Small business owners are well aware of the importance of good customer service. Those who must work to lure new customers and retain those they have do not need the exact statistics to understand the importance. They may not know that businesses that prioritize customer service outperform competitors that do not by 60%, but they do know that their business depends on customers coming back.
The result of this knowledge is the desire to enhance the customer service experience wherever possible, leading to the creation of the live telephone answering service, or virtual receptionists. The value to a business owner of having a professional available to answer the phone for customers, provide information and give potential customers a positive first impression. However, not all virtual assistants are worth the investment, so here are the ones that might prove more hindrance than helper.
- Freelancers: A person who works as a virtual receptionist, no matter how professional, does not have the same capabilities found in a professional answering service. First, an independent contractor will have less availability. They do need to sleep, eat and tend to their obligations too. Also, in the event of an emergency, such as a child having an accident, during the hours their services are contracted, they have no coworkers that can step in and assist. Last, the technology involved in providing a call handling service can be expensive and it does break down. Both of these costs are far more difficult for a freelancer to manage than does a national answering service.
- Native Language Matters A person calling a doctor?s office to make an appointment for a checkup expects to speak to a receptionist that sounds like they do. A person that is not a native speaker often has indicators during a conversation that it is not their first language, even if they have mastered English very well. The obvious one of these is an accent, but there also can be difficulty with slang, especially as it differs from region to region.
- Automation: Any virtual receptionist services that list and automated features as a plus should be avoided. While computers may be dependable, they also repel customers, defeating the purpose of employing a live telephone answering service in the first place.
For those engaged in the search for the perfect 24 hour answering service for their business, hopefully, some options have been eliminated reading this. All that is left is to make the call to a reputable live telephone answering service to start improving your customer?s experience and the future of your business.