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Answering your phone around-the-clock is no longer a luxury but an expectation
Too many people mistakenly view an answering service as an expense. Instead they should consider it as an investment in the company’s future. Consider these benefits that occur when you use an answering service:
Expand Availability: Businesses are open forty to forty-five hours a week, but that’s not when it’s convenient for most people to call. What works best for them is to pick up the phone after hours and on weekends, which is usually when they’re not working—and neither are you. This is a huge disconnect that can hurt your business.
By only answering your phone during regular business hours, you force customers to do what works best for you and not what’s best for them. However, with an answering service you expand your daytime-only phone coverage to provide 24/7 availability. That means whenever someone decides to call you, they won’t be disappointed. Your answering service will see to that.
Make More Sales: Most people refuse to leave a message when they encounter an answering machine or voicemail recording. Even worse, if a business doesn’t answer its phone at all, people won’t call back. They’ll call someone else.
An answering service can make the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity. Depending on your business, your answering service can take in order, give out prices, or take lead information for your staff to follow up. Regardless of the scenario that works best for you, you come out way ahead when an answering service handles your calls 24/7.
Meet Consumer Expectations: Today people increasingly expect their call to be answered regardless of when they call. And they desperately hope it will be answered by a real person who can help them. This establishes a new standard in customer service. Failing to meet this standard means disappointing your customers and callers.
While callers won’t likely thank you for answering their call, at least they won’t be criticizing you for ignoring theirs. Your answering service can help you meet their expectations.
Retain Existing Customers: Sometimes people will call your business with an urgent request or even an emergency. During this stressful or emotional situation, the last thing you want to do is ignore their call. Not only will this disappoint them greatly, it will also encourage them to start calling your competitors until one of them does answer. Then you’ve lost a customer and helped your competitor grow their business—at your expense.
Having an answering service on your side will help avoid this and enable you to better retain existing customers.
Increase Your Bottom Line: Each one of these benefits is customer-centric. However, each one also contains a financial element, serving to increase your profitability. And when you take all of them together, the financial bump can be significant.
For a couple hundred dollars a month, an answering service is not in expense but a benefit-producing investment that better serves customers and improves your company’s financial standing. The benefits of having an answering service covering your phone 24/7 is an opportunity to big to pass up.
Richard L. Hutcherson is the director of operations for Answering Service One, a new kind of answering service that wants to become your number one resource to handle your communication needs. Contact Richard at 865-505-0456.