Did you know that 80% of American consumers believe that smaller businesses place a greater emphasis on customer service, according to an American Express Survey? Consumers often feel that small businesses value their purchases and their loyalty more than big businesses and that the products or services they provide are more likely to be backed up by personalized customer service than bigger businesses might offer.
That said, any small business owner knows that it’s often a fast and furious dance to deliver this level of customer service while staying focused on producing and delivering their services or products. It’s tough to stay competitive, not only with larger businesses but also with other small businesses in the same field.
Small business owners have typically attempted to gain a competitive edge in one of two ways—lowering prices or outperforming the competition with customer service. The former is becoming less of a leverage tool, as more consumers are opting for better service over price.
In fact, nearly 60% of consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service. Plus, satisfied customers are more likely to upgrade or add services.
How Virtual Receptionists Give Small Businesses A Big Boost
In short, customers today are willing to pay a little more if they receive better customer service and know that they are supporting a local or small business. The best way for small business owners to maintain that level of exceptional, consistent customer service is by hiring a living answering service with a staff of professionally trained virtual receptionists.
Responsive, Quick Service
Virtual receptionists answer all customer calls for a small business so that no customer is left hanging on hold or is shuttled through voicemail prompt systems. This is invaluable because studies have shown that only about 10% of today’s consumers are willing to stay on hold for over five minutes for customer service, and nearly 80% of callers will hang up if they are sent to voicemail.
In addition, a team of virtual receptionists at a live answering service have the technology, time, and expertise to answer all calls, around-the-clock. This is especially important if you work in a field that requires customer support any time of the day or night, such as healthcare providers, service providers, transportation services, or property managers.
Protecting Your Reputation
Some small business owners think that customers expect to always speak directly to them, but ironically this is not the case. Many customers are surprised if they’re greeted by the owner of a company, and may even wonder why he or she is available to answer calls.
For example, if you called your local HVAC company when your AC is on the fritz on a hot day and Bob the owner answers, you may wonder why he isn’t busy fixing other customers’ AC units. Or you may wonder if he’d be taking calls while he was in the middle of servicing your HVAC system, too. No matter the size of your company, if you answer all your own business calls it can lead customers to question your viability.
Plus, not every call requires your immediate attention. Your customers don’t need you to be there at-the-ready any and every time they call. They need you to be able to focus on the service or product that you’re providing them so that they know they’ll have your time and attention when they really need it, too.
A Bigger Impression
When professionally trained, friendly virtual receptionists answer your calls, schedule appointments, take orders, or resolve frequently asked questions for your customers, those customers instinctively understand that you have the support you need to not only get your job done but to ensure that your customers will receive excellent service as well.
Whether you’re a one-person solo-preneur or a small group of a few employees, having a team of virtual receptionists ready to care for your customers gives the impression that your staff—and customer service capabilities—are bigger than just who’s actually on your payroll.
Plus, hiring virtual receptionists at a live answering service can save a great deal—to the tune of 30K—compared to the cost of paying salary and benefits for a traditional in-house receptionist, who isn’t available 24×7 like the receptionists at a live answering service are.
For much less than it costs to hire an in-house staff member, virtual receptionists become an extension of your small business staff, and callers aren’t even usually aware that they’re not speaking with an in-house staff member. This gives your customer peace of mind that your company has the time and resources to not only answer calls but take care of any needs that may arise.
The friendly call representatives at Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. will help you deliver the excellent level of service your company and customers deserve by managing your calls whenever you need—around the clock, during peak busy hours, or after business hours.
With an 82% referral rate, Voice Link provides live answering services that will exceed your expectations and will keep your customers coming back. Our monthly plans contain no hidden fees and are tailored to suit your unique needs. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.