An answering service provider is a company that processes calls and customer inquiries for other businesses when the business closes, on holidays, or when the staff is busy. A complete service will send and receive your emails, set appointments and manage the help desk issues in addition to taking your calls. There are many answering service providers out there claiming to be the best. However, you have to choose one that meets your needs. Partnering with an excellent answering service provides numerous benefits to deliver the desired positive experience for your customers.
At Best Call Center, we provide a wide range of services to meet your business needs while delivering a great customer experience for your callers. In addition, our Nashville answering service agents are always available to provide live answers for your callers and ensure that you do not lose customers from missed calls and automated messages.
Overview of Call Answering Service
An answering service is a company that takes your calls, manages your emails or other forms of communication in your business. The answering service agents can also record messages for you to deal with them later. Hiring an answering service is like having a receptionist who can answer your calls twenty-four hours a day. When your business receives many calls during business hours, the answering service will allow you to attend to other business matters.
There are four main types of answering services, and each provides different benefits for the business:
- Live telephone answering services. A live answering service uses human contact to ensure that a full interaction between the caller and the agent is possible. Although automated messages are cheaper, callers often prefer talking to a person.
- Call centers. Call centers are a type of telephone answering service which caters to larger business enterprises with a high call volume. You can use a call center as part of your business or outsource their services.
- Automated answering services. This answering service is an automated voice that gives your callers options and can choose a key depending on the service they need. Automated answering service is inexpensive but robs the callers of the personal touch and is undesirable to many.
- Industry-specific answering service. In addition to the basic answering services, there are industry-specific answering services for popular industries. Such a service may help with technical support or medical support for the doctor's office.
Indicators that your Business is In Need of an Answering Service
If you hire an answering service, they will answer all your inbound calls and relieve your office staff to focus on other critical issues. If you notice any of the following problems with your business, it may be time to hire an answering service:
Low Level of Employee Productivity
When you are in an industry where customers and clients are always calling to book appointments, your office staff may be caught up in answering calls and forget important tasks. If you notice that your employees are always on the phone and their productivity in the business, you may need to partner with an answering service. Nashville answering service providers can perform the following tasks:
- Schedule appointments for your clients
- Set management meetings
- Take messages
- Manage emergency calls
- Process outbound marketing campaigns
- Support products and services
- Take orders
When the answering service handles these tasks, your employees can focus on other business activities, thus boosting productivity.
Increasing Business Costs
You need to keep an eye on actions that increase costs in your business. Many people often think of the cost of an answering service when they consider hiring one. Although answering services are not free, they will save your business on cost significantly. If you notice that your business is incurring unnecessary costs from staffing, partnering with a Nashville answering service would be the wisest idea. Some of the ways through which an answering service saves you money include:
- You will not need to pay a receptionist's salary. You use a lot of money to pay a receptionist who will be out on holiday and after hours. Also, you cannot predict when they may fall sick and fail to show up to work. With an answering service, you receive round-the-clock services at an affordable price.
- Save on training costs. When you bring in a new person to your business, you will need to train them to handle the calls and respond to different situations.
- Cut on equipment and technology costs. Instead of spending money on fancy phone systems, you can just use a call answering service. Call centers often come with their equipment and use their systems to manage your business calls.
When you lose a customer, you not only lose money but your business growth is slowed down. When a potential client or customer calls your business and is put to voicemail or receives an automated message, they are likely to hang up and call another business. Clients call your business when they are immediate, which could be after hours, even on holidays. The likelihood of calling your competitors is high when the customer does not receive the help they need.
If you notice that your business is losing customers for failure to receive the assistance they need, it may be time to partner with a Nashville answering service to manage your calls. The answering agents ensure that your callers will receive a response regardless of when they place the call. Also, they will schedule appointments and let the customers know that their need is being handled.
Your Business is Seasonal
Some businesses are seasonal. Therefore, your staff may be unable to handle all calls that come through during the peak season. In this case, you may need assistance from a call answering service. Call centers charge per call or message they take. Therefore, you will not incur the cost of paying a receptionist where your business is in the off-season.
Casting a Poor Professional Image
First impressions are crucial in a business. The first response that a customer or client receives gives them a perception of your whole business. A business that provides a professional image and good quality services will attract and retain customers. If you notice a poor professional image forming from your business, hiring a call answering service may be the best way to move.
