It’s no secret that things can get chaotic when you manage a business. There’s so much work to do and meetings to attend, so some tasks fall through the cracks. One of the commonly overlooked tasks is answering calls.
If too many calls are unanswered, it can hurt your reputation and lose customers. This is where outsourcing answering services can benefit your business. By investing in answering services, you can focus on the key tasks for your business while calls are still answered promptly.
But how do you find the right answering service for your business? Here are some things that you should consider:
How You Want Your Business to Be Represented
Choosing the right operators can make or break your business since they’ll be representing you.
The first quality you want to look for is flexibility because every caller is different. They should be able to evaluate the situation and react accordingly.
You also want operators who can adapt to the industry. Most companies need a lively operator, while others—like funeral homes—need someone calm and composed.
What Does Your Budget Looks Like?
In general, providers do not have a flat rate structure and charge based on the activity instead. The more calls you get, the more expensive it will be.
For you to be cost-efficient, you need to have an average of your monthly call volume. It will dictate what pricing structure is suitable. Two of the most common billing methods are:
Per Minute Billing – This structure functions similarly to a cellphone plan. Each month, there is a set allocation for minutes, and when you go over that threshold, you get charged extra. Good answering services offer different plans and will help you find the one that fits your call volume.
Per Call Billing – In this setup, you are charged per call, but the duration of each call doesn’t matter. It is also important to note that there might be an extra charge for calls or messages dispatched.
What Are Your Important Core Features or Needs?
Answering services can do more than answer calls. They offer other features like appointment scheduling software or on-call dispatching systems, but it depends on the provider.
This is why it’s a good idea to evaluate every feature fully before committing to a provider. If they have a free trial period, take advantage of it. The trial period is the best way to familiarize yourself with the features offered, as well as assess if they fit your business.
During this time, make sure to do the following:
- Make test calls so you can get an idea of what your customers experience and find out if how they handle concerns is satisfactory
- Check if their other software and systems operate smoothly
- Provide feedback and bring up any points for improvement so they can make the necessary adjustments to better suit your business