Ask These Questions When Hiring An Answering Service
For many business owners, hiring an answering service is a cost-effective solution to growing your business while improving customer service. At an affordable set monthly rate, you can have a live operator available to answer your calls, take messages, answer questions, take orders, or schedule appointments.
Some companies choose to have a virtual answering service on call 24 hours a day, and others hire a service to take calls during busy times, the lunch hour, for emergencies, or after hours. Many businesses swear by its added value. After all, an answering service is much less expensive than the cost of hiring a regular employee.
If you’re considering hiring an answering service, be sure to ask the following four questions.
Question 1: What technology do you use?
An answering service typically relies on virtual operators who use web tools at a computer to do their job. Answering service personnel should also be well-versed in the appropriate software for the job, and work with accessories like headsets. Be sure to ask about the company’s back up plan in case of an emergency or natural disaster, to avoid service interruptions.
Question 2: What is your staff turnover rate?
A good sign of a solid business is happy staff. Inquire about turnover rates to learn whether personnel are treated well or poorly. You want to avoid a company that tends to hire so frequently you can’t depend on their agents being experienced and well-supported. Another key benefit of a low turnover rate? You’ll be able to work with the same agents without having to retrain anyone to the nuances of your business.
Question 3: Do you hire offshore employees?
If an answering service offers low rates, they may be saving money by hiring workers from overseas. Beware of offshore personnel whose communication may leave your customers feeling frustrated and poorly served by scripted answers or being unable to understand a thick or unfamiliar accent.
Question 4: Can you handle a high call volume?
Some answering services simply don’t have the staff available to provide adequate coverage for busy times. As a rule of thumb, your callers should be speaking with an agent by the second or third ring and rarely put on hold. Be sure to have a sense of the number of calls, and approximate length of each call, you’ll need coverage for before signing up for an answering service. Also ask the company the percentage of their business your account would represent. If it’s more than half, beware, as taking up that much of their time means they don’t have enough clients — or they’ll have to hire quickly to adequately serve you.
When you ask the right questions, you can feel confident your new answering service can meet your business needs. Your customers will be served by competent, friendly and knowledgeable agents, and you’ll watch your business grow.
If you’re ready to find out more about an answering service for your business, get in touch with Monroe Telephone Answering Service of Monroe and Beaumont, Texas. We’re known for our qualified, domestic workers, low staff turnover, up to date technology, and friendly service. Call us toll-free at (877) 546-9900 or (409) 981-9797.