Hiring a Call Center: Cut Expenses without Sacrificing Quality

Telephone Answering Service for Medical Practices

If you’re like most small businesses, you’re always looking for ways to cut expenses. Every penny saved by cutting expenses boosts revenues and profits. That's good—no matter the industry or the company.

But cutting expenses can hurt you if it degrades customer service. Cutting customer service based can damage your reputation, lower customer satisfaction, and curb brand loyalty, hurting your chances at surviving long term.

That’s precisely what can happen when hiring an answering service based strictly on price. It cuts customer service and that makes no sense just to save a few bucks. Often, it ends up costing you more in the long run.

How Hiring On Price Hurts You

Hiring a call center based on price is tempting, but it can cost your business long term. Here are six ways in which hiring a cheap answering service can hurt you:

  • Losing sales because of missed calls
  • Losing clients because of delayed service
  • Paying unnecessary account activation fees
  • Wasting time setting up, dealing with, and canceling service
  • Damaging your company’s brand and reputation
  • Decreasing customer satisfaction

If you’re not careful, hiring a cheap answering service can turn into a public relations nightmare for you and your company. That’s something no one wants.

So, how do you choose an answering service for your business? Ideally, you select one based on quality and fit. Put another way, you want to hire an answering service based on value. Doing so boosts revenues and profits long term.

Minimizing the Cost of an Answering Service

One way to make sure you hire an answering service best on value is to create a budget—one that’s detailed, inclusive, and realistic. This approach guarantees you get the biggest bang for your buck.

Below are six proven tips that can help you create a budget for hiring the right answering service.

Determine call volume

Call volume differs from business to business and company to company. Expect to pay more for an answering service if your call volume is high. So look for ways to reduce call volume without hurting customer service or satisfaction.

Estimate average length of call time

The average call time for businesses is between a minute and a minute and a half. That can change depending on your business. Find ways to cut down your call time and you'll save time and money.

Ask for a customized contract

The more you require from your answering service, the more your expenses go up. Of course, if you're requesting more than the standard services, your costs will go up even more. So, ask for a customized contract fit to your exact needs—no more, no less.

Do your homework

Do your research when it comes to hiring an answering service. These days that’s a lot easier thanks to the Internet. Determine what you need up front then compare the expertise, services, experience, and rates of the companies you’re considering. Use a spreadsheet to do this if you have to.

Determine savings

If you’re replacing an employee, calculate total salary of the employee and compare the savings with the cost of hiring an answering service. Don’t forget to include hiring costs, employee benefits, the purchasing of equipment, and so on when doing your calculations. Also, include savings on missed sales calls.

Calculate return on investment

The last thing you’ll want to do is to determine the return on investment you’ll get from hiring an answering service. Make sure you consider the average value of current customers, current customer retention rate, and how much having calls answered by a professional answering service is worth to you.

Put these proven tips to work for you when developing a budget for hiring an answering service that provides the best value. Once you have a budget, stick to it as best you can when after hiring the service.

Look for specialists in your industry

Some industries, like medical practices, manufacturing, contractor, home services, realtors, and healthcare services, leverage phone answering services more than others.

If you’re in one of these industries, look for an answering service that specializes in your industry. You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck.

Hiring an answering service based strictly on price can hurt customer service, consumer satisfaction, and brand loyalty. It can also hurt revenues and profits, which is why you never want to hire based on price.

Creating a budget for the hiring process—using the tips described above—can help you find a good answering service without sacrificing quality, fit, and value. That, in turn, will provide the best return on your investment.