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Answering the Call: The Benefits of a Telephone Answering Service

Each and every call a business receives is an important part of building new business, retaining customers, and providing quality customer service. Businesses of all sizes need a dependable answering service to handle these calls. However, fielding business calls requires etiquette and patience. These qualities are best developed through experience and training, the cost of which can be unavailable to startups or small business. However, there are cost effective solutions for businesses across all industries.

Provide Better Customer Service

There are some instances when an automated message or answering service can fulfil a vital role for a business. These machines are efficient and affordable, once programmed. However, they do not leave clients and consumers with the best customer service experience. Businesses can and should do better by their patrons. Small or large, every business can benefit from a live person answering its phone calls by a telephone answering service, such as Message Direct.

When customers call a hotline or service number, it is typically with a question or concern. It can make a huge difference to a customer to have a real person answer a complaint call or inquiry. There are few things more maddening than having an urgent concern and being sent around in circles with an automated message. That’s not a game companies want to play with their best clients and consumers.

Overall, a customer will hang up the phone feeling more looked after and cared about. Properly trained technicians can field initial questions and put an angry or anxious customer at ease. Unlike an automated message or service, speaking with a live human indicates that the company cares and wants to provide assistance when needed. This is a great way to retain customers and keep them satisfied.

Reception Services for Inquiries and Bookings

Businesses that provide a local service, for example beauty salons or home repair, are dependent upon appointment times and bookings to succeed. Professional services, such as solicitors and financial planners, require appointment times to meet with clients. It can be difficult to provide quality service to each customer and take phone calls with a high level of customer service and professionalism, particularly when such service providers spend significant amount of time away from the phone.

Local service providers are often small shops or sole owners that do nearly everything in the office or store, from finances to marketing.  However, for the reasons stated above, these service providers are often forced to hire an additional staff member just to field phone calls. Paying an additional salary just to answer the phone and verify diary openings is a huge cost to a business, but can be necessary to keep the business afloat.

A virtual receptionist service solves this common business management issue. A virtual receptionist will answer all calls in a timely manner and with professionalism. As a trained receptionist and trusted service provider, a virtual receptionist is prepared to field each customer’s call with positivity. Regardless of sector or industry, a virtual receptionist will understand your business, through instructions from yourself or a manager, and handle your calls accordingly.

Quickly Identify the Purpose of All Calls

With a focus on improving the response time your customers receive, a telephone answering service will pick up all calls quickly. The trained professional can identify the purpose of the call, and will direct the call based on your instructions.

The service takes detailed instructions from an owner or manager on how that particular business’s calls should be transferred. As well, every company can choose how frequently, in what manner, and when to be notified of each call received by the answering service.

From clients’ perspectives, a telephone answering service streamlines the process. The operator identifies each caller’s question or concern, and then gives clear instructions for how and when the business will respond. This sets the caller at ease, knowing that his or her issue was heard and someone is handling the response.

Handle Urgent Calls with Efficiency

Certain businesses regularly receive calls from distressed customers, or possibly injured individuals. Whether these businesses provide home alarm systems, medical services, veterinary services, or other urgent services, these calls are particularly important to any business, and it is essential they are answered. Once the technician determines the urgent nature of the call, the business’s specific instructions determine how a call should be handled and transferred. Today’s technology allows the telephone answering service to notify the proper business representative by text message or email, or transfer the call immediately.

Never Miss Another Call

A business without a receptionist or dedicated answering service may not realise how many phone calls are missed each and every day. Even with a voicemail system or answering machine, there are callers who will choose not to leave a message, or will not correctly or clearly relay their information for a return call. This is lost business, lost profit, and lost opportunity. Luckily, hiring a professional answering service solves this problem as well.

A dedicated person will always be available, even when you are not. Whether in an appointment, busy with another customer, or out of the office, not a single phone call will be missed. Businesses will be amazed at how many phone calls and potential customers were neglected or ignored before hiring an answering service.

It can be stressful to leave the office for a holiday or early for an event. This leaves the phone unattended and unanswerable. Many small businesses or single owners find themselves installing an answering machine and business phone line at home, or connecting the business line to their mobile phones. Essentially, this makes it impossible to walk away from the calls and burdens of the business.

A telephone answering service is able to hire staff for 24 hours a day and even over holidays. Someone is always there to answer the phone, even when the physical office is closed. No matter what the reason, if you are away from the phone, someone is there to answer every call. This can give owners and managers great peace of mind when out of the office for any and every reason.