The question of whether to outsource is a common one for almost every business. There are few companies that don’t outsource some aspect of their operation, whether it’s web design or security. There are many considerations to take into account when outsourcing anything, including answering the phone.
Answering this question might be worthwhile…
Telephone answering – what exactly is it?
Based on the name, you can assume that this service focuses on answering the phone on behalf of a company. Yet there are a great many services available within this simple premise, ranging from basic message taking to full reception services and call redirection. As well as answering phone calls, some telephone answering service companies offer other services including order taking, managing diaries, qualifying leads, and providing emergency support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Maybe outsourcing your telephone answering isn’t the right choice for you.
Among the reasons for being reluctant to outsource customer service to a third party is that it is the lifeblood of your business. It is impossible to run a business without customers, and attracting new customers costs five times as much as retaining existing ones. It’s likely that your staff, who are usually deeply invested in the brand of your business, understand this better than anyone else.
It can be very satisfying for customers when they have direct access to the people responsible for delivering the service as well as answering incoming calls, especially in small businesses. In a small business, even a receptionist or team of receptionists can have a much more in-depth knowledge of the business and its employees, making the business feel very personalized.
What is the benefit of outsourcing your telephone answering?
To keep your business running smoothly, you rely on those very same employees who have the most detailed understanding of your business.
Maintain a focus
Interruptions will negatively affect their quality of work if they are constantly interrupted. A busy employee can end up ignoring a customer’s call or dealing with it in a hurried manner, taking messages inaccurately, or not passing them along because of an urgent meeting.
Life, lunch breaks, and lurgies
It will go a long way toward alleviating this situation if you have a dedicated receptionist or customer service representative. There are however people with lives, lunch breaks, and lurgies, so unless you have a team of receptionists, there will be gaps in service and everyone will be distracted.
There is often a huge variation in the volume of phone calls in many businesses. The next day will be quiet and the next will be frenetic. Having the phones answered by team members can result in considerable problems, as a dedicated employee may become overwhelmed or underutilized. Some telephone answering companies, such as Newbury-based Verbatim, provide flexibility when it comes to dialing up or reducing service levels.
It can make a world of difference and enhance the perception of your own company if you hire an answering service with dedicated customer service specialists who are trained and experienced in handling all types of customers, including angry, frustrated, or confused ones. The average call center employee handles a wide range of tasks including answering phones, taking messages, dealing with support issues, and even qualifying leads (not to mention dealing effectively and politely with cold callers or wrong numbers).
Is it then best to outsource my telephone answering?
According to the circumstances! It always comes down to your company’s specific situation, so we apologize for the fence-sitting.
Generally speaking, it will be a positive change for most businesses. Don’t hesitate to try an overflow service or a trial offer if you are unsure. You may be able to get a refund or a free trial period in many cases. It’s unlikely you’ll look back once you’ve chosen the right company.