Customer experience is everything these days.

In fact, 68 percent of customers say they would spend more money with a company that provided excellent service, according to the 2014 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. The same study also found that “providing excellent customer service” is the second-most important factor to customers when choosing a company to do business with — the only factor that beat it out was providing “good value for the price.”

If your company is lagging behind in the customer service department, it may be due to how your employees are handling customers who call in. It’s sometimes difficult to convey ideas and attitudes over the phone, leading to considerable misunderstanding if an employee is already rushing to get the customer handled because they’ve got other duties to attend. 

Answering Services to the Rescue

When your telephone rings nonstop without being answered or is answered by an employee who would rather be doing something else, it seriously affects how your customers perceive your business. Having a full-time receptionist or operator may not be in the budget, but an answering service can bridge the gap. Unlike a full-time staffer, you only pay an answering service for the time that you use, saving a lot of overhead, coffee breaks and benefits.

In a time when the customer experience is one of the most vital metrics to determining future business success, having a professional and courteous person to answer the phone no matter when it rings is vital. An answering service company can provide a variety of services to help your business, including overflow call answering, after-hours call answering, emergency call forwarding and customer service using scripts you provide.

Save Time and Keep Customers Happy

They may not seem like huge services by themselves, but the various duties you might assign an answering service team can add up to enormous time savings without your customers missing out on the personal care they want. For example, if you run a property management company, you probably get lots of time consuming calls about simple problems like changing furnace filters. Instead of spending your limited time dealing with those long calls, you can give your answering service instructions for walking your renters through these basic processes.

Professionals that tend to be on-call, like doctors and plumbers, can take advantage of these same features. Instead of having every after-hours call immediately ring your cell phone, your operators can walk the caller through some basic questions to determine if what they’re experiencing is a true emergency or if it can be handled the next day.

Callers Want You Or Your Answering Service To Answer

A customer in panic doesn’t stop to think about how they might be intruding on your precious free time, they just want to know they’re being heard. When the first thing a customer hears is a human voice answering your phone, it can help calm their anxiety, especially if they’re being reassured that whatever’s going on isn’t as big of a problem as they feared.

Answering services can turn your customer service efforts on their ear, or give them a kickstart if customer experience wasn’t the first thought you had when setting up your company. Either way, they’re a great way to tame your telephone while still providing a budget-friendly human touch for your callers.