Call answering services are great for helping organisations stay connected to their clients. They are excellent for small businesses who don’t have the financial power to employee multiple staff members to enhance their customer service department. Call answering companies provide a wide range of services, and plenty of industries rely on them to improve their availability. For example, general medical practitioners use them to take calls out of hours, so they are obtainable if anyone needs emergency assistance. They are vitally important because they are usually the first person your clients contact when they call your company. A professional, highly trained virtual assistant can provide a first-class response which reflects positively on your business and its attitude towards customers.
The following article will discuss the many benefits of using a call answering service and what questions to ask before hiring one.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant can perform numerous tasks, they aren’t employed by your company, they just need to be provided with your business details when calls are diverted to their office. They conduct a specialised service which includes features such as:
- Answering & screening calls.
- Providing basic information about your company to potential clients.
- Relaying messages and other important information.
- Prioritising messages.
- Taking orders & scheduling important appointments when you are unreachable to customers.
- Provide support & guidance
- Provide information about your businesses main services & products.
There are several benefits associated with using a call answering service, here is a brief sample of some of the main ones.
The difference between hiring a receptionist and using a call answering service is substantial, the former will cost your company a lot more money than the latter. If you are looking for a new receptionist, you must first go through the whole recruitment process, then decide on the most suitable candidate, and finally agree on a salary. You must then think about training, payroll tax, benefits, sick days, and other factors that come with hiring a new employee.
Professional, Knowledgeable & Courteous First Impressions
Making a positive first impression is vital in any industry, so having a highly skilled phone operator representing your company is imperative when aiming to make the right first impressions. If you are operating a professional practice, you want someone to answer the phone in a polite, expert manner, not with an untrained response such as “Hi, how’s this?”.
If you’ve only started a company, the last thing you need is to get bogged down answering phone calls all day. You need time to focus on your core competencies and building your business, not being constantly interrupted by phone calls. Choosing to use a call answering service means you don’t have to worry about disruptions, they’ll free up time, which allows you to concentrate on what really matters to your business. You won’t get frustrated trying to juggle multiple calls while attending to other more important matters.
Here are some important questions to ask before hiring a call answering team.
What kind of software do I need to download?
Some companies may require you to download a certain type of software which allows you to access their platform to review and monitor your schedule. Other companies don’t need you to buy any kind of special equipment, you only need to contact your network supplier and turn on your call diversion feature. This allows the company to take calls on your behalf.
How do I control what calls I receive?
This is an important question because as a business owner, you’ll need to know how you control the service, you don’t want things to get mixed up, so you must ensure that you have complete control whenever you require. You must be able to divert calls to your virtual assistant at any time you like, and vice versa when it comes to receiving calls, lines of communication must be flawless.
How do you know the call is for me?
Call answering services work for a variety of clients, so when one of your customers is diverted to their offices, how do they know the call is for you? A virtual assistant must have immediate access to your company website, products and services, so when someone calls to make a booking or inquiry, your website should appear immediately. You must have a dedicated number, one which allows your customers to reach a virtual assistant who has knowledge of your company.
How quickly will I receive messages?
If you’re unavailable to take calls or receive messages, your virtual assistant will record them on your behalf, but these messages should be sent to you immediately, the moment you go online. There can’t be any delay when it comes to redirecting important information, efficient dispatch lines are vital for your business.
What happens if I receive multiple calls at the same time?
If you choose to avail of a call answering service, they’ll set up a feature which allows you to divert certain calls even while you are on the phone. So, if you receive multiple calls, they can be redirected to your virtual assistant, so you don’t miss anything. Companies such as Message-Direct ensure you receive calls no matter what your situation, if you need to slip away from your desk for a short period, you can just switch the controls over to them and they’ll have you covered.
Availing of the services provided by a call answering company lets you offer your clients exceptional customer service standards, it improves productivity, and creates a bond between your company and your customers. You are guaranteed to have your phone calls answered professionally and they are far more affordable than hiring additional staff. Before hiring a call service company, it is important to ask a wide variety of questions, so you have a better understanding of their services. Once you know how they operate, you’ll be better equipped to take full advantage of their virtual facilities and guarantee your company greater success.