If you own a small business you know all too well that it’s a good sign when customers are calling, but it’s also a challenge to answer their calls while staying on task. At some point, you’re likely to decide that you need help fielding calls, answering questions, and scheduling appointments. Do you hire an in-house receptionist or outsource your calls to an answering service? Let’s compare the financial commitment of each for a small business, along with the benefits.
For an in-house receptionist, the base compensation is likely to be around $34,000 per year depending on where you live and the level of experience you’ll want the receptionist to have. Add to that paid time off, paid sick leave if your state requires it, and insurance and benefits if you offer them. Then consider what office equipment the receptionist will need, what level of training you’ll need to invest your time and energy in, and what hours he or she will work.
In comparison, plans start as low as $29.95 per month if you outsource your calls to a live answering service. Aside from the obvious cost savings, the biggest perk with this option is that the answering service receptionists are available to handle your calls 24/7 if you like, and you don’t pay for any time off, sick leave, or benefits. In fact, you have a team of receptionists answering your calls in the name of your business, and they’re trained to know your preferences and priorities about how calls are handled. Your customers won’t even be aware that the friendly person they’re speaking with isn’t actually sitting in your office.
By knowing which calls you consider urgent, the answering service will make sure the caller is connected to you or the appropriate staff member as quickly as possible if necessary, or they will handle routine inquiries without interrupting you. The virtual receptionists are an extension of your business, and can also help with other business tasks such as scheduling appointments, taking orders, or CRM management.
Some small business owners wonder if their customer service will suffer, but quite the opposite is true. Most businesses improve their profit margins and increase productivity with the help of a live answering service, while their customers report greater satisfaction. By allowing an answering service to manage your calls, you can stay focused the daily tasks of running your business, which improves your productivity.
You choose when you want the answering service to field your calls—24/7, or after business hours, or when you or your staff are on other calls and can’t answer. The more you can avoid sending your customers to voicemail, the more you’ll avoid losing business opportunities since an estimated 67% of callers hang up when they receive voicemail.
A live answering service can be the partner you need to keep current customers happy and gain new ones. Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. can help you deliver the service your customers deserve by managing your calls whenever you need— during peak hours, after business hours, or 24/7 around the clock.
With an 82% referral rate, Voice Link provides live answering services that will exceed your expectations and will keep your customers coming back. Our monthly plans contain no hidden fees and are tailored to suit your unique needs. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.