Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What made them make a beeline to call your business in the first place? The answer is they want your assistance. Now. Probably even yesterday, but you have no control over that. They could have called you later in the week or sent you an email, but your customer’s wants and needs are so often up-to-the-minute. A quality answering service would never make your potential clients wait. Nor would it force them to run the gauntlet of numerous prompts — to finally get to speak with a real, warm and breathing human being!
Hang on or Hang up?
Or very likely, “End Call.”
Left waiting for what can seem like an eternity, many a customer has formed thoughts of slowly gnawing off their right arm… and isn’t it easy to put ourselves in this tedious — possibly painful — position! Studies show that when a customer is fed up waiting for a live listener, over half the time they will hang up that phone. Imagine potentially losing over half your business because you aren’t being represented by friendly and professional agents, at the ready, to serve your client base.
Fielding All Questions
A quality answering service — a collection of top-notch call center agents — is like a champion baseball team.
Whether you get thrown a routine question or a hard one — you’d better be able to field it confidently and with precision.
Your customers do not want to hear a bunch of rookie replies to their queries; they need the benefit of experience and authoritative answers. Otherwise, how are they going to trust you to cover all the bases for them? If you don’t readily know the answer, there is no problem bringing in the third base coach to confer with before calling your customer right back. Every time a customer calls in with a question or concern about your product or service, you’re really going to bat for them, aren’t you?
You wouldn’t respond to an anxious customer with something like, “I don’t really know,” or,” you are mistaken,” or, “ can’t help you there, buddy.” Because there goes the old ball game when that potential customer makes for the exit with a final, booming, “‘Trow da bums out!” Following this, there will be a switch of allegiance to another answering service team.
Put on a Happy Face
Have you ever call in to a company only to receive an ‘attitude’ at the other end of the line? You detect a certain petulance and attitude of non-gratitude that’s not fair to you in the least!
The truth is, the receptionist you’re speaking to may have a logical reason for his or her dourness. The person on the line could simply be a victim of third-party call center syndrome. There is rapid turnover of these employees because tight purse strings are drawn in to keep the service solvent. It’s hard to find skilled operators who can deal with the calls from so many various clients and then pay these skilled employees what they are worth.
So many times these third-party answering services deliberately do not pay out decently, or they demand unfathomable call quotas to fulfill their growth projections. Still, the way your answering service responds to your customers’ calls reflects deeply on your company’s reputation. It can benefit your bottom line or not — you don’t want to get into a game of losers weepers, clients keepers. The point of all this is: pay for a quality answering service. Be humane — you’ve got customers to gain!
A Lot to Answer for…
Answering services for a long time have lacked the human factor, forcing people to interact with telecommunication systems themselves — more electronic than heartfelt.
Voicemail and virtual phones took over the market, which allowed businesses to cut staff, along with their salaries. Subsequently, customers became frustrated at not being able to make a real, live, human connection when on the telephone. Finally, With the pervasiveness of VOIP, plus the fact that many new companies are setting up in the cloud, handling your incoming calls is going to become much easier. Voicemail systems, hated by customers, are on the way out. You have good management and hiring skills and also see to it that your employees work in an emotionally supportive and progressive atmosphere. All these factors, plus your own good judgment, are going to see more customers gained and retained for your business.
With a quality answering service in place, they’ll keep calling back — when you turn your attention to client retention!