For small businesses, being able to provide good customer service is vital to growth and success. Nevertheless, small business owners often wear many hats and cannot dedicate someone to answer calls full time. The people at Apello say that this is where an answering service can make a major difference. An answering service allows even the smallest business to offer professional reception and maintain communication with customers around the clock.
Enhanced Customer Service Capabilities
One of the biggest impacts an answering service offers small businesses is greatly enhanced customer service capabilities that would not otherwise be affordable. With an answering service, a friendly, courteous professional can answer every call. Callers never get an impersonal recording asking them to leave a message. This allows small businesses to provide customer service on par with larger companies who have dedicated receptionists and switchboard operators. Having a call answering service handle phone reception and messaging allows small business owners to focus their efforts on core business activities rather than administrative tasks. The answering service representatives become an extension of the business’s customer service team.
24/7 Coverage and Increased Sales
In today’s global economy and instant access culture, customers expect businesses to be accessible outside normal daytime business hours. However, staffing a business’s phone and messaging system 24/7 year-round is usually not feasible, especially for small companies or solo entrepreneurs. An answering service enables customized coverage around the clock. This always-on accessibility can directly translate to higher sales revenue. Most customers say having extended service hours makes them more likely to make repeat purchases from the same business again in the future. For service-based businesses like plumbers, lawyers and doctors, an answering service allows scheduling, dispatch coordination and payment processing 24/7. This leads directly to the ability to book more jobs, appointments, and overall business revenue.
When calls go to a professional call answering service rather than ringing endlessly with no answer, the business benefits from significantly boosted productivity in multiple ways. First, the actual business owner and employees are not interrupted constantly to answer every single call coming in, which can severely disrupt focus on important tasks. Second, all voice messages and inquiries are comprehensively documented and relayed by messaging service representatives, so nothing slips through the cracks.
Owners can review message summaries at convenient times and in batches rather than in a constant piecemeal fashion while trying to juggle other responsibilities. Third, answering service agents can screen calls, weed out hang-ups and obvious sales solicitations and only pass on legitimate, qualified conversations. This initial qualification of calls saves the business owner from wasting time on irrelevant or ambiguous contacts. The answering specialists manage the time-consuming administrative communication tasks and allow the business to better focus on higher-value priorities.
In closing, small and medium businesses in today’s ultra-competitive markets cannot afford to provide anything less than stellar 24/7 customer service. Nonetheless, they often lack the resources to have full-time dedicated receptionists of large multi-location corporations. A scalable and flexible solution is partnering with a professional telephone call and messaging answering service company.
With the enhanced capabilities an answering service brings, small businesses can compete at a higher level. An answering service not only directly enables more responsive, attentive customer service but also boosts productivity and ultimately sales revenue and profitability. Essentially, outsourcing phone coverage, messaging and query response to a telephone answering service means small businesses free themselves up to better focus on core business priorities and higher value tasks only they can directly handle during operating hours. The answering specialists become an accessible value-add resource.