A Nashville answering service will have knowledgeable agents who are trained to answer questions and deal with the customers' specific needs in your industry. Customer service representatives are the face of your business. Clients and customers may never have to meet the owners or managers, but they work directly with the staff at each visit or through phone calls. Even when your company does not focus on the service, answering services provide the basic level of customer service that is desirable and can boost the growth of your business.
Lack of Industry Knowledge
Different employees perform specific tasks in your business. However, when calls are overflowing, employees who are not knowledgeable on customer service in the industry may be forced to take the calls causing your image to deteriorate. Therefore, it would be wise to partner with an answering service when you do not have enough personnel with proper knowledge of your industry. Often, these agents are trained to handle matters in your industry and will present the best possible image for your business.
Tips for Choosing the Best Answering Service for your Business
When you Google the word 'answering service,' thousands of providers will pop up claiming to be the best service providers. Most call centers will offer a general customer calling plan. The key to partnering with the best answering service is choosing one that meets the specific need of your business. Some of the tips you can exploit when finding the right answering service include:
Partner with a Company that Works in your Field
Before you settle for an answering service, you need to enquire about the type of clients they work with. If they have handled clients within your industry, it can indicate that they understand what is required for that type of business. Therefore, you will not spend much time training them on the language to answer your calls. Also, you will need a company that handles clients with a business size close to yours.
Confirm the Items in their Base Charges
The cost is an essential part of choosing an answering service. You need to move with a company within the budget you have allocated for that purpose. Therefore, it is essential to confirm the services you will receive with the base charges and any additional cost you must pay to receive business-specific services. Many call answering service providers will offer an enticing package for base charges, but the changes in the ad-on services may not fall within your budget.
As you verify the services for which you are paying, you should not pay extra for:
- Changes in setups and protocol. A call answering service is supposed to make money off answering your calls, not establishing protocols.
- Holidays and weekends. The sole purpose of hiring an answering service is to ensure that calls to your business are always answered on weekends and holidays. Therefore, you should not have to pay extra for services these days.
- On-call schedule directories. Often, these service requirements are requisite and reasonable.
Map Out your Calling Processes and Functionality
When developing a calling plan, you must know the functionality you need. Before settling on a particular Nashville answering service, you will need to identify the gaps in your business to determine the kind of support you need. Also, you should choose the type of services provided by each candidate. Although some vendors offer more services, you should narrow them down according to your priority.
Check Out for Industry Experience
Inquiring about the company's experience in your industry is critical in finding the right firm for your business. Some of the areas of concern on the industry experience are:
- Location of the agents
- Whether or not the answering service agents speak the language of your industry
- Level of agent training
- Level of experience in answering calls for clients in your industry
Know Where Your Calls Go
If an answering service manages your calls from one point, diverting them to a different place could be disastrous. This is because the agents can easily make mistakes even when the other side is part of their company. In addition, diverting the calls may hurt your business's customer service since customer familiarity will be lost.
Confirm Service Availability
We mostly opt for a call answering service to help manage calls and take messages when the staff is not available. Before you partner with an answering service, you need to ensure that the service can manage your calls within your schedule. Some service providers are only available during business hours which may not be favorable if you want your calls to be answered after hours. A 24-hour answering service provides a more flexible service and will not necessarily equal an increase in the cost of the services.
Check What the Answering Service will be doing with Your Data
The security of your information is critical. This is because it may include personal information about your customers. Losing the data could result in fines and penalties. Hackers often target small businesses as they do with large enterprises. Therefore, you need to ensure that the answering service for your business can safeguard your data. You want a company that:
- Takes your security procedures and protocols seriously
- Places a high priority on the security of your information
Find a Reliable Nashville Answering Service Provider Near Me
Customer service is the most critical part of growing your business. When a potential client calls your business, the first response they receive may prompt them to seek your services or contact another business. Your office staff may not be able to stay after hours to come to work on holidays. That is why it is wise to partner with an answering service. A good answering service will help boost customer retention for your business by giving good first impressions and professional customer management. In addition, your customers will receive real-time responses when you partner with an answering service.
At Best Call Center, we provide a consistent and meaningful experience to build loyalty, promote word of mouth advertising, and boost your business profitability. Contact our Nashville call answering service agents today at 800-385-4656 if you seek to serve your customers better and expand your business.