Years ago you had to choose between the expense of hiring an answering service and the possibility of losing customers as they reached a cold mechanical answering machine, which gave you a choice between leaving a recorded message or hanging up. Many people choose the latter and that can mean lost business for you. Often a caller just wants the answer to a simple question such as, where you are located or what your hours are. Other times they have an urgent problem and need your assistance right away.
In either of these cases a caller reaching an answering machine is likely to just hang up and take their business elsewhere. If your business is just starting out, you can’t justify the cost of an answering service or you aren’t willing to put the success of your business into the hands of someone else, you might consider an automated answering service.
An automated answering service can perform many of the functions of a live answering service and is almost as easy to operate as an answering machine. The automated answering service answers calls with a friendly human voice, either yours or a pre-recorded message if you choose. The caller is then given options where they can receive answers to commonly asked questions, consider this the “FAQ page of your voicemail”, they can record a voice message or choose to have you paged with their phone number (people with a fear of answering machines will appreciate this option), they also have the choice of being connected directly to you if their situation is urgent. Even if a caller’s situation is not urgent and they never use that feature; they will take comfort in knowing they could, if needed, reach you right away.
An automated answering service can save you time by pre-screening all your calls and allowing you to receive the messages when it is convenient for you. This allows you to focus your attention on the more urgent aspects of your business and get things done in a timely and efficient manner. Less interruptions means higher productivity and your customers will appreciate that.
They will also appreciate not having their in-person conversations with you constantly interrupted by a ringing telephone. In this way the automated answering service allows you to provide better customer service both to incoming callers and to in-person customers which will create customer loyalty and greater revenues for your business.
An automated answering service is a great way to save money since you don’t have to hire a receptionist or pay for an expensive live answering service. You will be able to provide your customers with increased customer service without adding large unnecessary expenses.
An automated answering service will also give you greater peace of mind, knowing that your callers’ needs are being met and you are much less likely to receive any hang-ups. In today’s competitive business market your business can use any advantage it can get and using an automated answering service is one way to get that edge, without breaking the bank.
When searching for a good answering service, also consider a virtual receptionist. This is very similar however usually offers a wider array of services. An example of a virtual receptionist service is Answerfirst.