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Naturally, all businesses want to make money, but sometimes we do that by reducing expenses, and in this article, we discuss how an answering service does just that.
Starting and scaling your business can be an expensive endeavor. From manufacturing costs to distribution, rental space for things like computers and phones among other items are all necessary in order to make sure the company runs smoothly but they add up quickly.
Businesses can rely on an answering service to help them manage their budget and maximize revenue during downturns. When faced with economic difficulties, it’s important for savvy business owners like you not only to keep up-to-date but also to be prepared in case things get worse before they improve again. A live operator provides support while letting customers experience none of the hassles associated with maintaining customer services themselves - all at no extra charge.
Here’s a list of how an answering service reduces business expenses:
As of September 2021, hiring a full-time receptionist will cost between $31,500 and $42,800 per year.
The cost of a receptionist is not just their salary. To cover the other expenses, you need medical and dental insurance as well as 401(k) contributions for themselves or employees in order to make sure they get paid on time when employers don’t cover it fully themselves- which can be hard with all these economic uncertainties we’re experiencing right now.
Don’t forget that there’s also disability coverage so someone doesn’t end up too crippled after working here at our company full time; without this benefit, what would happen if an employee got injured while doing something outside work hours?
How would you like to save money on wages and employee benefits while still providing excellent customer service? Utilize a virtual receptionist with our answering services. Customers love having their calls answered by a professional team of agents, who will answer any question they might have about your business or product line! With savings up to $1/day depending on call volume at certain businesses - it’s never been easier than now before enrolling in this amazing program for your company today so more customers get through quickly without wait times.
What if you are one of the lucky business owners who were able to retain their staff during this pandemic? What happens when calls still come in and it’s hard for them because there is no coverage 40 hours a week, what will they do with 128 more unproductive hours.
The best way to grow your business is by making sure that you don’t neglect those who reach out. For many small businesses, this means sending them off on voicemail and letting their opportunity slip away before it even gets into the sales funnel of competitors with 24-hour answering services available at all times of day or night
If only one option remains after analyzing alternatives - do not send calls straight away! Better yet put yourself in contact so everyone can benefit from what they have going for them.
It’s not easy to find a good worker, and you may need help from HR professionals. Sometimes it takes about 30-60 days of interviewing before finding the best fit for your company - but don’t give up.
It doesn’t take long or cost much money to hire someone who is qualified as an employee; however, no guarantee they’ll be around because some people had better options than rehiring former co-workers if those are still available at all in today’s economy due largely on location issues alone so you need a backup plan. A plan that solves the problem and reduces expenses.
All things considered, there’s a lot that goes into recruitment. The new employee may not work out and your team will have to start from scratch again- which is why outsourcing recruiting duties through an answering service has become so popular! Answering services already know how complicated hiring people can be because they offer 24/7 coverage for businesses looking for less time spent on tedious tasks like screening applicants or training them once hired. All you need do when it comes down to staffing decisions (or even firing)is make one call; let our agents take care of everything else while working quickly.
As a small business owner, you give everything to cultivate success for your company. Imagine living through an unprecedented global pandemic and watching all that hard work fall by the wayside? Well luckily there’s hope on the horizon: just have an answering service in place so those efforts don’t go down with anything but dust.
When people are looking for a way to solve their problems, they should take into account how much better your company can be than others. With 24/7 virtual support and experienced staff that answers call around the clock customers will get more out of them!
The pressure to run a successful business can be intense, but it’s important that you take care of yourself too. Owning and operating your own company comes with an abundance if expenses; not all are monetary in nature. There are also blood sweat tears which may result in stress eventually leading up to health problems later on down the line-especially when difficult times. You deserve some relief from time to time through an answering services quickly remedy that problem.
Publish Date: September 29, 2021 5:00 AM
Doctors aren’t always in the office, but patients should always receive prompt guidance. That’s where live answering services come in.
Patients rely on your office in their times of need, but what happens when they call after hours?
Some doctors staff extra workers to deal with after-hour phone calls and emergencies, but that added payroll costs affect your bottom line. Live answering services offer a better option to doctors who don’t want to add new employees or additional shifts for existing employees.
Live answering services save time and money while providing patients with a better call experience. If you’re struggling to deal with the number of phone calls your practice receives daily, a live answering service can help. Below, you’ll find five more reasons to consider signing up for a live answering service today.
The average cost for a front desk receptionist at a healthcare office is $14 hourly. If you add benefits on top of that, you’re looking at a very expensive way to make sure calls get answered. Plus, a receptionist can only handle so many calls at once.
You may need two or three receptionists to ensure every call gets answered. Those added costs simply aren’t practical for most doctor’s offices. Phone answering services cost much less than new employees and guarantee every call is answered no matter what time of day the patient calls.
Put yourself in one of your patient’s shoes. They’re calling your office early in the morning because it’s the only free time they have all day. They’re very sick and need to schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible. You haven’t gotten to the office yet, however, so their phone call goes straight to voicemail.
How would you feel if you were this patient? You wouldn’t feel like you were being taken care of. With an answering service, however, your patient would get their appointment scheduled whether you were in the office or not.
Patient satisfaction is important and can have a big impact on your bottom line. Studies have shown that businesses of all types can boost revenue by 4% to 8% by prioritizing customer service.
Medical answering services can boost patient satisfaction by ensuring their calls are always answered. Instead of losing patients to doctors who do have answering services, keep your patients satisfied enough to recommend your practice to their friends.
With healthcare insurance being so complicated, it takes time for new employees to understand the industry enough to answer patient questions. Phone answering services for doctors provide professionals who know the industry and can answer any questions your patients may have.
Instead of having to train new employees until they’re familiar with your practice, you can get patient questions answered right away with a live answering service.
