How to Hire a Cheap Answering Service in 2019
A reputable answering service can free you up to concentrate on more important business tasks. Check out our guide to hiring a cheap answering service now.
72% of callers will hang up without leaving a voicemail if their call isn’t answered.
If there’s no one to answer your calls, the customer will contact a competitor instead. To avoid this, businesses must invest in a cheap answering service.
Not sure how to find the best answering service for your business? Here’s what you need to know.
What Are the Benefits of an Answering Service?
Answering services provide live or virtual receptionist phone services to businesses 24/7 or at specific times and days. An answering service helps with customer service, lead generation, and appointment scheduling.
When you pick the right provider, it also builds loyalty, boost conversions and increase productivity. Answering services are cost effective as you avoid labor expensive and other costs tied to an in-house team. It also lets you focus on other methods of increasing your revenue and business.
As clients prefer well-established businesses, an answering service adds legitimacy to your brand, making it easier for clients to trust you.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Answering Service
Find an answering service that generates profits, helps your business run smoothly and adds value.
When searching for your dream answering service, consider:
- Price: Answering services price vary depending on the plan. The company’s pricing structure should be easy to interpret and with no surprises. Find out if there are any hidden fees, set-up fees, contract cancellation fees. Answering services can charge in different ways. For example, do they charge by call or by the minute?
Cover all ground and ask what they consider a call, which minutes are billable and their price for overage minutes. The answers will help you plan your budget and decide if the company provides the best service.
- Availability: You may want an answering service around the clock or only during off-hours so decide on availability. The answering service should tell you their backup procedures, redundancy plans, and energy processes to ensure your clients, employees, and prospects get answered. You need to understand the nitty-gritty as their availability is also your availability.
- Auto attendant: Many answering services feature an automated receptionist that greets and routes callers to specific departments. Would this feature benefit your business?
- Customer support: Companies offer a mix of phone, email and chat support which improves customer service.
- Ease of use: Answering services should be easy-to-use and have a simple setup. Find one which you can set up online via a browser, app or by a simple phone call.
- Tailored services: When you understand the exact answering service for your company, you can enjoy customized services such as call overflow, custom scripts, and personalized receptionists.
- Call recording: It makes sense to work with a service that fully documents your calls to ask how easily you can access these recordings when necessary.
Finding the Right Cheap Answering Service for You
To continue your research, find out whether the provider has the right training to offer exceptional service. You should consider:
Be Wary of Same Day Activation
As the answering service is the front door to your business and reputation, it’s essential they’ve had adequate training. Before choosing an answering service, ensure the team has had a few days to a few weeks of relevant training.
The Answering Service Should Have Industry-Related Experience
It’s essential that the online answering service knows how your industry works. If they do, they’ll know the best practices to ensure they provide a high-quality service. This also means you won’t have to guide them with basic instructions when handling your calls. Also, aim to find an answering service that handles clients your size, so it’s not overwhelming for them.
Make Sure They Are Passionate
A service’s marketing brochures and websites can convey excellence but does this prove their expertise? The provider must verify their claims so they can assure you their quality of service benefits your company.
Most respectable firms will have a full-time call evaluator that monitors each call center agent monthly. Coaching shows they strive for excellence and discuss what goes into the evaluation process.
Also, the answering service for business should take part in the ATSI and CAM-X award of excellence programs. These are equivalent to the “secret shopper” programs to tell you whether they’re consistent and professional.
Look for Partnership
As with every business, confidentiality is key. Your callers are placing trust in your business so the answering service should uphold this sacred relationship. Discretion should be paramount throughout every step of sales and many are trained in non-disclosure of confidential information. Having a strong bond between you and the answering service lets you trust their voice to represent your business.
Make a Game Plan
Before choosing a small business answering service, know what functionality you need to develop an effective calling plan. Decide which support you want which could be, for example:
- Order processing
- Appointment setting
- Call filtering
Once you’ve found the ideal company, prioritize the list of services and compare what the companies offer with the services you need. Cross off any vendors that don’t provide the services you need to further whittle down the list.
Visit the Answering Service Headquarters
It’s a good idea to the service’s office and meet the person who will handle your account on a day-to-day business. If a site visit isn’t possible, arrange a virtual tour via FaceTime or from their video camera system.
Also, double-check they have multiple locations and a back-up power solution. If a disaster or power-cut strikes, the provider needs to be available to take your calls.
Are You Ready to Find Your Dream Answering Service?
Finding a cheap answering service will take time as there are various factors to consider like price, training and whether they have power back-up. Before you sign a contract, make sure the provider is trustworthy and promises to deliver exceptional customer service.
If you’re interested in an answering service for your business, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here for more details.