Have you ever find your business receiving numerous after-hours calls – and losing clients because nobody is there to answer the phone? Perhaps, the receptionist in your office is overwhelmed with walk-ins and numerous requests. Maybe the phone ringing off the hook has been a daunting task.
No one wants to be left in the dark when an emergency occurs, or even receive that annoying message, “I’m sorry, we are experiencing difficulties with our phone lines. Can I call you in a few minutes when everything is back to normal?” Just to realize you didn’t give the “okay”, but the call was disconnected.
For this reason, many businesses are now relying on Answering Service companies to fill in this void and provide an efficient, reliable and prompt answer tailored to your client’s needs.
How Do I Find a Reliable and Efficient Answering Service?
Although I always recommend careful research and a conversation with a sales specialist, some features are a must have for the most reputable companies.
- Offer Comprehensive and Responsive ServicesAn Answering Service should provide a variety of options for different businesses. Some options would include different plans, bilingual options, Virtual Receptionist, quick activation, and competitive rates.
An Answering Service should have local (US-based) agents prepared to follow your customized script. If you have a team that is not ready to handle those calls appropriately, chances are you will lose clients for the competition.
Still on this note, clients want to be assured that supervisors and managers will be available to resolve issues and be reached out easily – or within 24-48 business hours – should any problems occurs.
- Provide “No Contract” OptionThere is no better way to remediate this situation than to partner with a reliable company that doesn’t require a contract. No obligations! No traps!
Ultimately, it is in the best interest of the company to make the customer – YOU – happy. If you are not completely satisfied with the service for any reason, you should be able to move on with no hassles or fees.
- Be Available 24/7In a review of the top ten websites in the Answering Service business, this category was the most talked about, and certainly one of the most regarded criteria of all.
Clients want to have the piece of mind that their phone will be answered by a live person instead of an answering machine. That said, an Answering Service that has around-the-clock agents answering the phone, taking messages, and responding promptly to client’s inquiries is better suited to your needs.
That is especially important after business hours, holidays and weekends. You don’t want to miss on a deal or to have a client in distress because your office is closed. With an Answering Service Center, your answers will be customized to fit the needs of your clientele, and agents will be ready to address them.
- Handle Disaster Recovery PlanA disaster recovery plan comes in handy in many situations.
Imagine you have offices in different locations. The system went down in one of the buildings, and the other branches are busy trying to handle the high volume of calls and emails. Disaster recovery plans can get you covered. This type of feature is extremely valuable for businesses, especially in areas prone to major natural disasters. Some Answering Services are even hurricane ready shelters and have the infrastructure to handle emergencies.
You will count on the reliability of answering service professionals to get your calls or direct them to the message system of your choice. Knowing your call will not be missed for situations beyond your control is priceless.
By simply following those guidelines, you can save a lot of headaches down the road. Rest assured that your business and clientele will be completely covered.
What are other features an Answering Service should provide? Have you ever changed Answering Service provider because you found better options in another competitor? Share your thoughts below.