How much work do you put into your business? Chances are between ordering inventory, providing products and services, accounting tasks, and everything else that goes into your company, you feel pretty busy. Adding answering phones into your list of jobs can push you over the edge of busy into overwhelmed. There is a solution, though. Many small business owners are outsourcing customer service needs. Could this be the right option for you, too?
1. Your Business Is Growing Quickly
When your business is small, it’s a lot easier to handle everything by yourself. As it grows, you’re likely to find it much harder to stay on top of things. When your company is too large for you to handle the phones alone but still too small to warrant paying a full-time receptionist, an answering service is a perfect compromise. Your customers will receive the 24/7 support they want and deserve, but you’ll still have time to meet your own needs without paying 24/7 prices.
2. You Need to Cut Back Your Customer Service Budget
Maybe you saw a boom in business and jumped the gun by hiring customer service employees before you could truly afford to. If you find you need to downsize, signing up for answering service software is an excellent compromise. An answering service can offer help desk support, answer questions, book appointments, and even handle some emergencies for you. Answering services are customizable, too, which makes it easier to shrink or expand it based on current needs.
3. You Spend Your Free Time Answering Phone Calls
Life gets busy when you own a business, but you deserve time to yourself as well. If you’re spending your supposed downtime taking care of customer’s needs, it’s the right time to set up an answering service. This is especially true if you find yourself giving your private number to customers. When you feel overwhelmed, you can’t offer truly excellent customer service. If you run a dental surgery, for example, you could look into something like a virtual dental receptionist to help with answering calls, and even take the strain off other admin tasks.
An answering service gives you peace of mind. You know that customers are receiving the help they need, which leaves you free to spend time with family, run personal errands, or simply get a good night’s rest.
4. You Can Save Money on Technology Costs
When you decide to hire an in-house customer service staff, you pay for more than the employees. You must also invest in phone systems, computer systems, utility services, and much more. The costs add up quickly. Outsourcing to an answering service greatly reduces the amount you spend on equipment and other technology costs. In fact, many answering services work together with business software you already use and love, making your job even easier.
5. You Company Is Internet-Based
If your business presence is only online, it makes sense that you would need an internet-based answering service like Voice Nation as well. This way, your customers have access to a phone number, which shows them you take your company seriously, but you don’t need to pay a monthly rent simply to house a couple of phones and customer service representatives. A professional answering service proves your professionalism and gives both you and your customers peace of mind.
6. Your Clients Are Multilingual
If you have multilingual clients, outsourcing your phone services may be more of a necessity than a want. Unless you are multilingual yourself, helping clients who don’t speak English as their first language could lead to miscommunication that results in lost profits. Rather than stumbling through difficult conversations, hire an answering service. They can intercept foreign language calls to provide better customer support, or at the very least, give you a few moments to prepare for the call yourself.
When choosing an answering service, be sure to ask the right questions. Look for a provider with affordable rates, a willingness to prove its reputation, and multiple locations for excellent backup services. Avoid companies that offer same-day activation, as this means they don’t take any time to train for your company’s specific needs. Remember to read any contract thoroughly before signing it to ensure you get the best deal for your needs.