Hiring Answering Services for Your Business
Do you have a lot of calls that go unanswered every day?
Are your customers getting frustrated because they can’t reach you?
Is your salesperson being forced to work as a receptionist in addition to their regular responsibilities?
Then it’s time to think about hiring an answering service.
An answering service functions as an extension of your team, handling some or all of your client communication. Answering calls and making outbound calls are typical duties of an answering service, responding to emails and sending reminder texts.
Hiring an answering service is an excellent way to expand your company. Here are a few indicators that your company is ready to hire an answering service.
Signs That You Need to Outsource your Answering Service
Your Customer Service Falls Short of Your Expectations.
One of the first signs that it is time to hire an answering service is if your receptionist or team member is overburdened with calls. When a receptionist is overwhelmed and attempting to stay afloat, customer service standards suffer, and calls go unanswered.
A friendly, dependable, and helpful customer service experience is critical for a small business owner. A single negative experience with a client or customer can hurt your business. Who would want to work with or purchase from a company that they can’t reach?
After a single instance of poor service, 33% of Americans say they will consider switching companies.
Poor customer service can also result in negative online reviews, tarnishing your reputation. As a small business owner or new company, many prospects will likely Google you to see if you’re a trustworthy brand before purchasing from you. If they find negative reviews, you will lose potential customers.
Hiring a professional answering service allows you to gain and provide a higher-quality customer experience. An answering service will answer all incoming calls, ensuring that no prospect or client falls between the cracks or feels ignored.
You can also “extend” your business hours by using an answering service.
Most businesses have regular operating hours between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., which means that anyone attempting to contact you outside of these hours will be unable to do so. An answering service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for prospects and customers to contact you. Many answering services offer customer service during the evenings, weekends, holidays, and in emergencies.
You’re Having Difficulties Putting Together An Internal Team
If you’re having trouble assembling an internal team, it might be time to hire an answering service.
Building an internal team is difficult and costly in any business, but it is challenging and expensive in small businesses where every dollar counts.
It is expensive to hire a full-time receptionist or assistant. You would be responsible for their salary, vacation, insurance, sick leave, and other benefits. Furthermore, adding a team member to your office includes equipment costs such as a new desk, computer, or phone.
When you hire a full-time employee who takes time off or misses a day of work, you’re right back where you started. Who will be in charge of answering the phones? Is there anyone else on your team who can give up their daily responsibilities to help with customer service?
A member of your in-house team will also expect you to develop standard operating procedures and training programs for them to follow. As a business owner who already struggles to find enough time in the day to complete their tasks, adding procedure creation, training, and reviewing to your plate only adds to your workload.
Hiring an answering service allows you to save money while growing your team. Using an answering service instead of hiring an in-house employee will only pay for the services and time you require. Most answering services charge a flat fee, which is almost always significantly less than the cost of producing a salary.
Using an answering service will reduce your workload. You won’t have to spend hours and weeks sifting through resumes, conducting interviews, or spending time training and babysitting a new hire — the answering service will handle it all. Instead, you’ll be working with a professional firm that understands what to look for when hiring specialists. They will handle all of the training. Most answering services will even provide you with reports and statistics, freeing up your time for more critical tasks.
With an answering service, you’ll also have a whole team responsible for your communication and customer service efforts instead of just one person. That kind of redundancy is critical.
You’re Overworked and Losing Business.
In small businesses, the owner and team members wear many hats. When this occurs, tasks are missed, and business is lost. When an employee lacks a set of tasks for which they are accountable, their productivity and efficiency suffer. Things are bound to fall through the cracks when your marketing coordinator is also making sales calls and assisting HR.
Similarly, when a business owner must focus on payroll, operations, and the reception desk, time is diverted from more important tasks.
As a small business owner, you should be focused on growing your company, attending events, and networking — not taking incoming calls.
When you feel as if you are drowning in your tasks, it is time to hire an answering service.
An answering service can not only handle all of your incoming calls, but they can also screen them out so that no one on your team wastes time dealing with them. They can also transfer calls to the appropriate departments, saving you and your staff time answering and transferring multiple calls per day. On a busy day, this could eat up hours of your time.
Many answering services can also assist with other tasks such as appointment setting and calendar management. Using an answering service in this manner will take administrative tasks off your plate while also assisting in the growth of your business. Some businesses will even set up sales calls for you, reducing the amount of time you or your sales team spends cold calling.
Determine Whether an Answering Service Is Right for You
Small and medium-sized businesses struggling to answer all of their calls, are falling behind on critical business tasks, and are looking to cut costs should consider hiring an answering service.
Hiring an answering service is less expensive than hiring a new employee in-house. Many answering services provide a free trial period or a money-back guarantee so that you can test them out before committing to a long-term partnership.
A partner who can assist you in growing your business, saving money, and avoiding mundane tasks could be the answer to your growing pains.