There are several types of businesses that cannot afford to leave their clients hanging. Medical practices are a good example. If patients cannot reach a medical professional with pressing concerns, the result could be disastrous, so medical practices commonly use round-the-clock answering services to ensure that patients in dire need get through, while those that can wait are scheduled for call-back.
Other services, like web hosting and tech support, for example, are expected to have operators available to offer assistance at any time of day or night, but businesses like home services (for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, just for example) can also benefit from offering customers access to live operators at any hour, as could businesses that deal with event registration.
In fact, there are many businesses that probably should provide this option for their customers. Before you dive in and spend the dough, though, you probably need to understand the benefits and potential returns to be gained. Here are some of the advantages you can expect when you utilize a 24 7 answering service for your business.
In this day and age, consumers want instant gratification, and by and large, they can get it. Anyone can find information online with a few simple taps and swipes, and consumers have come to expect this level of convenience and efficiency when dealing with businesses.
A 24/7 answering service not only ensures that customers can talk to a real live person at any hour in order to voice concerns, get questions answered, solve problems, or set up needed service, but they'll also get through during business hours. If you deal with high call volume during the day, a 24/7 call center can field the calls that don't get through to your own staff.
What you don't want is for customers to encounter an automated system that puts them through a seemingly never-ending loop of options, or an answering machine message. Neither of these options is appealing to callers, and both could end with customers hanging up, never to return to your business.
Convenience is the name of the game, and using a 24/7 answering service ensures that your customers have the freedom to call at a time that is most convenient to them, knowing that they won't have to wait on hold for hours just to speak with someone. This type of customer support is essential for technology businesses that provide services like web hosting or support for hardware and/or software, just for example.
When a customer's computer is on the fritz or a website experiences downtime, immediate assistance may be required, and the longer you leave customers hanging, the more likely they are to become irate. Even an HVAC or plumbing service can benefit from 24/7 customer support. Although most clients won't expect it from such businesses, they will be pleasantly surprised to get through to a real person during off hours.
Every interaction with customers can make a difference in how they see your business, whether you receive ongoing patronage, and whether or not you receive positive reviews and referrals. This means you need to consider how best to build rapport with customers (and prospective customers) in order to create lasting relationships.
Perception is important, and you want every customer to have positive interactions with your brand. Suppose a customer calls and encounters an automated system, voicemail, or worse, a line that just rings and rings, offering zero satisfaction. How many times will they call back before giving up on your company?
A long-time patron may be willing to give you more leeway, but new customers are more likely to hit the road and head to competitors. If you want to keep customers coming back, making yourself available is a must, and the easiest way to ensure someone always answers the phone and provides friendly and helpful service is to use a round-the-clock call center.
A reputation relies on customer satisfaction. When consumers are willing to publicly provide their seal of approval through trusted referrals and online reviews, for example, your business is going to build a positive reputation. Hiring a 24/7 answering service shows that you care about customer satisfaction and you're willing to go the extra mile to provide great service and add convenience. You might even use a service that has bilingual operators to cater to communities where many residents speak English as a second language.
Polite and knowledgeable customer service representatives at call centers can help to further your agenda by solving customer problems, answering their questions, escalating urgent matters to more experienced, on-call professionals, or scheduling call-backs or service appointments, just for example. Positive interactions make customers feel important and well-cared for by your company, and this can help you to earn a stellar reputation.
Owning and operating a business can be a constant balancing act between income and expense, so you always have to be careful with what you spend in order to ensure significant return. This can make it hard to justify an ongoing expense like hiring a call center, which will not directly earn money.
That said, customer service provides a pathway to satisfied customers and ongoing patronage. Consider for a moment what might happen if a customer or prospective customer called in with questions or concerns and was unable to get a timely response. That person might not only choose competitors, but might also complain about your company online and in person, robbing you of future sales.
With a 24/7 answering service, you can ensure that every call gets through and increase opportunities to make sales, earn ongoing patronage, and even create brand ambassadors that talk you up to family, friends, and other consumers online.
Copying your competitors isn't always wise, but when it comes to hiring a round-the-clock answering service, you can't afford not to. If customers can get through to your competitors at any time, but they're unable to reach you, guess which company they're going to choose? Remaining competitive requires that you consider customer convenience and provide 24/7 call support that lets consumers know you care.