Most small businesses and startups often have stretched budgets. There is rather no choice but to outsource a bunch of regular tasks, and that includes customer care. If yours is a small company that doesn’t have huge funds to maintain an in-house team for answering calls, you have to find a service like Voicenation, which can work as an extended arm of your business. Every incoming call must be answered, because you never know if it’s from a potential customer or an existing one. If you are considering the idea of answering services, below are some of the aspects worth knowing.
What are the benefits?
- First and foremost, with answering services, you can actually get the expertise of a team of receptionists without actually paying the same as you would for an in-house team. The cost of these services depends on what you seek, but there is no denying that the savings are huge.
- Being available for your customers is important. With answering services, you can be assured that all calls will be answered, even after office hours. These calls will be answered by real, live receptionists and not a machine, so people calling your company will not be greeted by a computerized message.
- With answering services, you can actually reduce the work of your core team. Hiring, training and managing receptionists and call center executives can be a tough and complicated job, which can be easily avoided. You can have your work forced for actual operations, which is a huge advantage.
- Because it is a matter of reputation. No matter how much you eventually spend on marketing and branding, your company will suffer in absence of professional customer care. With answering services, you are a step ahead in maintaining the face of your brand in the market, and in a discreet way.
How does it work?
You need to find an answering service that you can rely. Once you have agreed to pricing and other details, the concerned service will give a number, and that’s how calls will be forwarded to their number, in case your team is not around to take calls. Based on that, you can choose to activate your account and decide on the script. The script basically refers to the answers that the receptionists will use when customer calls up and asks relevant questions about your business. During calls, receptionists will also take notes and will ensure that all relevant information is passed on to your team. This can be done through a comprehensive dashboard, on email, or through texts. The best answering services also ensure that every client gets a dedicated account manager, so that you can get regular updates and get feedback when required.
What to expect from answering services?
As in any industry, not all answering services are same, so you have to do your homework right. Here are some of the questions you must ask –
- How easy is the onboarding experience? Working with a call answering service should be an easy process, and the whole onboarding task shouldn’t affect your regular operations.
- Do you offer an online dashboard? Your core team should be able to see the numbers, statistics and notes related to the calls received and answered, and an online dashboard is the most comprehensive way of accessing that information.
- Can I gather data? Using call data to take necessary information is critical, for which the answering service should offer a means to use analytics and data. Find more on how they aim to facilitate the same.
- Will you forward calls? What are your working hours? The best answering services work around the clock, and they will forward calls to your team on request. They will also work during hours when your business is not in operation.
- How do you ensure confidentiality? As an entrepreneur, you don’t want the world to know that you are using answering services instead of an in-house team, and for that, this is relevant question.
Finally, pricing is important, and you must consider the best service based on what they offer, even if that means paying a tad more. Get an estimate in advance before signing up with an answering service.