What is an after-hours call answering service?
Instead of diverting after-hours calls to an automated message bank, an answering service ensures that all calls are answered by a real human, no matter the time of day or night.
Let’s face it…when your business closes for the day, customers don’t stop calling. In fact, most people work during the standard 9 – 5pm trading hours, so it’s more convenient for them to call after-hours. Whether that be at 8pm on a Monday night or 7am on a Sunday morning, it’s important to be available to your clients regardless of the time.
But it’s not always feasible, nor fair to expect yourself or your employees to constantly man the phone, especially on their days off. This is where a 24/7 after-hours call answering service comes in handy. It’s an affordable solution that enables businesses to be available virtually 24/7.
Understanding the types of after-hours answering services
Automated Answering Machine
Businesses may use an automated answering machine or voicemail when their business closes for the day. The problem with a voicemail is that 70% of callers don’t bother to leave a message and will simply hang up. If your business receives enquiries via phone call, then this can lead to lost opportunities and potential business leads. Prospective clients may even enquire with your competitors!
Partnering with an after-hours answering service means that all calls are answered by a virtual receptionist. Virtual receptionists are a group of trained customer service specialists who answer telephone calls on behalf of other businesses. The receptionists follow a customised script to ensure they stay on brand and on message. A detailed message of the call is taken and then relayed straight back to the company.
Overflow Call Answering
The virtual receptionists can be used during overflow periods (when all lines are busy). For example, multiple callers may phone your office at the same time. In this instance, the unanswered phone calls will overflow to the virtual receptionist. The receptionist will take a message and advise the client that a team member will call them back. Whether it’s seasonal, or an unexpected call volume increase, an overflow call handling service ensures that no calls go unanswered.
Who can benefit from an after-hours call service?
The reality is that most, if not all customer service industries can benefit from an after-hours call answering service. Missed calls during the night and on weekends can lead to missed leads and dissatisfied clients. Here we unpack some of the most common industries who utilise an after-hours answering service.
Medical emergencies can happen any time of the day or night. When a patient calls, it is important for them to speak to a live and sympathetic receptionist. Depending on the nature of the enquiry and the level of urgency, the agent can take a message or contact the on-call nurse/ doctor.
Answering services provide high quality client support, while simultaneously reducing the overhead costs of employing full-time staff. TMC customises after-hours call answering, appointment scheduling and dispatching services for medical clinics, doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers.
Clients generally only contact HVAC companies when they require a service. This means that each phone call is likely to equate to revenue. But it’s not always possible to answer every call, especially during the night-time, on weekends, at social gatherings or while you’re out on the job. An after-hours answering service ensures that all incoming calls are answered. This can position your business as a responsive service provider, while also alleviating the stress of answering every call.
Whether it’s a broken down air conditioning system or a faulty heater, being there for your clients 24/7 can differentiate you from your competitors. Don’t let another call go to voicemail because most customers will simply hang up.
Plumbers, locksmiths, roofers, electricians, and other trade professionals need a reliable answering service. It helps reduce labour costs (by avoiding the need for a full-time receptionist) and increase sales (as no calls go unanswered).
TMC has been working with trade professionals across Australia, helping them answer their inbound calls, escalate urgent callouts and fill their calendars with new business opportunities.
Potential buyers or renters can call the office at any time of the day. If the calls go unanswered, you might be losing potential opportunities to close a deal.
An after-hours answering service can assist real estate agents by ensuring that all calls are answered, appointments are scheduled based on your availability, prospective buyer information is captured and urgent calls are transferred directly to you.
Sole-traders and small businesses often partner with an after-hours answering service to accelerate their growth. It can be difficult managing the competing tasks that come with running a business. Being available to your clients 24/7 instils a sense of comfort as your customers know that you’ll always there for them. An after-hours answering service can also make your business sound larger and more professional.
What’s the main takeaway?
Operating without an after-hours answering service is tough. It’s difficult to grow your customer base when calls go unanswered. Partnering with a live phone answering service ensures that no call goes unanswered.
More answered calls =
- More leads
- More business opportunities
- More revenue
- Satisfied customers
- Less voicemails to catch-up on
Stop stressing about constantly manning your phone and start working with a professional after-hours answering service. This will take your business to new heights, allowing you to operate virtually 24/7.
TMC is available 24/7 to take your calls, schedule appointments, dispatch urgent calls and more. We have a proven record of working with all types of businesses, from large organisations to sole traders. TMC has the best people and technology to ensure optimal delivery and performance at affordable prices. If you would like to discuss your options, please get in touch with our team on 1300 609 677, or alternatively fill our website form.