Some days, it seems like you’re batting a thousand with your customers — you’re getting their needs met, they’re happy and they’re telling their friends.

But on other days, though, it may seem like the magic’s gone and it’ll never come back. When it comes to handling your callers, they really have fairly reasonable and simple needs. In fact, they don’t ask for a whole lot out of you — they just want to be heard.

When business gets busy and the orders are stacking up, it can seem difficult to give each one the attention he or she wants. That’s where hiring a telephone answering service can help turn things around — callers get their needs met and you can spend more time focusing on shipping out new orders, bringing in new business, seeing patients/clients or perhaps servicing customers who are in your office.

Don’t forget why you’re hiring a virtual receptionist or business phone service, though. Make sure the new hands on deck give your customers what they really want, including:

Live Customer Service Professionals. It can be tempting to turn your phone services over to a nest of menus that require callers to punch in their requests before they can get an audience with a person. What they really, in some situation, is to reach a human on the other end of the phone and for that person to pick up promptly, without a lot of button-pressing.

Answers The Phone During and After-Hours. No matter what time of the day it is, some types of callers need an answer right away. For example, doctors and property managers frequently get calls out of normal business hours from nervous callers who need to be acknowledged immediately. You can even leave instructions with your new answering service to help certain callers with common problems, like walking a renter through changing a furnace filter if the heater’s blowing cold air.

Emergency Assistance. There’s nothing like a real emergency to make or break your customers’ faith in you. No matter what field you’re in, emergency situations will arise that result in calls from customers or employees looking for guidance. If they can reach a human, these frazzled callers will feel more at ease as your operator determines if they should call you directly or if the caller must contact a maintenance person for help.

The key to doing good business, in any field, is knowing what your customers really want. Once you understand their needs, both on the telephone and off, you can make their experience with your business a much more positive one.