How many times have you sat on the phone with a long-winded operating system or customer service that frustrated you, wasted your time, or gave you a bad impression of the company you were calling about? Most likely enough to avoid calling again unless you absolutely had to.
The Wrong Answering Service Could Be The Enemy Of Your Business
Believe it or not…this is a big reason why so many businesses don’t reach their full potential with sales today…a lack of a personalized answering service.
According to Forbes, customers form an impression of a business within the first 7 seconds of contact. American Express Survey found that 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration because they couldn’t speak to a real person, and 72% of callers who reach an automated answer will hang up (and potentially call your competitor) without leaving a message.
The Pros and Cons Of An Automated Answering Service
An automated answering service could work well for a business that receives a large number of calls regularly requesting basic information such as operating hours or location. The callers may receive a pre-recorded list of options to choose from, or have the ability to leave a voicemail for more assistance.
However, the influx of voicemails may cause the business overwhelm. This leads to them not thoroughly getting through them all, and missing a potential opportunity for a big sale. A lack of immediate personalized attention to the customer could also send a poor image of customer service on the company’s part, and prevent positive word-of-mouth advertising and future sales.
The Pros and Cons Of A Virtual Receptionist Answering Service
A virtual receptionist answering service would be ideal for busy business-professionals who need someone to spend a little extra time vetting their callers to determine whether to pass the call, pass on a message, or pass to voicemail.
Virtual receptionists do so much more than answer and transfer calls. They are real-life professional people who are trained on the ins and outs of customer service, and spend the extra time getting to know your business and how it functions to best cater to your clients and handle questions and concerns.
This is why our Office Edge team chooses a small team of dedicated receptionists to familiarize themselves with your business specifically. Your callers will never get the impression they’re speaking with someone who isn’t a full-time member of your team, and they will never be directed to voicemail without a reasonable explanation.
However, the potential downside to a quality virtual receptionist is that it may be more expensive than an automated service. The best way to save money on these services is to find a company that allows you to make a customized-phone-plan to only pay for what you need.
Choose What Is Right For You
Whenever you decide between an automated answering service and a virtual receptionist, always ask yourself…”How would I feel as a customer on the receiving end?”
The initial experience of your customers is the initial impression they will have of your business. And a positive 7 second experience will last them and your sales a lifetime. Each kind of answering service will provide you a varying degree of quality, but it’s important to remember that quality is what sets you and your business apart from its competitors.