You’ve heard a lot about answering services lately, but you’re just not sure if the time is right to commit to one for your business.

You’re still basically holding things together when it comes to the telephone, at least none of your customers have complained. So how can you tell if it’s really time to bring in a professional live answering service?

Live Answering Services Improve Customer Experiences Across the Board

Live answering services are called for any time you want to improve your customer experience, no matter how big or small your business is. Since you’re only charged for the calls that your service handles, they scale very well, regardless of your company’s stage of growth.

But, if you need a signpost to point to before you can really be certain it’s time to make the call, here are four ways to know it’s time to bring in a live answering service:

  1. Your company’s growing and you want to give it a professional polish. A virtual receptionist through a live answering service can make you appear to be a much larger and more prestigious company over night.Instead of a random person answering the phone, callers always get one of a small number of hand-picked professional receptionists, who may even learn your most common callers by name and can give different levels of care to individual clients based on your instructions. Now that’s personal service!
  2. You don’t listen to your voicemail in a timely manner. One of the worst business chores, by and large, is pulling messages out of voicemail or off of an answering machine. In fact, it’s so bad that many business owners put it off one or two days, giving customers the impression that they don’t really want or need their business.This is why many callers don’t even bother to leave messages anymore and instead just hang up and call the competition when they get a machine. You can avoid the whole mess by having a live answering service operator available 24/7 for your customers. That way potential customers can call, ask questions and leave messages any time, without worrying that you won’t get around to them. In the morning, a neat log of calls will be available for you to use as a callback sheet, allowing you to prioritize those late night callers.
  3. You’re putting every other caller on hold. Your phones are ringing off the hook! That’s a great thing, isn’t it? Well, sort of. It’s great until it becomes your regular practice to answer the phone and immediately put the caller on hold just to answer another line and put yet another caller on hold.Your customers only have so much patience for holding and will eventually show you what they think by hanging up. A live answering service can help you with this problem by taking your overflow calls when it gets busy like that. Your callers can then be routed to extensions in your office just like your switchboard would do, or leave a message for someone on your staff. It’s a seamless answering service process and a customer favorite.
  4. Your appointment scheduling is in total disarray or eats up too much of your time. Scheduling can become a self-perpetuating problem. You need to schedule appointments to keep business flowing, but it takes a lot of time out of your day to keep the schedules organized and to properly handle changes and cancellations on top of the new appointments you’re making. Plus, you can’t possibly be around all the time for those people who call outside of office hours. It’s more than a full time job by itself!An answering service with appointment setting is a quick and easy solution to all your appointment problems. Using software that integrates with the tools you’re already using, the answering service scheduling team will tame your schedule and keep track of all the changes for you, updating your schedule in real time so you always know what’s coming.

If you’re asking yourself if it’s time for a live answering service, the answer is probably yes. It certainly can’t hurt to speak to a few good answering service companies and find out what they can do for your business. You may be surprised at just how much ROI answering services can generate.