Welcome to the first step in the process of picking the best answering service for your business: deciding if you need an answering service in the first place! It’s a great question, but the answer isn’t always easy. There is no equation to plug values into when you’re deciding if your business can benefit from having a live answering service. Small businesses use them, solo entrepreneurs use them, big businesses use them, and many other companies use them to offer 24/7 support and strengthen their customer service – should you? Or, your current setup of voicemail and being on-call and available 24 hours a day could be working well and an answering service isn’t necessary.
If you’re not sure, we’ve created an infographic to help you decide whether or not your business can benefit from an answering service, which you can view at the end of this post. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as well while you’re deciding if your business needs an answering service:
1. Are calls going to voicemail?
If your calls are currently going to voicemail, you run the risk of losing business. For example:
- 7/10 callers will hang up if they hear a voicemail, which means only a 30% chance for you to acquire new business.
- If your callers do leave voicemails, you may not hear them until the issue has already been resolved (aka, they found someone else).
- Callers may be expecting a quicker turn around when they leave a voicemail, and may become frustrated when they don’t hear back quickly.
However, having an answering service step in and answer calls instead of a voicemail can increase your chances of securing leads. For example:
- If a potential customer needs help in the middle of the night or on a weekend, having a live answering service over a voicemail increases your chances of capturing their business by 70%.
- If potential customers are calling with questions, virtual receptionists will be able to answer them using pre-set FAQs. Your callers will be so happy they received immediate assistance that they may even decide to try you out!
- By having an answering service field your calls, you won’t waste as much time in the morning listening to all of your voicemails from the previous night, which means a more productive day.
2. Do you have a customer service or a sales team?
If you have multiple departments within your company, you may need some extra help meeting goals and retaining customers. For example:
- If your sales team has a quota to meet every day, week or month, but have been failing to accomplish their goals, it may be a sign that they need extra help.
- If your customer service team is only available during business hours, you may risk losing customers who are frustrated and need to speak with someone ASAP.
However, answering services can help out any department. For example:
- Many answering services offer outbound calling, so having your virtual receptionists reach out to potential leads can take some weight off of your sales team which may help them close more deals by transferring hot leads.
- Utilizing an answering service after hours will give your customers piece of mind, knowing that there is always someone to talk to no matter the day or time.
3. Do you need help answering calls but can’t afford to hire someone?
Needing extra help but not having the funds to hire a receptionist is quite the catch 22. For example:
- You’re getting too many phone calls for your current staff to get to quickly, so your potential customers call elsewhere.
- Your staff is too busy with other tasks to get the phone, which is hurting your business.
- You need extra help, but can’t afford to hire more staff because you’re struggling to capture leads.
However, answering services can help out whenever needed for a portion of the cost. For example:
- Answering services are a less expensive alternative than hiring another employee. For a few dollars a day, you can have dozens of extra people answering your phones which will free up your office staff.
- You can forward your calls to the service during business hours to catch the overflow calls, during after hours, or both!
- Virtual receptionists can do more than just answer the phone. They can schedule appointments, place orders and dispatch urgent messages.
4. Do you need reports of who called you on the go?
If your job requires you to be on your feet all day long, or away from the office, it may be difficult for you to check your messages. For example:
- As a doctor, you’re constantly going from patient to patient without a chance to check any new incoming messages.
- As an HVAC technician, a large part of your day is spent traveling from location to location with no time to check in.
- As a lawyer, you may often find yourself tied up in court or visiting different clients.
However, answering services can get you your messages on the go! For example:
- Many answering services can text you your messages as they come in so you stay up to date.
- Some answering services offer a free online portal that you can log into to get a recap of all of your messages.
- Many answering services are HIPAA compliant so if they are unable to text you your messages, they may offer a free mobile app which would allow you to check your messages right from your phone, securely!
How else can an answering service help? If you feel like you’re swimming (or drowning) in tasks, it may be time for you to hire a virtual answering service to help take some of the work off of your plate. As you can see from the above, answering services help solve many problems a lot of businesses face.
Use the code below to use this infographic on your own website:
<img title=”Do I Need an Answering Service Infographic” alt=”Do I Need an Answering Service Infographic” src=”https://www.specialtyansweringservice.net/wp-content/uploads/need-answering-service-infographic.jpg” width=”7500″ height=”5260″ />
<pre><em>Image originally posted on <a href=”https://www.specialtyansweringservice.net/do-i-need-answering-service-infographic/”>The SAS Blog</a></em>