When your waiting room is filled with patients, you and your staff don’t have time to be fielding calls from others. Let doctor phone services handle the incoming calls while you handle the patients who need your help now. With call routing features and processional live operators at hand, you won’t have to worry about the patients outside the office while you’re helping the ones inside.
Whether you’re hoping to be a more reliable healthcare provider for your patients or you just want to cut overhead costs, live answering services can provide you with the resources you need.
If you’re ready to add answering services to your office, contact the professionals at Select Answering Service today.
Publish Date: April 28, 2021 5:00 AM
With so many answering service companies in the market, you want to be sure you’re getting the best deal. Learn how to compare the best from the rest with our buying guide.
About 60% of customers still prefer to call small businesses on the phone.
You need a way to handles these calls, and if you spend all your time on the phone, you’re not doing what you should be doing, such as growing your business. Hiring a company to answer these calls frees up your time and will help you make more money in the long run.
But how do you find one?
We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to compare answering service companies and pick the best one for your business.
Before you start looking at prices or features, you should find out if the answering service has specialized training in your industry. Anyone can answer the phone, but this training will allow your receptionist(s) to provide more personalized customer service to your callers.
For example, an attorney’s office doesn’t answer the phone the same way as, say, a dental office. While the receptionist tasks may be similar for both locations, the receptionist may need to know specific information or be able to perform industry-needed jobs.
Hiring an answering service with specialized training will give you an edge over the competition and make your customers feel more valued and secure.
If you need someone answering the phone during the early morning hours or late at night, you need to find an answering service that can meet those needs. Depending on your business, you may even need an answering service that’s available 24/7.
Talk to them about their hours and find out if they can be on the phone when you need them.
Then make sure they really mean it. Do they have a backup plan for things like power outages? If they aren’t able to pick up calls, they’re hurting your business, so make sure nothing will stop them from picking up during your business hours.
Any call service you hire will be handling sensitive information—both for you and your clients. You need to know this information will be secure and protected.
Talk to the answering service about their security methods. If you’re part of the healthcare or medical field, you should also make sure the answering service is HIPAA compliant. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a heap of trouble later.
You should never just sign a contract with the first answering company you stumble across on Google. Instead, take a look at several options in your area, get a quote from each one, and compare the prices.
But don’t just focus on the lowest number.
Cheapest doesn’t equal best. In fact, it’s usually the other way around. It’s often worth investing a bit of extra money into the answering service you choose to ensure you get an experienced and qualified company.
You should also find out how the company will charge you. Do you have to pay per minute, per call, etc.? This will help you find an answering service that fits your budget.
No matter how “pretty” an answering service seems on its website or on the phone, it’s always a good idea to visit third-party sites, such as Yelp, to read reviews. This will give you insider information about what past clients thought of the answering service’s features, flexibility, customer services, etc.
If you see a lot of negative reviews, that’s a red flag. You should find a different company for your business instead.
You can also ask the answering service for referrals. They should be able to provide these to you (if they can’t, proceed with caution), and if you have concerns about the company, get in touch with these references so you can learn more details.
Most answering services offer a free trial period so you can get more familiar with the features they provide and how they work. Always take advantage of these trials before you hand over any money. Otherwise, you won’t really know what you’re paying for.
During this time, make sure you do the following:
Do the calls go through? Do you like what the answering service says when they pick up the phone?
Making test calls will let you experience what your customers will hear when they call your business. If you find any mistakes during these calls or if you want to further personalize the answering script, use this time to tweak things until they’re to your liking.
Get a list of all the features the answering service provides and spend some time testing all of them. If something doesn’t work or needs a few changes, you’ll want to get all this set up before you let the answering service handle your customers for real.
Some of the things you should check include:
If you need to make adjustments to things, does the answering service make it easy to do so? They should be able to change anything you need right away. A company that drags its feet or that isn’t willing to personalize your experience probably isn’t worth your time or money.
It takes time to fine answering service companies that will be a good fit for your business, so take your time and do your research. Following the tips on this guide will help you narrow down the choices until you’re left with only the best.
Not sure where to start?
Don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our team knows the ins and outs of several industries, so we can give you services that meet the needs of your business.
Publish Date: January 21, 2021 5:00 AM
Customer satisfaction should be a top priority for any business. Having a small business answering service is an easy way to impress customers.
It’s no secret that having a poor level of customer service can adversely affect your company’s performance. In fact, damage to your business’s reputation can be notably difficult to recover from in many circumstances.
So, you’ll need to place heavy emphasis on this practice in order to prevent issues from arising. Fortunately, incorporating a small business answering service is an efficient way to do so.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the benefits.
It’s essential to make a stellar first impression when a potential customer or client calls your business. If you don’t have a dedicated employee who focuses on handling incoming calls, you run the risk of conveying that you don’t run your business in a professional manner.
For example, an inexperienced employee or someone who’s notably busy may greet the caller inappropriately when they answer the phone. Although this may seem like a relatively minor occurrence, it could easily prevent that individual from wanting to work with your company in the future.
Outsourcing to a dedicated answering service will ensure that every call is handled as professionally and efficiently as possible.
As you may expect, it’s highly likely that you’ll miss out on a potential lead or sale if you aren’t able to answer the phone when someone calls. In some cases, they may call back at a later time, or you could get in touch with them after returning their call.
But, you can’t always assume that they will be available, or that they’ll still be interested.
So, it’s imperative that you’re able to answer the phone under every circumstance. During times with particularly high call volume, a professional small business phone service will be able to put customers on hold and communicate with them as soon as the opportunity arises.
Whenever you outsource, you’re sending obligations to someone else, and you and your team will be able to focus more on the tasks that are relevant to your roles.
