Regardless of the type of business you own or manage, providing quality service to your clients or customers is key. While you are busy in the field or handling paperwork, some customers and opportunities could fall through the cracks. Losing customers due to kissed calls could be detrimental to the business’s success. Fortunately, you can outsource the call answering and customer communication to a telephone answering service.
An answering service could play a significant role in the success and growth of your business. Additionally, this support service can help save on costs by minimizing customer service expenses. At Best Call Center, we provide a professional and friendly answering service dedicated to ensuring that all calls coming through to your business are handled promptly. Our Oakland Answering service agents will be in charge of taking all your calls and message recording giving you time to focus on other vital aspects of the business.
Overview of Answering Service
A call answering service is a company that answers calls and takes messages for your business. Telephone answering service agents process your calls in a way that depicts professionalism a=for your business. In most cases, an Oakland answering service will answer your calls and filter out those that need immediate attention. The urgent calls are transferred to different business departments, and the rest are recorded and handled later.
In addition to answering your calls, answering service agents could perform the following tasks:
- Scheduling and setting appointments
- Registering customer complaints and queries
- Transferring calls to different departments of your business
- Record and deliver messages
- Text and email communication
If you partner with an Oakland answering Service, you will simply forward your phone line to the answering service. Modern phones have made it easy to forward calls. Answering service companies have a platform that they use to answer calls for different types of businesses. The answering service will follow a script from your business to ensure they relay the right information and represent your business best as any of your in-house receptionists.
If you run a business with a high volume of calls or ensure that there is always someone on standby to answer calls coming to your business, it would be wise to hire an answering service. Many callers tend to hang up when they are met with an automated message, or their call is sent to voicemail. Most customers crave some human contact. Ensuring that a live receptionist answers their calls will increase customer satisfaction and improve your opportunity to build trusting and long-lasting relationships with your clients or customers.
What is the Difference Between an Answering Service and a Call Center?
The main difference between a call centers an answering service is that an answering service is a section of the call center. Answering services are often associated with the provision of basic telephone answering services. Calls handled by the answering service take up to one and a half minutes. On the other hand, a call center offers a wide variety of services including handling emails, setting appointments, technical support, and web charts for your business. Call center services involve more complicated interactions where the agent will dive deeper and help your customer with their need.
The number of calls that come through to a call center is high, taking longer. Although some people use a call center and answering service interchangeably, it is important to understand that they are different. It is correct to say that all answering services are call centers, but not all call centers are answering services.
Customizing your Answering Service
An answering service will be a great addition to your business when customized to fit your needs. You hire an Oakland Answering Service because you understand the benefits it can offer to your business. However, you cannot just sign the contract and expect to reap the benefits. If your aim of partnering with an answering service is to reap as much benefit as possible, you will need to program it to fit your business style.
Customizing the answering service involves making the call center an extension of your business. The following are some ways through which you can customize your telephone answering service:
Dial-in the Script
Scripting is an important aspect of customizing a call answering service. You should avoid settling for a template where you just put your company names and receive some weak and general script. Before you delegate the phone answering and message-taking services to an answering service, you need to make sure that they understand the information you want to be conveyed to your clients. You should include the questions agents can ask callers to determine the best way to help them with different needs.
When you have the answering service delivering messages for your business, you must specify how you want your messages to be related. You will have to consider whether you prefer to receive your messages by email, fax, text, or a secure online portal. Also, it would be best if you did not forget to indicate who should be receiving the message and how long. Before you begin your partnership with the Oakland Answering Service, you need to have them understand the important messages so they can be relayed on time. Answering service agents, in this case, will be able to filter the calls with urgency.
Most people do not think much of promotion when hiring an answering service. A telephone answering service can be a great way to promote your business events, deals, and specials. Whether you hope to spread your business or want to run a promotion, your answering service could play a crucial role.
Bilingual Answering Service
Almost every community in the United States has residents whose first language is not English. If you want to provide quality service for your clients by partnering with an answering service, you need to ensure that all clients, including the foreign ones, feel comfortable. If you only use an answering service where agents speak in English, you will limit your business and lower the chances of expanding.
A bilingual answering service agent is essential to every company that needs help answering calls. Most individuals will identify with your business and feel more comfortable if the person receiving their call understand their language. In most cases, bilingual answering service is an effective marketing strategy that attracts new customers to your business.
