New businesses hit record highs in 2021 and are on track to continue that way in 2022. Data shows that 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, surpassing the record set in 2020 of 4.4 million.
There are certain factors that will make or break the success of a startup including capital, having the right team in place, and customer satisfaction. One of the top reasons that small and new businesses fail is because they don’t give their customers the high level of service they’ve come to expect. This can be easily avoided by investing in an answering service right from the start.
In this article we will answer and discuss the following questions about answering services for startups and small businesses:
- What do you mean by phone answering services?
- Why should you hire a virtual assistant for a startup?
- How much does a business answering service cost?
- Are answering services worth it?
What do you mean by phone answering services?
An answering service is a company that is hired by a business and often uses live agents to manage incoming communications. A popular alternative to hiring an in-house receptionist, they are used by businesses of all sizes and across a variety of industries.
Here at Answering Service Care, we offer three types of answering services:
- Virtual receptionist services deliver the highest level of customer service that you can get from an answering service. They receive specialized training on your business so you can ensure your calls will be managed by an experienced individual.
- Live answering services ensure that callers will be assisted by a real human. Callers first hear a custom greeting and are placed in a queue. They are then greeted by a live agent who can help them with scheduling appointments, answering questions, and more.
- Automated answering services are the most basic and noticeable type of answering service. They interact with callers using voice or keyed-in responses. An example of an automated answering service is when you call a business and you are prompted to “press ‘1’ for hours of operation, ‘2’ to book an appointment,” and so on.
Why should you hire a virtual assistant for a startup?
Running a startup can be all-consuming. A virtual receptionist service can keep you organized and it is more cost-efficient than hiring an in-house receptionist. It will also make your small business look more established and help you increase productivity while your calls are being answered. It also ensures that you are focusing on your customers and never miss a sales lead.
How much does a business answering service cost?
The cost of a business answering service will vary depending on your needs. There is no one-size-fits-all plan, and a good answering service will offer you a customized plan tailored to your specifications.
You will also save in the long run on overhead costs such as recruiting and training. Today’s economy is competitive and tends to have high employee turnover. Answering services recruit and train their own agents, so you save money and time while a live person consistently handles your phones.
Are answering services worth it?
Answering services are an investment and you still may be wondering if it is worth it. In addition to increased customer satisfaction and reduced overhead, here are some of the other benefits that answering services can provide:
- Fewer missed calls. Missed calls means missed revenue. If you can’t be reached, customers will try the next company listed.
- Increased availability. If your business hours are 9 to 5, a 24/7 answering service ensures that you’ll be there for those who call early in the morning or late at night.
- Disaster recovery. Unfortunately, in today’s world preparing for a disaster is a necessity. Disasters are sudden and devastating to businesses and individuals. The way in which your organization responds to these events is a reflection of your commitment to serving your customers. A high value answering service will offer this service and be a key part of your disaster recovery plan.