This will streamline your overall productivity and allow you to drastically increase the amount of work that you get done. For example, a graphic designer will be able to focus far more easily if they never have to worry about answering the phone next to them when it rings.
Although many small business owners attempt to cut as many costs as they can, consider an answering service for small businesses an investment into your company. Since increased efficiency is likely to directly translate into increased revenue, the money you spend is more than worth it.
With the information we’ve given you about using a small business answering service, you’re on your way toward making the decision that’s best for you.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.
Publish Date: September 12, 2020 5:00 AM
From dental emergencies to fielding calls from potential clients, learn why you need a dental answering service.
Businesses today are becoming more streamlined than ever before. They’re flourishing in customer service using the technological resources in today’s market.
You and your dental service could be thriving from the same thing. There are avenues you can explore to promote customer service.
It’s easy for your office to fall behind with the business side of things. Installing a dental answering service can prioritize business for your office once more.
Here are ways an answering service could change customer service for your office!
Customers are becoming smarter than ever now that they can have an answer in a matter of minutes.
Thanks to modern technology and communication services, a potential client can have quotes from 3 different dental offices within 10 minutes.
If your dental office doesn’t have a quoting service, they’ll move on from your practice. Simply put: having an answering service could be the difference in significant revenue.
More importantly, it’s crucial to set the expectation for all of your customers.
You don’t want them to have any unexpected surprises at the point of purchase. It risks their first appointment with you being their only appointment.
Even if your prices are a bit on the higher side, having an answering service quote that before they get to your office will give them time to weigh out the value.
They may hear the quoted price and opt for your service anyway. That will show that they see the incredible ROI for your particular dental services.
Both your current and potential clients want their questions answered within a few minutes. Their days are busy, so they don’t want to spend much time on hold to get an answer from their dentist’s office.
Having a dental answering service will streamline this in a few ways…
First off, an answering service can be set up to answer certain questions without sending the client to an in-house employee at all (like hours of operation, appointment time, etc.).
Secondly, if someone at the answering service can’t answer a specific question, they can still send your customer directly to the employee/department that can best answer their request.
From there, your customers will have their answers within minutes. They won’t have to be placed on hold 2-3 times and feel like a nuisance.
Creating a central hub for your client communication will build a reputation for your brand as a hyper-responsive dental service. Having your clients know how much you prioritize customer service is a valuable thing.
There’s nothing worse than having a client not show up for their dental appointment. It means your office isn’t getting planned revenue and production for that day.
It can also create tension between service and customers if they believe you to have verbally set up a different date with them for their check-up than what you wrote down. It’s a sticky situation and one that should be avoided at all costs.
One way to avoid that from happening is through a dental answering service, which can be scheduled to call your clients ahead of their appointment.
You can have it set up to call them a day before or a few hours before their appointment is scheduled.
The communication between your customers and your office will drastically improve.
Anytime you can have a person on the other line for your client, it will increase your communication, even if the person isn’t an in-office employee.
Customers want to feel that their message is being acknowledged by another human.
Having your in-house employees field each call could make the conversation feel rushed. Your employees already have enough on their plates.
Since that isn’t a viable option, getting an answering service team will give you the most ROI for your business.
Typically, you’ll find that customers don’t like leaving voicemails but they’re far more likely to leave a message with a person on the other line.
So if you can’t reach the phone, but you want to make sure to hear out all of the messages with your clients, the answering service can provide that for you.
In this day in age your clients can find almost any information with your office’s operations online (such as hours, directions, etc.).
However, the fact of the matter is that some of your clients won’t want to find the information that way. A dental practice is one of the few business services that appeal to clients of any demographic.
In short, you’re going to have some elderly customers that aren’t as up-to-date with technology. So, they’ll opt to call in for details such as directions to your office.
Having a dental answering service will provide that communication to your clients so that your in-office employees aren’t stuck dropping their duties to field common questions.
The last thing you want is for a customer to end up on a wild goose chase for your office and/or showing up an hour before or after your hours of business.
It all plays a huge part in growing a relationship with your clients. They’ll opt for you every single time if you have an all-encompassing answering service that goes above and beyond.
You’ve undoubtedly seen the value in having a dental answering service, but it’s just as important to find the right service to partner up with.
Select Answering Service has a proven track record of success with offices just like yours.
Be sure to read this article on why you need an answering service for your office for more information on the benefits you’ll acquire.
For any other questions that you may have, please reach out via our contact page and we’ll be happy to discuss with you further!
Publish Date: November 12, 2019 5:00 AM
A real estate answering service will help you close more deals and keep your customers happy! Learn more about the benefits and pricing here.
Are you a real estate agent that’s short on time?
Many agents struggle with creating a balance between work and their social lives because they try to appeal to all of their clients. However, this imbalance leaves many agents in negative moods that impact how clients feel about them.
The solution to saving time for yourself as a real estate agent is to hire a real estate answering service. These are phone services that specialize in real estate and do a variety of tasks with clients that you wouldn’t need to do anymore.
Discover all you need to know about why you should hire an answering service.
One of the best benefits of a real estate answering service is being able to maximize your productivity. Rather than focusing on tasks that anyone can do, you can outsource them to other people.
As a real estate agent, you’re missing out on valuable time by calling back everyone and scheduling showings. With a real estate live answering service, you can have someone filter calls and answer common questions that many people have.
You’ll be able to regain all of the time that you usually spend scheduling and following up leads. You’ll also increase your chances of closing a deal because you’ll be able to spend more time with truly interested clients.
For the average real estate that doesn’t use an answering service, they often don’t get back to leads until the end of the day. This can leave clients frustrated because they want to know more about your listings.
A professional receptionist can promptly speak to clients, helping them and noting any messages that they have. Clients will feel pleased after the experience because their voices were heard by someone.
