You have a lot of options when it comes to telephone support.

You can hire people in-house, you can outsource to companies nearby or you can marry the two to get the type of coverage your customers really need and stay well within your budget. Whatever you do, though, don’t skimp on an after hours answering service because it really matters.

There was a time when answering the phone and being polite and kind during regular business hours was all it took to keep your customers happy. And while those tactics still go pretty far in today’s world, your callers are busier than ever before and need you to be available when they are.

Whether you’re a dentist, tow truck operator or you run a shop, there will be someone who needs to contact you when you’re supposed to be off duty. Manning the phones all day and all night can be challenging, but there are really important reasons to do so.

Lead Generation ROI Improvement

You invested heavily in lead generation.

And that’s ok, because every business has to do it now and again. The downside to most marketing campaigns, however, is that you also have to support a lead generation team. This is a place where many businesses go wrong. Either they under staff for the hordes of callers or they choose to not provide 24/7 telephone coverage, assuming people who call after hours will just leave a message.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works today. According to research by NewVoiceMedia, 75 percent of your customer base thinks that calling is the most effective way to get a quick response from your company, but 53 percent are irritated if they don’t get a person right away.

That’s over half your leads that could be turning to the competition! Even with the additional cost of an answering service or virtual receptionist, the ROI of your marketing efforts can be greatly improved if someone is available to speak to each and every new caller personally.

Genuine Concern for Customer Happiness

If you want to improve your customer care level, the best thing you can do is be available for your callers.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to answer every call, but someone should be standing by to handle those late night emergencies, moments of panic or inquiries that can’t be squeezed into the business day. Not only will the increased customer touch help cement a lifelong relationship with those callers, it can actually save you business.

In another study, NewVoiceMedia discovered that 53 percent of customers take their business elsewhere because they don’t feel appreciated as a customer, even by providers they’ve used for years. On the flip side, 70 percent become more loyal as a result of good customer service, just like you’d expect. Helping people access your products or services doesn’t stop when you close the door these days. Your agents have to be there all the time to ensure that every customer gets what they need.

No matter what kind of company you own, after hours answering service support can make a huge difference to your customers’ happiness and your bottom line. It only makes sense to make it easy to reach you, especially when companies like answering services charge by the call and not the hour. If no one calls, there’s no charge, but if they do, you’ve just saved a valuable lead from potentially going sour.