Nothing speaks professionalism to your clients and potential clients as communication does. But with the important responsibilities and projects you have as a contractor, it becomes hard to answer every lead that comes knocking.
This is where the Best Call Center comes in. We are a virtual answering service for contractors who lack the time or additional staff to answer every call coming through. We take your call, and direct customers and potential leads by providing relevant responses to their queries.
We work with contractors to develop a framework of their expectations, common customer queries, and the responses you want your customers to receive.
Our services are available 24/7. Therefore, your customers are taken care of even when you sleep.
Answering Services for Contractors
One measure of the success of a business is the customer service offered. Companies that make customers feel worthy, heard, and important are more likely to sell. When faced with two contractors who provide the same service and have similar qualifications and success, the client will likely pick the one with the best customer service.
Customers who have a positive experience with your business can also bring in leads through referrals to their friends and family. You want your contracting business to be the kind that generates referrals from happy customers.
Constant (and useful) communication with your customers keeps them engaged with your service. They can count on you to be available when they need you. However, it is not humanly possible to respond to all calls that come to your business. If you were to dedicate your time to answering calls from these customers, you could not do the actual work.
The other alternative you might have is hiring a full-time receptionist to receive these calls can be expensive for your business. These receptionists might also be overwhelmed with other tasks (such as responding to emails), leading them to miss calls, or be unenthusiastic about responding to these calls. Hiring an in-house team specializing in handling calls can hurt your bottom line, especially if you are a small business owner.
It could also take time to develop your customer service, during which time; you could lose significant revenue and possibly jeopardize your reputation. You can build a commendable customer service from the beginning by outsourcing call answering to answering services that specialize in providing answering services to contractors.
Answering services consist of specialized professionals skilled in customer service and the needs and requirements of contractors. They will answer calls on behalf of your business, direct customers to the relevant person, and ask important questions about the customer’s pain points. They also provide a transcript for each call and organize them in their order of priority.
In addition to receiving calls, answering services can respond to messages across other channels that your business uses to communicate to clients.
Here are some of the services answering services:
- Customer service to help you answer the common queries customers have about your contracting services.
- Emergency call routing to alert you about situations you need to respond to immediately (when you are working on answering every call that comes through. Every call can feel like an emergency and distract you from the urgent activities you should be focused on now.
- Setting appointments - Answering services keep track of your appointment booking them as appropriate for you and your clients.
- Disaster recovery - Phones can ring incessantly in case of disasters, making it hard to respond to every client. However, if you have an answering service, the virtual receptionists will handle these calls as you work on your business's progress.
You can request additional services based on your budget and the goals of your business. For example, if your clients are active on social media, you can request a social media management service to help you answer and engage the customers on social channels.
Answering services come in one or all of these four forms:
- Automated answering services which feature traditional voicemail services, auto attendants, and interactive voice responses
- Live virtual receptionists
- Internet platforms answering services such as social media monitoring, automated email responses, and web chats
- Call center services
Automated answering services are great for calls that come after-hours. A customer can receive prompts such as press 1 for sales. These services are ideal for businesses that receive numerous calls from clients seeking basic information. You cannot, however, depend on automated services to deal with all your calls. You could miss calls from customers who are looking for more information.
Call center services are ideal for contractors who receive a high call volume. You can also use this service if you want the answering agents to spend more time nurturing leads or dealing with busy seasons. This means you will need more people on the phone to reduce the hold-time and missed calls from customers.
Live answering services involve actual people handling the calls your business receives. You will provide these call agents with the information they need to answer these calls. Live answering services also include taking messages, setting appointments, and customer support.
Internet answering services are ideal if you have a website or want to establish your presence online. These services facilitate access to online messages, web inquiries, and live web chats.
The cost of these services usually depends on the volume of calls your business handles. You can choose the most appropriate plan for your business from our diverse range of plans.
Why You Need Call Answering Services
Here is what happens when a customer calls your business:
- You pick up the phone, respond to the query, and your customer leaves satisfied
- The calls go to voicemail because you are out of the office; the customer is frustrated, hang up without leaving a message, and takes their business elsewhere
- A customer leaves a message, but you are too busy and are falling behind on your voicemail message, so you never call back
- You miss the call because you were on the phone with another customer
- Your customer has an emergency, but it's after hours, so they have to wait till the next morning or worse, Monday morning at 10
In the last four scenarios, your business is losing important customer conversations. You miss the chance to provide valuable information about your services, help them solve their problems, or generate new business. You are hurting your bottom line.
