Are you looking for an efficient way to manage your business’s phone receptionist services? When making this important choice, it’s a great idea to ensure that the telephone answering service can fulfil all of your needs. Before signing up with any company, consider these tips and ask key questions first:
Determine your goals and needs
Shopping for a phone system can be tricky. After all, you need the right one that meets your business goals and needs. If someone in your network has experience with an answering service, consider tapping into their expertise to help inform which questions are important when it comes to the time to purchase. But if no one seems familiar with this technology-driven setup, don’t worry. There’s always the option of trying out different packages from companies who offer free trials before committing yourself financially or technically, to a perfect solution for finding the ideal phone system without making any big commitments upfront.
Do they have knowledge about the business?
If your small company lacks the resources or time to hire a full-time receptionist, consider hiring an answering service. Australian company TMC outsources telephone answering as a service to businesses and can help answer calls for clients, no matter the hour, and completely route incoming calls based on pre-set rules or caller ID information. However, don’t forget to consider which support option best suits your company’s unique needs. Ensure that your chosen provider has taken the time to learn about your services for quick and efficient customer service.
Is this an inbound or outbound telephone answering service?
You can level up your business communication with custom greetings and features like voicemail to email or call forwarding when you opt for an outbound phone service. However, remember that this could get pricey if used regularly, in contrast to the more cost-effective option of using an inbound receptionist service which generally offers a higher degree of reliability. Additionally, some people may find it easier to have direct conversations with another person as opposed to automated systems so keep that consideration in mind too.
How reliable is the provider?
When it comes to choosing your phone-answering service provider, do a bit of homework. Make sure you feel confident in their reliability by looking into references and doing some online research. Also, a service level agreement (SLA) is crucial. This ensures both parties are held accountable for any promises made so that everyone’s on the same page from day one.
What about 24/7 operation?
Businesses of all sizes have unique needs when it comes to customer support availability. For small businesses operating within normal business hours and fielding after-hours inquiries might be a perfect balance, however, for companies with teams and customers around the world, a 24/7 call centre is essential in order to keep up with their demands. For example, a phone repairer Quick Fix requires availability on the weekends. You need to make sure that they are available 24/7 to fulfil your business needs.
Does it have a live receptionist or a computerised system?
Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may be choosing between either having an actual live receptionist or going with a cost-effective computerised system. Keep in mind that while hiring someone can make for more personable conversations and answers to customer questions, it also requires considerable expenditure. Alternatively, utilising automated services saves costs yet lacks human interaction, something which some customers might find unsatisfying.
Are there any customer training programs available?
Investing in customer service training is essential for any telephone answering service to provide the best possible experience. By taking advantage of a company’s tailored programs, you can equip your operators with the knowledge and skills needed for success on every call. Whether it be online courses or live webinars, these training teach employees how to handle typical requests such as providing info about products/services as well as strategies for dealing with difficult situations like when customers are unhappy, all while deepening their connection by boosting communication prowess.
What is the call volume, and how many call centres are there?
When choosing an answering service for your business, location matters. Long-distance calls could be cost-prohibitive and having a call centre far away from where most of your customers are located may not make sense practically or economically. Lastly, ensure all representatives understand what goes into working with clients over the phone: taking accurate orders, resolving billing queries, fixing technical issues efficiently and making sure packages safely reach their destination, just some of the essential services they should know how to handle.
How much does it cost?
If you’re considering a telephone answering service, it’s important to understand exactly what your money is getting you. Asking the right questions up front can save headaches later on. Investigate things like monthly fees, these often consist of equipment rental, maintenance and additional features such as voicemail transcription or call forwarding. Find out if there are any setup costs associated with signing up too. It would also be wise to double-check about number transferability just in case something unexpected happens that changes your phone number down the line. With this knowledge at hand, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing all bases have been covered before diving into an agreement with a provider.
Finding the perfect phone answering service for your business doesn’t have to be a challenge. Simply answer some vital questions and you’ll soon find an ideal match, tailored specifically to you. Find your long-term solution today with ease.
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