Hiring an answering service or call center can be an excellent way to outsources certain administrative duties for a much lower cost and commitment when compared to hiring a full or even part time in office employee. They can answer calls
and connect them with the appropriate personnel, either as a backup for an in house receptionist, or to free up your team from answering the phone every time it rings. Can you imagine never getting derailed by a sales call in the middle of an important task?
A call center can also take orders for a retail organization, schedule conference attendees, provide additional information to those interested in an advertised promotion, and much more. But to get the most out of the answering service and make it productive for you and your team and an excellent experience for your customers consider the following tips:
1. Pay Close Attention To Details
When setting up the answering service and how they will handle different types of incoming calls from customers and other situations, think through in detail what should happen in each scenario and carefully communicate this. Should all sales calls go to voicemail or be asked to leave a message, or do you have certain representatives you’d prefer to talk to right away? What questions should an operator ask to determine whether a client call is urgent or if it can wait?
2. Choose An Excellent Call Center
While price is likely to be a major factor, be sure to also carefully consider the quality of the service you and your customers will receive. We’ve all had those frustrating experiences of being assisted by a poorly trained call center personnel, without the authority to elevate the issue when they are ill-equipped to handle it. The company’s reputation suffers immediately. Ask if you can call in as a customer to one of their existing clients so you can see what the experience would be like for your customers. Look for friendly, professional, courteous, competent personnel, who handle calls efficiently while meeting the needs of the caller.
3. Look For Ways To Work More Efficiently
Once you have incorporated an answering service into your team look for other ways it can help increase efficiency for your organization. Could the virtual receptionists answer all calls for specific employees during their busiest times of year? Could they screen initial calls from prospects allowing your sales team to prioritize the best among them? Could they answer commonly asked questions, freeing up your personnel for more complex issues?
About the Author: Robert J. Senior is the President and Founder of CallNET Corporation, an answering service provider based in Wilmington, North Carolina.
SimplifyThis helps small business owners to streamline administrative tasks with our two-in-one online invoicing and web scheduling solution.