July 18, 2014

When to Choose a Live Answering Service over Voicemail

If your employees are taking up too much valuable work time answering phone calls, you are likely trying to decide between a live answering service and a voicemail service. Which of these is the better option for you in the long run? Here are some questions to ask in order to determine which is best for your business.

How much impact do your incoming calls have on revenue?

Customers of some businesses — such as law firms, real estate agencies, and bakeries — are willing to leave a message and wait for a call back, since most of their needs are not immediately urgent. Others, however — such as customers calling for HVAC, plumbing, or electrical services — have immediate critical needs and won’t leave a message. These customers will simply hang up on voicemail and call the next contractor who is available to take their call. If your customers demand immediate service, a live answering service is the solution.

How many hang up calls do you receive per week on your messaging system?

Aside from the nature of the business, if your callers hang up on your machine or messaging system, it’s probably a sign they are not willing to wait to speak to someone, and you need a phone answering service. This is often the case when you have a lot of local competitors, and it’s too easy for your customers to go elsewhere to get the attention they need.

Do you have a need for after hours services?

Businesses that advertise after hours services should never use voicemail. All of their calls should be answered by a live person. If you advertise 24/7 service, and a caller gets your voicemail, they may think you aren’t around to help out in their time of need. When you contract with a call center, make sure there will be backup personnel available to handle peak calling times in a timely manner, so that no calls get left unanswered.

A live phone answerer can help improve your customer service, which assures you get all the new business that comes in and that you are able to retain the customers you work so hard to keep.

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