When your business is starting out, it can be difficult to find ways to enhance your customer service without breaking the bank. Most of the traditional ways in which you can improve your customer service require hiring dedicated staff, which might not be a possibility for your business yet.
But despite this, ensuring a great customer service is one of the key steps you need to take in order to ensure that your business will grow and thrive. Your reputation is your best and most powerful marketing strategy. Having a great reputation will drive new customers to your business, while a bad reputation can cause important losses that are hard to recover from.
Research has shown that 89% of clients stop doing business with a company that doesn’t provide good customer service. That means that even if your clients are satisfied with the products or services that you provide, they’re still highly unlikely to become loyal customers after having a negative customer service experience.
However, hiring a dedicated customer service department is an expensive and laborious process which is usually out of reach for many small business. It’s not just paying extra wages that is expensive; the entire process that is required to hire each new employee has many associated costs.
So, how can you enhance the customer service that your business provides while staying within your budget? That’s where an answering service could come in handy. These are some of the benefits that a virtual answering service could bring to your business’ customer care experience:
A customer can call your business to inquire about a service or product, make an appointment, or speak to a representative. When someone calls a business, hearing the phone ring multiple times without anyone picking up can be a frustrating feeling. In most cases, prospective clients will try to call a couple of times before looking for another alternative. If your staff is too busy handling on-site tasks, or if customers call when the office is empty, you’ll lose clients without even realizing it.
But with a virtual answering service, you’ll ensure that every phone call is answered and every inquiry gets a satisfactory response. Your business will quickly become known for your great customer service, which will generate positive word-of-mouth advertising.
When you hire a new employee, you have to give them time to adapt to their new position. This usually involves some mistakes and mishaps, which are to be expected during their training period. But by outsourcing a virtual answering service, you’ll be hiring the services of professional operators who have already received extensive training and have experience handling customer service jobs.
You’ll simply need to provide your operators with some basic information about your business, details about the tasks they’ll be carrying out, and the messages that they need to deliver to customers. Once you’ve done this, each client will be greeted by a warm, friendly, and knowledgeable human voice rather than an automated message.
If your small, on-site staff is tasked with too much work, they’ll quickly become grumpy, unfriendly, and inefficient. After all, no one can provide great customer service if they’re already thinking about the next task they have to complete. As a result, clients who walk into your business will probably have a negative experience, and your bottom line could suffer.
This can change if you outsource a dedicated answering service. You can customize your virtual reception to take only overflow call, to take messages and then deliver them to your staff, to track shipments or handle collections, and even to transfer calls directly to you in certain cases. Your on-site staff will be able to focus on other tasks, allowing them to work more efficiently and with a better disposition.
In this day and age, customers expect you to be available at all times. This doesn’t just include after-office hours; the expectation for 24/7 customer service extends to holidays and even emergencies. But when you and your staff are finally resting at home during a well-deserved break, or need to get to safety during a disaster, how are you supposed to handle incoming calls?
A dedicated answering service could help you achieve that. Operators can take your calls from any part of the world, in any time zone. That means that even if you’re on holiday or dealing with an emergency, you’ll be open for business.