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Answering services strive to provide quality service to their clients. Though they wish they could be perfect in all they do, occasionally mistakes happen. When a problem occurs, handling the error and working to correct it in a professional manner will produce the best possible outcome.
Here are some key points to follow when your answering service messes up.
Don’t Overreact: When you encounter an error by your answering service, it’s important to not view the situation with an exaggerated perspective. Too often the impulse reaction is to attempt to solve the problem by switching to an answering service. In most all cases, this is an excessive response that exceeds the problem. Only change services as a last resort.
Remain Calm: It’s normal to be upset when a mistake occurs, but don’t yell. If you let your emotions control your words, your answering service will need to first address your emotions before they can take steps to understand and resolve the problem. When you bring a concern to their attention in a professional way, they will be able to fix it the quickest.
Gather Facts: A wise move before complaining to your answering service is to collect information. Realize that the input you receive may be an exaggeration. Sometimes your customers or even employees may inappropriately blame the answering service. Get the facts and then call.
Share Concerns: Whether you call or email, strive to communicate the issue clearly and with as much information as you can provide. Notice the use of the word share. This implies a desire to work with your answering service to address and resolve your concerns. This isn’t the time to take an adversarial approach if you hope for a quick and positive resolution.
Allow Time: Though it’s understandable for you to want an immediate answer as soon as you voice your concerns, allow your answering service time to research the situation, discover what happened, and form a plan to correct it. This takes time. A bit of patience will go a long way toward a happy outcome. Given this, however, it isn’t inappropriate for you to request a response within a certain reasonable time or to ask when you can expect to hear back from them. This communicates your timetable and helps hold them accountable.
Foster a Long-Term Relationship: The key governing principle in these steps is to work toward establishing a lasting business rapport with your answering service. Long-term relationships benefit both you and the answering service. It keeps you from having to switch services and helps them to master your account and serve you with excellence. Isn’t excellence the goal everyone wants?
When problems occur with your telephone answering service, work with them to reach a resolution and don’t take an adversarial approach. That way everyone wins.
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. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Check out Answering Service One to see if they’re the right answering service solution for your business.