When deciding to work with a live answering service vs. an auto attendant or answering your own phones 24/7, it requires the same or even more due diligence as choosing a key employee. Like any business relationship, it is important to know as much as possible about the service being provided.
Take advantage of everything they have to offer
The best way to maximize your investment in a live answering service is to understand and take advantage of everything your provider has to offer. You may be surprised to learn that there are many services that you provider offers that you didn’t know about. Even simple services may sometimes mean the difference between a successful implantation and failure. Also, it is important to review your contract to ensure you are receiving all the benefits promised in your contract.
Communicate with your service provider
Your live answering service can’t help you unless you let them know how they are doing. Help them help you by providing them regular feedback on their performance. Let them know what they are doing right and what can be improved upon.
You may want to schedule a regular meeting with the express purpose of communicating their performance. Have some of your operators and support people involved so they can directly communicate their concerns to your provider. The more information that both parties have, the better the results you will achieve. Formalize the communication with meeting notes and then review that documentation at the start of next meeting.
The overall objective is to let your provider know how they can improve their performance and to listen to their suggestions. Most live answering service operators, including AnswerNow, have a wealth of knowledge and experience and will gladly share that information with clients so they can maximize their investment.
Review metrics when at all possible
This CFO.com article points out several excellent ways to measure vendor performance including the advice to “apply the lessons of experience,” and to “not accept variability in service.” Set performance objectives for your live answering service and then measure how well they do against these objectives.
If your current live answering service does not send you regular performance reports, ask them to start.
In the long run, since your live answering service is actually the “face of your business” to people who are calling into your business, it is extremely important to hold your service provider to a high standard. Regular reporting is a critical component in evaluating the effectiveness of your service provider. To see how AnswerNow can provide you with an effective answering and reception service, request a free quote today!