4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Phone Answering Service
Using an call handling service to answer your phones after hours or when you’re just unable to take a phone call provides multiple benefits to a business. Offering customers a live answering service telephone operator to handle their problems rather than shuffling them off an automated telephone message that says, “Please leave a hundred details at the beep, and we might never listen to it, you’ll never know.” is a great customer service move. Studies show that businesses who put an emphasis on good customer service have 60% higher profits than their competitors who don’t. In fact, the cost of customer retention is usually recovered by 125%.
However, an equal amount of damage could be done if your answering service telephone assistants leave a bad impression on your clients. For this reason, it is essential to choose the right service. Here are a few things you should check into before hiring a professional answering service:
- Does the pricing model leave you confused or uneasy?
A company that offers transparency with their pricing model is likely to be more trustworthy than a service that has a confusing pricing model to exploit any way to make money off of you. Common added fees that answering services try to tack on are: set up fees, holidays or after hours answering fees, contract violation and cancellation fees. Make sure to ask about any additional costs before agreeing to the service.
- Do you feel confident that your customer’s privacy will be protected?
The answering service telephone operator who takes calls from your client will have access to all of their information. Depending on your business, this could be their date of birth, social security number, or payment information. A security breach of your client’s personal information because you used an answering service with relaxed privacy standards will be a horrible reflection of your business. Make sure the answering service you hire uses strict privacy measures, including performing employee background checks, requiring employees to sign nondisclosure agreements, and having a tight shredding policies of any confidential papers.
- Are the phone agents thoroughly trained and monitored?
The customers who reach your answering service probably aren’t going to differentiate the customer care they receive from the service and your business. Studies show that if a customer has a bad experience with a business, it takes 12 good experiences to make up for the lost satisfaction. It is far better to just make sure the answer service agents who take your calls are excellent representatives of your business. The agents should be extensively trained to have good phone etiquette and a basic knowledge of your business processes as they relate to inquiries they’ll be assisting with.
- Do they have any additional features that will assist your business?
Some phone answering services simply take a message and inform the customer you will return their call when you can. That might be all you need. However, some live telephone answering services offer additional benefits such as website support, appointment setting, and call screenings. Some of these services may substantially increase efficiency in your business.
Do you have any other tips for choosing the best phone answering service? Please share in the comment section below!