From social media, to chat bots, to email, to contact forms, there are so many ways for businesses and customers to communicate.
With so much new technology to use, it can be easy to overlook the benefits of old fashioned human-to-human communication and actually talking to another person.
And this is a big mistake.
While customers might prefer to use other forms of communication like email, social or chatbots for certain enquiries, there’ll always be the occasions when they’ll want to talk to a real person.
And if the phone rings and you don’t answer, you risk losing out on a sale, or putting a customer relationship at risk.
How telephone answering fits into this
With customers still valuing human communication, and a lot of lost revenue on the line if you fail to pick up the phone, you need to make sure calls are answered when they come in.
But you can just do that yourself can’t you?
You might think so.
In reality though, when you’re a small business or a sole trader, it can be easier said than done to answer all your calls.
Your time is precious when you run a business and you need to make sure you’re always prioritising revenue generation.
Whether that’s focusing on jobs so you can get paid.
Or finding and signing new clients or customers.
Plus there’s all your admin you have to take care of.
And if you have employees you’ll have additional tasks like HR and payroll taking up your time.
When the phone rings, it can be easy to miss a call.
Or you might just be in a position where you can’t get away to answer it.
If you’re already with a customer for example, you can’t exactly walk away to take another call can you.
Even if you have employees, you can’t guarantee the quality of your call answering.
When employees are busy, a phone going off is often seen as a distraction rather than an opportunity to make a sale or help a customer.
And when it’s a sales call, it’s just wasted time taking employees away from their jobs.
Telephone answering services can help with all these problems.
Before we get into that though, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what we mean by ‘telephone answering services’.
And if you’re wondering what type of businesses can benefit from using a telephone answering service, you can read this blog for more information.
How a telephone answering service can help you grow your business
Investing in a telephone answering service is about creating a better, more reliable call answering facility in your business that helps customers.
But, it can also provide more opportunities for you to focus on growing your company and increasing your revenue and profits.
Save on staff costs
Instead of paying for full or part-time staff, you can simply pay for the call answering you need and reinvest the savings into other parts of your business. It could be another sales or marketing hire, or new software that can help you be more productive.
Free up your time
If you or your employees are constantly being pulled away from valuable work by calls, you’re not being as effective as you could be.
That could be time better spent making sales or completing client work. Or spending time in your business working on growth plans.
With a telephone answering service handling your incoming calls you’ll have more time to focus.
Create better brand loyalty
Customers are loyal to brands that offer better services.
And with a reputation as a company that’s easy to get in touch with, and support that’s professional and efficient, you can grow your reputation and create better brand loyalty to attract and retain more customers.
Stop missing sales from missed calls
We’ve already mentioned this one, but its importance can’t be underestimated.
When the prospect of missing a call means losing a sale and revenue, you need to make sure you’re answering every phone call made to your business.
Even if a single sale is only a few hundred pounds, that can quickly amount to a lot over the course of a year if you’re consistently missing one or two calls a day.
Qualify sales leads before they get to your sales team
Lead qualification is something every business should do if they want to create an efficient sales function.
Without qualifying leads before contacting them, you could be damaging the sale potential, or just wasting your sales team’s time.
With a telephone answering service, you can provide your PAs with your lead qualifying questions and have them run through the answers with the prospect before forwarding the message on to the appropriate person.
If you trust your PAs, you could also work with them on your lead quality framework and have your PA automatically book meetings with prospects directly when they meet the right criteria.
This is valuable to sales teams, with 22% saying that lead qualification is the most challenging part of the sales process due to the time it can take.
Which telephone answering service is best for you?
Before you can invest in telephone answering services, you need to find the right provider, and that means asking some questions.
Not all telephone answering services offer the same type or level of service, some have specialists in specific sectors, some charge differently.
Given the importance of telephone answering on the perception of your business and your reputation, you need to find a supplier you can trust and who you feel will represent your business in the best way.
Here’s a few key things to consider:
- Are they UK based?
- Are they a telephone answering service or a call centre?
- Do you get to meet or speak to the receptionists who’ll be handling your calls?
- What type of contract do they offer?
- How much do they charge?
- How flexible are the costs and services
There’s many other things to consider as well:
How many clients does your call answering service have?
If your telephone answering service doesn’t have many clients, it could be because they’re new, or it could be because their level of service isn’t very good.
On the other hand, if they’ve got a large number of clients, you risk ending up just being another number on their books.
When looking for a provider, look for one with a good mix of clients and – more importantly – look at their case studies and testimonials to see what customers say about them.
Do they only offer call answering?
If you only need someone to answer your calls for now, then a telephone answering service will be able to help with that.
But later, when your business is growing and you’re trying to deal with more meetings, juggle more diaries and maybe even trying to improve your online customer experience, could your call answering service help there too?
Alongside our telephone answering we provide a dedicated live chat service to improve customer communication online, along with a dedicated virtual assistant service that can help with essential admin like diary management.
These additional services can add further productivity gains and improve the customer experience.
But if you hire a company that doesn’t offer all this under one roof, it can mean outsourcing to multiple companies and managing the additional costs and paperwork.
Do they offer extended opening hours?
If you want a call answering service that can help deal with out of hours calls, you’ll need to make sure that’s a service they offer.
Also, what times do they actually operate and does their service include any weekend call handling?
You’ll also want to know how these out-of-hours calls are relayed to you.
Do you get them sent to you straight away?
Or are they simply dropped into an email for you to deal with on Monday or the next working day?
Will you get charged an early exit fee?
Sometimes things just don’t work out with a supplier
Other times you sign up to a service and realise it’s not benefitting you right now.
But will you be allowed to leave your contract early, or will there potentially be a costly early exit fee involved?
Why Choose Face For Business for my telephone answering?
We provide a range of telephone answering and virtual PA services across the UK.
Our UK based call handlers and virtual PAs provide reliable, consistent telephone and admin support to businesses across all kinds of sectors and of most sizes.
From SMEs to large organisations, we cover call handling for them all.
Here’s what some of our customers say about working with us:
“Face For Business are superb! Vicky is fantastic and all my callers love her and her team. Thanks for taking care of my customers and answering my calls so professionally and personally!”
“Absolute essential part of our business. We asked FFB to take over our inbound calls to enable us to work more efficiently. 1st class service, which is hard to come by these times. Can highly recommend.”
“Absolute top service from Face For Business. We use them exclusively to handle our inbound landline calls, and the response from our customers has been amazing.”
13th November, 2023
Posted by Face For Business