As you satisfy more clients, they’ll be more likely to work with you again in the future and recommend you to others. The more recommendations you get, the more chances you have to close a deal.
While using a real estate answering service is a benefit in itself, using a 24/7 will further expand your options. This will allow clients to get in contact at any time of the day.
Because clients have various schedules, not everyone can contact you during the day. This means that they’ll have to leave a message and wait for you to respond, which will be awhile if you don’t use an answering service.
By the time you follow up with someone, they might have found another agent that’s willing to work with them at any hour. With an answering service, you can service leads outside of your business house while maintaining your free time.
Many real estate agents don’t work with answering services because they want to speak with everyone directly. However, this causes them to miss out on many leads that come their way.
If you were to answer every call that comes in, you’d be forced to send people to voicemail or put them on hold. Lack of communication is a sign of a bad real estate and will incline clients to work with someone else.
When a client speaks with an answering service receptionist, the receptionist will write down all the information from the client. This will allow you to contact them if need be, and they’ll know that you’re aware of their interests.
Because real estate is an industry that is based around recommendations, you’d be doing yourself a disfavor by not staying connected with brokers and agents.
When you have a lack of communication with clients, you run the risk of earning a bad reputation and missing referrals from others. This will hurt your business because clients won’t want to work with you.
Among the advantages of a real estate answering service is being able to be stress-free while you carry on with your work. You’ll not only have a positive attitude but you’ll also be able to do more of the things that you enjoy.
When you work too often, speaking with clients constantly, you’ll start to tire yourself out and lose out on free time. You’ll eventually get burned out and might start to dislike your career.
Hiring an answering service takes a lot of weight of your shoulders and you’ll be able to stay relaxed and positive. You’ll be a lot more charming when you’re at your best, allowing you to close deals without a problem.
Another one of the best live answering service benefits is that they exist to work around you. You can choose how you want them to deal with calls, and you can change things up at any time.
If you want a receptionist to forward all calls to you, you can do it. If you want them to leave you alone and answer client questions, you can have them do that, as well.
Start opening up your availability with a real estate answering service. Hiring one will allow you to grow as a real estate agent and continue doing the things you love.
Rather than sitting around speaking to clients all day, you can hire an answering service to take calls and answer questions. They’ll be able to work with clients until they’ve decided to book a showing with you.
If you’d like to learn more about our answering service, feel free to contact us today for a free quote.
Publish Date: September 17, 2019 5:00 AM
Did you know that an answering service can grow your business? Here we cover ten ways it can grow your business in 2019.
Thinking about hiring an answering service?
Wondering how it can help grow your business?
Providing great customer service is an essential part of building a business with continuous growth. However, if you have a lot of tasks to do and a lot on your mind it may be difficult to give great support to every customer who calls.
That’s where a professional answering services comes in. An answering service can help serve your customer’s needs and as a result, it can help your small business grow quickly.
Below we’ll look at the top ways that an answering service can help grow your business in 2019.
If you’re trying to put a professional face forward to your customers, an answering service can help do the trick. Call center employees are professional and know how to interact with a customer while being kind, supportive, and helpful.
When a customer calls into your business you’ll want them to receive a warm greeting by knowledgeable professionals. When you hire a call center, you’ll always be confident that your customers are in good hands. They’ll continue seeing your business like the professional company that it is.
One of the best things about using a call answering center is that it can improve the quality of customer service at your business. Customer support professionals need to help the callers with whatever their needs may be.
Call center employees have the skills to help with any need a caller has. This could mean questions about business hours, providing technical support, or setting appointments.
Another benefit of answering services is the ability for call center experts to help customers set appointments.
This can be particularly helpful for medical offices and healthcare providers but can help other businesses as well. You’ll be able to schedule meetings with clients or partners, even after hours.
Both you and the call center can share a scheduling platform. As a result, you’ll be able to receive real-time notifications for bookings and for any changes a customer needs to make.
In addition to setting up appointments, call center employees can also take orders from customers. Some customers are old-fashioned and don’t want to use online order forms to buy items from you, but instead prefer to call in.
While it can be time-consuming to take these orders on your own, a call answering service can take these orders for you so that you can fulfill them.
If you run a successful business, you understand that time is a limited resource. You have to prioritize your everyday activities if you want to stay productive as a business owner.
Customer calls can be distracting and can interrupt you when you’re in the middle of important tasks. Taking too many calls can make it hard to get things done and it may disrupt your schedule if a customer has a lot of questions.
By using an answering service you’ll no longer have to worry about answering customer calls. You’ll be able to open up time for other tasks and will be able to focus on the management and growth of the business instead.
While call answering services can handle most calls, there may be times when you need to speak to a caller directly. Great call services will be able to screen callers for you, and if needed, they’ll be able to send the call through to you.
By using call screening services, you’ll make the most effective use of your time. You’ll only step in to handle calls when it’s necessary to do so.
Using a call service can be one of the most cost-effective solutions for offering customer support or reception services. Keeping employees on staff for answering phone calls can be expensive and it can take time to hire, train, and manage employees well.
With a call answering service, you’ll be able to pay a flat rate. You’ll know exactly what costs you should expect every month and you’ll be able to plan your budget accordingly.
Another great thing about using a call answering service is that you can provide your customers with more availability. If your reception is only able to receive calls during business hours you may be missing out on important calls.
Additionally, offering your customers more convenience and flexibility makes them become loyal customers. By offering 24/7 availability through a call service you’ll set yourself apart from competitors. Your customers will have the most options for interacting with your business and getting answers when they need them.
When you’re not in the office, it’s possible that important calls may come in and these may go to voicemail. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to remember to check your voicemail, and messages can get stuck in the queue.
When you use call answering services, you’ll never check your voicemail too late and realize you missed an important call.
