Can Poor After Hours Answering Service Cost You Customers?

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How does it make you feel when you call a business and get their after hours answering services? It’s likely that you’ll fell discouraged or frustrated and simply hang up the phone, as about 80% of callers admit to doing. People like speaking to people, not machines. This may not seem like a big deal, after all, won’t these customers just call back during business hours? A customer might, and they might not; it depends on the quality of a business’s after hours answering services.

Great Customer Service Depends On Two Factors. Does Your Business Practice Them?

Most people dislike the idea of the flashy salesman, because they dislike fakery. A heavily scripted conversation is similar, in that it may appear to the customer that the sale or service is not being tailored to their needs or concerns. People, especially when they spend money, want to feel special. Customer service that does not take this into consideration are missing an opportunity.

Great customer service sets itself apart from mediocre or just plain bad customer service by making two elements key in every interaction with the customer. They are emotion and empathy. Think about it: a customer calls a service line because they are angry or disappointed with the company’s product or service. They are showing emotion, and would like for the service representative to understand why they are experiencing that particular emotion. That’s where empathy comes in to play. The customer wants validation that they are right to be feeling angry or disappointed about a product or service that wasn’t up to their standards.

Long Wait Times Make People Frustrated With Your Business.

When a customer takes the time to contact a business, their main aim is to have their problems resolved fast. No one wants to be on hold for a long time. No one appreciates being transferred multiple times and being asked to reexplain their problem repeatedly. One way around this may be to offer a call-back program, in that callers leave their number and are called back in the order their call was received. One survey found that roughly 75% of callers prefer this option to waiting on hold.

As you might imagine, when a customer calls and gets the after hours answering services message, their wait time to have their issue resolved is automatically going to take longer than they would like. But the recorded message they hear can help give the impression of empathy if it is done properly.

How a Company Can Display These Key Factors With After Hours Call Service.

Have you called a company and the phone call was picked up by an automated service, but the voice sounded robotic? People don’t like that; it goes back to displaying emotion and empathy. Frankly, a voice that sounds like that simply cannot give the impression that the company cares, because people relate better to an actual human voice. So take the time to make a recorded message, expressing that the company apologizes, but it is after working hours. The caller should be asked to leave their name, phone number, and reason for calling. If possible, the after hours answering services can also give a time frame for when their call may be returned, which related back to showing empathy. The customer wants their problem resolved quickly, and if that is not possible, they would like to have an idea of when it will be fixed.

The after hours phone answering service your business has may seem like a small part of running the business. It is actually very important, because you need to hold on to the customers you have. It is estimated that U.S. brands alone are losing up to $41 billion annually because of their unsatisfying customer service. Don’t be one of them. Take the time to do the little things right, starting with how customers are treated after hours.

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