When searching for a telephone answering service, the sheer number of businesses that appear on a Google page can be overwhelming. Many call centers that have answering service would use the same phrases like "Outstanding Quality," "Award Winning," and "Cutting edge technology." These elements should be self-evident since they are predicted.
The best answering service will make a huge difference in your small company's growth. However, before you agree to what you believe is the right answering service for your needs, you should consider all aspects of the service.
The world of customer care is shifting. In the 24/7 loop of mobile email and social media, it's more difficult than ever to excuse not responding to consumers quickly. You must be present and attentive, and you must be ready to assist them as soon as possible.
In reality, 65 percent of consumers, according to Oracle, want their problem resolved in 15 minutes or less. Not only that, but after one bad customer service encounter, 78 percent of customers will abandon your company, so the stakes are high.
Customers have more choices than ever before, and they're easier to test and find, because the margin for error is razor thin. Finally, the handset is preferred by 54 percent of customers over all other modes of customer service.
Here are a few pointers to consider before making a purchase.
1. Look for a service that deals with customers that are identical to yours.
There's a good chance they'll be able to jump right in and you won't have to waste a lot of time getting them up to speed. They will also be able to provide you with advice and best practices based on their past experience.
2. Is the Answering Service a Good Fit for The Company's Culture?
The first thing to consider when selecting an answering service for your company is that they will frequently be the first point of touch for customers attempting to contact you.
Remember the goals you're raising for your ads and whether the answering service you're choosing will satisfy them. Is the rep's tone more formal or informal?
3. What is the average call volume in your company?
When it comes to selecting the best answering service for your small company, price is frequently a major factor.
With that in mind, consider your needs, how a specific answering service's contract could meet those needs, and how much money you have available.
If your call volume fluctuates due to a variety of reasons, some of which are beyond your influence, a provider that charges a flat monthly fee may be the best option.
However, since all of these providers rely on a low amount of calls to be successful, they do not have a good desire to pick up the phone if you have a high number of calls.
4. Do they have a solid emergency backup plan in place?
In an accident, losing contact with your clients is one of the worse things that can happen. Is there a redundant power supply and redundancy of vital device modules at the answering service? Is it possible for them to reroute calls to a certain venue in the event of an emergency?
5. Are they ATSI certified?
For its company, managers, and customer service representatives, the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) offers a certification program. For a company location to be accredited, the certification addresses over 60 key points in management, preparation, and emergency procedures. On-the-job training, as well as a presentation of expertise and competence, are all required for certification.
6. Can They Help Customers Who Don't Speak English?
Can the answering service provide you and your clients with a Spanish-speaking or bilingual call agent whether your company or organisation serves customers who do not understand English as their first language?
7. Do they provide monthly reporting?
A decent answering service will send you monthly reports on a variety of call statistics, such as calls obtained by type (question, customer service, appointment verification or setting, etc), total number of phone calls made, and arrival times of each call.
This data will assist you in optimizing your service schedule. For example, you can find that your company requires a "live" receptionist in the mornings but that you may turn to a phone answering service in the afternoons and evenings.
8. Can you visit their office?
An in-person experience is one of the easiest opportunities to see how an answering service can suit the company's expectations and community. When you visit a company's location to see the staff who will be answering your calls face to face, you will learn a lot about them.
9. Draw up a flowchart of the functionality and calling methods.
To build an efficient calling schedule, you must first determine what features you will need. You must first determine which support services you need before making your decision.
Then, find out what kinds of calling services the vendor candidates provide. Others would have more to say than most.
Now, just enter everything into an Excel spreadsheet or write it down on a piece of paper. Make a list of programs that should be prioritized.
Compare the services provided by the vendors to the services you need. Remove all vendors that do not have the services you need.
10. Compare vendor pricing structures and double-check the products used in their base fees.
In most websites, the prices mentioned are for basic message intake and delivery. They do not have the protocols and features you need.
Verify answering service pricing with the provider until you've decided what services you want.
Many seem to have appealing base charges at first sight, but when it comes to add-on features, things shift. Check the programs you've paid for. Don't overpay for:
- Email, instant messaging, paging, and faxing will almost all double the base rate.
- Account protocol or setup changes – an answering service can make money by answering phone calls, not by establishing procedures.
- Weekends or vacations
- On-call scheduling changes or folders – they are both essential and fair service specifications.
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