Running a small business is stressful. There are several aspects to manage when you're in charge of a growing company, and amidst all of your responsibilities – scheduling and paying your employees, monitoring accounts, and focusing on your marketing strategy – you might find that you don't have a lot of time to answer phone calls.
The cornerstone of any small business is its customer service. Customers are more likely to return if they like your product and like how you treat them. You already have a great product and a solid marketing strategy, but if you can't answer the phone (so you can answer your customers' questions), your customer service might be lacking.
Other signs that it's time to consider hiring an answering service include:
- You and your employees feel overwhelmed by the number of calls
- You receive calls after your normal business hours
- Your in-person customer service is lacking because of time spent on phone calls
- You want your employees to have the bandwidth to focus on other aspects of your business
Another reason why you may want to consider a professional answering service is that it offers a more budget-friendly approach to providing customer support without the costs, time, training and other issues involved with hiring your own staff and paying extra for graveyard or swing shifts.
Depending on the service you choose, answering services can generally help with the following:
- Answer frequently asked questions
- Schedule appointments
- Take and process orders
- Transcribe messages
- Dispatch vital calls to you or other appropriate employees
Additionally, live answering services can be available after your usual business hours. Some services are even available 24/7. Using a 24/7 service can help you address customers' questions and concerns, plus it gives customers assurance, regardless of when they're calling, that they are important and their questions and feedback matters.
If you find that you need help answering phone calls and responding to customer questions, but you don't want the expense and hassle of hiring extra staff, consider a phone answering service. You can read our answering service review for suggestions on the best service for your company.