What is a live answering service?
A live answering service involves your inbound calls answered by trained professionals using an agreed-upon script. This service is fantastic for small businesses and departments that have busy periods with a high volume of calls, customers wanting to get in contact after hours, staff absences, and/or lots of similar calls.
Live answering service providers develop scripts based on common questions your business receives and will answer and action calls as if they are working from your own business premises. Operators can answer as many calls as required, using the information you provide. This means there’ll always be cover if your team is absent for any reason. Key details are written and conveyed back to you through SMS or email. Operators can also contact you directly via telephone call or by a live transfer to the relevant person within your business, and inform you of whatever details you need to know.
How can a live answering service help your business?
Live answering services free up your staff’s time and enable them to focus on core business while the live answering team manages your incoming calls on your behalf.
How many times have you had to take a phone call when you were focussed on a task, and when you returned to it you realised you lost your train of thought and forgot what you were going to write next? A live answering service solves this issue and will help your staff be more efficient as they do not need to stop in the middle of a task to take a call. Whether you work in hospitality and have to run to the phone when you’re in the middle of checking a function’s event brief, or in admin where you might have to grab the phone when you’re in the middle of some data entry, engaging a live answering service is likely to lead to a boost in productivity.
Outsourcing your inbound calls can be a significant cost-saver as you are only required to pay when you receive calls. As such, on a quiet day with few or no calls, you will only be charged a small fee. This is particularly cost-efficient for firms that do not receive many calls but would benefit from a receptionist. You are essentially engaging a full-time receptionist for a fraction of the cost!
Never miss a call
A live answering service ensures all your calls are answered. It can be difficult to predict when you will receive an influx of calls at your workplace or even a call at all. Perhaps everyone is in a meeting or people are out at lunch when you receive a phone call. Alternatively, sometimes you just have a particularly busy day and have no choice but to let some calls go to voicemail. This is not ideal as callers may be upset they cannot receive the help they wanted, or it may even mean you just lost a business opportunity.
In addition, to live answering during your regular hours, many live answering services offer overflow call handling, after hours support as well as casual live answering. Therefore, you can organise an arrangement that suits your business needs.
For instance, you may opt for overflow call handling whereby your inbound calls redirected to a live answering service when you are not available to pick it up. You may arrange for calls to be redirected if they haven’t been picked up in 20 seconds. In addition to this, you may arrange for after hours support to be provided as well so you and your staff can unwind and relax before and after your business’ opening hours.
Maintain brand and culture
Live answering service operators can develop custom-made, realistic scripts that mirror the language and customer service provided by your own staff. Engaging a provider with a team that is professional, friendly and genuine is paramount in ensuring your existing customers are happy, as well as growing your customer base.
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