Customers will be customers — and often they will call at the most inopportune times, including after hours when there’s simply no one around to pick up the phone.

Thankfully, you’ve got options when it comes to these callers: you can set up a voicemail system, you can simply ignore the call and hope they call back or you can hire an answering service.

Here’s why hiring an answering service may be your very best bet in this scenario:

  1. Customers crave a human voice. The vast majority of your callers, customers and patients want to hear a human on the other end of the phone. In fact, it’s been found that many callers who encounter a voicemail system will hang up instead of leaving a message. Those hang-up calls are dollars pouring into the competition’s pocket.
  1. Voicemails are time-consuming. It takes a great deal of time to sort through voicemails every morning, if you even think to check your messages that frequently. Handling messages is less overwhelming when someone else is putting them into a tidy form on your behalf.
  1. Answering Services Provide Immediate Responses. Oftentimes, customers call because they have a basic question or request that can easily be handled by an answering service. Customers who get what they need, when they need it, are happy customers, repeat customers and tend to give out referrals to their friends.
  1. Some calls are true emergencies. It’s reasonable to want to get away from the calls that come in all day long, but relying on voicemail when you’ve got a business where emergencies happen is a huge mistake. Live telephone answering service specialists can connect true emergency calls to you directly, so that your customers get the help they need right away.
  1. You’ve got to stretch the budget. An increased call volume doesn’t immediately mean an increased revenue stream, so even if you’re starting to see a surge in calls, you probably can’t afford (or don’t want) to hire another full-time receptionist just yet. Answering services can also help you with your seasonal call overflow, by providing a friendly voice to your customers during business hours, and they cost a lot less than hiring another employee.

Ultimately, providing an answering service for your customers creates an opportunity for a positive exchange that a voicemail system never can. Customers always prefer to talk to another human, even if it’s just to leave a message for you.