Before you go (with) Live (Answering service)… Here are some thoughts worth pondering
Now that you know the reasons why we love live answering services (and it’s about time you should too), the next step for you to take is to find which live answering services to love.
Listed are a few questions that should help you to know if live answering is what you need and in choosing the right live answering service provider for your business.
What types of calls is your business handling?
Consider what types of calls your business is expected to get or is getting. Of course this is wholly dependent on what type of industry you are in, so the type of business you have also comes into play.
Are you calls mainly enquiries? Will it be for scheduling appointments? Or is it something more complex such as help desk calls? Your calls can be only one type or a combination of the above-mentioned and more.
Are you running a 24-hour service or will you have to cater to after-office calls? Or do you need a system to smoothly handle call overflow?
Does your business have more than a few offices/departments or a substantial number of staff?
If you run a business that has a substantial number of staff or has more than a handful of departments, then you may want to consider live answering. Instead of letting phone calls go unanswered or having to put people on hold (most people really don’t like being put on hold), your calls get answered in a professional, courteous manner. Calls can also be screened and very important ones can be directly forwarded to you or to respective staff.
Will it be an “upgrade” from your current system?
If you could really use more uninterrupted time to handle other business tasks, then live answering may just what you need. While callers have to option to leave a message, it’s much better to have a live person to take calls, answer any queries, schedule appointments and what not – leading to a better customer service experience for your callers.
Range of services?
Aside from what you are already offering your customers, check what can become a “plus” should you consider live answering. Aside from having someone to answer your calls, check if the service provide has any extras such as industry specific services - this can mean that the virtual receptionists are already trained and are up to task to serve the needs of that industry.
What is the billing and set up?
Is what you need within your budget? Of course the budget plays a big factor into any business decision. Do the provider’s terms allow enough flexibility for you to work within your means? Will have the option for some “extras” and will they cost you?
Do you have 24/7 support?
Is your provider there for you when you need them most? Does the provider take a long time to get back to you? Are you being passed around too much? Remember, customer service always counts. It’s also a good idea to consider the provider’s knowledge and expertise on the matter – you don’t want associating your business with some two-bit “provider” now, would you?
As you go forth and build your own business, we hope that we have given you solid ideas on what to expect and consider when it comes to live answering services. We also be more than happy to discuss more on how live answering services works and what it can do for your business. So gives us a call here at Alltel – we’re always happy to help!