Responding to calls that come through to your business can lead to more conversions and earnings. While this would increase your contracting business margins, you are trapped between responding to every call and delivering your client’s required services.
In some cases, you cannot afford to have the staff to cover your calls every day, all the time. But with a call answering service for contractors, you can release the reins on answering calls and focus on providing the value you promise your clients.
Here are the top reasons you need a contractor call answering service:
- The first impression a potential customer gets when they call you determines whether they will work with you or not. With the pressure from other responsibilities and clients, you might not provide the best customer service regardless of your best intentions. By delegating the call answering responsibility to an expert, you reinforce your business’s professionalism and customer relation standards. The personal touch a call agent offers your customer also enhances your business’s customer experience and impression. You are, therefore, building your brand by delegating call services to a professional.
- Your customers could experience an emergency at odd out-of-office hours. If you rely on yourself to answer every call, you will come across as an undependable contractor when your client's call hits the voicemail, and their basement is flooding.
- A call service can organize your calls based on their urgency; for instance, emergencies are more urgent than a potential client inquiring about your services is. Call answering services alert you when emergencies arise so that you act promptly. Most of them require a number through which they can route all emergency calls for your attention.
- The likelihood of rushing through your calls with potential leads and current clients could result in missing important information. However, call answering services are dedicated to asking the relevant and important questions that help you better serve your clients.
- You can break language barriers if you do not speak the same language as your clients. An answering service often caters to diverse customer needs making it possible for your products and services to reach people who would not have access due to the language barrier.
- Outsourcing customer service will help you focus on growing your business and revenue. Most contractors spend their time in the field, at their work areas and signing checks. Outsourcing your answering services to a professional saves you time and anxiety, allowing you to serve customers better and focus on other activities that grow your business.
- You save on technology, space, capital, and support by outsourcing your call or contact services to answering services.
- Responding to calls can be distracting, especially when you are engaged in complex activities demanding your attention. When your contracting business has another entity handling the calls, you can focus on being productive in what you do best.
Another unique benefit answering services bring to your business is tied in the nature of call answering businesses. Answering services target specific industries, for instance, contractors. They understand the specifics of your industry, making it easier for them to answer your customers. With excellent answering service, your customers will feel they have reached your business directly.
Customizing Your Customer Experience
What works for a doctor might not work for a contractor. Therefore, you need to customize your business, the needs of the industry, and those of the customers. Customization begins with determining the questions an answering service needs to ask when receiving calls from different customers.
These questions are based on the inquiry, complaint, or request from the customer; they could be personal or related to the query’s specific product or service. Some of these questions will provide information about:
- The problem the customer has (or what they need help with)
- The contact information including the phone number, address, and email (such information is crucial when you want to make follow-ups with the client through email or phone)
- Asking the preferred means of communication for the customer (different customers have varied preferences on the mode of communication they prefer with your business. Contacting them on email when they’d rather a text message can be infuriating and likely to lose your contracting business a potential lead)
- How the customer learned about your business (so that you can have more data on what marketing initiatives work for your business)
You can include as many questions as possible in your transcript based on previous concerns your clients have had, or information you might feel could be beneficial if shared with existing customers or potential leads.
Measuring the ROI of an Answering Service to Your Business
One concern most contractors have is the impact hiring an answering service will have on their business. You might rely on the word of the answering service at first contact, but you will want to see the actual results and conversions your business is getting after enlisting these services.
Measuring the success of enlisting these services requires that you set key performance indicators right on the onset. Some of the KPIs you can employ include:
Leads and Conversions
Call centers offer 24/7 services, which increase the chances of capturing new leads and converting them into customers. These leads, if missed, could cost your business thousands of dollars.
Missed calls are a leading cause of customer dissatisfaction and frustrations, and most of these customers will work with a rival company and spread the bad word about your phone.
