As customers, we’re all more demanding of getting immediate results or quick answers to our questions.
It might seem like, with so many different communication channels available, that call answering ranks way down the list of things you should prioritise.
After all, if businesses are investing so much in new technology like chatbots or social media or direct messaging, does it really matter whether you’re around to answer the phone?
The answer is, yes.
And that’s because 60% of customers still prefer to call businesses on the phone when they need answers.
Other electronic communications like text, or WhatsApp, or chatbots might be very popular among customers – and they can be useful in the right situations.
But when it comes down to it, customers still feel like the best way to get answers is to just pick up the phone and talk to someone.
Why call answering remains important
Despite the rise of other popular communication tools, research shows that a ‘traditional’ phone call remains the most effective means of getting in touch with a business.
Even in departments like sales and marketing – where so much effort is placed on automating processes and producing website based content – the final deals are always done on the phone.
In fact, the whole point of new technology is to get customers to the point that they’re comfortable picking up the phone.
What these other comms options do mean though, is that you have to be ready to answer calls when they come in.
Because if you don’t, customers have hundreds of other options of businesses to go to.
Indeed the real value of a phone call only comes when it’s answered.
And that includes having knowledgeable people who can help customers answer your phone.
The problem with some call answering services
Many people associate call answering services with call centre style setups.
They picture rows of agents unenthusiastically picking up the phone to customers with no knowledge of the company they’re representing, spending all day doing nothing but taking names and phone numbers as messages to be passed on at the end of the day.
And some call answering services do represent this outdated model of call answering.
It’s why many business owners hesitate when thinking about using answering services.
If the person answering the call doesn’t know enough to help the customer on the end of the phone, are you better off relying on voicemails instead?
Modern call answering is an extension of your business
What you need instead is a call answering service that essentially acts as an extension of your business.
When someone calls, they should be none the wiser that they’re not talking to your business directly.
You need your calls to be answered by people with a detailed knowledge of your business, who are able to answer calls and deal with enquiries confidently.
Whether it’s helping customers directly, passing calls on to the right person, or taking detailed messages.
Answering calls this way is the best way to convert these enquiries into leads and sales for your business.
A modern virtual receptionist isn’t tasked with providing scripted responses.
Instead, they provide a professional call answering service that leaves customers feeling valued and helped.
Indeed 59% of customers still prefer to call a company because they think they’ll get answers quicker, and 57% of customers say they still prefer talking to a real person.
That’s according to Google.
Never underestimate the value of call answering
Customer calls are high value for a business today.
With digital platforms and websites taking away much of the heavy lifting when it comes to dealing with basic enquiries, or allowing customers to self-solve issues, when a customer does choose to call, it’s more likely with the intention to close a sale with you.
If you fail to answer the phone when they do call, you’ve not just missed out on the immediate sale, you’ve alienated that caller against your business, who will then tell others looking for similar services not to bother trying you because you don’t answer the phone.
You can’t always be available to answer the phone when it rings.
It’s just a fact.
You might be in the middle of a job, in a meeting, or you might innocently just not notice the phone ring.
With a professional virtual receptionist service though, you can be reassured that your business’ calls will always be answered professionally and that your virtual receptionist will be ready to handle customer enquiries when you’re not able to.
If you want some more information about hiring a virtual receptionist to help your business with its call answering needs, get in touch with us today.