For many businesses, being available 24/7 is crucial. However, it?s unrealistic to think that you or your employees can be on site, ready to answer the phone at all hours. That?s why a 24 hour answering service is essential to customer service, repeat customers, and word of mouth recommendations. Consider this: Over 60 percent of Americans say they prefer to receive customer service over the phone, and almost all of them say they would be willing to pay more and give their business to another company if they received poor customer service. Many of those said they expected that live telephone answering service to be available after hours. Since consumers are two times more likely to share a bad customer service experience with family and friends than they are to share a good customer service experience, it?s likely that negative reviews based on the availability of customer service can decrease the amount of new business a company gets.
One misconception about using a professional answering service is that all they do is take messages. Actually, a 24 hour answering service does a lot more; they handle complaints and questions, help troubleshoot, set appointments, take orders, and prioritize tasks for incoming staff. If something is truly urgent, they can then contact the right party as needed. Speaking to a live operator answering service rather than a recording or a complicated phone tree lets your customers know they are important to you no matter the time.
Besides the obvious ability to serve customers, and provide after-hours emergency services, there are a few other benefits to maintaining a 24 hour answering service, especially when you remember that it?s not just for after- hours availability.
Even in a small business, there should be consistency in the way the phone is answered and information is managed. In addition, there are as many reasons for customers to call as there are customers, and it?s best to streamline those calls by getting them to the appropriate person quickly. Lastly, having a business telephone answering service can be helpful in answering simple questions about things such as hours or directions, so that those who need to be working on other things can do so without distraction. An excellent example of this is appointment scheduling. With a call handling service and a web-based scheduling system, a 24 hour answering service can easily handle appointment scheduling at any time.
Whether a business needs to be available for appointment scheduling, technical help, emergency household services such as plumbing or HVAC, temporary staffing, or other reasons, a 24 hour answering service can be tailored to the company. Every business owner knows that customer service and efficient organizational management are two keys to success. Hiring a professional answering services improves both.
Thanks to the internet, today?s consumers have more choices of goods and services than ever before. While there are various factors that influence how consumers find and decide upon a company, one of them is customer service and the availability to speak to someone quickly. One recent survey showed that 45 percent of consumers in the U.S. will abandon an online purchase if their concerns are not addressed promptly. The fact is that companies that make customer service a priority generate 60 percent higher profits higher than their competitors. That makes the investment in a 24 hour answering service well worth the investment.