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3 Reasons Your Business Might Need a Live Answering Service

answering services

Ideally, any call to a business should be answered immediately by a live person. One study that included more than 2,500 participants found that nearly 60% of consumers felt that a minute of hold time was too long; over 30% thought that any wait time at all was unacceptable.

But for small- and mid-sized businesses with limited budgets, maintaining a sufficient on-site reception staff to adhere to these kinds of customer standards can be nearly impossible. A more convenient and cost-effective way to meet -- or exceed -- your customers’ expectations is to hire an answering service. Below are a few reasons you might consider doing so:

  1. If your business has more than a few offices or departments:

    Some businesses try to get around their call answering problem by instituting an automated answering or directory system. But these can be extremely frustrating for customers, particularly if your business is large enough to have quite a few options for call direction. By the time your customers have pushed 3 to reach the sales department, 7 to indicate a shipping error and 4 to reach a live person, they probably won’t be too happy to talk to you.

    An answering service will instead allow them to be greeted by professional, courteous staff who can either take a message or transfer them directly to the appropriate party. And since consumers are used to the maddening process of navigating an automated system, your superior customer service will almost certainly set you apart from your competitors.

  2. If customers frequently call asking for basic business information:

    Nothing is more frustrating than being interrupted in the middle of an important task to answer basic questions about hours, directions or company policies. Answering services can take care of these matters directly, so that you and your staff can focus on productivity and whatever goods or services you provide.

  3. If your business handles emergency situations:

    After hour answering services are extremely important for any type of business whose customers might call with an emergency. This is why doctors’ offices and property management companies so often employ answering services.

    An experienced customer service representative can be a big boost to your company’s image, especially since these patients or clients may be in a very distressed state when they call. Keep in mind when choosing medical answering services that there are issues of privacy and legal compliance, as well as customer satisfaction, to consider.

Are there any other reasons a business should prioritize a live answering service when it comes time to update the budget? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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