The Many Business Advantages Of An Answering Service
For many business owners, the idea of an answering service may seem like a concept that has very little relevance in today’s hyper-competitive business environment. The widespread use of mobile devices that feature voice messaging functionality – and the widespread use of text messaging as a tool would lead one to believe that an answering service is a relic of a business period that is now only a distant memory.
The Modern Answering Service
However, the reality is somewhat different. The modern answering service provides several options that have been proven to increase employee productivity and positively influence the bottom line of the business.
One of the functions of the answering service indeed is to ensure that messages are recorded efficiently and that the information is conveyed to the appropriate employee in a clear, concise, and effective manner. However, the answering service that is available to businesses in the 21st century offers far more than this basic functionality. The value-added services that are available to the business will depend on the type of package that will serve the unique needs of the business.
Elevated, Personal Customer Service
One of the most important of these services is the integration of meeting scheduling with the messaging function. Many answering services can take advantage of software that has been designed to integrate with the scheduling software that is part and parcel of the modern business environment. However, the fact that the inquiry is received by a human being in the form of an answering service employee should not be discounted. Although we live in an age of increasing automation – and semi-intelligent software there is often no effective substitute for a qualified live receptionist.
Remaining Competitive with a Virtual Assistant
A live receptionist will be able to make judgment calls on the importance of the meeting request based on several factors such as the strategic importance of the person making the meeting request. Of course, in the current business environment where time is the employee’s (and the company’s) most precious asset having someone to handle scheduling can improve productivity and efficiency – and therefore the competitiveness of the company.
The human element that is part of the ‘virtual assistant experience’ provided by a professional answering service can also make the correct routing of calls more effective. By ensuring that wrong numbers (for instance) are rejected and that the intended recipient of the call is alerted that all-important competitiveness is enhanced – and the business can respond more quickly and efficiently to a call that might be pivotal to enhancing profitability – or dealing with a stakeholder issue that is time sensitive and cannot be ignored.
Study after study has revealed that dealing with automated menu systems is one of the factors that can lead to customer and stakeholder dissatisfaction. By having a live agent respond to calls the reputation of the company is enhanced – and the effectiveness of responses, as well as timeous handling of issues, is assured.
A modern answering service offers a business so much more than simple message-taking – it can materially affect the competitiveness of the organization and should be carefully considered as a value-added service.
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