Selecting the right business answering service for your company can seem like a daunting process. With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to find the right one. In our blog we discuss the most pertinent factors to consider when selecting an answering service for your business.
Outsourcing providers with years of experience are likely to have more resources and market knowledge to meet your business’ demands. It is crucial to consider the company’s outsourcing experience, portfolio of clients and suite of products and services before deciding on a provider. Find an outsourcing partner who creates business solutions for all industry types. These providers have more versatility, breadth of knowledge and flexibility compared to firms who specialise in a single industry.
An outsourcing provider with a wealth of knowledge and experience can form a key component to your business continuity plan. A live answering service ensures that disruptions can be mitigated or handled more efficiently. For example, companies can divert their phones to the service when experiencing an outage, or call volume surge. It also ensures that clients can contact your business when your in-house receptionists are on leave. Even if your service isn’t always utilised, having this process in place can form an important part of your business continuity planning.
With 24/7 coverage – you will never miss a call. This means that your customer support process can extend far beyond the traditional 9am – 5pm trading hours. A 24-hour service demonstrates a high commitment to your customers and can create a strong brand image.
An answering service should be available 24/7 to offer customer support to all clients, including those who call after business hours. The objective of investing in a 24/7 live answering service is to ensure that your customers always have a point of contact to your business, whether that be during weekends, holidays, or at night. Instead of diverting missed calls to an automated message bank, a live answering service ensures that real humans answer the call. It has been shown that most humans hang up if the call diverts to an answering machine, so partnering with a live answering service means that you never missed a call or business opportunity again. It also means that your customers can contact the business and speak to someone at any time of the day. We encourage you to find an answering service that is available 24/7, extending far beyond the traditional 9-5pm trading hours. This service can help businesses of any size manage their calls more efficiently.
Live answering services are offered on an international scale. If you operate an Australian-based business, then finding an outsourcing provider with local consultants is a good starting point. Delegating this service to an Australian provider ensures your customers are clearly understood and calls are efficiently handled.
The distance between one country to another may impede effective communication, especially where both countries speak different languages. It can be hard to discuss company processes, manage employees or suppliers and establish coherent workflows when both parties communicate in a different language. That is not to say that offshoring cannot work in these circumstances – as translators are generally available on call and can be used to facilitate contact. But using a translator can become a hindrance to smooth communication and is not always inconvenient for both parties. Instead, research has found that outsourcing to countries who speak the same language is more ideal in business practice. This is one of the reasons why offshoring has been so successful in countries such as India and the Philippines – because the population has high English proficiency.
Scope of Works Provided
Entrusting your brand to an outsourcing provider is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Look for partners who can customise their service to meet your individual business needs. It’s important to find a provider who produces a call activity report for you. The reporting allows you to monitor who’s been in touch and when. You may also have access to your own Client Portal – providing you with access to your call history and Business Intelligence (BI) reports to analyse the types, origin and time of your calls.
Find an outsourcing partner who answers your calls using a customised script tailored to your business. When the agent answers your calls, a clear and actionable message should be sent to your team. These messages are delivered via any array of channels such as SMS, e-mail, telephone call or via your own client portal. The agents can relay basic information from the call to you, triage and escalate urgent messages or transfer the call to the appropriate person or department. You may also opt to create a Help Desk and an FAQ list for simple enquires where the agent can resolve a matter and relay information to you at the time of call.
The voice of your brand is very important. We recommend asking your outsourcing partner how and where they recruit, what their staff retention rate is and if they conduct monitored test calls. Did you know the more prominent providers implement psychometric assessments?
By selecting an outsourcing provider with these points in mind, your company’s incoming calls, queries, questions or concerns will be answered by highly trained and professional agents who understand your customers and your brand.