Monday, September 26, 2016

Which Small Businesses are Suited to Call Answering Services?

In this highly competitive age, businesses of all sizes are looking at ways to cut costs now more than ever. Call answering services have become one such option, particularly for small businesses that are growing and expanding. It is not only a way for a company to handle the incoming and outgoing calls, but to convey the level of professionalism that helps create a business in the future. Let’s have a look at the kinds of businesses it best suits.

 

What is a Call Answering Service?

 

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"A call answering service is essentially designed to act as an extension of a business and manage the incoming, and potentially the outgoing calls, leaving the staff to focus on more important things"

This means that when a call comes through to the business, it is diverted to the call service team, who are trained to deal with enquiries in a professional manner and represent the business well. Following a script, they can take down information, give advice, book appointments or whatever else is needed.

Generally, these services are highly flexible, meaning if the business is in the process of expanding and needs a temporary means of dealing with high volume calls, this can provide the answer.

 

What are the Advantages?


Obviously, contracting a phone answering service is less expensive than bringing on staff to handle these responsibilities. It means a business can use resources in other areas. It is particularly valuable for sole traders or partnerships, where the business is growing to a size where managing all the phone enquiries is getting in the way of actually completing contracted work.

There is also the added benefit of potentially being available 24/7, essentially meaning a business never misses a call from a potential customer no matter what time they ring. In certain lines of work, offering all hour’s phone service is extremely valuable.


What Kind of Businesses can Benefit?


While it’s true that a call answering service isn’t ideal for every kind of company, there are certain industries and types of business where it really adds value. In most professionals that require reception staff, you’ll find that a call service is appropriate.

 

Trades Services

 
receptionists for trade service provider, phone answering service for traders

Before a plumber, painter or electrician expands into a large business, there is a period where they’ll be handling their own calls. This becomes tricky when on the job and more often than not means that some calls simply aren’t answered. For a smaller sized business, which needs to make the most of the calls it does get, this can be problematic. That’s why an answering service is quite popular with tradespeople.

 

Medical Professionals

 

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Doctors operating a smaller sized business are often very busy and are required to see patients throughout the day, possibly conduct home visits, coordinate with other specialists and or general practitioners and deal with patients calling in needing results and appointments. A call service can help manage this if hiring reception staff is not yet an option.

 

Offices with Large Customer Bases

 


There are businesses in a wide range of industries, though particularly the technology industry, that service hundreds of clients on an ongoing, or subscription basis. This means that while every client may only touch base every few months, the volume of calls can be difficult to manage. These kinds of companies usually find call services to be very helpful and can be an asset if the business is structured in this way.

 
Phone answering services are very easy to find and rates are highly affordable, depending on the plan you go ahead with. The best one you have in Australia is Call Service – a  professional & highly experienced phone answering service provider. Contact Call Service today for more information!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

4 Important Qualities a Phone Operator Needs


 
For a large number of businesses, incoming and outgoing phone calls are very important. They enable you to stay in touch with clients and customers and essentially run your business. While some lines of work are more reliant on phone conversations than others, a large percentage of commercial businesses conduct their business on the phone. Now-a –days, there are some types of companies for whom call tracking is a MUST.

When dealing with clients or customers on the phone, there’s a few qualities that you or your reception staff need to have in order to get the best long term result. If you aren’t hiring a call service provider, the next best thing is to be prepared! Let’s take a look at 4 of the most important customer service skills needed.



Calm Under Pressure


Remaining as professional as possible is important. Every so often a customer will lose their temper, or fail to understand something. Sometimes it will be the fault of the company, other times it may be a simple misunderstanding. Regardless, these situations require that you remain professional and reasonable, without upsetting the client further. It can be quite difficult to bite your tongue when you have someone on the line barking at you, but it’s important to maintain your composure even when they are out of line.


Patience

 


Again, this depends on the line of work, but chances are that if you’re manning the phones, you’re going to come across many of the same issues again and again. You’re also going to deal with customers that are perhaps not as knowledgeable as you’d expect and take a little time to explain things too or have trouble understanding what you’re telling them.


Verbal Communication


This ultimately goes without saying, but it’s something that - in a lot of cases - people either have or don’t have. A professional receptionist or phone operator needs to be able to effectively communicate ideas and information in a clear, concise tone that can be understood by people that may not know a lot about the topic. To achieve this your phone operator need to the basic verbal communication skills. It’s also important to get to the point quickly, without wasting the customers time.


