Why Should I Use an Answering Service?

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How many times have you called a business, only for the phone to go to voicemail? Depending on the day you’re having and the type of call you’re making, this could result in you feeling inconvenienced, frustrated, or downright upset. Customers have high expectations for accessibility, and failing to be available 24/7/365 can lead to customer dissatisfaction and missed opportunities. The fact is, no business wants to evoke these kinds of emotions in a customer or prospect. Unfortunately, potential customers are more likely to go elsewhere if they can’t reach anyone on your team or if your business isn’t open for business.

When it comes to customer communications, one of the best ways to avoid the outcome of customer frustration is by using an answering service that can handle your customer calls—no matter the time of day— in a professional, caring manner.

However, managing calls 24/7 can be a strain on a small staff without a dedicated in-house receptionist, which can result in burnout and decreased productivity. Thankfully, highly-trained answering service operators, like those at Answering Service Care, answer your calls promptly without the worry of missing important customer support. Your employees can focus on their primary duties while knowing that important calls and client inquiries are being handled immediately and professionally.

But why else should your business hire an answering service to manage your calls? In this blog, we’re exploring just some of the benefits that an answering service offers to businesses and their customers.

What Is the Role of an Answering Service?

Simply put, the role of a third-party answering service is to take and manage calls for a business. An answering service gives customers access to your business 24/7/365 and acts as an important communication channel for your entire customer base. Agents promptly respond to calls, messages, and inquiries, resulting in improved customer service and operational efficiency. Also, by guaranteeing that all calls are handled by industry-trained, bilingual operators, answering services are essential to upholding a professional image.

An answering service gives customers access to your business 24/7/365 and acts as an important communication channel for your entire customer base

In general, answering services, which employ specialized agents, handle tasks like:

  • Taking messages
  • Routing calls
  • Troubleshooting customer issues
  • Making appointments

Of course, the best answering service for a small business—or a business of any size, really—offers additional features on top of live calling, including live chat and live SMS answering to meet modern business communication needs. Organizations like Answering Service Care even offer automated solutions, like Follow Me for intelligent call routing, spam blocking, call recording, and more.

What Are the Benefits of Answering Services?

An answering service for your business—whether it’s small, mid-sized, or enterprise—offers a host of benefits including reliability, availability, productivity, time savings, brand reputation, and cost savings. Let’s explore each of these advantages in more detail.

Increase Reliability

How important is answering a call that comes into your business? In a word: critical. Destination CRM reports that about 80% of callers who get sent to voicemail hang up without leaving a message. Now, consider the fact that small businesses miss roughly 62% of inbound phone calls. Missed calls, especially when customers are unlikely to leave a voicemail, lead to a poor customer experience and dissatisfied customers. Not only that, but this sense of unreliability may just lead to a decrease in revenue from lost deals or churned customers. 

When you partner with an answering service, you’ll have access to trained call agents who ensure that calls don’t go missed, deals move further down the pipeline, and customers receive excellent care.

Enable 24/7 Availability

Customers don’t operate on a standard 9-5 schedule. Not only do you have to consider customers living in other time zones, but the fact is that problems and questions can arise at any point in the day or night. Yet, offering 24/7 support on your own likely means hiring two or more full-time staff to manage the phone lines or eliminating work-life balance from the equation all together.

That’s where a phone answering service shines. The best virtual answering service, like Answering Service Care, offers 24/7 live support to better serve you and your customers.

Boost Employee Productivity

Every time we’re disrupted in the work day, it takes roughly 23 minutes to get back on task, according to a study by the University of California Irvine. While that might not seem like much initially, consider how often you and your employees are interrupted by a phone call. Even one call an hour could yield about three hours of lost productivity over the course of a single workday.

But, of course, your customers and prospects are important, and you don’t want to miss out on those calls. That’s exactly why an answering service can be so instrumental to your operations. You and your team can focus on your work while call agents manage and prioritize your call stream. With a service like Answering Service Care, agents can even manage your appointment scheduling to further streamline the workday. 

Enhance Brand Reputation

There’s no way around it: missing out on phone calls or other customer inquiries can damage a brand’s image. If customers can’t get a hold of you when it’s most convenient for them, they may sour on your business and turn to your competitors for help.

With a partnership with Answering Service Care, this simply isn’t an issue. Your calls will be received in a timely, professional manner, which strengthens your customers’ experiences—and their feelings about your business as a whole.

Reduce Expenses

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost to train and recruit a new hire is about $4,700. That’s not even considering the impact on productivity that comes with bringing a new team member on board. A lot of effort goes into screening applications, conducting interviews, and onboarding new employees.

The best answering service enables you to reduce recruiting and training costs. Whether you’re looking for a healthcare answering service, a legal answering service, or any other industry, the highly-trained agents at Answering Service Care can hit the ground running to provide knowledgeable service for your customers.

The benefits of an answering service are increased reliability, 24/7 availability, higher employee productivity, enhanced brand reputation, and reduced expenses.

How Important Is an Answering Machine to a Company?

Realistically, an answering machine can be important for businesses that don’t have 24/7 availability and need a way to get in contact with customers after hours. However, there are several disadvantages of answering machines that might impact your business negatively. In fact, according to The Conversation, 90% of customers want to speak with a live person, not leave a message or navigate through a complicated automated system. Unfortunately, that means 90% of your customers would get frustrated, and you could possibly lose their business. To give your customers the best experience, an answering service is a much better option than an answering machine.

Why hire an answering service over using an answering machine? Compared to an answering service, an answering machine has many disadvantages for your business and customer service, including:

  1. Limited Functionality: Answering services are capable of handling a greater range of duties, including appointment scheduling and addressing customer questions or concerns, whereas answering machines are limited to recording messages.
  2. Lack of Live Interaction: Answering machines are unable to handle complicated and urgent issues in the most important moments, which might cause responses to be delayed and frustrate customers.
  3. Inflexibility: Answering machines are static and cannot adapt to different call scenarios or prioritize calls effectively, whereas answering services are able to adapt to industry-specific and complex customer needs.
  4. Limited Availability: Answering machines offer limited availability—operational after-hours, but offer no solution—whereas answering services provide 24/7 accessibility.
  5. Unprofessional Image: If all you have is an answering machine, your business could be seen as unreliable and unresponsive, possibly leading customers to think your business is less professional than competitors.
  6. Lost Opportunities: An answering machine won’t capture leads or respond to inquiries in real-time—like an answering service—potentially resulting in missed opportunities.
  7. Maintenance and Reliability: Answering machines can experience technical issues and require maintenance, making them less reliable compared to answering services.

There are several disadvantages to using an answering machine, like limited availability and functionality.

Although answering machines serve a purpose, they may fall short of a company’s requirements in certain instances when compared to professional answering services. Since it allows for greater adaptability, professionalism, and response time, an answering service is advantageous for a lot of businesses.

Answering Service Care: We Get it!

Every call you miss could be funneling your revenue to your competition. With the support of Answering Service Care and our US-based agents, your customers and prospects can reach you any time, day or night—even on holidays! With expertise in industries like medical, home services, legal, and real estate, our highly-skilled call agents provide the attention and experience your customers deserve.

When you’re seeking the best answering service to support your operations, look no further than Answering Service Care. Get started today with our quick and easy self sign-up!

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