“It costs too much!” and other myths about live answering services

Pia Rios
Pia Rios

Usually, achieving mythic status is a good thing. Not so when the myths about you are less about overcoming titans and more about titanic costs. Unfortunately, there are many such misconceptions about live answering services, which keep a lot of businesses from using them, despite the benefits they stand to gain.

To set the story straight, we’re going over four common answering service myths and explaining why they’re unfounded. With this, you’ll get a better idea of what such services can do for your business and how you can use them to fulfil your own business quests.

1) People don’t like answering services.

One common objection to live answering services is that people supposedly don’t like them. On the contrary, recent studies show that 65% of customers prefer contacting businesses by phone, versus only 25% whose first choice would be an online contact form.

While preferences vary by demographic and user intent, it’s worth noting that phone calls are a common choice for asking about prices, scheduling appointments, or finalising transactions. They’re also the preferred channel for people who want an immediate response.

It’s not phones that people dislike. What they dislike are long hold times, phone trees that go nowhere, and delayed responses. In other words, they dislike not getting a human response—and that’s something live answering services provide.

2) Your business is too small to get an answering service.

There are two common versions of this objection: 1) that answering services only like dealing with large companies; and 2) that small businesses don’t stand to benefit from them.

First, it should be noted that many professional answering services that cater to small and medium businesses or even individual proprietors. Unlike call centres, whose scale of operations favour large firms, answering services work well with clients of any size.

Which leads to the second point: small and medium businesses stand to gain a lot from answering services. By taking calls for their clients, live answering services give small teams much-needed time and flexibility. Furthermore, trained phone agents reinforce a business’s professional image (while costing less than in-house receptionists).

3) Answering services lock you into a contract.

Most answering services work with clients on a month-to-month basis. In fact, one strength of answering services is their flexibility in terms of service time. You could easily get packages specifically for after hours or overflow calls. A good service won’t lock you in—it will give you more options.

4) You can’t afford one.

Ultimately, this is what a lot of objections revolve around: that an answering service isn’t worth its cost. However, this is often the result of other misconceptions (like those discussed above). With proper setup and utilisation, an answering service can easily help your business earn back its price and more.

While small businesses might prefer to handle calls in-house, the intangible costs may outweigh the unspent dollars. According to a study by the University of California Irvine, even 20 minutes of interrupted work can lead to significant increases in stress, pressure, and perceived workload—all of which are bad for performance in the long run.

So rather than focusing on the costs of answering services, consider how professional answering services can help your business earn. You might just find that missing out would cost you more.

For more information on finding a communication setup that works for your business, call us at 1300 ALLTEL or visit our Live Answering Services page.

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