What Is an Answering Service?
You’ve likely experienced it before – you pick up the phone to contact a business’ customer service, and you reach a call center or a machine. At first, you may get a little flustered, but as the call goes on, you realize this system lead you to your solution quickly and efficiently!
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the business on the other side of this interaction, though? Have you asked yourself what is an answering service?
This is a tool many large businesses and small business owners alike use. It helps create a more productive communication model, without hindering the quality of attentiveness and the amount of information available.
The following is a closer look at what an answering service is, and what it can do for your business.
What Is an Answering Service?
An answering service is a business that is solely focused on supporting the customer interactions with other businesses. It is a B2B resource many entrepreneurs find a significant amount of value in.
But, not all automated answering services for small businesses are made alike. Some will only offer automated machines, while others will have a full staff of people ready to attend to your needs – most of them 24/7!
Keep in mind the contracts and payment structures will vary among providers as well. One thing is for sure, though, telephone services for small businesses aren’t going anywhere. This service is about much more than just communication.
The Benefits of Having an Answering Service
While you may look into an automated answering service for small business communication needs, you get more out of it than just phone answering.
Customer service performance will improve, which helps strengthen client relationships. Your messages will be better organized than you could arrange them on your own and there are plenty of features to set up an answering package to best suit your business model.
Plus, all of this is available for a lower rate than hiring a secretary or receptionist would cost you! Let’s take a closer look at all the benefits an answering service can provide.
Better Customer Service
If your customers are constantly hanging up while they’re on hold, or have stopped reaching out to your business altogether, you have a major problem. A call answering service for small businesses is the best solution available.
This allows you to take responsibility for poor customer service in the past and establish new systems to ensure a certain standard is upheld moving forward.
Automated messages will be able to answer customers without putting them on hold. Such greetings make customers feel like their concerns matter and help them get the information they need much quicker.
Or, an answering machine can guide users to a representative who is trained in a specific need.
This moves things along while still connecting callers to real people who are waiting to help them.
Organized Message Tracking
As great as the attentiveness of an automated call answering system can be, some customers will still prefer to leave a message. This means you may still have some calls to make every day, but it will be nowhere near as extensive as taking every single call that comes in.
Not to mention, your messages will be easier to manage. When an answering service takes your messages, they organize all the most important information. You’re then able to figure out who called you, for what reason, and the best contact information to reach this person much easier.
There are many ways to set up how you’d like an answering service to take your calls and messages. This goes beyond an automated system versus real-life representatives.
You can choose to set restrictions on sensitive information or to integrate your call answering service with your CRM system. Such decisions will vary on the line of work your in and the confidentiality your clients expect. It’s one thing to take information about a person’s plumbing issue, and another for legal or medical information to pass through too many lines of communication.
More Opportunities to Generate Leads
So far, the benefits of automated answering services have been discussed from the perspective of clients who are already using your products. But, automated systems can help you generate leads, too.
Think about it: if you miss a call from a potential new user, you’ve probably just lost their business. But, when this call comes through to an answering service, you’re able to serve this person right away.
It doesn’t matter if someone is calling to confirm your address and hours of operation, or if they’re ready to place an order. The answering system you’ve invested in will lead them to the information they need without pushing the sale, but also without letting it slip away!
If you weren’t hiring an answering service, you’d probably be making your salespeople work double duty or looking for an internal support team. But, this takes a much larger amount of time and money than even the best answering service for small business would cost.
Instead, opt to outsource. This saves you from having to pay overtime or another salary. Plus, the time you would be spending on training can be spent on other things.
The Freedom to Focus on Other Duties
Time is honestly what this investment comes down to. Ask yourself how much your time is worth as a business owner.
Can you afford to spend hours out of your day taking calls and handling minor issues? Or, do you need to be on the frontlines of the business, meeting with potential partners and keeping current investors happy?
These are just a few ways you can make better use of your time. Other tasks may include improving your digital marketing or working on talent development within the team you already have. How you structure your days is ultimately up to you, but a friendly tip: don’t waste your time on things you can have other services do for you.
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Building a Business and Hitting New Levels of Success
There’s always room for a business to grow and improve. From startups that are just getting their first product released to established companies who are entering new markets, the meaning of success can be redefined.
But, it’s best achieved when you learn how to work smarter, not harder. Stop asking yourself what is an answering service and tap into the benefits available with this amazing business tool.
Then, check back in on our business blog to discover more ways to grow your success.