As your business expands, you’ll start taking more and more enquiries. This increase in inbound call volume is not incremental, but exponential, as your clients will be talking about the benefits of your business to all their friends. Imagine that if you start with five clients and they tell two of their friends each, those ten new clients might tell a further two each. Twenty new calls come in, word of mouth spreads, and suddenly there’s an incoming forty calls, purely because your business is providing fantastic service and expanding, as is natural for businesses to do.
There will come a point at which you and your staff will no longer be able to handle the sheer, immense volume of calls coming in every day. While automated email answering services and filters can help your customer services department (even if that “department” is only one person at a laptop) to respond to any and all emails that might come through from interested potential clients as well as those with whom you already do business, phone calls are a different beast entirely. That’s why many businesses opt to employ the services of a call answering company, so they can rest assured that their customers’ communication needs are being met promptly, efficiently, and professionally.
The Reality of Phone Communication
Today, more people than ever carry their mobile phones with them. Our modern phones can take photos and videos, store entire music libraries, access maps and the Internet and even send emails. Their number one job, however, is to make and receive calls, and since almost everybody has their phone on them almost all the time, the number of calls we are making every day is steadily increasing. Potential new clients are far more likely to call your business looking for information than they are to send an email, and there’s no way of knowing how much time you’ll spend talking to them, addressing their concerns, and answering their questions. That’s time you could be spending running your business and dealing with the day-to-day concerns of business management, but the potential revenue stream of a new client, or maintaining the satisfaction of an existing one, is a valuable commodity that you can’t afford to ignore.
Unlike email conversations, which can be responded to at your leisure and generally involve one line of conversation sent at a time (or a comprehensive answer to a pre-determined set of questions), phone calls are urgent business. Allowing your business phone to go unanswered can alienate interested parties and dissatisfy your existing customers, and responding to missed calls takes time that, as a business owner, could be better spent working on the expansion of your business. Although many businesses employ staff whose entire job it is to answer inbound phone calls, for bigger companies, employing a large number of reception staff is an unaffordable and extravagant exercise in futility. If your business anticipates a large volume of inbound calls, or is struggling to keep up with the volume currently coming in, it might be time to consider employing professional phone answering services.
Phone Answering Services
Companies such as Netcall Solutions offer corporate clients professional, enthusiastic phone answering services that allow business people to get on with their day’s work, secure in the knowledge that their clients’ and customers’ needs are being met.
How these services – or at least the best of them – work is they take advantage of a pre-existing feature present in most, if not all, modern phones: call diversion. Incoming calls to your business will be diverted to a call centre staffed by phone answering professionals trained in customer service who can optimise your customers’ experience, leaving them satisfied and happy with your business.
Even if your business doesn’t anticipate an unmanageable influx of phone calls, you might still want to look into a phone answering service to ensure that any clients, whether they are new, old, or just calling for more information, can access the information they need as it pertains to your business. You might be running a small butcher’s shop that caters to restaurants, which often operate outside your ordinary business hours, and some of your clients may prefer to place orders of meat late at night when they run out of stock in the cold room. That’s a call that you can’t afford to miss, as it might damage your professional relationship with the restaurant and destroy the potential for new customers to come to you through that restaurant.
Great phone answering services can take calls twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, so important messages can be passed on to you, ensuring that you don’t miss out on potential boons for your business. If you were employing such a service, continuing the previous example, the restaurant in question would have their order passed on to you, they’d get to place their order in a timely fashion, and have fresh cuts of meat at their door when they need it, preserving your relationship with the existing client. The best phone answering services actually inform themselves about your business, including your trading hours, website and other contact information, so they can take you away from all the stress of answering the minutiae of customer service.
The concept of an after-hours (or, more accurately, all-hours) answering service might ring alarm bells for those who have had bad experiences with offshore call centres. Industry standards do differ from country to country, which is why a truly professional call centre dealing with inbound calls would base itself in the same country as its client businesses. For example, if your business is based in the United Kingdom, it stands to reason that you’d want your phones answered by someone who not only works in the country, but understands local colloquialisms and the diverse, multitudinous accents spoken throughout the UK, so they can properly communicate with your customer base. A great call answering service based in the UK would be able to provide for this need and ensure that your customers have their calls answered every time they call.