Persuasion Skills



This is important not only for potential up-selling opportunities, but the ability to get the customer on your side and share some sense of mutual understanding. At its core, persuasion is all about creating a connection, where the other person recognises that you understand their position and have their best interests at heart. If you are able to communicate this effectively and the customer picks up on this, you are sure to find a solution for them.


If you’re too busy to handle your incoming and outgoing phone call requirements, you can also consider another option. Answering service providers like Call Service takes a very professional and good care of your business calls and speak to your customers on your behalf. Being experts in communicating on the phone and finding solutions, they are able to pass information along, take message or book meetings and appointments. For more information, contact Call Service in Melbourne today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What to Consider Before Signing up With a Call Service Provider

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Many different kinds of businesses can find benefits in the use of a call service or phone answering provider. For sole traders, in particular, it can free up time that can be used in other more productive ways as well as giving your business a professional touch. If you are looking at going down this path, it’s important to go with a proven call answering service that offers customised business services for your particular needs. Below are a few of the considerations and questions you should keep in mind.



How Do They Charge?


Most providers will have a range of different packages available and it's worth considering each of them. Monthly, low-cost plans may look good on the surface, but often it will mean you’re dealing with a lot of extra, add-on costs that you didn’t account for. Other options are on a per-call or per-minute basis, meaning you only really pay for what you use (this may be in addition to a sign-up fee of some description). Keep in mind that these can quickly rack up the bill if you’re getting a lot of calls from tele-markers and/or not very important calls. Ultimately, you know what will work best for you - for example, if you have only a few quite intensive phone calls a day, a per-call package will be in your best interests.

The details of the contract are also something you should consider. Some providers will try to lock you in for 6 months or more, which may not suit your situation. Others may go month by month.



What are Their Business Hours?


For some types of businesses, you may need 24/7 phone service without any exceptions - in fact, this may be the reason you’re looking for a phone answering service in the first place. Some services will provide this and some may not - again it comes down to what you need and matching yourself up with a provider that accommodates this.



Who’s Working the Phones?


Part of the job description of these providers is that they have an excellent phone etiquette to represent your business in a professional way. If it is obvious to the caller that they are speaking to a third-party rather than the company they intended to call, this is obviously not ideal.

Find out where their call centres are and how big the phone team is. Usually, it’s a case of the more the better - you don’t want to have you callers kept on hold for too long.

A lot of providers will have offshore offices with foreign staff that answer phones, which in most cases is fine and can mean lower rates. However, if possible you’d prefer onshore phone operators as they are more likely to be able to connect with the callers culturally and in terms of the language used as well.



What is the Level of Service Provided?


This may seem like a broad question, but how much of your work the call service company is able to do is very important. Some will simply be able to take a message or book appointments and nothing more. Others can provide information according to a script they are given. Some may even be able to deal with problems the callers face on-the-fly or take payments. Figure out what you’re looking for and what you’re expecting before finding the provider that offers this.

For more information about phone answering services, virtual office services and more, speak to the friendly team at Call Service today!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How A Live Answering Service Can Help Your Business?

In this day and age, businesses are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and increase efficiency. Small business owners in particularly are often juggling many days to day responsibilities at once, which can make it difficult to focus on other tasks, such as developing the business. A way to free up time that is becoming increasingly popular in Australia is by utilising a live answering service. This kind of service is a way of handling incoming calls by outsourcing them to another provider, who can deal with them in a professional, helpful manner and free up time. Let’s take a look at the ways in which this can help.

live phone answering seervice, phone aswering service for business


Phone Assistance to Customers all the Time


While in many industries, customers understand that the phone can’t be managed 24/7, there are cases where missing out on a call can cost your business a great deal. If the business is on the small size, accommodating for this can be a near impossible task. But with the help of a live answering service, this can be achieved quite easily. Generally, the service will establish the reason for the call, take a message or if needed contact yourself or someone from your team.


Setting Appointments


Again the importance of this will differ from industry to industry, however, you’d be surprised just how much of your reception staffs’ time simple administration tasks such as this can take up. A live answering service team can take care of these requirements so that you are less reliant on staff and/or your own time.


Solving Straightforward Issues


Taking it one step further, a live answering service will have information about your business and under some circumstances will be able to solve the problem over the phone with your clients. Following a pre-set script and having some knowledge of what your clients are looking for when they call; the team can handle the wide majority of your incoming calls without even needing to notify you.


Conveys Professionalism


An indirect benefit of having an offsite provider look after your incoming calls is that it can potentially give your business the appearance of being larger than it is. This can actually work in your favour in some cases and make customers more likely to use your services again.

