Many businesses consider outsourcing their answering services process when they are in growth mode or would like to be. If you are considering outsourcing your business’s call answering services, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of doing so.
First of all, what is an answering service?
An answering service is designed to handle your business calls allowing you to focus your time on the demands of your business. Your business calls are routed to the answering service where a highly trained agent takes the call and provides your callers with exceptional customer service. Additionally, answering services are equipped to classify your calls and provide several other beneficial services. The goal of an answering service is to become an extension of your business while freeing up your team’s time so they can focus on more important tasks.
How are Answering Services Priced?
To the surprise of many, hiring an answering service is much less expensive on average than hiring an employee. Many factors go into determining the price of an answering service including the size of the business, the number of calls the business receives, and the average length of time per call. However, you will likely spend much less on an answering service that provides 24/7 service than you will hiring a 9-5 receptionist. Some answering services charge by the minute, some by call, and some offer monthly plans.
Ways Answering Services Become an Extension of your Business
From learning about your business to providing excellent customer service, answering services are designed to help your business at a fraction of the cost of hiring new staff. Anyone answering your phone needs to not only offer friendly customer service, but they should also be able to answer a variety of commonly asked questions and do so efficiently. Answering services have experience working with specific industries and are employed by a variety of industries including legal offices, medical practices, non-profits, hospitality, retail, professional services, and many more.
Pros of Outsourcing Answering Services
- Outsourcing answering services is less expensive than hiring staff.
Business owners spend tens of thousands of dollars every year hiring and training receptionists, providing workspace and equipment, and paying for their benefits. Outsourcing allows you to save on those costs and benefit from professional operators who are trained specifically to represent your brand as you would do.
- There is no downtime with answering services.
Your customers’ phone calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year or just when you need support – you choose what works for you. You don’t need to worry about operators taking vacations or time off for any reason because your calls are always covered.
- Outsourcing answering services allows your staff to focus on your core business.
When your staff only handles the calls that are relevant to them, they can effectively focus on other important aspects of your business. At the same time, you know that your customers’ calls are being handled professionally, consistent with your brand, and to your customers’ satisfaction.
- Answering services help you scale your business.
An answering service can help you keep up with demand and provide the care your customers deserve no matter how quickly your business grows.
- Organize employee reporting and absence management services.
From keeping track of planned and unplanned employee absences to making arrangements for temporary replacements, answering services can also help your business organize absences.
Cons of Outsourcing Answering Services
- Management has less direct oversight of the answering service functions.
Although this is a positive in many respects, it can be negative if you don’t take an active role in defining your expectations of the answering service at the onset. You will also need to stay in touch with them regularly and request the call metrics and recordings that are meaningful to you.
- There could be negative effects on staff morale.
Sometimes, company employees take the idea of any aspect of business being outsourced the wrong way. Communicate clearly to them that the move to outsource telephone answering services will help them grow their expertise and value to the company.
- Communication challenges may arise.
When you work with any vendor, you add a layer of communication necessary to facilitate and make the most of the relationship. Make certain that you set up staff protocol for communication with your answering service early in the process and make adjustments as necessary.
Is outsourcing your telephone answering services right for your business?
Knowing when to outsource your calls to a call center is simple. Is the productivity of your business in any way diminished by an influx of calls or emails? Could your company answer more calls? Are they often forced to put aside other tasks because of incoming calls? Do you presently have calls, emails, or voicemails that have not been returned? If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it is time to find out about what Pittsburgh Telephone Answering Service can do for you and your company to help you focus on your goals and grow your brand. Contact us today!