However, suppose you are responding to all calls (possible using an answering service). In that case, you will capture as many leads as possible, and have these customers spread a positive word about your customer service.
Determining the number of leads that come in through an answering service
When evaluating an answering service’s value, you first have to analyze the cost you would incur in hiring an in-house team to answer your calls 24/7. You will then compare the cost with that of the answering service, and the leads (and their value) you have generated from using the answering service.
Taking time to choose the best answering service in the contracting industry can help you avoid problems or losses. Some of the factors you should look for when determining the best provider include:
- The level of innovation the service provider has, for instance, the tools and technologies used.
- Knowledge in the contracting industry ensures that your customers feel like they are dealing with the company itself, not a call agent.
Most service providers also have customer relationship management software, which helps you organize your customer data. The software can increase your productivity if you use it properly and help you assess the impact the call answering service has on your business.
Choosing the Best Answering Service Provider
Choosing an answering service can be overwhelming, especially if you have to overcome the feeling of handing over the reins of your business. You want to find a provider that will work as efficiently as you would with the dedication to making your customer service stand out. You can choose from a variety of providers, but you want to make sure you are handing your customer service to a provider who understands your industry. Some of the factors to consider include:
The flexibility in payment - A good provider will provide flexible payment plans depending on your business’s nature and needs. Having a one-size-fits-all approach to pricing could end up being too expensive or leave you stuck with a service that is not valuable to your business. The services you get should be dependent on the type of services you are getting. For example, the price of handling call answering should be lower than the price of package plans that include replying to email and social media messages.
The pricing should also be flexible, depending on the seasonal changes, which might affect your business as a contractor. Flexibility could also mean the freedom to have unused minutes roll over to the next month (or upgrade or downgrade depending on your business changes.
The availability of the answering service - The best answering services are available 24/7. Settling for less means your business will probably experience the same lost leads and unanswered customer queries as you had before hiring the service. You should ask the answering service about their availability and the package coverage for calls during the weekends and holidays. If they do not, you want to know how much it will cost you to have these services available.
The provider’s services - The more services an answering service provides, the better for your business; therefore, choose a provider who has other services other than answering calls. Some of the additional services you can get include outbound calling, appointment scheduling, emergency on-call dispatching, customizable call handling, IVR and Voicemail, CRM integration, Bilingual agents, and dedicated agents (they deal specifically with your calls).
Reputation - You want your business to work with an answering service with a good reputation. You can check reviews from previous customers online to determine whether they are as good as they are. You should not use reviews as the major deciding factor since some of them could be biased. But if most of the reviews are negative, there is a good chance the company lacks good services. However, you might want to be careful if the business has all-glowing reviews (you can't please them all, right?)
Hold times are inevitable, but the answering service you choose should have minimal hold times. Low hold times means more agents are assigned to your calls; therefore, they capture most of the leads that come through. Customers might become impatient if they have to wait in a queue to have their call answered. You can evaluate the hold time by requesting reports for the period you need.
Customer support - Choose a company with top-notch customer support. They should be accessible when you are experiencing problems and deal with the issue you are facing fast and efficiently. Alternatively, they should provide you with information to deal with the problem yourself if their agents are not live.
In addition, you want an answering service whose team is:
- Easily accessible
- Quick to respond
- Knowledgeable in their role
- Eager to solve your problem in one phone call (you do not have to keep calling over the same issue)
You should also choose a service with effective script development to ensure that the answering service serves your business needs. Before the answering service can take the first call for your business, they have to set up your account, taking their time to understand your business needs and your customer's pain points. They should address:
- The type of calls they will answer.
- How you want these calls handled
- Responses customers should get when they ask to speak to the contractor.
- Call screening
- Automation tools
Most call answering services allow a free trial to new clients. You can take advantage of these to determine the service that best fits your business and shows a better return on your investment.
Find an Answering Service for Contractors Near Me
Best Call Center is an answering service with virtual receptionists with the skills and expertise in customer service. We also understand what goes into a contracting business and the best way to engage the customers to answer their questions and provide the necessary guidance.
We also have a tracking system that helps you determine the ROI from our answering services. We charge competitive rates, which do not eat into your profits but make your business grow further.
Contact us at 800-385-4656 if you are considering outsourcing your answering services.