If you work in certain industries, part of your business may involve taking calls from customers, even during off hours. For example, plumbers, electricians, and medical facilities all need to field calls from customers outside of normal business hours. Maybe your business doesn’t offer this service currently, but you want to start. Perhaps you do have an on-call service right now, and your employees trade off taking the calls. Either way, you may want to consider outsourcing your emergency after hours calls to a dedicated answering service. This can save you time and money, and can also provide more consistent service to your customers.
Benefits of Hiring an Answering Service
Hiring an answering service to handle your emergency or after hours calls can be a great help to your business. If you run a small business, or are just starting out, you may not have the staff to handle after hours calls. So you either have to field the calls yourself, trade the job with your staff, or send your customers’ calls to voicemail. None of these options is really workable long term. However, you can contact a call handling company and work out an agreement to have the company answer when your customers call outside of business hours.
When you hire an answering service, the call transfer is invisible to your customers. They still call your business number, and the virtual receptionist at the answering service responds to calls to your business in whatever way you specify. You can decide whether you want the receptionist to take messages and pass them along to you, or if you would like the call to be transferred to yourself or another employee. Either way, the experience for your customer is seamless, providing an extremely professional appearance for your company.
Other Services Available
Many answering services offer other call handling options beyond just emergency or after hours calls. You can choose to route your business calls to the answering service when you are in a meeting or if your receptionist is out for the day. You could also use an answering service to handle overflow calls if your business experiences a significant increase in call volume during certain times of the year.
Some answering services will even provide outbound call services. Whether you want to update your database of clients or follow up on contacts made at a trade show or other industry event, you can hire an answering service to perform these outbound calls. This takes a large burden off your in-house staff and enables them to focus on their specific jobs without taking time away to make outbound calls.
Even if you already have a receptionist, you may want to consider contracting with an answering service. Most services allow you to choose when you want calls routed to your office, and when you want them routed to the answering service. Having an answering service available when you need it is especially convenient when your receptionist calls in ill or takes a holiday. You can even use an answering service to extend your business hours without having to pay your receptionist overtime wages.