Many small business owners still think that the answering service is a luxury that they don’t need. While it is true that you can function without one, there are some very good reasons to take the time to find the best answering service for your needs.
First of all, when you’re running a small business, you probably have limited time to take phone calls and answer questions. You probably also have something better to be doing, like meeting with clients, promoting your business, or taking care of some other aspect of your job.
Answering services are there for you when you need them the most. They provide telephone answering services 24/7 so that you don’t have to worry about missing important conversations because they can take your calls when you can’t.
When you choose the best answering service for your needs, they will take care of screening your calls so that you aren’t interrupted unless it’s important. They can also transfer calls to the appropriate person in your business so that customers are taken care of fast.
The best answering services will have well-trained, friendly professionals who take care of your customers for you. They can handle routine questions and direct people to the right person when necessary. You won’t believe how much time this saves you over the long haul, especially if you’re running a larger business with multiple employees.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Answering Service
Determine your needs.
Do you want a live 24/7 service, a phone tree with options, or something in between? First, consider how many incoming calls you expect daily. The more calls you have, the more time you will save having good telephone answering services to take the load off of you.
Ask for references.
Are you familiar with any of the company’s clients? If so, who and what was their experience like using the answering service? How would they describe their customer service and professionalism? Would they recommend them to others in a similar business or industry? You can avoid a lot of headaches by asking these questions beforehand.
Request a demo.
If you like what you see and hear during the initial phone call, ask if they offer a free demo where you can listen in on some calls. It’s a great way to hear how professional the team is and whether or not their voice, inflection, and tone are something you need for your business. You can also check if the tone of their voice matches your company’s image.
Study their terms and conditions.
It’s important to get a jump on any hidden fees or charges that they might have so you know exactly what you’re getting from the start. For example, you don’t want to get a great deal only to find out there is a monthly minimum, a cancellation fee, or a charge for every minute the answering service is on the phone with your customers. The best answering service should have very few if any of these types of fees, so you know exactly what it’s going to cost from month to month.
Get everything in writing.
Don’t be afraid to get it all down on paper so that you know exactly what you’re getting into before making your decision. A reputable company will have no problem sending you a proposal with all the details spelled out in black and white. If they hesitate, move on because it’s probably not in your best interest to do business with them.