It’s very common for small business owners to think, “Well, I can manage my calls with my cell phone so I don’t need an answering service.” This is true especially for people who run their own business solo, such as contractors, plumbers, or entrepreneurs to name just a few examples.
But relying on one’s cell phone for voice mail, text and email management too often results in, frankly, mismanagement. First of all, let’s use contractors as an example. They are typically in the middle of a hands-on job and aren’t able to easily answer a call. So the call either goes to voicemail, which is often frustrating for the caller, or the contractor has to stop what he or she is doing to take the call and jot down any information.
True story—we’ve heard from very fine contractors who, in their desperation to find something to write on, used a piece of cardboard or wood at the work site to write a caller’s information on. And then, you guessed it, that piece of cardboard was tossed or the piece of wood was used and the client’s information was lost.
Sooner or later, the quality and consistency of call management and customer service is bound to suffer if someone is relying on their cell phone alone. This is where answering services can really save the day for both the business owner and their customers.
Business owners can use an answering service’s voice mail technology to give callers the option of leaving a message or pressing 0 if their call is urgent. The call is then picked up by an operator who then alerts the owner that there’s an urgent matter. The advantage over cell phone voice mail is that customers are greeted by a live, friendly person rather than leaving a voice mail and wondering when, or if, their urgent call will be returned.
Another option is that all calls are answered by live receptionists, who then take a message or direct callers where to leave a voice mail. The voice mail menu can be broken down to various options, such as sales or services, so the business owner can track which calls are coming in for which aspect of the business. For the small business owner who wears all the hats, whether it’s sales, accounting or giving directions, this is not only really helpful in prioritizing responses, but also makes the business appear larger to the caller.
For companies that have more than one staff member, this is also a great option because each call can be directed to the correct person or department. For the company that wants to have all the answering options without spending 20K or more on their own system, this is a fantastic solution.
Added benefits of utilizing an answering service rather than relying on your cell phone are that all information on each call is recorded and stored in a web portal for instant review, unwanted telemarketing calls can be filtered out, and clients can access helpful statistics about how many calls are coming in and for which purpose.
If you’ve been compromising your customer service by relying on your cell phone, learn about how Towne Answering Service can partner with your business to provide personalized, exceptional customer care. Give us a call 800-660-4316 for a free consultation, or visit our website to learn more about our various business solutions and service commitment. Whether you are an existing or a new client, Towne Answering Service is always happy to consult with you to create a call center or answering strategy that meets your specific needs and aspirations.