Traditionally, small business owners have had the impression that an answering service just takes messages on our client’s behalf. They certainly can provide quality message taking but there are plenty of other services they also provide to their customers.
Overflow call support. This is when we answer calls that would normally receive a busy signal or the office staff can not get to the call in a timely manner. This is especially helpful when our clients have unusually high call volume or a staff member calls out sick and it leaves you short-handed.
Appointment taking and reservation setting support: This is very common in the answering service industry. This allows customers to set appointments or make reservations 24 hours a day. It’s a nice way of getting business when your doors are usually closed for the day.
Online Chat support: There are customers out there that do not like using the phone. Online chat is great because with just one click they are connected to someone. It is instant gratification for the impatient person.
Call reports: I know this sounds very basic but its a service that is under utilized. A good service should be able to provide reports on any information that is collected. Reports are a way to find out some very important information about the types of calls an office is getting, the exact quantity, or even what the busiest days or times are.
Disaster Preparedness: There are dozens of scenarios that could prevent you from conducting business at your office. Hopefully you will never have to endure some severe natural or man made disaster. However, every day a business somewhere has some minor problem that prevents them from doing the work that needs to be done. This could be a simple phone system problem, power failure or frozen pipes. Other threats could be a bad storm that doesn’t do damage but prevents or delays you from getting to your office. Having an answering service could solve the problem by answering the phone when you can’t. They can take a message or transfer the calls to your home or mobile phone.
You just might find your customers are a little more happy knowing that you are always available for business when your competition doesn’t even answer their phone.