In addition to being more available via the telephone, a call answering service can offer additional options for support as well.
Customers will be able to use SMS text messages to get in touch or can use help desk support methods. These extra options give your customers more flexibility and encourages them to get in touch more often.
Once you understand how answering services work and what kind of support they can offer your customers then the choice becomes clear. Hiring an answering service may one of the most helpful decisions you ever make for your business.
Ready to take the next step? Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
Publish Date: January 31, 2019 5:00 AM
Every business owner knows that great customer service is essential for a thriving business. Here are 5 examples of good customer service, as well as what you can learn from each so your customer service team will be able to provide your customers with a wonderful experience.
The success of any business depends on its customer service. If you own a business, you know this to be all too true. After all, your customers return and spread the word when they have good experiences, not bad.
But how do you instill the value of good customer service in those who deliver it?
You hire your employees with the impression that they understand customer service. But sometimes the best employee (and business owner) needs a refresher on what good customer service looks like.
That’s why we’re bringing you these real life, extraordinary examples of good customer service to model from!
The harsh Northeast winters are typically unforgiving, especially in Pennsylvania. There was one particular storm that stranded an 89-year-old man in his apartment.
Worried, his daughter phoned around in search of a grocery store that would deliver food to him. This was, of course, years before the convenience of AmazonFresh and Uber Eats.
After no luck, the woman finally called Trader Joe’s, who ended up making a very special exception.
Trader Joe’s not only delivered $50 worth of groceries to her father’s apartment within 30 minutes. They also didn’t charge her, and instead wished her a happy holiday.
To top it all off, they even suggested low-sodium items for the man’s low-sodium diet!
Company policy is company policy. But sometimes life throws us the kinds of curveballs where it’s okay to bend the policies.
Trader Joe’s delivered more than food that day. Teach your employees great customer service skills when handling circumstances like bad weather.
You can also teach your employees when to make exceptions to your company’s policy. By doing so, they can help those customers who are most in need.
Airlines, and airports in general, typically get a bad rep. But this is one of many examples of good customer service that can make you think differently about them.
Barbara Apple Sullivan had a big problem when she dropped her passport in an airport mailbox.
A Delta Airlines employee named Karim Sayoud came to her rescue. He called the U.S. Homeland Security Customs and Border Control. He then personally escorted Sullivan through customs and security.
The story doesn’t end there! Sayoud took it upon himself to mail back Sullivan’s passport in New York the following day.
Not every airport horror story has as happy of an ending as Sullivan’s.
There was no guarantee that Sullivan would’ve been able to travel that day. The Delta Airlines employee could’ve easily told Sullivan to come back the next day. Instead, Karim Sayoud demonstrated when an employee invests himself in the customer’s experience.
More companies should reward their employees for great customer service skills. You can also teach your employees how to handle problematic situations involving customers.
It’s hard to ensure that every single one of your customers leaves satisfied. A negative customer experience is bound to happen, which is why it’s important to always prepare for them.
Take this story that involved a man named Jason, Starbucks, and a minor disagreement.
A Starbucks Gold Card could once give you a 10% discount on every order back in 2009. But when one Starbucks would not honor that discount, Jason contacted customer support. Instead of refunding his money, Starbucks gave him a $50 gift card.
Bad customer experiences are bound to happen. Especially when employees don’t care to create solutions to problems. Sometimes bad customer experiences occur because employees don’t understand company policy.
You should always make sure your employees understand your own company’s policy. But you can also teach them how to handle disagreements in person and over the phone.
When a customer has a bad experience, you’ll do what you can to save their opinion of your brand.
Delivering quality products and services is at the heart of good customer service. But sometimes excellent customer service has more of a personality when delivering.
Take the time Peter Shankman wasn’t going to have time to eat dinner after a flight. Shankman jokingly tweeted at Morton’s Steakhouse requesting a steak when he arrived at his next destination. He got more than he bargained for.
When he arrived, a Morton’s employee was waiting with Shankman’s steak. Someone had caught wind of Shankman’s tweet and forwarded it to a nearby Morton’s in Newark.
It’s okay to have fun with your customers. Most times, they’ll appreciate the extra efforts you put in to make their day. Good experiences, after all, will keep them coming back again and again.
Encourage your employees to listen to your customers online and in person. They appreciate when their voices are heard!
As a business owner, you’re probably no stranger to the occasional instance of criticism. Even the most successful business owners aren’t invincible to downright negative feedback.
Customer feedback, whether good or bad, is part of business. And without it, businesses would never challenge themselves to improve!
That’s something that Sainsbury’s, a UK-based chain supermarket, demonstrated an understanding of back in 2011.
Sainsbury’s used to brand a loaf of bread as “tiger bread”. However, the “tiger bread” actually resembles more of a giraffe’s spots.
A 3-year-old girl thought so, at least. So, she wrote to Sainsbury’s customer support telling them that it should be “giraffe bread”.
A representative from the Sainsbury’s customer support team not only wrote her back. The company wound up re-branding the loaf of bread as “giraffe bread” in the end.
This is one of many heartfelt examples of good customer service. Sainsbury’s demonstrated great customer skills when they responded to the girl’s critique. They also took her input as an opportunity to improve some of their branding.
The customer is not always right 100% of the time. But often, the customer can have a valuable opinion that can improve your business!
Every good business takes the time to respond to each of their customers. Encourage your employees to bring customer feedback to your attention.
The 5 examples of good customer service we shared are just the ones that made the headlines. The truth is that we all encounter good customer service every day, in a variety of forms.
The employees of your business already execute excellent customer service. By sharing these stories, you can inspire your employees to deliver in bigger and better ways.
