7 Things To Know Before Choosing A Live Answering Service
Now that you’ve decided your business can benefit from a virtual receptionist, you’re ready to hire the right service. But it’s wise to find out what to expect from a live answering service before you hire one. Click here to learn what you need to know.
A constantly ringing phone can mean business is booming. It can also be a nuisance. Hiring an answering service to handle your busy phone lines can be a great relief to your business. It frees you and your employees up to get on with the work at hand.
If you need your phones to be answered, rather than just go to voicemail, you need a live answering service. There are plenty of answering services out there, all offering slightly different services and prices.
Live answering services mean your customers feel like they have reached the business itself and when they can talk to a real person, they have more confidence in your company.
There are a few things you should consider before hiring an answering service. Here are a few ideas to help you decide.
Hiring a Live Answering Service
From the local pizza parlor to the busy dentist, hiring an answering service to field the volume of your calls is just smart business. Your clients need never know they are not talking to your office directly.
If you sell your product internationally, you can have callers from all over the world. It’s really helpful if you have people who can handle these calls in their own language.
Translation is also possible through technology, so if this is a priority, makes sure you ask if they provide this service. It can mean more satisfied customers. It can be a real boon to your business and allow you to open up to even more markets.
2. Expertise in your area
Finding people who can discuss and understand your business and your particular product or service is really helpful. If you run a medical practice, for instance, it’s better to have people who know the medical terms and understand how to prioritize the calls.
It’s reassuring to the customer when they feel they are being understood and can discuss their issue. They never need to know they are not talking to your office. The calls are answered by knowledgeable staff.
3. What services are included
Some answering services offer more services than others. Some may actually provide admin services, as well. If your business is busy and you don’t have a lot of staff, you may be able to engage them to free up some other work, as well.
Also, is there voicemail services, just in case. Or, do they record the calls for you to hear back if needed. If they have voicemail, how do you get your messages? Can you call in for them, do they text or email you, and if this is offered, do you have a choice?
4. 24 hour Answering Service
Asking about their hours of service is important if you want live answering around the clock. If you have people who call in with emergencies, it’s vital they speak to someone in person.
It is also important that you or the person on-call know and can handle the problem promptly. It’s also important that the person answering the call can determine if it’s an emergency or not.
5. Can they process payments
If you depend on sales through the phone or internet, it’s very helpful if your answering service can provide that service. There is a good chance you would have people to handle these types of calls anyhow, so ask about this service.
This can free up a lot of time and save you money. If they have the ability to sell and collect payments for you, this can really increase your sales. To have someone dedicated to sales means you will won’t miss as many calls for products or services.
6. Can you book appointments
This can be a real time saver for a busy office. Setting up appointments, handling cancellations and juggling your busy schedule is a full-time job. Having this all done remotely means your office can deal with the people there, and not have to worry about shifting everything around.
It can be very distracting for people already in your place of business to listen to someone answering the phone all day. It’s much more private for the calls to be answered remotely.
This way, your reception staff can focus on the people actually there, and not be distracted by the phone ringing non-stop. You’ll also not miss any opportunities, as the live answering service has several staff available to focus on your phone lines.
7. Call Center Pricing
A companies pricing is always important. Find out about the prices and contracts. if you are new to using answering services, ask if there is a trial run, where you can try it out for a while, just to make sure.
You don’t want to get locked into a contract that doesn’t work for you and have to pay more to get out of it or suffer through services you no longer want or need.
You need to ask what’s included and make sure it’s tailored to suit your needs. Ask about extras, if you need other services from time to time, are they pay-as-you-go or do you pay for them whether you use them or not?
How May I Direct Your Call
When your business is dependant on incoming calls, it can be a blessing and a pain. You want the calls, but it can be overwhelming to handle them all. Once business starts to really move, you need to make a choice.
Hiring more staff to handle the calls means more phone lines and more wages. By hiring a live answering service, you pay the same fee for all the phone lines. It’s really far more cost effective to outsource your busy phone.
There are services for all types of business and you can rest assured they will handle your calls professionally and promptly. Your customers like to talk to a real person and are far more likely to hang up if they reach a voicemail.
There are many different packages and service available, all to suit your company’s needs. For more information about live answering services, please continue reading here.