Like many business owners and managers, you work hard to make your business successful. That means growing your business. Among the keys to doing that is meeting customer expectations, which builds customer loyalty and fuels business growth. Fail to meet customer expectations, however, and your customers will blot.
But meeting customer expectations isn’t easy. Sometimes, it means partnering with third-party entities to boost customer service, like hiring a call answering service. It’s a cost-effective way to provide epic service and meet customer expectations. It frees your employees to focus on critical things, such as helping customers meet their needs.
But partnering with an answering service cedes control of that part of your business to an outside entity. That’s scary—no matter how good the answering service’s reputation or how many customer service awards it has. Put simply, partnering with a third-party always involves some risk.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. In the right situation, employing a call answering service makes good business sense. It’s a proven strategy. Among the keys to making this partnership work is creating a smooth transition. That ensures that nothing falls through the cracks and guarantees that customers get the best service possible.
The trick to making a smooth transition, however, is knowing what to expect when you partner with a call answering service. Below are six reasonable expectations you should have when working with an answering service:
Savvy answering services are good communicators. They keep clients updated on critical changes to things like scheduling, hours, needs, and so on. Not keeping clients informed is among the top causes of service issues. To make a good transition—and keep things running smoothly—work with your service to set up a program that updates everyone in real time.
Relaying messages quickly and efficiently is critical for answering services. So, expect the service you hire to do that. The challenge is that the two of you may approach communicating with others differently. That can hurt the relaying of messages. So, find out which approach works well for both of you, then implement it.
Successful answering services have polite, friendly, engaging staffs. Even if agents answering the phone resolve issues quickly, they can turn your customers off if they’re sarcastic, distant, and cold. That hurts your brand. Customers need to hear agents smile through the phone. Basic manners and civility go along way—even over the phone.
The most effective call answering services are specialists. They concentrate on specific industries, such as general business, emergency, legal, medical, and so on, and get to know that industry intimately. That way they can excel at what they’re doing and provide the best service possible.
You want an answering service that’s available 24/7, including holidays if necessary. You also want an answering service that goes the extra mile when you need them to do so. Plus, you want an answering service that adapts to your needs, like developing a customized call plan to fit your needs or finding new ways to help you boost your brand with customers.
Answering services provide many benefits, such as providing your customers with a professional image of you. But you also want an answering service with the ability to help you grow your company. That includes meeting your needs as your company grows. Expect your answering services to have both the desire and capabilities to adapt to your needs.
Delivering epic customer service can help you grow your business. To provide that kind of service, however, you may need to partner with a call answering service. That makes good business sense. It frees your people to focus on more important matters, like helping your customers resolve issues. But ceding control of call answering to a third party is risky. It’s also scary.
The key to partnering with an answering service is making a good transition and keeping things running smoothly. That way nothing falls through the cracks. Transitioning smoothly can only happen if you have the right expectations going into the partnership. The six expectations discussed above are what you can expect from any answering service you hire.