Missed Calls = Missed Business
17 Things To Look Out For When Choosing The Right
Telephone Answering Service For Your Business
Would you agree that there is nothing more frustrating to you as a business owner than losing customers as a result of missed calls?
Imagine after all the time, effort and money that you spend marketing your business and then the phone finally rings but you can’t take the call …
You’re not the only one with this problem. Many business owners, particularly owners of small businesses have this problem each and every day.
So what’s the solution?
A telephone answering service has become the life saver for business owners who need to ensure that no calls are missed. Ever.
Now there are many call answering service companies to choose from so the question is which one is best for you and your business?
Many phone answering services range in price and going for the cheapest is rarely the best option. Not if you care about the quality of service your company represents.
So we have put together 17 things to watch out for when choosing the right answering service for your business:
1) Response Rate – Having an answering service that can’t answer calls within 4 rings is pointless as you may still miss calls and that is the very reason you are hiring an answering service in the first place.
2) Sound Quality – When you call the answering service is the line clear? Is there any background noise? The biggest giveaway that calls are being handled in a call centre is the background noise. Make sure the answering service has high quality noise cancellation in place.
3) Authenticity – One of the most common complaints we found when doing research into answering services is that people felt that the operators were cold and robotic. They sounded too ‘scripted’. Ensure that you can update your answering service regularly if needed so they sound as though they are working in your office.
4) Personal Receptionist – We have found that providing our clients with one main receptionist and a small team to handle their calls made it a whole lot more personal. When you have one main receptionist your callers will be greeted by a familiar voice and someone who understands your company well.
5) Price – You don’t want to go for the cheapest answering service because you usually get what you pay for. You need to find a good balance between quality and affordability. However, make sure that you don’t get ripped off by hidden fees either.
6) Contracts – Answering services that are confident in providing a quality service don’t need to tie their clients into long term contracts.
7) Location – Whilst an answering service’s location doesn’t really make any practical difference there is one main factor to consider and that is the accent. Do you think your callers will understand the accent? As we are based in London we have a slight advantage in this respect.
8) Flexibility – Some answering services are quite rigid and have a standard script that they follow. If you need a more bespoke service or you need extra things like diary management, for example, not all answering services can cater to this. Ensure that they are flexible to other requirements you may have now or in the future.
9) Operating Hours – There are companies that only require calls answered during office hours but may in the future wish to have calls answered 24/7.Does the answering service offer 24/7 and if not could this be a problem later on if you do wish to have calls answered 24/7?
10) Additional Services – Would you perhaps need a virtual telephone or fax number? Maybe a virtual office address and meeting room? Does the answering service offer these and if so could they do they offer a special price bundle?
11) Customer Service – If an urgent issue arises do you have someone you can contact directly who can deal with it?
12) Timely Messages – If you are receiving messages, how long after the call has been taken do you receive the message? This shouldn’t be more that a few minutes.
13) Size Matters – If you may get a high volume of calls during a certain period of the year can they handle the call volumes or are they too small?
14) Staff turnover – Do they have a high staff turnover? If so this will mean having to update new members of staff on a regular basis or calls will be answered by uninformed operators.
15) Setup Speed – How soon can your account be setup? We provide a same day setup!
16) Sales Calls – Do they charge for sales calls or wrong numbers? This can be a complete waste of money spent and can add up over the year.
17) FREE TRIAL – You don’t want to invest your time, effort or money in an answering service until you have tested the quality of service they can deliver. Does the answering service offer a free trial?
We hope this has helped making your decision a little easier.
For more information or to start a free trial with us: Call 020 3503 0767 today!