The typical workday is full of distractions. In the course of finishing one task, you’re pausing to answer questions from your staff, respond to an urgent email, and answer phone calls. Do you ever think about how much more you’d get done if those distractions vanished?
There may not be a way to eliminate all distractions but the phone call problem is easy to solve. A phone answering service takes care of it all. They respond to callers, take messages, and forward only necessary calls to you.
Is this service worth the cost? To find out, start by considering the advantages it offers.
Benefits of a Phone Answering Service
Think of a phone answering service like having a dedicated receptionist without the cost of a full-time employee. These services answer calls and route them appropriately, whether or not your office is open. They give your business an edge in several ways.
1. Fewer Distractions for Your Staff
It doesn’t matter who in your office is answering the phones: calls are taking them away from their other duties. Not only do the calls take time, they break the employee’s concentration. A two-minute phone call could take away five minutes of productivity.
The incoming calls can distract other employees too because of the noise they add. With a live receptionist service, you don’t hear the calls at all unless the receptionist has vetted them.
2. A More Personal Touch
Did you know 57% of consumers say that they call businesses with the intention of speaking with a real person? If they call you and hear a recording, they’ll be disappointed and may switch to your competitor.
A live phone answering service ensures that your customers can call and speak with a real person. The personal attention makes them feel more connected to your business. The result is stronger customer loyalty, putting more money in your pocket.
3. Extended Hours of Customer Service
When your office is the one answering phones, customers can only reach you during your open hours. This is especially challenging if you’re a B2C business. Chances are that many of your customers are working during your business hours.
A phone answering service has fewer limitations, however. For instance, our live receptionists are available from 8 am until 9 pm Eastern time in the US. This is likely to capture most or all of your customers’ calls, giving you the benefit of happier customers.
4. Fewer Technological Challenges
In some offices, employees still answer the phones after office hours or on days when they work from home. They do this by forwarding the office phone to their personal phone.
This presents logistical challenges, though. For one, you need to forward the phone each evening and end the forwarding each morning. If you forget, you’ll miss important calls.
On top of that, your employee’s phone may not indicate when a call is forwarded. They’re likely to answer professional calls in a less-professional way because they think they’re personal calls.
5. Ability to Serve Multiple Time Zones
Most businesses want to be able to serve more customers than those in their immediate area. That presents challenges when your customers are in different time zones. In areas of the US, a customer could be just an hour away from you and be in a different time zone.
Because a phone answering service has extended hours, it’s more able to capture calls from other regions. This makes it easier for your business to expand and serve more customers in a wider area.
6. Filtering Out the Nonsense
As crucial as it is to be there when real customers call, not every call turns out to be important. Americans get over 26 billion robocalls every year. Add that to the endless string of cold calls.
Instead of you and your staff wasting time on nonsense calls, your answering service can filter them. They’ll take messages for cold calls and hang up on robocalls. You only receive the calls that you actually need to take, saving you time and frustration.
7. Receive Messages Seamlessly
Have you ever been waiting for an important call, only to find out your staff took the call and forgot to give you the message? With an answering service, that won’t happen.
The answering service has a strategic process set up so you’ll get all your messages right away. You can receive them via text or email so they’re easy for you to spot and track.
The Cost of a Phone Answering Service: What to Consider
As many benefits as there are to an answering service, is it worth the cost? As it turns out, the cost may be lower than you think.
Paying by Usage
Many small businesses worry that they’ll pay for an expensive answering service and barely use it because they don’t get many calls. This is why some answering services have usage-based plans.
Each plan gives you a certain number of minutes worth of phone time every month. For example, our most economical plans offer 50 minutes per month for just $90. If you find you need more minutes, you can always step up to our higher-usage plans.
Boost in Revenue
When weighing the cost of a phone answering service, you also need to consider that it isn’t just an expense. Your answering service can book appointments for you and improve your customer service. As a result, it’s likely to help you bring in and keep more customers.
Answering services also take a task off your staff’s plate so they can be more productive. This could help you bring in more revenue as well. All told, some companies find that their answering services pay for themselves and more.
The Verdict: Is a Phone Answering Service Worth the Cost?
When all is said and done, is a phone answering service worth the cost? Countless businesses around the globe say that it is.
With the lost cost of these services, it’s worth the cost to at least try it. To get started, contact our answering service sales team today.