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Despite the many and varied benefits to be had from using good call center services, many businesses still think in terms of how much it will cost, and whether they actually need answering services. A better way of looking at it might be whether they can afford not to have all their call handling done by experts, and what should they do about their phone service to clients when all the staff are off at weekends, or on holiday.
Sadly, a common answer is often to point out their voice mail facility, insisting that clients are covered, regardless of when they might call. However, this ignores the simple fact that clients and potential customers all hate voice mail with few exceptions. In fact, recent findings indicate that as many as 60% of people will hang up when presented with a voice mail option. That’s more than half of all potential out of hours business lost forever.
Voice mail is a potential client turn off …
People simply do not like talking to a machine. It’s unnatural, and even those who do leave a message usually feel uncomfortable and don’t say all they need to say. This wastes time and alienates clients and customers. Their messages can be delivered and dealt with, of course, but it is usually not a pleasant or helpful experience, and they may well choose not to repeat it at a future time.
It is much better all round to have a live receptionist answer every call, regardless of when the call is made. If it is the middle of the working day in a potential client’s time zone, then there should be no reason why the client cannot speak to a real human being who can answer questions, explain things and do all the message taking that is necessary.
This is the level of customer service that people have come to expect in the 21st century. The average person is longer stuck in a 9 to 5 rigid working day, and even if they are, they still expect to be able to make contact with businesses at times that suit them best.
Think global, not local …
The Internet and its truly global functioning power has made us all realize that one person’s bedtime is another person’s getting up time. A good telephone answering service knows this too, and makes it easy even for the smallest of small business owners to adjust accordingly. Today, 24/7 call center services mean just that; they stay open every day of every week, and that of course includes holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Another thought that the unconvinced business owner might come up with is that no one is likely to call on national holidays. That may be true, but then the good news is that he will not be expected to pay anything either. Most call center operations only charge for the calls they handle. There may be a basic service charge, but if no one calls the business, there is usually nothing extra to pay.
However, if a client does call on say, Christmas morning when children everywhere are opening presents, and parents are looking on with that quiet inner happiness that Christmas provides, the client will be dealt with professionally and properly.
Open 24/7 means never losing an order …
The fact that it is Christmas will not in any way deflect from the customer service a client can expect to receive. And when the business owner returns to work after the holiday period, he will have an order that he wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Maintaining a live receptionist within the business premises is still possible if you choose to have your call answering dealt with by a professional call center. There are many way you can structure call handling, and one way might be for the center to handle out of hours and overflow calls, for example, Great customer service often starts with an affordable answering service, for a 24/7 call center service includes every holiday there is.
About Neal Lacy
Neal Lacy has written 82 posts in this blog.
Neal Lacy is an expert in professional call center services. He provides great content on a wide variety of topics concerning answering services, message services, order taking, and virtual receptionist. He is main writer for United Call Center.