This post is intended to give a bit of unsolicited advice for those of you that use the services of an answering service or call center:
When you are not answering your own phone, please keep in mind that your answering service is representing you to the WORLD! Anyone that calls your company is greeted and helped (or not helped) by the company that you have chosen to be your customer service representative at that time. That company is only as good as the information you provide.
The key to success is your communication with your answering service or call center. Communication is very important when setting up your account but can become even more important as time goes on. Perhaps you have made staff or policy changes…Think! Does the answering service need this information? Perhaps you have changed your hours of operation…Think! Will this affect what my answering service does for me?
Our company is in the northeast part of the US and we frequently experience weather events during the winter months that interrupt our customer’s ability to conduct business in their usual way. It may mean a change of hours or a different on-call person. It may mean that their staff arrives late or may mean that they can’t get in at all. It may mean that the person that typically answers their phone has to drive a delivery truck or help in another department.
If there is ANY change in the way you are doing business, it will benefit your company greatly to communicate with your service so that they are able to correctly communicate with anyone that calls your company. If you don’t tell them that you are opening two hours late, how would they know? If you have cancelled all morning appointments and don’t communicate that information, your service may tell people that your office will be open.
You may have rock-solid procedures in place so that your service knows what to do when there is an emergency and that is always a good thing. However, if they don’t have enough information from you so that they can answer the question about when your office will be open…well, that would make your company look pretty unorganized and foolish, wouldn’t it??? When making decisions about how to deal with business interruptions please remember to communicate with your answering service at the same time you are communicating with your own staff.
We are here 24/7/365..no matter what weather event is happening…so that you can put your best foot forward to your own clients. Please help us to help you!