A phone answering service is an off-site business that receives and processes incoming calls on behalf of its clients. Whether they are used to handle call overflow or for after-hours support, a professional answering service can help businesses improve their customer service and grow their revenue.
When choosing an answering service, look for one that offers a wide range of services and features. While most answering services provide basic call taking, a few go above and beyond with specialized calling options like scheduling appointments and even integration with CRMs. Ideally, the services offered should match the needs of your business and the industry in which you operate.
In addition to having the technical capabilities to take a variety of calls, an answering service should have trained professionals who can provide A-level customer service. This includes sounding knowledgeable and prepared when discussing your products and services, speaking in the tone of voice that fits your brand, and providing a quick and efficient transfer to the correct representative. A good answering service will also be able to safeguard against common issues such as call forwarding errors, missed transfers, and poor-quality phone equipment.
A quality answering service will typically offer a free trial period to ensure that the solution is a good fit for your company. During the trial, an agent will be assigned to your account and will work with you to understand how your business operates. This will include identifying the types of calls you typically receive, the information you need from your callers, and how your staff prefers to process calls. Then, the answering service can create a custom script that matches your specific needs.
While many small businesses can’t afford to hire their own team of customer service representatives, an answering service is a great option for those that want to give their callers the best experience possible. This is especially true if they are looking to grow their business by capturing opportunities that would otherwise go unanswered.
Unlike an on-site receptionist who can be distracted by the needs of employees, customers, or personal life, a phone answering service is available to handle calls 24/7. This allows companies to increase their productivity while ensuring that their customers and prospects are always being served.
As the technology world continues to evolve, answering services have also developed new ways to help businesses improve their customer experience. These tools can make it easy for businesses to connect with customers, schedule appointments, and send text messages. In the future, these technologies will be integrated into customer relationship management platforms and other business systems to streamline workflows and create a seamless experience for callers.