Who answers your phones? It may sound like a simple question but it really is not. Having the right person answer your business telephone is incredibly important. Consumers today like getting good customer service over the phone. More than 80% say they will buy from someone who provides good customer service over a company who does not. Moreover, if a person has a bad experience with a company, it can take at least 12 good experiences with that business to make up for it. If you are considering going with a national answering service to answer your incoming calls, there are lot of good reasons to do that.
4 Reasons to Hire a National Answering Service:
- It is cheaper than hiring a receptionist. You can hire someone to be a receptionist for your small business but that is more expensive than using a business telephone answering service. In the first place, you have to take the time to hire someone. That means listing your job opening, going through resumes and interviewing candidates. For many businesses around the country, employee turnover is a huge problem. Many people do not stay at new jobs very long. Most small businesses do not receive enough incoming calls to justify dedicating a full time staff member to just answering the phone. When your current employees have to deal with incoming calls, that takes them away from the jobs you hired them to do. It is much more cost effective to use a national answering service to deal with incoming calls.
- You will not miss important calls. When your staff or an automated system deal with incoming calls, you are bound to miss some. This is not the case when you hire a 24 hour answering service. People like being able to talk to a person at a company they are trying to reach and many do not leave messages on voice mail systems. If they call you and get voice mail, if that was a sale, you probably lost it. If you are a medical or legal office, having someone answer your phones 24 hours a day and seven days a week can be really important. Clients and patients may need help at times when your offices are closed. In these cases, having a professional answering service can make all the difference in the world.
- Your customers and clients get better customer service. A national answering service can provide a personalized touch that cannot be performed by an automated service. If someone calls and needs basic information about your company, they can get that from a live operator answering service in a way that they cannot with an automated system. People are tired of the systems that require you to listen to a message and select an option. For many people, that feels like a waste of time. They want to be able to talk to someone to get basic information.
- You will improve your reputation. When people call your office number and get a live person from the national answering service they will tell their friends about the experience. More than 60% of people say they like to get their customer service from a person rather than any other way. The good news about all of this is that many companies ignore this data. They see only the money they save by using a system rather than a service. They do not see that they could increase their profits by up to 125% by increasing their customer retention by as little as 5%. Providing great customer service is a big part of that equation. When people have a really good experience, they talk about it. You can even ask customers who you know are happy with the service they received from you to mention it on Yelp! and Facebook.
Your business really can only be helped by having a live telephone answering service handle your incoming phone calls. It is far more cost effective than having your staff handle your incoming calls plus this allows you the chance to be available to your customers when they need you, not just during certain hours of the day.