have already experienced direct consumption through your online platform. A sudden change with the phone interaction that involves delays can be jarring for them. As such, you do need to make sure that your response to phone queries provides a rapid solution. Customer satisfaction levels are a key factor in determining whether an e-commerce company garners a high level of success.
It is vital that complaints are dealt with immediately. Delays in addressing customer concerns will lead to negative online reviews and frustration from customers. With a rapid response, any e-commerce company will vastly improve its level of service.
Real Estate Agents
Even smaller estate agencies will be dealing with a constant flow of calls. These will often go back and forth with multiple parties involved including:
- Management services
Furthermore, estate agents present a unique case. In a world where a lot of business interactions occur online, the majority of interactions for estate agents remain over the phone. This is the predominant point of contact. Calls may also come through at any point throughout the day. It's important to be aware that customers are always looking at multiple properties and contacting various agencies. If you miss a call, you could also miss a client. As such, it is beneficial to you if you can extend your operating hours from the typical 9 to 5 day. A call answering service will allow you to do this effectively.
It will also free up the time of an estate agent. They won't need to worry about answering calls and can ensure that they spend more time offering viewings of properties that they represent.
Finally, most of the individuals calling a recruitment service are not going to have time to contact the team in normal office hours. Typically, they will already have fulltime jobs and other commitments. This is another case where answering calls out of office hours can provide a brilliant benefit and provide a typical recruitment agency the competitive edge that they need. Ideally, your agency should be accessible 24/7. An answering service will ensure this is the case.
As you can see, answering services are suitable for more than just large corporations. They could be a vital service for any small company that needs to maintain a high level of customer support to remain successful.