Good customer service is essentially meeting the same expectations you have when you are a customer.

Has your customer service gone to the dogs?This basic “golden rule” will never change. Most people would probably agree with the generic definition of good customer service: prompt and courteous attention delivered by smiling, friendly employees.

But, is that it??? Doesn’t your business want to kick it up a notch?

The cost of getting a new customer is often five times that of retaining an existing one, those that understand this, realize the importance of responding immediately to theirs. That being said, are you living up to the customer service expectations you have, with your own customers? Would you like to?

Great! I would like to help. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Does our customer service go above and beyond what is expected?
  • Are you able to offer solutions in a timely manner?
  • Are you missing out on business opportunities because we are too busy?
  • Are you prepared for the unexpected?

If any of the above are questionable, then partnering with a contact center or answering service could be the best decision you’ve made in a long time. What’s great about answering services (when you find the right one) is that you get immediate customer service turn around while you sit back and watch your business’s best competitive advantage mature.

Now, where do you go from here to enable you to resolve one, two or possibly all four of these problematical challenges within your business?

Start by identifying and setting the customer service expectations you require, then follow through with the solutions you need to meet those expectations.”

Next, you need to shop for the right contact center. One that can formulate a customized strategy that will achieve the results you require for your company. I say “customized” because every business is different. An answering service should meet your specific needs if they are to work as the front line of your business. Choose a service that represents your company’s values and culture if you want to save money, yet provide the most supreme customer service possible.

I formulated a list of “must have’s” to consider when shopping around:

  1. Usage based answering services typically offer the highest level of answering service. This is because they only make money if they actually answer your calls with a live agent.
  2. You always want to make sure they don’t bill for RING TIME or HOLD TIME – Never be afraid to ask about hidden fees.
  3. What is the perspective company’s answer time on average – Ninety-seven to Ninety-eight percent of all calls into the facility, or better, should be answered with a live agent. Don’t be afraid to ask about their statistics. The sales agent you speak with should never just be spouting prices or packages to you. They should be knowledgeable of the industry and willing to educate you so that you can be sure you are getting the “right fit”.
  4. Are they a true, 365 day a year, live agent 24/7 operation? Make sure they are available and will not charge extra for nights, weekends or Holidays.
  5. Make sure that the live agents answering your phone calls are U.S. based agents if you are a U.S. based company.
  6. Make sure there’s always a supervisor on duty 24/7 to provide you, as the business owner, with live support. How can a service guarantee your clients will receive 24/7 live agent support if they will not provide it to you as their client?
  7. For your own peace of mind, be sure they have fully redundant, telephony, power and internet.
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Teri Erickson

Business Development Coordinator at AnswerFirst
I hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions you can contact me on my direct line at AnswerFirst: 813-636-3975. If I don’t provide our potential clients with top-notch customer service from day 1, then why should they trust my company to provide their clients with the same?