Customers are the lifeblood of your business organization. You may offer the greatest product or service on the planet, however without customers to purchase these items your company will fail. Your lifeline to prevent this from happening is the phone line that delivers calls from customers and potential customers. Missing a phone call is equivalent to missing a sales opportunity.
It is impractical to think that you, or your office staff, can answer every single phone call made to your business on a given day. Here is where an answering service steps in. Answering services can serve as an extra set of hands helping you capture as much customer interaction as possible, even at your busiest times of the day.
What It Is
An answering service serves as the virtual receptionist for your office. This service is there to handle phone calls when you are out of the office, in a meeting or with another customer. You can also use an answering service to handle the overflow of phone calls when your office lines are full. It frees up time for your in-house office staff to handle other tasks without leaving customers feeling unimportant because their phone call went unanswered or they were unable to get through to an actual person.
The answering service can merely serve as a messaging point that makes customers, and potential customers, feel value and appreciation when reaching out to contact you. Your virtual receptionist can answer a real-time call to your office, place the call on hold for a brief moment and forward it to you wherever you are at the moment the call comes in. The customer on the other end is never made aware of the fact that you may be on the golf course. To that caller, it is business as usual.
Answering services can also do more than handle incoming office phone calls. Additional features often include scheduling customer appointments and making reservations as needed. It just depends on what products or services your business offers.
How It Works
The first step in having an answering service in place for your business is finding a company that you like. Take the time to find a service that feels like a perfect fit. The right one will feel like an extension of your business and not an outsider.
This answering service will serve as the initial point of contact for your customers and any potential clients that reach out to you. Remember that first impressions are everything when it comes to doing business. Your answering service of choice will be the one to provide that crucial first impression. Once you find an answering service that creates an excellent customer perception of your business, they can start working as early as that next call that comes across your business phone line.
Upon account activation with your new answering service you will receive a phone number that you can use to forward incoming business calls to the service as you need. Most phone services allow for a hassle free set-up for you to forward phone calls from one phone number to another. A click of a button forwards incoming calls to the answering service. It turns off in a similar manner when you can handle incoming calls.
You never miss a phone call as the answering service is now in place to handle the calls until further notice. You will also have no worries about customers needing your immediate attention.
When those type of calls come into the answering service, they reach out to you instantly to give you the necessary details before forwarding the call to you.
Other phone calls and tasks that you have selected for the answering service to manage receive the appropriate action. You can pick up your messages throughout the day or at the end of each business day or period that the service handles your incoming phone calls.
An answering service works in the same manner as your in-house receptionist does. You have the liberty to personalize how the service answers incoming calls, what the service says to the person on the phone line and how to resolve issues that arise.
The answering service works for you. That means that if your in-house receptionist answers all incoming phone calls with a personalized script that you created, your answering service does the same. Your attention to such a simple detail will establish a sense of familiarity with your customers that call your business. It will be impossible to tell which calls are being handled right in your office and which are passing through to an answering service located elsewhere.
You will have the peace of mind in knowing that all of your incoming phone calls are being handled in the same approach each time the phone rings. It’s a small amount of consistency with a big impact on your reputation and ultimately your profitability.