Fact: Not all answering services are created equal. There are many reasons why a business owner may choose to hire an answering service to take over incoming calls, but after the choice to hire has been made, the why is not as important.
The real focus should always be choosing an answering service that is capable of meeting your needs. The role of an answering service is to take some weight off the client when it comes to call-based customer service.
If your answering service is becoming more of a hindrance than a help, you might have made a bad hiring decision. Wondering if this is the case with your answering service partnership? Read on to see if any of the following six statements apply to your company-answering service relationship.
Answering services are used in many different industries including the medical and legal fields, property management, and various business sectors. However, not all answering services are equipped to work in every field.
Take for example a booming Chicago medical practice that decided to hire an answering service to cover overflow calls and those received after hours. Though the relationship looked promising, within a few weeks it was clear that it wasn’t a right fit. What went wrong?
The answering service had come highly recommended, however, they had little experience with medical based companies. Had the practice hired a service with agents trained using Athena healthcare, they would have saved a lot of valuable time and money.
And tome does equal money when it comes to business. In general, up to 80 percent of incoming callers don’t leave voicemails according to recent research. A great number of these current or potential customers will never call back. This can lead to loss of valuable clients and of course, revenue.
So, why is it that many companies hire answering services that are not available after hours? Usually, they assume it will cost too much.
Instead of playing a guessing game, business owners should compare answering services before making a decision. You might be surprised at how reasonably affordable 24/7 service can be when handled by the right provider.
Like being sent to voicemail, slow response time is another deal breaker for many customers.
I recently watched a co-worker sit on hold with a well-known TV shopping network for over 45 minutes. She had tried to complete her order online but was given an error code.
After being passed around to several different departments and finally told by the agent that he “wasn’t sure what to do next.” She became frustrated and ended the call.
The final outcome? The company lost a thousand-dollar laptop sale and a customer who had Christmas shopped with the company for several years. The culprit: slow response time mixed with a lack of professional training.
After all, having a clueless answering service rep on the line is almost as bad as not being able to reach anyone at all.
At the very least, agents should be able to provide commonly requested information such as office hours and what to do in case of emergency. They should also be able to provide more detailed information requested by a customer.
For example, an answering service for a property management company should know when rent is due and what late fees will be assessed if it is not paid on time. If the answering service you hire can’t answer basic questions for your callers and offer helpful information, it’s worthless.
On the flip side, a great answering service is also able to perform client intake. This is especially important for certain industries such as the legal and medical fields.
If a potential client calls to obtain an attorney, that firm’s answering service should be able to do more than “take a message.” A human voicemail is worthless.
Being able to perform non-billable administrative services like client intake seamlessly and quickly is what sets a superstar answering service apart from the mediocre.
Your answering service should be benefiting you. If your current service offers no perks besides the traditional amenities, it might be time to shop around.
Does your answering service require a lengthy contract? Try a service that doesn’t! Is your current answering service lacking in quality control? Consider a service that excels in that area.
When it comes to benefits, just like services offered, don’t settle for less. Instead, enlist the help of an agency that hits the mark in all areas while providing exceptional service at an affordable rate.
Not sure where to start? Give us a shot by calling 888.636.1222 or requesting a free quote!