But customer service doesn’t end after 5 p.m. or when you close the doors. Ensure that your customers have the best experience by hiring a live phone answering service. For more information, contact us today!
Publish Date: June 11, 2018 5:00 AM
What is exceptional customer service? And does your company provide it? Check out our tips for delivering superior customer service.
As a business owner, you have so many things to focus on.
It’s no surprise that for business owners, the whole idea of customer service just fades into the background. It’s something that we only think about every now and again.
However, you need to know what is exceptional customer service in order to see your customers and the service that you provide at the epicenter of your business.
After all, your customers are the people that pay you money and they’re the people that keep you in business. Furthermore, by focusing more on the customer and even at times stepping into their shoes, you’ll be able to do a whole bunch of things.
Customer service is the backbone of your staffing business.
Customers are your internal staff members, your temporary and contracted workers, and most definitely your wonderful clients who help you make work happen.
Superior customer service starts with the people who provide it. Exceptional customer service is the support that you provide your customers who purchase a product or a service from an organization.
Customer service is pretty basic; just making somebody feel comfortable and helping them resolve any questions they have or concerns.
It is helping anyone that walks into an establishment with whatever their questions are and their needs.
First, you’ll be able to create greater levels of rapport and that’s the basis of all successful relationships. You’ll be remembered by your customers, which will, of course, lead to more word-of-mouth referrals.
You’ll be able to make better decisions because you’ll instead focus on giving your customers only what they want. You’ll uncover more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling that you might at first overlook.
Finally, you’ll be able to charge premium prices which would lead to even greater profits.
Friendly customer service has huge rewards.
Here are five powerful principles to get your customer service back on track and how you can achieve your business goals even faster.
As a small business owner, so often you’re thinking about either the past or about the future. Your head is constantly swirling with all the things that you need to do.
However, the first step to great customer service is to be present.
That is to think not about what you’ve just done or what you’re going to be doing next but instead, focus on only the person that’s in front of you and how you can create an exceptional experience.
By doing so, you’ll make people feel acknowledged and appreciated, which people will love you for.
One of the biggest criticisms about salespeople is that they talk too much. When a salesperson gets an inkling that you might be interested in something, they proceed to tell you as much as they possibly can about their product.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And the best way to show people that you care is to ask them questions.
Exceptional customer service questions include: what made you come into our store? What type of coffee table are you looking for? Where’s it going to go or do you prefer round or square?
There’s no set formula here. The bottom line is to be genuinely interested in the other person.
Ask questions from the heart and then once you have that information, then and only then can you offer people the right advice.
Some people say that in order to be effective, you have to be really enthusiastic and excited all the time.
Now that might work for some people, but for others, it’s going to completely turn them off. Instead, great customer service is all about being flexible and being able to adapt your approach to fit in with the other person.
If the other person is talking quite loud, you might want to do the same as well. However, if they’re a bit more centered and talking quite slowly, then you might want to do the same as well.
Remember, people like people like themselves. You need to extend your range and to use the other person as a guide and be flexible in your approach.
Probably you’ve been in a lot of business meetings with other companies and really does the topic of customer service come up? It’s always how’s your marketing plan or what’s everyone’s sales targets for the month.
Sure, all those things are important. However, the topic of customer service should be mandatory at every business meeting.
As a business owner, you can ask people to share what’s been their best customer service experience of the week.
Be warned the first time you do this, you’re probably going to get a lot of blank looks. However, keep asking the question because staff will soon become more conscious of their interactions.
Over time, this is going to lead to a lot of positive stories to share.
What gets recognized gets done. To further expand on the point mentioned above, consider introducing some new awards for your staff.
Now, you might already have Staff Member of the Month. That’s pretty standard for most companies.
But you should also have an award called Customer Service Champion or something along those lines. Call it whatever you like.
If you make people feel special, your staff will soon start competing and strive to achieve that award. More importantly, it’ll help people be more focused and more conscious of getting customer feedback.
Once you have all of these stories, then you might be able to know what is exceptional customer service. You can turn a whole lot of those into testimonials for your business as well.
That will drive even further sales and more success. These five powerful principles will take your customer service to even greater heights.
It’s true that business is a juggling act. However, exceptional customer service is one ball you just can’t afford to drop.
For more information, contact us.
Publish Date: April 20, 2018 5:00 AM
Forwarding phone lines can be a handy feature on your phone system. Here are 5 things you need to know: the when, why, and how of call forwarding!
You can’t be in numerous places at once. Nobody has that ability. Or do they?
With call forwarding, you have the ability to forward your calls from your cell phone to anywhere you want. Giving you the ultimate freedom.
Think of the possibilities when you’re traveling, running a business, or when you simply want to always receive your calls without issues. No matter where you are.
Call forwarding is included in most phone plans, and with answering services. With answering phone line services you get free call forwarding, and most cell phone providers come with it, too.
Call forwarding is a no-brainer for any business or anyone with a phone system. Today we’re taking a deep dive into 5 things you need to know about forwarding phone lines.
Maybe you’ve been contemplating getting a phone system that includes call forwarding, or perhaps you already have it but haven’t got a clue how to use it?
How does it work? Basically, with forwarding phone lines you can route any call to wherever you like. There are dozens of reasons for using them, but in every case, it comes down to convenience.
The Steps to Forwarding Your Phone Line to Another Number:
Easy peasy. Then it should call that 10-digit number you punched in, and when someone picks up or it goes to voicemail you’ll know it worked successfully.
It’s just as simple to turn off the call forwarding.
In a world where technology and communication are everything, you can’t afford to not take advantage of forwarding phone lines and the major benefits.
Some of The Massive Benefits:
If you’re a business owner, communication is key. In a survey, 67% of customers hung up the phone because they couldn’t reach a real person.
