As a business owner, it's vital to have good customer service. One way to ensure that your clients and customers are satisfied with the level of service they're receiving is by outsourcing your phone answering services.
Businesses must find new ways to efficiently connect with their customers, especially in today's busy and fast-paced market.
Hiring an answering service provider can free up your time from being tied down by incoming calls and focus on other aspects of running your business.
Keep reading to discover how an outsourced phone answering service can elevate your business.
Table of Contents
- What is an Outsourced Phone Answering Service
- What to Look for In an Outsourced Phone Answering Service Provider
- Questions to Ask Your Potential Phone Answering Service Provider
- 6 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Phone Answering Services
- Outsourced Answering Services Provide Accountability
- The Best Phone Answering Service Outsourcing Agencies
- Outsourced Phone Answering Service: Final Thoughts
What is an Outsourced Phone Answering Service
An outsourced telephone answering service is a company that provides virtual receptionists to other companies.
These virtual receptionists take calls, answer questions, transfer calls to the correct departments, and store information for people that call your company.
When you hire a virtual receptionist for your business, you can access 24/7 live answering services.
The customer calls the business number; an operator will handle their call professionally, then direct it to the right person.
A virtual receptionist can answer all kinds of incoming calls, (wWhether sales or non-sales related), and provide information on how to contaccontactingt company executives directly or via email.
They can also answer questions about products and services while taking down detailed customer information that may require follow-up to close sales or provide additional assistance.
What to Look for In an Outsourced Phone Answering Service Provider
When looking to outsource your phone answering services, be sure that the features offered by your service provider are in line with your business needs.
The following are some of the critical features that you should look for:
Live Call Screening
Live call screening enables you to set up pre-recorded messages or greetings if you're away from the office.
When someone calls, they hear an automated message instructing them either to leave a message or press 1 for sales inquiries and 2 for technical support queries.
This feature also helps cut down on unwanted calls as most people don't have time to listen through long pre-recorded messages before deciding whether they need assistance or not.
Call forwarding ensures that all incoming calls go directly into voicemail.
With this feature, you won't miss any important information while away from the office, even if nobody is available when receiving such information (e.g., holidays).
It's handy when employees aren't available during regular working hours due to roadblocks such as illness or bad weather conditions.
Automatic Telephone Reminders
If someone misses several appointments without informing their customers beforehand, this feature will help remind them about upcoming meetings.
Call Recording Capabilities
Call recording capabilities are significant if your business requires keeping records of your calls for legal purposes.
It also comes in handy for any business that wants to track how operators distribute calls to bill clients or coworkers.
You'll want the ability to record all incoming and outgoing calls.
If you already have an audio recording system, make sure the outsourced answering service provider supports it with no hassle on your end.
Studies show that 31% of business owners prioritize responsive customer service when looking for a telephone answering service provider.
A reliable telephone answering service should be available 24/7. It's essential because you never know when your customers will need to contact you.
If they have an emergency and can't reach you, they won't be able to count on your company anymore.
Your customers need to feel comfortable with their interactions with the telephone answering service provider.
Therefore, it's crucial that this provider has an excellent customer support and provides a friendly tone throughout the conversation with the caller.
Automated Answering Systems
This feature may not be applicable for customers who need immediate assistance from your business while calling back during off-hours or weekends.
However, some companies opt for automated voice messages instead of live to reduce costs and increase productivity levels at work. Research shows that 43% of customers prefer answering service providers that offer bots.
Questions to Ask Your Potential Phone Answering Service Provider
- The features and functions included in the service
- Do you have any call tracking tools?
- What analytics software do you use?
- Do you offer a free trial so I can try the service before committing to it?
- How the service works
- Can you transfer the customers to a live person if needed?
- What happens when voicemail picks up?
- Are there specific industries where you specialize?
- The payment model for using their services
- What does the monthly fee cover?
- Can I opt out of some features or add others as needed at an additional cost?
- The setup processes
- Do you require any paperwork from my company’s end?
- How long does it take to get started with your system once signed up?
- Any extra costs like equipment rental fees or activation charges that might apply if applicable?
- The screening processes
- Will you screen calls before routing them to an agent?
- How many options do agents have when screening calls?
- What happens if someone gets through who shouldn’t be getting through?
- Who decides whether or not someone gets through? Is there anyone checking in on this regularly?
- How long does each call take from start to finish?
- Are there different wait times depending on the day, week, or month?
- Does anything else affect wait times aside from staffing levels?
6 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Phone Answering Services
Here's what's in store for your business when outsourcing your phone answering service to professionals.
You'll Save Time & Money
As business owners, time is your most precious commodity. We all know that a minute saved today can save you years in the future. Outsourcing your telephone answering service will save you both money and time.
When hiring an in-house team, you must train them to answer the phones correctly. You also need to ensure they can handle calls without making mistakes, which costs more money.
In addition, if someone is on vacation or sick leave or has other conflicts with their schedule, no one will answer the phone while they're away—and lost revenue ensues.
By contrast, an outsourced answering service agency can use technology tools like software platforms or virtual desktops where everything runs through a browser window instead of being installed locally. There's no installation troubleshooting involved.
Your Team Will Be More Productive
Your employees can focus on high-level tasks and other vital projects since they won't have to spend time answering phones or figuring out who called while away from their desks.
They can also work from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy to catch up on emails or finish a project while traveling.
Outsourced Answering Services Provider Can Handle Multiple Tasks
Many call centers can handle multiple calls at once. Still, the more you add to that list of capabilities, the more likely your business will benefit from an outsourced telephone answering service.
If you have multiple lines or languages at your company, your answering service agency should know how to handle those tasks.
