Table of Contents
- What Makes Answering Services for Small Business Unique?
- What Services Do Small Business Answering Service Companies Provide?
- Why You Should Outsource Telephone Answering Services for Small Business?
- Why Choose an Answering Service for Small Business Over a Machine Reply
- How Much Do Answering Services for Small Business Cost?
- How to Choose the Best Virtual Answering Services for Small Business
- 10 Questions to Ask Small Business Answering Service Companies
- Takeaways on Answering Services for Small Business
What Makes Answering Services for Small Business Unique?
Similar to other business answering services on the market, answering services for small business handle inbound and outbound calls to help organizations:
- Improve their customer service
- Increase client satisfaction rates
- Drive more repeated purchases
However, what makes these companies different is their focus and experience in helping small and medium-sized businesses create meaningful, personal connections with their callers aiming to grow their list of clients.
Considering that 89% of the organizations that offer "significantly above average" customer experiences are financially more successful than their competitors, excellent customer service is a brand differentiator that builds trust and increases customer retention.
So, businesses that want to grow should ensure high-quality support. This is where small business answering service companies step in. They can help you provide great customer service and generate repeat purchases.
What Services Do Small Business Answering Service Companies Provide?
These specialized agencies typically provide the following services:
- Screening calls
- Recording calls
- Delivering messages
- Taking orders
- Scheduling appointments
- Managing emergency calls
- Processing outbound marketing campaigns
- Providing customer service and technical support
- Communicating with clients via text and email
- Conducting customer surveys
Making the best first impression for small business owners can make all the difference.
This is where industry-trained call answering agents can come in handy, providing each caller with professional assistance while presenting your brand in the best light possible.
Why You Should Outsource Telephone Answering Services for Small Business?
These are the key reasons to invest in an answering service for small businesses:
Reason #1: Cost Reduction
As your business grows, your expenses will increase. You'll need to hire more people to perform various operations, including a receptionist, to handle your client communication.
However, considering that an in-house receptionist is worth, on average, $3,313 per month in the U.S., outsourcing answering services can help you cut front desk-related costs.
If we calculate the cost of payroll taxes, sick days, holidays, and office equipment, then it will go up.
These solutions will cost you between $30 and a few hundred dollars per month, allowing you to direct these savings toward other more critical areas of your business.
A telephone answering service for small businesses will give you all the benefits a traditional receptionist would at a fraction of the cost.
Reason #2: Improved Business Efficiency
With several employees wearing many hats, it can be challenging for small organizations to manage client communication.
Responding to each call and email professionally can be time-consuming, especially if you receive a higher volume of calls.
Outsourcing virtual answering services for small businesses can take this task off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on more value-added responsibilities and more significant sales drivers.
This will reduce your workload and ultimately increase your business efficiency.
Reason #3: High-Quality Customer Service
Unlike in-house receptionists who can assist your clients during working hours, small business answering service providers work 24/7 for 365 days, covering weekends and holidays.
They can increase your company's responsiveness, which is the key to maintaining a professional image and reinforcing strong customer relationships.
So you won't have to worry about missed calls or sales opportunities.
Additionally, these experts can ensure each caller receives high-quality support and personalized attention, which contributes to enhanced customer service and increased satisfaction.
Why Choose an Answering Service for Small Business Over a Machine Reply
Sales calls are the lifeblood of every small business. When not appropriately answered, they can lead to missed opportunities.
Despite technological improvements and artificial intelligence, machines cannot replace the quality of service a live answering receptionist would provide.
And organizations need to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences to achieve their goals and drive business growth.
Though machines may be less expensive, customers prefer to talk with human beings.
Data supports this fact, and according to NICE inContact, agent-assisted methods of communication bring a higher level of satisfaction among customers.
The logic behind this may come down to the higher level of personalization that live agents can bring. It also allows callers to explain complex problems and lets agents better recognize the callers' emotions.
How Much Do Answering Services for Small Business Cost?
There are a few factors that can influence the cost of answering services for small businesses:
- The agency's reputation and size
- The time coverage
- The number of services the business needs
Typically, these companies design their subscription plans based on per-minute, per-call, and per-month pricing.
Small and medium-sized businesses can come across prices starting at $30 and going up to a few hundred dollars per month.
Most of these agencies offer custom pricing, so these services may be cost-effective, considering that organizations can pay based on the number of calls they receive.
How to Choose the Best Virtual Answering Services for Small Business
To choose the best small business answering service company, consider the following aspects:
1. Industry Experience
Find out if the prospective companies have agents trained to serve your specific industry. This is important because experienced representatives will know your customer groups better. They will better understand your client's needs and provide relevant answers to their questions while representing your brand in the best light possible.
On the other hand, agents that have no previous experience in your sector will take longer to learn the ins and outs of your market and the FAQ your clients may have.
2. Call Recording
Learn if the top providers of telephone answering services for small businesses on our list offer call recording. This is a vital process that will ensure important client info is collected.
However, call recording is also beneficial in ensuring that your agents are meeting your quality standards and protecting your business just in case any legal issues come along the way.
3. Service Quality
Discover how each prospective company can ensure the quality of its services. Customer support can make or break your business, which is crucial to ensure your partner delivers exceptional service.
Most reputable companies will have internal call evaluation programs and follow specific processes focusing on courtesy, response time, and accuracy.
4. Bilingual Receptionists
Learn which small business answering service companies have access to bilingual resources.
Spanish is the most common foreign language in the U.S., and some Hispanics are not fluent in English. This highlights that you must have Spanish-speaking agents handling your calls to ensure effective communication.
5. Analytical Reports
Make sure you only consider answering services for small businesses that can offer monthly reporting.
Analytical reports matter in collecting critical data about your customers, like their names, emails, and phone numbers, that you can use for sales purposes. They are also helpful in understanding how well your agents are performing as they can give you valuable info on their average response time, number of solved issues, and more.
10 Questions to Ask Small Business Answering Service Companies
- Which industries are your agents trained to serve?
- What tools and technologies do you use to handle customer communication?
- Where are your agents located, and what is their level of experience?
- Do you have bilingual resources?
- What is the time coverage you can offer?
- What is your emergency backup plan?
- Will I receive performance reports? Which metrics will you track?
- Do you provide other call center related services to support my business?
- How closely will you collaborate with my team?
- How much will you charge me?
Takeaways on Answering Services for Small Business
Answering services for small businesses can help startups and medium-sized companies improve their client satisfaction and drive more repeat purchases.
Their solutions may cost you between $30 and a few hundred dollars monthly.
The benefits of investing in these specialized services are:
- Cost reduction
- Improved efficiency
- High-quality customer service
To choose the best agency for your organization, consider these factors:
- Industry experience
- Call recording
- Service quality
- Bilingual receptionists
- Analytical reports
Good luck with your research!