Some companies believe that simply having an answering service available is enough to give their business a professional, efficient, fast way to respond to customers. But how you handle that answering service can make all the difference in the world to your customers and your business. Steer clear of these 5 mistakes and keep your revenue flowing and your customers satisfied.
1. Slow Access to a Person or Voicemail
The entire reason that someone is calling your business is to communicate. Having to trek through prompt after prompt for minutes on end irritates potential customers and leads them to end the call prematurely. For current customers, their irritation could mean they don’t return to your business and they won’t be telling others anything positive about your establishment.
Have callers go through no more than 2 prompts before being connected to the doctor, property manager, nurse, or other professional that they’re looking for or a voicemail box for the person or department they need.
2. Not Offering Helpful Information
If callers frequently have simple questions to ask, be sure to offer that information automatically when someone calls. When people call with a problem, you look better the faster you help them get it solved. In cases in which you aren’t available, helping them solve the problem as best they can until you return their call can make them feel more secure and trusting of your company.
Examples of helpful information to include on your answering service might be:
- What to do if there’s a leak in a water pipe
- Office hours
- When rent is due and late fees that may be assessed
- What types of insurance your office accepts
- The proper process for breaking a lease agreement
3. Responding Slowly
No matter how wonderful your answering service is, it’s up to you to call people back when needed. When you fail to return a call in a prompt manner, you sabotage the purpose and convenience of having an answering service.
If you’re so swamped by phone calls that you don’t think you’d be able to return someone’s call within less than 48 hours, you have two options to choose from to help you shorten your response time and decrease caller frustration:
- Delegate the responsibility. Tell other members of your team to help respond to calls while you’re at a meeting or conference.
- Note estimate response time. Before the caller is prompted to leave a message, let them know how long it may take to get a response. Be specific by giving an exact number of hours or days
4. Not Having Professional Messages
Answering services voices that are too loud or soft or have a thick accent, could decrease credibility with your consumers. The voice that your callers hear will need to be professional, warm, and clear. Make sure that whatever script you have someone reading has been checked for missing words and spelling errors.
5. Not Updating Phone Numbers and Other Business Information Promptly
Calls routed to disconnected numbers could give people the impression that your business is no longer in operation. Calls routed to disgruntled ex-employees could lead to callers being hung up on or otherwise disrespected.
If business information has not been updated, people could be given inaccurate addresses, business hours, or fee schedules. None of these scenarios bode well for your company’s success and reputation.
Be sure to give someone on your team the task of checking that all answering service information has been updated on a regular basis. If you have relatively low turnover, you may only need to have this person check the information once every six months. If your turnover is higher, it may need to be as frequently as once each month.
Contact us today to get quality answering services for your business, along with the expertise to manage it as effectively as possible.