Again, this obviously depends on the quality of the answering service provider you go with, however, it is their job to communicate in as professional way as possible and they are experts at sounding the part, even if they may not be as knowledgeable as yourself.

While it may not be useful for every kind of business, a live phone answering service can be a godsend if you are having trouble handling incoming calls from customers. Not only can it save you time and money, but it provides an efficient, professional way of servicing your customers where you otherwise might not be able to.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What’s The Difference Between An Answering Service And A Call Centre?

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In 2016, it’s becoming common practice for companies to outsource some or even all of their inbound and outbound call requirements. Whether it’s offshore or locally-based, it is certainly a viable way of structuring an office and has a proven track record of working in most cases.

If you’re considering going down this path due to an increased volume of calls coming into your place of business, knowing the difference between your various options is a good idea. Should you go for an answering service or do you need a full call centre to handle things?

First, let’s take a look at the main differences between the two.

 

Telephone Answering Service


A telephone or call answering service is provided by a company, usually based locally, that takes on all your incoming calls and frees you and your staff up to take care of other parts of the business. They generally provide service for multiple other businesses and are trained to handle the calls for each specific one.

While they are smaller in size, they are more complex and often offer a more comprehensive service, beyond simply taking information and passing it on. Often they’ll be able to give advice and do exactly what a reception employee in your office would do, solving the problem or providing the information the incoming caller is after quickly and professionally.

 

Call Centre Service


Outsourced call centres are similar to answering service but on a much larger and more automated scale. Phone operators will often be following a script and providing complex information is beyond the scope of their job. The information they provide is simple and straightforward, is not urgent and there is little decision-making on the part of the phone operator involved. They tend to be dealing with significantly more calls that are similar - and therefore more simple.

 

Which Is The Better Option?


This depends on a number of factors including the size of your company, the industry that you’re operating in and what percentage of your business depends on incoming calls. Generally speaking, a telephone answering service is likely to provide better service to the customer because it's much more personalised. It also tends to suit smaller business and sole traders, whose call volume is manageable. For a large corporation with relatively simple requests and information, a call centre can be very effective. But answering service for small business is definitely a winner.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Common Problems and its Solutions of Phone Answering Technology

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www.wcsofnc.net
We’ve all been there when we have missed an important call whilst speaking to a client and the sale is lost due to technical issues. Chasing sales afterwards can be a stressing situation for many self-employed people, let alone a thriving business, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

In an average business day, many companies fall prone to technical mishaps or glitches that may ruin a sale or delay communications that could have otherwise been done and dusted, leading to missed opportunity and lots of time wasted. Technical issues are prone to larger telecommunications networks in offices and buildings, but it can happen on a personal basis, too.


Communications Drop Outs for Lone Workers

Faulty lines are a common issue for many self-employed small business managers as if they are on the road and the line is bad or not connecting, then a chance of getting that important email sent is swindling every minute. One of the most common problems with workers on the road is a drop out of 3G or 4G signal, leading to no internet, email or cell phone access when it is needed the most.

If your line drops out and are not able to receive any calls, your telephone will operate as “busy” and Call Service will then be taking all of your calls, client information and be forwarding this information to you to receive when your communications signals come back - check that out for service!

Weak connections between the client and agent are another communication issue that has come to light in recent years, thanks in part to the popular use of IP communications. Video chats, video calls and VOIP phones are prone to going down when there is a problem with the internet, and sometimes it feels like we have to live with the problems on a day by day basis.



Professional, 24/7 Call Answering Service

Call service offers a chance to avoid some of these daily obstacles by providing a clear messaging service to all of its clients that can reroute calls, messages and important information to your personal home phone, business phone or mobile phone in seconds.

Never again will you suffer from dropouts in communication in your office, as important calls and messages can be sent to your mobile phone or tablet wherever you are. You will get that important email through a number of different routes, chosen by you for your convenience.

The convenient use of technology has improved business communication a lot to ensure that you will be kept abreast of the situation regarding your services at every step of the process. You will have access to friendly, personal services including a personal phone answering service, a messaging service that includes email, SMS or fax, corporate services that provide tailor made solutions for your needs, as well as a pager service for modern devices.


Call Service also offer the fantastic opportunity to benefit from their virtual office solutions in providing you with access to a number of services including 24/7 telephone answering so that you never need to put a client on hold. Client information is taken and then forwarded to you via SMS, email or pager service for your convenience - providing a truly professional service that will save you time, effort and more importantly, get you those sales!