This is huge. Imagine the amount of conversions those businesses could have made but didn’t because they didn’t have someone to answer their phones.
There’s no doubt about it, forwarding phone lines are an outstanding business asset and just an excellent asset in general. But what happens when it takes over your life?
Of course, you don’t have to let it. But when you can easily forward your calls from the office to your home anytime, it’s easy to get too caught up in work. T
Utilize the simple deactivating feature we talked about when you know it’s time to take a break, it’s family time, or you’re attempting to sleep.
You can also check the caller ID to see if it’s a critical call to take. And if it’s not, and it’s 11 PM on a Sunday night, just let it go to voicemail.
This is where having an answering system comes in handy. You can continue to serve your customers, keep them content, and still have a life.
It’s no secret that news travels quickly in the online world. One bad review on your Facebook business page could mean a dip in leads. When customers are not happy with the service, 13% of them will tell 15 or more people, states this survey. Whereas, 72% of customers will share a good experience will only 6 people.
This is why if you’re a business owner, every single customer should be treated like gold. After all, they are the very core of your business. Without them, you don’t have a business.
It doesn’t matter if you or someone on your staff is having a bad day, you still have to be courteous, helpful, and kind, or you’ll risk your reputation, leads, conversions, and your business.
It may surprise you how high of a value your customers place on customer service. They would rather pay more money out of their pockets, just to be treated better and to have less frustration when dealing with businesses.
Forwarding phone lines is a game-changer when it comes to customer service. You can always ensure your customers or clients have you on speed dial, and they’re always content.
Although call forwarding is typically included with any cell phone provider or answering service, there may be other fees or conditions you aren’t privy too with some cell-phone providers.
These will be minimal, but it’s always smart to read the fine print because every cell phone provider will be different.
Check to see if there are any extra charges per minute when using a call forwarding system. However, often times there won’t be. But different factors like your location can make a difference.
Some cell phone providers may even have a different process when it comes to setting up forwarding phone lines. This is unlikely, as using the method of *72 is pretty standard, you’ll still want to confirm all of those details.
Even if there are some minimal extra fees associated with call forwarding, it’s an innovative and smart way to do business. The return on investment can be huge if you do things correctly.
You cannot afford to not invest the minimal amount of time to set up forwarding phone lines. It takes seconds to activate, and seconds to deactivate.
It gives you immense freedom and even will help with your customer service if you own a business.
What’s not to love about it?
If you want to take it up a notch and get an affordable answering service that comes with forwarding phones lines, you can contact us here. We’d be happy to help or answer any questions you may have.
Publish Date: October 2, 2017 5:00 AM
Improve your business and customer satisfaction with a live answering service! We’re sharing the 7 benefits of using a live answering service.
Do you ever feel like your company is losing business by not answering every single inquiry over the phone?
It may be an issue of how your receptionist is answering and directing incoming calls that could result in dialogue with new clients.
You may be thinking: It may be time for a change.
Come along as we go through the 7 benefits of hiring a live answering service for your business.
Answering Service Promotes Professionalism
At its very core, hiring a live answering service will seem professional to anyone trying to contact your business.
The last thing that you need is a receptionist who loses calls due to a lack of professionalism.
Receptionist: “Hi, hello, …uh …. how can I help you?”
Caller: “Er, um, can I speak with…”
Whoever answers your calls is your business’s first point of contact, so don’t you want that person to be as reliable as possible?
By having a trained service answer your calls, you can rest assured that your calls will be properly answered and directed based on your business’s needs.
Never Lose out on New Business With an Answering Service
The math is pretty easy to figure out, but losing calls means losing potential business.
You have to actually make the connection with your clients in order to peak their interests.
To quote the great philosopher Woody Allen, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” By not being available as you can be to your clients, you are running the risk of losing their interest out of frustration and ultimately their business.
With a service that will be well equipped to handle your calls, no matter how great or small the volume, you will never lose out on the potential of gaining new business or keeping the business you may already have.
Receive Calls after Business Hours
So you just had someone interested in your business call right at 5:01 pm when your receptionist has already left for the day. Did they choose to leave a voicemail?
Will they call back tomorrow when your office is open again or will the take their business elsewhere?
According to the Kellog School of Business, prospective clients are more susceptible to your sales calls from between 8 to 9 AM and between 4 and 5 PM. The times are most likely when your business is just opening and just about to close up shop for the day.
If you think about it, those hours are not the most ideal since your receptionist is either just getting into the office and may be flustered with a high volume of calls. Or alternatively finishing up for the day and not as on top of things as he or she would be during prime business hours.
In both regards, it would be more optimal for your business to hire a team that will be ready 24 hours a day to properly direct incoming calls that could result in new business for your company.
Cut down on Staffing Costs
This is probably a major selling point for your business to switch from a receptionist to a live answering service.
According to US News, the average salary of a receptionist in the united states hovers around $30,000 per year. This may be a tall order for a small startup or new business in the early stages.
Considering our rates, your business would save much of these costs in the long run and notice the difference immediately.
No need to Train a New Receptionist
After the headache of finding the perfect receptionist to handle all of your incoming calls, you will probably have to keep a somewhat watchful eye on them for the first few months to make sure they are getting a handle on the position.
Every business is different, and so is every receptionist.
Because of that, it’s totally understandable that you may grow impatient with the time it takes your receptionist to settle into the groove you would prefer them to already have.
Plus, you will never have to worry about filling in for your receptionist should they ever be absent. With a large team of professionals, you will never have to scramble for phone coverage on days when you are short staffed.
Time spent on training a new receptionist is time easily lost where you could be growing your business.
Hiring a live service will ensure that you will be taken care of by someone who is experienced with a high volume of calls and can easily acclimate into situations that may be hard to navigate.
