Mar 2 2012
Individuals and businesses alike are always looking for a good deal. And what better deal can someone get than something free? Free soap & shampoo at hotels, free tap water at restaurants, and free answering services! While getting something for free is exciting, you need to determine if it is something positive for your business and you should always be an educated consumer and ask the very poignant “what’s the catch” question. On the surface, a free receptionist answering your calls would be great. But you need to look further and actually see what you are getting. It may be the best thing for your company!
We are all smart consumers & we know that no one gives anything away for free. Even if it is purely free, the product is usually advertisement driven. There are businesses that offer a free voicemail box. Is it completely free? Yes but you need to listen to 1min30sec worth of advertisement spots before you hear your voicemail. If you come across a company which offers a free answering service on a long term basis, there will most likely be a catch or you are in some type of dream state because a long term “free trial” doesn’t exist. As far as I know, there are no answering services which offer long term free trials that are advertisement supported. They may in the future but not today. For the purpose of this blog post, we are discussing “free” as in a trial period. The free period that services will offer you (some 7 days, some 2 weeks, some 30 days) is free but they are hoping that you will use their service after the period. Our company, Specialty Answering Service, is no different. We offer a free period so we can prove our company & in the hopes that you will find a real need for our service. Most people do! Free giveaways like ours exist not out to trick you into signing a contract in order to get money out of you. Rather this we want to prove that the company is perfect for your needs. If, after the trial period, you are unsatisfied with their services, then there is no obligation to continue. Again, true with our service & most any telephone answering service which is offering a test period.
Why buy when you can try before you buy! Here are some benefits of testing a service our for free:
- You get to test out the services of the company: Of course. That’s the point, right? In this way, you have the opportunity to test the professionalism of the company and make sure that they provide the type of service you require. You can talk to the operators, try to trick them up, and see if they are sticking to your script. Use this as a way to see how they staff while opening up the lines to your normal traffic to figure out if you actually need this type of service or not.
- Bring your company back to the top: If your company is going through a difficult period, this is the perfect opportunity for you to have access to professional operators who can manage your existing clients as well as new clients and potential clients. While you may be feeling like your company is struggling, a nice break from answering calls will give you time to focus on running your business and help maintain a professional image for you and your business. Even if it is just a 2 week period, give it a shot and see if two weeks of burden-less business management will help.
- You don’t have to train up a group of staff members: Typical answering service training procedures are done on an account basis and the operators (with lower level basic accounts) are usually not strictly trained on your account. They are trained on the prompts of the software which enable them to effectively manage any account. A free online answering service is already equipped to handle all your call related needs. They have staff members in place, who are fully trained to handle a multitude of situations and calm even the most difficult of clients. There will be no need for you to spend the amount of money it takes to set up an in-house call centre and train the new staff members. Who likes training new people anyway!
- You get to test something new & open up new communication lines: Not only will your free trial be there for telephone call management, but it can also help you open up new communication channels like live web chat or even installing click to call modules on your website. These are typically higher level services offered by most call centers that are usually not applicable to any free period but if your company is large enough and you can leverage the prospect of a large account like a dangling carrot, the answering service may bite. This is a wonderful benefit for those businesses struggling who are trying out new ways to make their customer relationships stronger.
Be careful. It is imperative that you never sign a contract with a company before your answering service free trial is over, unless they are doing a crazy good job than sign away! You must also make sure that if they’re offering a free service, that it is legitimately free, and that no hidden costs will be waiting at the end of your free trial. Assess all of your costs & options & go for it.