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5 Questions You Must Ask Before Using An Answering Service

It might be tempting to just jump right in with a call center to handle your live answering support. But wait! There are a few questions you should reflect on prior to going out and finding an answering service.

Image of a woman with question marks around her

Calls are coming in and you need someone to answer them. So just pick an answering service and put them to work, right? Well, not so fast. Before you start shopping for the right call answering service, ask yourself a few questions. These questions:

1. Do I need 24/7 phone coverage?

If you are a small business that only gets a few calls a day just during normal business hours, then maybe 24-hour answering service coverage isn’t necessary for you. A simple call overflow answering service can make sure any calls you can’t get to are handled by a professional receptionist. However, if your business is in the healthcare, legal, towing, HVAC, funeral, property management, real estate, plumbing, or any industry like those that needs 24/7 phone coverage, a 24-hour answering service is going to be a huge help.

Perhaps you don’t necessarily need your phones covered 24/7. But what about after hours? Weekends? Holidays? Vacations? An answering service is a great thing to have in your back pocket when you want to whip out some phone coverage. All you have to do is forward your phone line any time you want to use the service.

2. Are my phones properly branded?

This is so important. Many businesses work super hard to create a memorable brand image in order to set themselves apart. That’s great! But so many companies will forget to include phone answering in their branding mix. Are you providing a consistently high-quality experience for your callers? That is all part of the image of your company and a good answering service can help you brand your phones. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!

3. Are my customers getting the best service possible?

We live in the golden age of customer service. There are just so many ways and opportunities to take care of customers. If customers don’t get what they need, aren’t treated well, or can’t get help in a timely manner, they move on to the next business that provides what they want. So many people will go check reviews online for companies before ever doing business with them. Your customer service reputation precedes you whether you like it or not. An answering service acts as an extension of your company while delivering superior customer service and never leaving a bad taste in a caller’s mouth. That’s what keeps them coming back for more.

4. Am I missing calls and therefore missing sales opportunities?

Every call that goes unanswered is a potential lost sale. So for many businesses, it is fair to say that not having an answering service is actually costing them money. Think about it, if Bob has a baseball go through his car window and calls your glass repair company, but isn’t able to speak with anyone, what’s he going to do, wait for you to return that voicemail or move on to the next glass repair company in his local search results? Missed calls = missed opportunities. Can your business really afford not to use an answering service?

5. How important is price?

Obviously, everyone is concerned about price. But is it the #1 driving factor in your decision making process? Sure, everyone wants the best service for the lowest price. However, that isn’t really a thing in the answering service world. Yes, you can get a cheap answering service, but more likely than not, you will be saddled with live support that actually delivers poor service and damages your business reputation, which actually costs you more in the long run anyway. Instead of only looking for the cheapest rate, consider how cost effective design is more important than price. Do yourself a favor, and before you even start looking at prices, decide if cost or value is more important.

Once you have reflected on these questions, feel free to give us a call to discuss your answers.

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About Andrew Tillery

Born and raised in Oregon, Andrew has now put down roots in Seattle, because he refuses to call anywhere but the Pacific Northwest home. After graduating from Portland State University with a double major in Marketing and Advertising, he spent some time learning Spanish and experiencing all that South America has to offer. It was while he was south of the equator that he uncovered an interest in writing that he strives to develop whenever the opportunity is presented. When Andrew isn't taking care of business at the office, he is throwing fuel on his fiery passions for sports and the outdoors.