Live Phone Answering Service: Does My Business Need a Virtual Receptionist?

Live Phone Answering Service: Does My Business Need a Virtual Receptionist?
Admit it, no one enjoys leaving messages on a voicemail machine. Don’t even mention how tedious it is to sit through minute after minute of recordings, sorting out which few matter for your business. If you can’t stand it, imagine how your customers feel when they get sent to your machine? Luckily, there is an easy and affordable alternative that could take messages for you—a live phone answering service. There has always been a struggle between removing human error vs. keeping the ‘human touch’ when it comes to communications technology. A live call answering service gives the best of both worlds, reducing your overhead costs while maintaining service quality. To find out if a virtual receptionist is what your business needs, ask yourself the following questions.

Does answering the phone take up most of your work day?

How many times a week do you need to put in extra hours in the office or stay up late at home, just to catch up with work? Studies show that calls are the biggest distraction from work. Calls can eat up as much as 31% of your work day. Though this may be the case, hiring an in-house receptionist may not be a financially viable option for startups and small businesses. An affordable alternative is a live phone answering service that forwards your calls to an Australian-based, professional operator who will answer in your business name and take messages for you. A good phone answering service for small business can help you focus on profit yielding tasks without missing urgent calls and losing sales leads.

Does the rate of abandoned calls shoot up when your voicemail is on?

Rebuilding customer trust is a hard task for any business. When a client needs prompt assistance, the last thing you would want to do is send them straight to voicemail. Around 75% of callers who get the machine hang up and never call back. Don’t do your competition any favors and opt for an answering service instead. A phone answering service forwards messages to you immediately via SMS and email, so it’s easy for you to get back to a caller while the lead is still hot. You can also opt for a team messaging service that takes and sends messages to a particular department so you can be sure that a live person will be able to attend to the customer at the soonest possible time.

Are you tired of inaccurate or incomplete messages?

Voicemail leaves you at the mercy your machine. If the caller’s line isn’t clear or drops off, you won’t be able to understand the message at all. Multi-tasking staff are often too distracted to notice errors while taking down messages for you. With a specially trained live operator whose sole job is to take calls, you can be sure that your messages will be taken accurately. Industries that deal with sensitive information such as the medical or legal field can rest assured that their messages aren’t left on their desks for anyone to read. Clients will be more at ease to leave a message to a live person rather than a machine in these situations. Messages to your virtual answering service are sent to you via SMS, email, and web portal.

Do you have business continuity measures in place?

Weather changes, power outages, faulty equipment, and other service disruptions are unavoidable. What’s important is to have a business continuity plan in place. Telephone answering services serve as a low cost back-up plan. By routing calls to your service, your customers will still be able to talk to a real person even when your office is having issues. People fall sick, go on holiday, or suddenly quit from work. With a virtual reception service, you never have to worry about looking for people to fill in when this happens. You can rely on your virtual receptionist 24/7. Phones ringing off the hook is a sign of a thriving business, but spending a majority of your day fielding calls can bring down your productivity. If you’re ready to simplify the way you work with the help of a live phone answering service, give us a call at 1 300 ALLTEL or visit us at www.alltel.com.au.

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