Being able to communicate with your customers efficiently is central to the success of any business. As a consumer, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the frustration of shouting, “Operator!” repeatedly into an automated voice-over system to access the help you need. Everyone is looking for a quick and easy way of communicating. However, as a business owner, establishing a professional and easy-to-use phone system has traditionally been costly, with solutions such as live answering services affordable for only larger, well-established businesses.
However, times have changed. Thanks to the advancement of technology, it is now possible for businesses of all sizes to obtain professional call-answering that are staffed by a live attendant, not an automated recording system. And if you’re still on the fence about whether a live answering service would be worthwhile, remember that 60% of consumers prefer to contact local businesses by phone over any other method.
Even in our digital age, investing in improving your phone service can make a big impact, providing a type of human connection that’s just not available over email. Let’s explore the ways a great answering services can benefit your business, along with the revolutionary tools that today’s top providers are offering.
The Ultimate Convenience: How a Live Answering Service Meets Your Customers’ Needs
Is your phone ringing off the hook? According to Entrepreneur.com, American small businesses receive 400 million phone calls each day. Moreover, small businesses can miss up to 62% of the phone calls they receive. Whether it’s a customer calling to place an order, resolve a problem, or ask a question about a product, being able to get in touch with a live representative can mean the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity.
When your business is small, each customer interaction is so important. But this can become challenging when your resources are limited. For example, it’s common for a new business owner to use their personal cell phone as a business phone number, or to not have the resources to hire a full-time receptionist. This means you have more limited hours of availability and can appear unprofessional.
Today, there are more solutions for small businesses than ever before. An answering service from the right provider can be affordable while allowing you to deliver exceptional customer care. Live answering services can operate during your normal business hours, after hours, and even on Saturdays. Whether you’re busy or closed, a trained professional will be available to answer promptly, allowing you to provide better service than your competition.
How Does an Answering Service Work?
Live answering services work by using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to route the phone calls your business receives to an off-site call center. From there, a trained professional who understands your business answers incoming calls on your behalf. They will answer the phone using your desired greeting and then either forward the call, schedule an appointment, or take a message.
This service is fast and simple to set up:
- Find a service provider and sign up for a monthly plan based on how many minutes you’ll need.
- Schedule an intake call, where you’ll answer questions about your business, the greeting you’d like your receptionist to answer the phone with, how you’d like your calls routed, and other information.
- Begin using your new service! In as little as 24 hours, your service will be all setup and ready for use.
When a customer calls during business hours, one of our attendants will answer and route your calls as you prefer. Since we employ a large team of trained staff, your customers will never have to deal with an automated recording or busy signal. There will always be a professional ready to answer during business hours.
What’s more, the best service providers feature agents trained in specific fields to ensure the highest quality customer service. Whether your business is in the medical, legal, real estate, or another field, you can enjoy having an affordable and professional expert handling your calls. These receptionists understand the needs of your industry and know how to handle your unique customer base. You can enjoy greater peace of mind knowing your business will always offer prompt and convenient service.
Benefits For Your Business
Partnering with a live answering service can have a big impact on your business, in many different ways. It not only allows you to deliver more professional and prompt customer service, but it can even save you a lot of money over the cost of an in-house receptionist. Let’s explore some of the benefits you’ll gain.
The best live answering service providers offer a range of options at a variety of price points. These plans are charged monthly according to the number of minutes you purchase. This is great for small businesses on a budget since you can decide how many minutes you’ll need and can select a package that fits into your budget.
No matter how many minutes you choose, you will undoubtedly be saving a lot of money on the cost of hiring and training new staff members. You’ll also be able to cancel any time your needs change.
Certain types of businesses handle a lot of appointments. Doctors, lawyers, and salon owners all have a strong need for a reliable phone attendant who can answer calls professionally and manage appointment scheduling. A live answering service can easily perform this role, entering your appointments directly into your calendar and ensuring you never miss out on any business.
Efficient Call Handling
Running a business is hard when you have a small team. Live receptionists provide the extra support you need at a great price. They act as a buffer between you and your customers and handle your calls in any way that you like. You can have your calls forwarded to another extension or sent to your voicemail. Your receptionist can also schedule meetings and appointments on your behalf, straight into your calendar. In addition, any spam or robocalls are filtered out.
High Call Volume Handling
If your business is booming and you’re running yourself ragged trying to keep up with the calls, a live attendant will allow you to relax and remain professional. Not only are live attendants highly trained at answering high call volumes, but you’ll also gain access to a large, multi-line telephone system. This means that no matter how many customers call you simultaneously, no one will ever get put on hold or hear a busy signal. There will always be a professionally trained professional waiting to answer on your behalf.
While we’ve already mentioned that virtual answering services feature receptionists who are experienced in specific fields, there are even more features your business can benefit from. For example, top service providers offer HIPAA-compliant receptionists. This is critical for businesses in the healthcare field which must ensure private information remains secure. If you’d like to experience the benefits of a live receptionist but have security concerns, you can rest easy knowing HIPAA compliance is not an issue.
Messages in Any Format
Your live receptionist does much more than answer calls and schedule appointments. They can also make sure you get the crucial information you need, when you need it, and in whatever format you prefer. If you’re waiting for an important call, your receptionist can forward it to your cell phone, complete an attended transfer, or take a message for you. Depending on your preference, your messages can be texted to you or emailed to you immediately.
Improve Your Business Communication with a Live Answering Service
Today’s live answering services allow even the smallest businesses to access professional phone setups. No matter what your company size or budget, you can provide your customers with the highest level of customer care and ensure no call goes unanswered.
With service providers like Phone.com, you can launch your new service in as little as 24 hours, with absolutely no contract or setup fee. We have over 10 years of experience helping entrepreneurs in many industries succeed. Our team of highly trained receptionists understands all the nuances of customer service and can instantly bring added professionalism to your business. If you’re ready to offer your customers more and take your small business to new heights, sign up to try out a live answering service today.