Businesses choose to work with answering services for numerous reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is to help them cut costs. You can reduce your overhead and at the same time provide consistent, quality service to your customers around-the-clock.
Read on to find out four costs you can avoid by partnering with an answering service.
1. Salary and Benefits:
Hiring a full time receptionist or call center staff can be quite costly, especially if you are on a budget. Not only do you have to pay the salary, but you also have to pay for any benefits you offer- medical, dental, paid time off, etc. Also, depending on your call volume and when your calls come in, you may be paying someone full time when they are only answering calls for part of their shift.
Depending on how many employees you need to hire to cover your call volume, you may require additional space for them to work – whether that means expanding your current location or finding a new, larger office space. Either way, your monthly expenses are likely to increase. That is also not including the cost you will incur from purchasing computers, technology, phone systems and the other necessary equipment needed to run an efficient customer service center.
3. Recruiting and Training
Besides having to think about putting together an answering service, you also have to think about the cost of staffing one. This goes way beyond the employees’ salaries and benefits; you also have to consider the cost of recruiting and training those employees. When you add up the cost of the entire hiring process, even an $8/hour employee can end up costing a company around $3,500.
In most states and municipals, minimum wage is much higher than $8/hour; in Seattle alone, minimum wage is $15/hour which means your hiring costs would nearly double. Also, a 2007 report from Training magazine revealed that companies spent an average of $1,200 annually per employee on training. The numbers can add up quickly depending on how many employees you need to hire and how high your turn over rate is.
4. Poor Customer Service
Last but certainly not least, you will also have to consider how you will handle your calls if you decide not to partner with an answering service. If you decide to hire a receptionist, have you thought about who will cover their lunch break, replace them while they are on vacation, or if they call out with short or no notice due to being sick? Will you have one of your other employees fill in?
When you have someone covering for the receptionist, customer service might not be their forte so they may have a hard time juggling the phone lines and their other job duties. Also, they might not be up-to-date on all the policies or know how to handle certain calls. This can create a bad experience for your customers and may have them considering taking their business elsewhere.
The results can be just as bad if you don’t have enough employees staffed to handle your call volume. Customers want to speak with someone when they call in and don’t want to be waiting on hold to get their questions answered or their problems solved. A survey of 1,100 customers found that 60% of customers feel that waiting on hold for just one minute is too long. If you are unable to meet your customers’ needs, you again face the risk of them taking their business elsewhere.
As you can see, poor customer service can be quite damaging to your business and can end up costing you more in the long run. In the US alone, the cost of poor customer service is $41 billion per year, and many customers won’t even come back after a bad customer experience. Bad customer service will not only cost you customers but will also ruin your reputation.
As you can tell the cost of running your own answering service can add up quickly. At AnswerNow, we not only help you save on overhead, but we can help increase your bottom line while providing quality customer service. Contact us today to receive a custom quote!