When you pick up the phone and call a company, what do you expect to hear? Unfortunately, many of us either have to sit through endless menus or listen to hold music, which can be frustrating and instantly leave a bad impression of that company. In an ideal world, we’d all get through quickly to a human and either have the enquiry dealt with, or be reassured that the issue is being looked at. That’s why so many businesses are now using telephone answering services to provide a better level of service to their customers. It means that people are put straight through to a professional who can take their details, and you can then get back to them in your own time. This can help keep customers happy, and means you can build an excellent reputation for customer service.
The time that customers have to wait on the phone will often influence how they view your company, and long wait times could see your reputation suffering.
Things that can lead to long waiting times include:
- Lack of staff – for example because of sickness
- Unexpected surges in call volume
- Staff dealing with complex issues
- Overcomplicated menus that can send customers to the wrong department
It’s much better if someone can pick up the phone within a few rings, and either answer basic queries or pass them to the right person. This is why so many businesses use a phone answering service either during peak times or as a backup for overflow calls. It’s easy to set up, and it means you can meet strict targets for answering calls.
It’s important to treat customers how you’d want to be treated, and nobody likes not being able to talk to a person. While you could set up menu options, or send callers to voicemail, it’s really not the same, and many people simply don’t trust automated services such as these. If you want to achieve high customer satisfaction, then ensuring those who call can talk to a person is key to this success.
You’ll often find that customers who have been through the wringer, maybe having to choose menu options or being stuck on hold, will often be more difficult to deal with. After all, they will be frustrated that they’ve had to waste their time, and may not understand how to use the phone menus. It’s much better to have someone take the details, and to pass them on, assuring the customer that they’ll get a prompt callback.
It can be tempting to route calls to voicemail, especially when you’re busy on other projects, but a missed call can mean lost earnings for your company. It’s much better to have professional, experienced call handlers to take messages and answer basic queries, as this is much more responsible than simply not answering the phone.
Telephone answering services have many advantages over using voicemail because:
- People can leave longer, complex messages, which are then sent on to you
- Customers get to speak to a human and be reassured that they’ll be called back
- Calls are answered promptly, rather than ringing for ages before voicemail kicks in
- You can show that you care about customers and giving excellent service
Therefore, an investment in a messaging service can be a big boost to your company, and you can keep customers happy, knowing they’ll always get through to an operator.
Building a Reputation
When clients are trying to choose between you and a competitor, it’s often the level of service that’ll sway their decision. Companies who have a good reputation for customer service could attract more customers, and with online reviews and forums discussing the service level people have received, it’s very important that they’re left with a good impression.
There are many things that’ll decide whether a customer comes off the phone with a good or bad impression of your company, and being able to speak to someone is very much key when they write a review or decide to recommend you. People will often discuss a bad experience much more than a good one, and so each and every call is important to your reputation.
If a customer calls while irate, then having to wait longer will only make the situation worse. As will endless automated options or having to leave a message, not knowing whether it’ll be received by the right person. By choosing a telephone messaging service, you can be sure that the call is picked up and dealt with in a calm, professional manner, with upset customers reassured that they’ll be contacted at a suitable time.
No matter what your company does, there will be urgent situations coming up. It could be that someone needs a repair, or that they need to place an urgent order and want to discuss things with you. If you let these messages go to voicemail, then by the time you get round to them, you may well have missed out, and this means money going out the door. With a messaging service, you will receive messages via text, e-mail, or in a way that suits you, so you can quickly respond to emergencies and urgent situations from wherever you are in the world.
If you want to offer the highest level of service to your customers, then answering calls quickly and professionally is one of the best things you can do. However, businesses of any size will occasionally struggle to meet their targets, which is where telephone answering services come in. It means that whenever a client calls, day or night, they’ll get through to a person quickly, and that messages will passed on promptly. You can therefore deal with any issues that come up, and resolve things as quickly as possible. Many companies depend heavily on their reputation when it comes to beating the competition, and getting the customer service to have a more human angle could really benefit them.