When you have a small business trying to stay afloat, the last thing on your mind is implementing a new system that costs more money when the old one works just fine.

Most startup business owners have this mentality when it comes to investing in a live answering service rather than letting their voicemail field incoming calls when they are not available.

If it’s not broken, why fix it, right?

Closeup portrait of smiling young man holding cellphone near mouth using mobile voice recognition or digital assistance app speaking with virtual assistant, recording message or talking on smartphone

What Is An Answering Service?

Over the last few years, many companies have contracted live answering services to help meet their customer service demands. An answering service is a company that answers inbound calls on behalf of other businesses. These services often hire remote customer service representatives or virtual receptionists to answer incoming calls.

Businesses that deal with high call volumes tend to outsource a portion of their work to answering services. However, smaller companies can also benefit from hiring an answering service. The growth of your business largely depends on your ability to answer calls and queries in a reasonable amount of time; when you are a startup, every lead counts.

However, despite your best efforts to capture all leads, it’s impossible to be available all day and every day. This article will explore a few of the main advantages of live answering services over a traditional voicemail system.

Customer Service

For years, voicemail systems have been the default choice for many businesses due to their accessibility and low costs. If you desire to give your customers and prospects a good customer service experience, then you may need to ditch this age-old form of automated answering and invest in a live answering service.

A live answering service offers a better customer service experience. Most customers prefer to speak to a real person rather than a voicemail system. They can’t explain their frustrations or seek quality assistance from a voicemail like they can from a live answering service. When you hire an answering service, the operator will answer general questions and provide basic help.

Did you know that 70% of customers hang up as soon as they hear a voicemail system come on? Most businesses won’t survive if they constantly lose seven out of ten of their customers’ or prospective customers’ calls.

In spite of voicemail systems’ best efforts to personalize their service, a machine will never be able to compete with a real live person representing your business. Good customer service means more business.

Efficiency

The tools you use in your business should make things easier for you. Unfortunately, voicemails require too much manual work. Voicemail systems trap information. You have to dial in to access the system, go through a few prompts, remember the names and phone numbers so that you can write them down. More than likely, you’ll have to replay a message more than once to make sure you got the right message. Scrambling through multiple messages to capture the information you need takes a significant amount of time.

With an answering service, accessing your messages proves easier than ever. A live phone operator takes each call, gathers essential information like the customer’s name and phone number, and delivers that information in an email or text message. You’ll even be able to quickly transfer vital information to your staff with just a click of a button.

Extension of Your Business

When you hire an answering service, they become an extension of your business. These representatives can handle many of the same tasks that your in-house team performs. They do more than just field incoming calls and jot down messages. Depending on the company you work with, they can also schedule appointments, place orders, follow scripted workflows, and dispatch emergency calls and messages.

An answering machine won’t be able to help convert leads, but a live agent can turn prospects into paying customers. If you’re willing to invest the money, your live answering service can be built to mirror the operations of your business. An answering service can add more value to your company than an automated messaging machine.

Maintains Business Continuity

You or your staff can’t be available around the clock. However, customers don’t care if you’re at the office, at lunch, or on vacation. What matters is that they can reach you whenever they need you. A live answering service makes this possible as answering services can take calls for your business 24/7. This includes weekends and holidays.

Your customers will never have to worry about hearing the words: “Inbox Full.” Live answering services are ideal for companies that get a large influx of inbound calls, and it’s even more critical for businesses where emergencies can pop up at any time. Your customers get to experience the same level of customer experience at 3 am as they would expect at 10 am when they’re calling your office. You can even have specific emergency calls transferred to you.

Boost Your Business Reputation

Having a telephone answering service makes your business appear more established, especially in the startup phase. Professional telephone operators will answer customers’ calls, creating the impression that your team is bigger than it is. In addition, your availability and ability to meet a customer’s needs add credibility and build trust in your business. Customers and prospective clients are much more likely to want to do business with a company that has a good reputation, even if relatively new.

Are you ready to change the way that you do business?

Take your business to the next level by hiring a live answering service to help field inbound calls and make your workload more manageable. You don’t have to break the bank to hire a reputable live answering service. Here at AnswerFirst, we have several affordable packages to accommodate your business’s needs.

Providing the best customer service is a priority for our remote teams. If you haven’t already, it’s time to say goodbye to old voicemail machines and let us streamline your business’s workflows. Give us a call today at 800-645-2616