When it is busy in the office, it is tempting to let a ringing telephone roll over to voicemail, but that is one of the main ways a company loses its customers. People want to speak to someone when they call a business to acquire the information they need or to place an order. When you don’t have an answering service and you rely on voicemail to take messages for your company, you may find that most people will hang up rather than leave a callback number.
Does Your Business Need an Answering Service?
The short answer to that question is yes, you do need to hire an answering service for your business. If your company is a seasonal business, there may be times when you need a service to handle the influx of calls to purchase your products. If you provide emergency services like plumbing, boiler or glass repair, then you will need a service available to take calls from customers 24 hours a day.
An answering service can also help pick up calls when people are out to lunch, or when you have employees out sick or on holiday. Instead of relying on voicemail, you will have real people answering your telephone calls and taking messages for you. Clients who don’t like leaving voice messages will be more willing to explain their reasons for calling and leave a callback number when they speak to an actual person.
Reasons to Hire an Answering Service
If you need convincing that an answering service can be a valuable asset for your company, then here are six additional reasons to hire an answering service.
A professional answering service has trained personnel who already know the proper methods for handling business telephone calls. All they have to do to prepare for answering calls for your business is be trained on your company’s products or services and procedures. This provides your business with a more professional image, because callers will be served by professional agents.
Even if you have a small business, the callers, many of whom may be potential customers, will be unaware of the true size of your business. Using a professional answering service will help provide an image of a much larger company with a well-trained staff. This image can help you win clients over those competitors who do not use an answering service for their incoming telephone calls.
Keeps Costs Low
By hiring an answering service to help pick up your incoming calls, you don’t have to hire and train additional employees for your business. You won’t have to pay to advertise job openings, take the time to sort through resumes, pay to train new hires, buy computers and furniture, and upgrade your telecom system to add more phone lines. In addition, as your needs fluctuate, you can add on more operators or reduce those on your account as needed.
Small businesses need to control their overhead costs in order to keep more operating capital available to help expand their operations. When you hire Message Direct’s professional telephone answering services, you will pay only for the services you need and use. In addition to saving the initial costs of hiring employees, when you hire an answering service you don’t need to pay for additional health insurance and employee liability insurance, or maintain a payroll for employees.
When your business relies on voicemail when your telephones are busy, it is easy to miss important messages because they are often parked behind other messages in the system. When you have an answering service, important messages can be easily prioritised and sent to you in such a way that you know they need your immediate attention. When telephone calls are answered, the operators will either direct the calls or take messages and send them according to their priority.
Messages can be sent to your office through email, via fax or by SMS directly to your mobile phone. If a call needs an urgent reply, then you can receive those messages via SMS and return them as soon as you have time. Any other messages will be available through email and via your fax machine, so you can return them in order.
Provides 24 Hour Service
If you have a business that involves receiving calls for emergency services, including towing, plumbing services or glass repair, then you can hire an answering service to take calls around the clock. Instead of publishing your personal phone number at which to receive after hour service calls, the answering service will answer your business phone and forward any emergency service calls to you. This prevents you from being disturbed in the middle of the night unless the call is an actual emergency.
Customised to Your Needs
When you hire an answering service, they will customise their services according to your needs. They have the flexibility to add more operators to your account during times your company is busy, and move operators to work on other projects during slow periods. In addition, they can answer your business calls after hours, whether that is two o’clock in the morning or on the weekends, and forward calls from customers who require your emergency services.
Most answering services assign accounts to a manager, so if you need to change your service or you have any problems with it, you know whom to contact to get help. When you have a contact person working on your account, they will be aware of the services you already have and can help service your account when you want to make changes. They can also keep you informed about new services or promotions that can help your business expand or save it money.
If you want to give your small business a more professional image when your clients contact your company, you should hire a professional answering service to answer your company’s telephones. They can prioritise your messages, handle overflow calls and provide your clients with professional service when they call your company.