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How Your Small Business Can Benefit from an Answering Service

How Your Small Business Can Benefit from an Answering Service

Running a business can feel like you are juggling many balls in the air at the same time. You started your company with a vision and a plan, but it’s easy to get swallowed up in the minutiae if you insist on doing every task yourself.

Successful business managers know that it’s wise to delegate tasks, and partnering with an answering service is one way to do this. If you are thinking about hiring professionals to handle your business calls, consider the following benefits and how they can help boost your business to the next level.

Increase Productivity

Having someone else handle incoming calls can be a huge time-saver. Clients need a way to contact your company, but it’s more efficient to have a call answering service screening those calls.

Personally screening calls yourself is not a good use of your time as the interruptions not only waste your time, but they also interrupt your workflow and reduce productivity. It’s a better use of everyone’s time if an answering service takes care of your business calls while you maintain both your momentum and focus. There might be times when you need to directly communicate with a client, but it’s better to save your time for those instances.

Increase Sales

Even if you think you can handle the calls in-house, there will always be times when nobody is available to answer calls. People have meetings, get sick, take vacations, and need to sleep at night.

A call answering service ultimately elevates your customer service by making sure customers can reach a live person 24/7. Customers want to speak to a real person rather than a machine, and statistics show that nearly 80% of people don’t leave a message when transferred to voicemail. If your business fails to provide potential customers with the level of service they are seeking, they will likely hang up and take their business elsewhere.

Conversely, answering services are always there to provide the assistance people expect. Potential customers are greeted by a person who can take orders, schedule appointments, and provide requested information. This goes a long way toward building the type of business/client relationship needed to land a sale.

Retain Customers

Not only are potential customers at risk when you don’t have anyone answering your business line, but current customers can also be lost. Clients want to know that they can rely on your company when they have questions or issues.

Successful businesses know that repeat business is the key to a profitable operation. Once you have successfully gained a client, retention is important because it allows you to continue growing your business without incurring additional marketing expenses. Satisfied customers can also recommend your business to their friends. For these reasons, customer satisfaction needs to be a top priority in any business plan.

An answering service ensures that a live person is available 24/7. This helps create the kind of positive customer experience needed to retain customers in today’s competitive world.

Project a Professional Image

An answering service lends an air of professionalism to your business. When the phone is answered directly by the business owner, customers can get the wrong impression. It’s much more impressive to have a professional receptionist greeting your customers.

When you hire an answering service, you are hiring professionals who are trained in customer service. Their goal is not only to answer calls promptly and politely but also to make sure your customers are left with a good impression.

Save Money

When businesses consider hiring an answering service, one concern that may arise is cost. While these services aren’t free, the money saved should more than justify the expense.

Your company’s incoming calls need to be answered, so it’s important to weigh the cost of a professional service with the cost of handling the calls in-house. If you decide to answer incoming calls yourself, you aren’t able to focus on the more important tasks you need to complete, and this inefficiency often carries a hefty price tag. Alternatively, you could hire a full-time receptionist to man the phones, but this involves a full-time salary as well as money spent on training.

Running a small business is not easy. Hiring an answering service is a strategic move that can help simplify your life by allowing you to focus on what you do best. This, in turn, should help you gain new customers, retain existing clients, and ultimately increase the profitability of your business.

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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.