One of the most frustrating things for any business owner is losing a potential customer because of a missed call. After all the time, money, and effort invested in a business, being unable to take a call could be the kind of missed opportunity that leads to a decreased ROI.
The way to solve this is to use an answering service for small businesses capable of answering all your calls in a professional manner. It would also be without the overhead costs associated with hiring a personal assistant or full-time receptionist.
What you also want to avoid, however, is choosing the wrong answering service. Too many businesses choose a service using price as the sole criteria. Here are five things you should take into account when choosing the right answering service for your business.
The ability to know that you have handled all your customer calls promptly might be one of the main reasons for considering an answering service. If the service you’re considering takes longer than four rings before they deal with the call, you should keep looking.
You should review the quality of sound your customers could expect from the service. If it’s a large call centre, they may be a lot of background noise on the call. A reputable answering service, however, would use a high-quality noise cancellation system. Without the background noise, your customer can clearly communicate with the person on the other end of the phone, and will leave with an impression that he or she has just dealt with a professional company.
You should also take into account the service’s ability to handle a high call volume during a specific period. A smaller answering service may not be equipped to handle the kind of call volume your business receives. Don’t shy away from asking about their track record of dealing with other businesses of your size.
You need to make sure that the service’s availability aligns with the operating hours of your business. If it doesn’t, it’s a dead end. Your customers will expect to get through to your company during the operating hours listed on your website.
If your business deals with customers from different countries in different time zones, you should go with an answering service that’s available during the business hours in the countries that you work with.
You should also look at whether or not a 24/7 option exists, even if you don’t need it at the time you sign up for the service. That way, you’d be able to upgrade without having to sign up with a different service in the future.
Speed of Implementation
Ideally, you’ll choose a company that can set you up with your service quickly. With some companies, it can be a week or even longer before you’re fully set up. Depending on how busy you are, speed of implementation may be one of the most important factors to take into account when choosing an answering phone service.