Small businesses who use answering services come in all shapes and sizes. From small companies operating out of their garage and receiving a few calls a year, to medium sized businesses who employ hundreds of workers and get thousands of calls a month. And, we’re introduced to many varieties of small businesses by way of our free trial period. At the end of the trial period, we dispatch a survey to learn more about the small businesses we answer for, and we analyze that data to improve our own processes and our on-boarding process. We thought it would be interesting to share some of that data here:
1. How established are the businesses that use answering services:
- 1 to 6 months: 5%
- 7 months to a year: 4%
- 1 year and 2 years: 6%
- Between 2 years and 5 years: 22%
- Over 5 years: 63%
As anyone who runs a business knows, the early stages are the most important, as they set the defining course of your company. According to Small Business Administration data, 30% of businesses fail within their first 2 years, and only 50% make it past 5 years. As you can see from our data, most of our clients’ businesses are over 5 years old. However, many of them are still in the start-up age and rely on our services to help make sure they are on the succeeding end of the spectrum, and not the failing end.
While many start ups need to stick to a tight budget, answering services often wind up paying for themselves in the long run, which is why outsourcing is such a great investment. Small businesses who aren’t able to hire enough staff to be able to answer every phone call or complete tasks in a timely manner look to their answering service to help answer calls 24/7, answer questions, schedule appointments and essentially just give callers a live voice to talk to no matter when they call. As a small business who may be struggling to capture and convert new leads, you can’t afford to miss a single business opportunity.
2. What is the typical number of employees small businesses have that use answering services:
- 1 employee: 18%
- 2-10 employees: 55%
- 11-20 employees: 16%
- 21-50 employees: 6%
- Over 50 employees: 5%
One of the most common reasons why small businesses reach out to us is because they don’t have enough staff, which is causing them to miss important calls, lose customers, and fall behind on daily tasks. When small businesses starting outsourcing to an answering service, they become aware of just how many calls they’ve been missing once they actually stop missing them.
Since 7 out of 10 callers will hang up if they reach voicemail and move on to the next option, many small businesses don’t even have a clear understanding of how much business they’re losing until an answering service starts picking up their calls and getting those would-be lost leads circulating in the sales funnel.
3. What are small businesses are looking for in a telephone answering service:
- A personal 24-hour receptionist: 26%
- Responsive customer service: 31%
- Accurate emergency dispatching: 13%
- Efficient lead capture: 10%
- Live operator coverage during my vacation: 8%
- To see how many calls I was missing: 5%
- Other: 7%
Generally speaking, the number 1 feature small businesses look for when outsourcing is an answering service that can provide a 24/7 personal receptionist experience. Many small businesses want to be available to their customers around the clock, but don’t necessarily have the resources or financial stability to be able to pull it off.
However, when they start outsourcing to an answering service that is both available 24/7 and affordable, they are able to maximize their communication channels, increase staff productivity, offer exceptional customer support, and ultimately allow their brand to thrive.