If your phones are ringing off the hook, or at least ringing more frequently than you can keep up with, the good news is that your business is in demand. However, the bad news is that your calls aren’t being answered promptly, which gives callers the impression that you’re too busy for new business.
You’ve considered hiring another receptionist, but have decided that’s not a wise use of resources. Plus, hiring a receptionist to answer calls during the business day doesn’t help with the many calls that come in after-hours. This is particularly true if you work in industries in which customers expect 24/7access to you, such as doctors or healthcare providers, plumbers, HVAC technicians, or IT support.
While searching online for call answering solutions, you find several listings for answering services. Some of them say “live” answering service, but others don’t. What gives?
A live answering service provides your customers the same friendly customer service an in-office receptionist would, only virtually at another location. Your callers won’t necessarily know this, however, since the answering service receptionist answers your calls with the name of your business.
A live answering service can do everything from answering phone calls and routing them to staff members when necessary, taking messages, making reservations or scheduling appointments, dispatching services, or even screening job applicants.
If an answering service doesn’t advertise that it’s live, it’s most likely an automated answering service. Also known as IVR, these use a cloud-based computer system to answer and redirect your calls. Callers are greeted by an automated voice that directs them through a series of prompts in order to route their call or instruct them to leave a message.
The downside of automated answering services is that technology isn’t always reliable, as we all know. If the answering system goes down, you’ll most likely not be aware of the problem. And if a caller is unsure about who they need to talk to, they may be routed to the wrong person which results in frustration for all parties involved. Plus, many callers simply hang up if they hear an automated greeting and you won’t even be aware of the missed calls.
Live answering services answer each call around the clock, which means your clients will receive the same personal attention after-hours as they do when your office is open, even if it’s 1:00 a.m. From connecting emergency calls with the on-call staff member to taking a message for non-urgent calls, a live answering service can help your business run smoothly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Keep in mind that all live answering services are not the same. Some live answering services take the extra step to make operating a business as stress-free as possible. For example, Voice Link offers doctors a secure mobile app that protects your data with two-way encryption that’s also been proven to boost response times and client satisfaction.
If you’re considering hiring a live answering service, read testimonials, look up online reviews, ask for a client recommendation, and inquire about the company’s referral rate. The live answering service you choose will reflect your business, so you’ll want to hire one you feel confident standing behind.
If you’d like to learn more about how a live answering service can help you save time and money, contact Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. We offer flat rate month-to-month service agreements, with no hidden fees, to meet the needs of any business regardless of size, 24/7, 365 days of the year.
Customized communication solutions, appointment scheduling, and secure HIPAA/HiTech messaging saves you time and money while improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Our excellent reputation with an 82% referral rate, expert staff, and state-of-the-art technology will exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.