An outsourced answering service can handle all of these tasks simultaneously.
For instance, when a call comes in for one client about a product or service, and another client needs help with their billing questions in another language, having an agent who knows how to do both jobs means quicker resolutions.
This ability also makes it easier for agents when a customer calls in with multiple questions.
There are no worries about whether they can address them all because they know they won't be responsible for all of them at once.
Inbound Call Specialists Are Always Available, 24/7
Your inbound call specialists are always available to answer calls, 24/7. That means you can be sure your customers will have someone to reach if they need help, regardless of the time or day.
And with a virtual telephone answering service, the answer might not even be "no."
Many businesses have reported that it's easier to get an employee on the phone during non-business hours. Still, it's also more convenient for their customers: no grueling wait times and busy signals.
Suppose there's ever some kind of emergency where your business will need all hands in person at once; your call center can still provide services.
It ensures that your clients will never miss out on critical information they need during these situations.
Outsourced Answering Services Provide Accountability
You can see how your outsourced answering services are doing. You can see if they are following up on leads in a timely fashion and if they are meeting their performance objectives.
It can help you make necessary adjustments, which may save you money by reducing expenses or increasing revenue by increasing sales.
When an outside organization is responsible for your phone calls, and you do not have control over them, it is crucial to measure their performance at all times to address any issues immediately.
They Provide Real-Time Reporting & Analytics
You should be able to access real-time reporting and analytics. With call tracking, you'll know the number of calls coming in and the duration of each call.
You can also see how long it takes for a rep to answer a call and how long they talk to customers on average before transferring them to someone else.
This way, you'll have a good idea of how your business is doing with customer service.
Analytics is essential because it helps businesses become more efficient by providing information about their processes to improve them going forward.
It allows you to see your answering service's impact on your bottom line by examining new data trends since they started working with you.
The Best Phone Answering Service Outsourcing Agencies
- Location: D-2-36, Block D, 8 Avenue Business Centre, Jalan Sungai Jernih 8/1, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 46050, Malaysia
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: Integrated Marketing, Call Centers, Outbound Call Centers, Phone Answering Services...
ENVO's mission is to educate companies to outsource their non-core activities and to provide quality services to their clients through a very dedicated and professional staff.
ENVO's vision is to revolutionize the concept of outsourcing and to be a one-stop preferred outsourcing partner. In order to achieve this vision, they are also providing IT outsourcing and human resource outsourcing for contact centre-related matters, payroll and accounting services to our clients.
Clients include Insurance providers, government agencies, travel and retail sector companies, eCommerce companies, financial institutions and others.
- Location: 10 Canmotor Avenue, Toronto, M8Z 4E5, Canada
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: Call Centers, Answering Services for Plumbers, After-Hours Answering Services, Taxi Call Answering Services
AnswerPlus' live virtual receptionists are always there to provide their clients' customers with real answers in real-time, 24/7/365. AnswerPlus helps businesses realize their full potential with people-powered, personalized, call centre services.
The agency has been providing seamless, engaging, customer experiences using the latest call centre technology since 1960s. Their bilingual customer service representatives make it easy for clients to gain, retain, and consistently impress customers.
Clients include UNICEF, PCL, Del Suites etc.
- Location: 1600 Bedford Highway, Halifax, B4A 1E8, Canada
- Average Hourly Rate: $25/hr
- Expertise: Staffing, Call Centers, Phone Answering Services, and Virtual Receptionist.
Priding itself in being a virtual receptionist service that understands that the key to successful customer-related phone calls is powered through solid human connections, Smiledog does precisely what it says on the tin and ensures that your clients will always be treated with kindness, professionalism and a smile.
Their team of reliable virtual receptionists has experience working within various industries, such as healthcare and small businesses. It will assist you with scheduling, appointment setting and generating opportunities.
Whether you need support answering phone calls and staffing or are looking to extend your call center team, Smiledog has you covered.
4. OBI Services
- Location: A. C. Cortes Ave, Mandaue, Central Visayas, Dipolog, 6014, Philippines
- Average Hourly Rate: $3
- Expertise: Call Centers, Virtual Receptionist, Outbound Call Centers...
OBI Services is a privately owned company that has focused its business on Business Process Outsourcing. They have helped thousands of customers to provide the best service for their clients. The company has invested in cutting-edge software and hardware and has partnered with well-known companies such as Suitedash, Tawk.to and Nexweave.
Clients include GoQAV, Meorient, Senior Market Solutions and Deenz Business Group.
- Location: 334 Munster Ave., Suite 100, Toronto, M8Z 3C5, Canada
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: Call Centers
Since 1996, VoiceLogic has been a pioneer in the area of new marketing technologies, providing ringless telephone messaging, Voicemail Courier, Guided Voice Mail Relay, Email Broadcasting, Outbound Call Center, Sales Lead Research, Electronic Lead Transfer, to consumers and corporations.
They provide highly effective Call Center services for the purposes of generating sales, business leads and event attendance. VoiceLogic believes in providing their clients with flexibility and peace of mind.
Clients include businesses from IT Industry, Financial Industry and Retail Industry.
Outsourced Phone Answering Service: Final Thoughts
Good customer service is the key to ensuring your customers stay loyal. According to research, businesses lose about $75 billion annually due to poor customer service.
Hiring an outsourced phone answering service can offer your prospects and clients a better customer service experience.
Outsourced phone answering service providers are a reliable, hassle-free, and effective way to ensure that your customers consistently receive the professional service and attention they deserve.
Professional answering services can also help you with this process, so we advise looking for the right agency to partner with for your project.