A live phone answering service is a business that provides 24 hour professionals to answer business phones and provide exemplary customer service. For a small to medium business, a call handling service saves money and provides and positive experience for customers. Unfortunately, not all of these businesses are created equal, so here are eight things to look for when hiring a live phone answering service.
- Response Rate: The individuals tasked with answering your phones provide little benefit to your business if a customer hangs up before they get around to answering the phone. Any service that takes longer than four rings at the most can be crossed off the list of prospects.
- Sound Genuine: Why bother paying for live operators if they sound more robotic than a computer generated voice? Check for services that allow a script to be updated when necessary to make sure the customer is hearing an employee in your office, not a voice in a machine.
- Individually Assigned Receptionist: Most businesses do not have a line up of ever changing receptionists, so search for the companies that assign an individual to each account, with other employees as back-up, to provide that feeling of authenticity. That way, your receptionist will know your business and your customers will know that person’s voice.
- Location: There is one primary factor that makes the location a business offering virtual receptionist services and important piece of information, and that is whether the employees accent will sound natural with your business.
- Operating Hours:This article has addressed only the services of a live, 24 hour answering service, and most companies offer those hours. However, not all do, so be sure to check the operating hours of every service if 24 hours service is required.
- Customer Service: One would think a company that exists to offer customer service for you would also offer quality customer service to you, but that is not always the case. If you have an urgent question, you need to be able to get a live person on the phone too.
- Turnover Rate: How quickly they go through employees matters first because it will not matter if they assign an individual receptionist if that person changes every month. Second, an abnormally high turnover rate is a reflection of a company that is not well run and likely should be crossed off the list.
- Free Trial: Why pay for a service without being certain it is a quality investment? Any live phone answering service that is confident of what they offer customers will offer this automatically.
An answering service meets a vital business need. By following these tips, there should be no difficulty finding a quality answering service to meet all your business needs.