Benefits of a Bilingual Answering Service
If you seek to target potential customers from the global marketplace, you need staff who can attend to emails and answer calls around the clock. This ensures that your international clients can do their business within their desired timeframe. More importantly, competitive businesses understand the need to cater to all clients regardless of their cultural diversity. Therefore, hiring a bilingual answering service could put you ahead of the competition. The following are some of the benefits you accrue from partnering with a bilingual answering service:
Hiring and Staffing Problems Solved
Businesses often undergo changes that could lead to hiring and training additional staff. Given the high demand for doing business globally, finding well-trained agents who can take calls in multiple languages could be challenging. Adding staff for night shifts and holidays could mean overtime costs. Also, hiring multiple in-house receptionists to cater to callers of all languages can be very costly.
When you partner with a bilingual answering service is a quick solution to ensure that the needs of your non-English speaking customers are met without having to hire and train additional staff. Outsourcing bilingual answering services will leave the core staff free to essential other business activities.
Expansion of Client Service
The proper bilingual answering service will expand your ability to serve customers as soon as you partner with them. A live bilingual call center will provide professional coverage order taking and support. Additionally, you will receive a prompt response to calls, queries, and orders. For example, in the medical field, there is a high demand for a specialized level of training and call response to accommodate the needs of patients.
If you run a healthcare business, you want to ensure your clients’ needs. Serving a bilingual population becomes an issue in situations where a person’s life depends on relaying information. In such a situation, an answering service with bilingual agents could go a long way.
Maintain Quality Control
Some business functions, such as the help desk, will benefit from an in-house receptionist to help in solving difficult problems. When you outsource an answering service, you need to ensure that these bilingual live receptions use the same script as the in-house staff. A customized script is key to successfully integrating the bilingual call center staff into your business. This ensures that the outsourced bilingual agents answer calls how your staff would. After establishing a call center or integrating the answering service with your business, you can allow the agents to take on some routine tasks off your office staff.
How Much Does Partnering with a Telephone Answering Service Cost?
Telephone answering service costs vary based on the needs of your business, the size of your business, and your budget allocation. Often there is no specific method on how companies bill their services. However, the following are some common pricing plans from which you can choose:
- Per-call billing. The answering service charges you based on the overall number of calls they answer for your business with this pricing method. Although this method ensures that you only pay for the calls they answer, you may still be required to pay for accidental calls coming through to your company.
- Per-minute billing. For this pricing technique, your business will pay for calls depending on the duration of the call. The longer the answering service agents spend on the phone with your clients, the more you will pay for their services. There is a standard call time used in the billing for most live answering services, and additional minutes will attract extra costs. If your callers ask routine questions that take a short time to be answered, this type of pricing could be suitable for your business.
- Per-unit billing. When you opt for the Per-unit billing, you must pay for every call, message, email, or other call activity. The call answering service company determines the amount you will need to pay for each of these services.
As you consider the pricing method that best suits your business needs, it is vital to understand the elements that go into pricing:
- Account setup fees. Answering service companies often charge a setup fee during the initiation phase of the account. The account setup or activation fee reflects the service provider’s efforts to prepare a customer service script and start up your account.
- Billing plan. Once you have chosen the suitable pricing method for your business, the amount you must for your plan forms a significant part of the answering service costs.
- Holiday fees. Most answering service companies work round the clock, including after business hours and holidays. For this reason, your business could incur additional costs.
- Contract fees. Before moving forward with an answering service, you need to enquire about each charge. Sometimes, extra or hidden fees cover long-distance ad overtime services. Additionally, it would be wise to hire an answering service that bills you monthly rather than annually.
- Cost of additional features. Answering services can be used for any business. In this case, you could be forced to customize the service to meet your specific needs. If you want the Oakland answering service agents to provide 24/7 service or integrate bilingual live receptionists, you may need to pay extra cost.
Find an Answering Service Company Near Me
The level of customer service you provide could make or break your business. Communication is an important aspect of providing the best services for your customers. Unfortunately, you cannot always sit beside the phone waiting to answer your calls. As you attend to other aspects of your business, you could forget to answer the phone and miss out on important opportunities.
Partnering with an answering service is a perfect way of ensuring that your customers are attended to, and you do not lose customers from missed calls or transfer of calls to voicemail. At Best call center, we understand the important role that proper communication plays in the growth of your business, and we will provide efficient and professional telephone answering services. Our Oakland Answering Service Agents will help provide your potential customers and incoming lead with the feedback they need on their journey to working with your business. Contact us today at 800-385-4656.