Keeping up with inbound calls can be chaotic without having someone available to answer the phone at all times.
Relying on employees to answer the phone can be hit and miss when it’s not part of their job because they can easily see answering calls as something that’s getting in the way, rather than a key part of your customer service.
That can lead to them either sounding annoyed when they pick the phone up, leaving the caller feeling like an inconvenience, or employees sitting there listening to the phone ring, hoping someone else will deal with it.
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll probably recognise these scenarios because they’re very common.
But while you might think hiring a full or part-time receptionist is the only option for this problem, you could actually get better results from investing in a telephone answering service.
Signs You Need a Telephone Answering Service
Increasing Volume of Incoming Calls
Whether you’re seeing more incoming calls because your business is growing, or you experience seasonal increases based on your business, it can be a time when you find your company struggling to handle the rising call volume.
If you notice more inbound calls and your team is starting to struggle, then it’s definitely time to think about investing in call answering.
Outsourcing your call management takes the stress away from employees so they can focus on their core responsibilities while ensuring you answer every call that comes into your business.
Frequent After-Hours Calls
Customers calling out of hours is an inevitable part of running a business, especially if you’re only open during the hours when your customers are also at work.
Unless you plan on working 12-hour days yourself for the foreseeable future, a professional call answering service can be a much better idea.
As an example, our out-of-hours call answering extends your opening hours to between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, as well as adding weekend call cover.
With this service available, you can continue to deal with customer enquiries after you’ve finished for the day.
If you use our call answering service, we can either deal with enquiries directly, take detailed messages for you to return when it’s convenient, or we can forward urgent calls to any number you choose based on your preference.
High Rate of Missed or Dropped Calls
Every inbound call is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service or to win new business, so if you’re missing calls, you’re losing revenue.
This can be a common symptom of customer service in an office when employees are expected to handle calls as well as manage their ‘regular’ responsibilities.
With a telephone answering service, you can be confident that every call will be answered professionally, and then the call will be dealt with in line with your preference.
Either a message can be taken or an enquiry dealt with directly, or the caller can be forwarded on to your team to handle the enquiry directly.
This at least ensures you don’t disappoint customers or lose new business due to missed or dropped calls.
Staff Overwhelmed by Call Handling
Nearly two-thirds of employees have experienced phone anxiety in the last year and have avoided answering the phone because they feel overwhelmed by dealing with calls as well as their own jobs – according to our own research.
If employees start to feel overwhelmed, it can result in calls being handled less professionally, and employees becoming less productive because they’re stressed.
An outsourced telephone answering service removes this stress from your team, allowing professional assistants to deal with your calls professionally, while employees can focus on their core jobs.
Does a Telephone Answering Service Help?
If you’re experiencing the problems we’ve talked about but aren’t sure whether a receptionist or telephone answering service is the best option, here are a few reasons why a professional call management service could be the way to go.
Better Customer Service
Having a team of virtual receptionists available to answer the phone means every call is answered professionally and promptly, instantly improving your customer service. With a trained team handling your calls, you know that callers are being dealt with properly, whether it’s having their enquiries dealt with directly, leaving messages or being forwarded to the right people.
This helps improve the customer experience and enhances your reputation for providing a better service.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
With an outsourced receptionist service dealing with all your business’ inbound calls, your team is free to focus solely on their core responsibilities, making them more efficient and productive.
This extra time to be productive can further improve the products and core services your business is able to offer, increasing the chances for profitability.
While you might think investing in telephone answering services can be more expensive than hiring a receptionist, the opposite is actually true.
Hiring a full-time receptionist can easily cost your business over £20,000 a year (closer to £30,000 for an experienced receptionist or if you’re based in London).
Outsourcing to a call answering service like Face For Business is much more cost-effective.
Our popular call-answering packages start at £200 a month (£2,400 a year).
Even at the higher end of £1,000 a month, that’s still around half the cost of a receptionist.
With an outsourced call service, you’re also paying a team (usually three receptionists) to handle your calls, so even if one person is on the phone, you have more receptionists available to answer the phone.
With a single receptionist, you can still only deal with one call at a time – despite paying more than double the cost of a telephone answering service.
By improving your customer service with a call management team, you can use the additional money to reinvest in other parts of your business instead.
Hiring a telephone answering service
Now we may be biased about why a telephone answering service is a better option than hiring a receptionist, but we’re also willing to let you experience the benefits for free.
Sign up for a 7-day free trial of our telephone answering service, and let us demonstrate how it can help improve your customer service and help you grow your business.
There’s no obligation to continue after the trial, and if you’re still not convinced about the benefits we provide, you can move on.
11th September, 2023
Posted by Face For Business