Use an Answering Service to Schedule Appointments
Whether your business is a medical office or a tech startup, chances are you can have a schedule of appointments from week to week.
By having a team of professionals who schedules your client’s appointments, as well as your own, you can rest assured that there will be no errors or conflicts that could end business relationships.
Just one more thing you will not have to worry about.
Won’t it be nice not to have to cross out and scribble every change on your calendar?
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Think about it this way:
There will be no phones ringing off of the hook in the front of your office.
Only the important calls will be sent through to their proper extensions.
Having your reception problems stay out of sight and out mind will allow you not to worry about whether calls are being answered correctly or efficiently.
This will allow you to focus on the work that needs get done.
And as a convenience, this will also cut down the complications of relaying information by offering to text or email any messages you may miss during your busy day.
Now wouldn’t that bring you some peace of mind?
There You Have it - The 7 Benefits of a Hiring a Live Answering Service
The choice is yours to make your business run more efficiently with a professional service that will only make your life easier.
Don’t you owe this to yourself?
If you have any questions about why a live answering service may be right for your business, feel free to send us a message through our contact page. We are here to help!
Publish Date: May 24, 2017 5:00 AM
Handling a disgruntled customer is not an easy job. Unfortunately, the employees at call centers have to do this job multiple times a day and until they develop expertise in this area, they remain vulnerable to negative experiences that may impact their morale as well as motivation levels. Bad words spread faster than good words. An angry customer is more likely to share his experiences with a bigger audience compared to a happy customer who may probably discuss about his experience with a small group of four or five people. Hence, call center executives need to make sure that they end every call with a happy note.
The cost to acquire a new customer is six or seven times more than the cost to retain a returning customer. So you may always want to go that extra mile to keep your existing customers happy and to make them speak for you.
Publish Date: January 6, 2017 5:00 AM
Making a cold call is not an easy task for all. The idea of making cold calls instills fear in the mind of the caller as he puts himself into the shoes of the recipients and remembers how he got offended when someone else called him during a family lunch occasion to inform about a certain product. In this article, we have outlined some ways by which you can make cold calls work and we hope that you will like to try them out before you say “No”.
Making a cold call is all about conquering your fear. You are just a voice to people who receive your call. You may be treated badly by people, but they will not know you personally and will forget about you as soon as the call ends. Secondly, you play a number game when you do cold sales calls. The more you call, the better will be your chances of closing a sale.
Publish Date: December 9, 2016 5:00 AM
When you have an objective to create strong, long-term customer relationships, you have to do more than just deliver a service. Building a loyal customer base requires some effort, but you will find your journey most interesting as you learn to combat the challenges and make your way to success.
The words that you choose have a profound impact on your customer service outcomes. Small conversational twists can really work wonders to create a positive impression in your customers’ mind. For example, if a customer asks you a question and you do not know the answer, you may consider replacing your “I don’t know” response with “I will find the information and will get back to you as soon as possible”. This creates a sense of trust among your customers and they are more likely to feel confident about your service.
Show gratitude as you speak to your customers. The best way to express gratitude is to say “Thank You”, but you need to make sure that you sound genuine to your customers. When you say someone “Thank you for calling”, it might not sound as “Thank you for disturbing me”. Your approach should be authentic which means that you have to really mean what you say. You may express “thank you” in various ways. You may express gratitude through email and you may send out personalized cards to your clients on special occasions.
Take your communication to personal levels. For example, if you have come to know about a customer’s hobby through a casual conversation with him, you may want to send a surprise personalized gift to your customer to let him know that you really care about him and that you respect his opinions. You may send out a handwritten notecard to greet or congratulate your client for a special achievement that he would love to celebrate. You may refer to a past conversation to engage with your customers. For example, you may ask, “How were your Christmas holidays?” to let your customer know that you remember what they told you in your last communication and that you really pay attention to them.
Be creative and set up systems that will allow you to use your creative connection-builders on a regular basis. Making your customers happy once in a while is fine, but when you are able to do this every single time and day, you build a loyal customer base.
Publish Date: October 28, 2016 5:00 AM
Customer service is all about being patient, having thick skin, and demonstrating high levels of problem solving skills. It is your prime responsibility to deliver proper training to your customer service representatives in order to help them perform better and manage stress. If you invest your time and energy in building a great customer service team, you will help the company save costs that it may incur from high turnovers and rehiring.
Customer service employees are trained to handle difficult situations in the most tactful way, but you need to understand that there’s always a limit to how much they can deliver under certain situations. You need to keep your teams motivated and provide your employees with the support they need to improve their service standard. Every customer expects a warm, welcoming voice that greets him on the other side of the line. Your customer service team knows this fact very well and it works hard to deliver the most pleasant experience to your clients. You should know that some calls may go unplanned and so you should encourage your employees to prepare for the worst situation.
You should know that some customers will still have complaints even after your customer service team puts a lot of effort to solve issues. Make sure that you prevent yourself from generating negative vibes that will make your team feel demotivated. You will have to be a matured person who understands that unplanned events do happen. While you continue enforcing the “customer is the king” philosophy, encourage your employees who have to undergo tough situations to de-stress in constructive ways. For example, you may ask them to hit the gym after their shift to get rid of the negative energies that may bother them for quite some time.
Encourage your employees to accept their mistakes and to be accountable. No matter what gets revealed during annual appraisal times, you should always make them realize that their work is valuable and that it is something that they should take pride on. Help your employees to rectify their mistakes and to grow as professionals. Your success depends on your team’s success and so you may want to make sure that you do your best to develop a team that does not only respect what it does, but it also understands the overall objective of the organization and recognizes the contributions of other teams. Be a mentor, guide your team on what they should do, and recognize employees who stand out.
Publish Date: September 30, 2016 5:00 AM
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