Is It Time To Switch Your Voice Answering Service?

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“Our current answering service’s customer service is horrible. I don’t think they care about us, just our payments.”

“My answering service’s rates are astronomical, isn’t there something more affordable that will still treat me and my customers like we matter?”

“My answering service often has delays, like an hour, in passing along important calls and that makes us look bad.”

These are all common complaints we’ve heard from potential clients who are exploring whether or not they should switch answering services. Complaints like these are all too common when answering services aren’t equipped with the right staff or technology to handle the call volume they say they are able to.

Unfortunately, when an answering service delivers poorly it reflects on the business for which the service is answering calls. Callers aren’t usually aware that they’re talking with a receptionist at an answering service. They assume they’re talking to an employee in the office or an on-call staff member, so if the call goes bad, so does the business’s reputation.

How do you know if your answering service is helping or hurting your company’s reputation, and when do you know it’s time to switch to another answering service? Here are 3 signs your answering service is hurting your business and you need to consider switching:

Mishandling calls
Particularly in the medical field, there are too many horror stories about patients who were neglected because an answering service operator didn’t forward their call or didn’t direct the patient to the right course of action. Time and accuracy are crucial when it comes to answering, recording, and directing all calls, regardless of the industry. If an answering service operator isn’t prompt, concise, and accurate in how she or he handles every single call, your business will suffer the consequences. Failing to forward a call quickly, or calling the wrong staff member in the middle of the night is not only annoying, it’s likely to cost you a customer and lost revenue.

Incorrect or incomplete information
Careful attention to detail is critical when gathering information from a company’s callers, and incorrect information is unacceptable. Mistakes in a caller’s name, phone number or incomplete information about their reason for calling makes your business look sloppy or even worse, inept.

As discussed in Are You Turning Away 74% Of Your Customers?, having to repeat information to more than one person, or not reaching a live person at all, were top irritants that turned callers away.

A top answering service will know the importance of logging and recording all calls and responses accurately so that you know who called and when, how the call was handled, and what actions still need to be taken. If your answering service isn’t gathering and delivering information meticulously, it’s time to switch. 

Slow or rude customer service
Your callers need to know that their business is valued and is a priority. When they call, they need to know they’ll be taken care of quickly, which is the purpose of having a live answering service in the first place. But some answering services are understaffed and callers are put on hold for long periods, which is the top pet peeve for half of all callers. Your customers assume that if you can’t make sure their calls are answered promptly, then there will also be delays in delivering your services as well.

Likewise, receptionists who are rude or impatient may cause callers to wonder if this is the type of treatment they’ll receive from everyone else in your business that they encounter. In fact, a negative phone experience with a business will make 74% of people likely to choose another business and 70% likely to complain to friends and family.

If you’re answering service is guilty of any of the above mistakes, then it’s time to switch to a better answering service that will instill comfort and trust in your customers, not frustration and distrust. Your customer’s satisfaction and your business’s reputation depend on it.

If you’re ready to improve your customer service and your business’s reputation, Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. can help. We deliver the service your customers deserve by managing your calls whenever you need— during peak hours, after business hours, or around the clock 365 days a year.

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 customized to suit your unique needs. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.