If you are the owner of a small business or considering a start-up, you might not think about all the things that go into having an active phone line dedicated to business only. If you are running everything from your cell phone, a second phone number might be the best option for you or something from ninja number. It’s important to consider all the factors before making your decision.
A phone answering service can help alleviate customer service problems when you are simply just too busy to deal with them. Regardless of which type of answering service you choose to go with, here are 7 tips to help you choose the best one for your business.
Find the Right Culture
While it might be tempting to just go with the cheapest option you can find, often the best way to know if a phone answering service will work for you is to do a little research. You will want to know how their culture, professionalism, and employees will work with your current or projected business model.
Consider what you aim to do with your marketing and how formal you want that to be. Everything from how callers are greeted to hold times matters when it comes to keeping paying customers on the line.
Prior Industry Experience
Does the answering service you want to use have prior experience in the industry you are working in? If so, then it might be a great fit. If everyone on their call team is familiar with how your operations work in a general sense, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.
This way you won’t need to spend a ton of time bringing them up to speed. They may even be able to offer you advice which would be ideal!
For some businesses, finding a way to accept calls 24/7 is their main goal. However, if you aren’t looking for that much availability, standard business hours may work for you. Consider which time zones you anticipate potential customers to be calling from, that way you can plan accordingly.
Depending on the type of business you have and the product or services you offer, there is a lot you can do for a customer before you or a salesman need to be directly involved with their case. That’s where an answering service comes in handy. They can screen your calls for you and determine whether or not the customer needs to speak to a representative.
Handling Call Volume
For your specific needs, you will want to find a service that can handle the anticipated call volume. Some services offer more features but lack the availability for large call volumes and visa versa.
Call volumes can spike from any number of things, some of which may be out of your control. To handle situations like these, you will want to make sure that whoever you hire to answer calls for you is well-equipped to handle spikes in calls too, not just consistent ones.
You will also want to know what type of backup plans the answering service has for things like lost connection or emergencies. It wouldn’t hurt to ask about their protocols for things like this prior to signing up.
Can you stop by and physically visit the call center that you work with? If so, this is one of the best ways to determine if the answering service will fit the culture and needs of your business. This way, you are able to see how the receptionists interact with you face-to-face, which is not dissimilar to phone calls.
If they are professional and cordial, you just might find the right fit.
Perhaps the most important thing you should look for in a call service is how well they are organized. If they are able to direct calls to you with ease and send people in the right direction every time, your life will feel a lot easier. If you are able to determine how well they can handle adverse situations, then you will save yourself headaches in the future.
Now that you know these tips for choosing a call service, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about which one you ultimately decide to go with for your business.