These days, 91% of people in the United States have got a mobile device within their reach 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Increasingly, Americans are constantly connected and expect that kind of connectivity out of those they do business with. They have little patience for answering machines, and 80% of them will just hang up on your business if they reach a voicemail. That’s why having a specialty answering service is so important. A specialty answering service for your business can be the difference between success and failure in the modern connected age.
What Do Customers Want?
- People want to talk on the phone. For all that we love email and messaging, we still prefer to interact with businesses by phone. In fact, surveys show that nearly 80% of people prefer the phone over all other options when it comes to business communication.
- People love good customer service. Having an after hours phone service or other specialty answering service allows you to provide help to your customers no matter what time of the day or night they might call. This kind of positive customer service reaps incredible rewards. Two-thirds of interviewed consumers said they would be willing to spend an average of 13% more with a company if they had a good experience with customer service. Forrester reports that telephone customer service consistently ranks highest in consumer satisfaction compared with any other channel of communication.
- You need to be able to provide real help.Surveys show that the most important thing to customers who grab a phone to call a business is speed. They want their problem to be resolved as fast as possible. A specialty answering service is not just taking messages for you; they’re actually trained to provide real help to your customers.
What Other Benefits Are There?
Clearly having an after hours call answering service is good because your customers expect to be able to connect with you. But is there anything else you can get from it?
- You don’t waste your employee’s time. If you’ve got a small business, can you afford to have someone dedicated to answering the phone? If not, are you just leaving it up to whoever is closest to grab the phone? This could be distracting your employees and keeping them from concentrating on tasks.
- You protect your customers and clients at the location.Is there anything more aggravating than being physically present at a location and ready to do business, only to have someone at the company ask you to wait while they serve someone else over the phone? A specialty answering service can take care of this issue.
- You can prioritize calls.If you have a specialty answering service helping to answer your phones, you don’t have to worry about wasted time with cold calls, telemarketers, wrong numbers, or crank calls. Three-quarters of consumers say they would prefer having an option to get called back rather than have to wait on the line for help. With an answering service, you can always give callers this option if necessary. You never have to keep them waiting on the line while you finish up with an issue at your physical location; nor do you have to personally remember to get all the right information and call them back./li>
- You save money.Yes, you have to pay for a specialty answering service. But what you don’t have to pay for is a whole salaried, benefitted employee dedicated to answering the phones. You also don’t have to pay for a work area, phone system, and computer station for answering the phones.
Why Not Just Get a Generic Answering Service?
The problem with such services is that they rely on intense scripting rather than genuine expertise in your area of business. This means that if customers have an issue the script doesn’t deal with, the answering service can’t help them. Scripting also erases two of the most important elements to excellent customer service: empathy and emotion. Customers can often tell when calls are scripted, and they resent being shunted off to someone who doesn’t actually have an answer.
If you want to provide excellent customer service while saving time and money, you can’t go wrong with a specialty answering service.
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