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Have you ever tried to contact a business by telephone, only for the call to go unanswered? It doesn’t leave the best impression, particularly if there is no option to leave a voicemail. Unless you have a full-time reception team, the best way to avoid this type of situation is to outsource your customer call handling.
Here are 6 benefits of delegating this important communication role to a professional telephone answering service provider:
1. Never miss a call
The most obvious and significant benefit of outsourcing your customer call handling is that you will never miss a call. During normal business hours, a professional receptionist answers calls in your business name and, in accordance with your instructions, either forwards them to you or takes a message.
This ensures that no call from prospective customers or existing clients ever goes unanswered or straight to voicemail during business hours, irrespective of where you happen to be or how busy you are taking care of other tasks.
After hours, callers are greeted with a professional answerphone message tailored to your business, allowing them to leave a voicemail and feel confident that their query will be dealt with.
2. Enhances your professional image
Regardless of whether you’re currently using a landline or mobile telephone number for your business, allowing calls to ring out or go straight to voicemail during business hours can send the wrong message to prospective customers and existing clients.
Using a UK regional landline number and having every call answered by a highly-trained receptionist can have a huge impact on your professional image. It will help to legitimise your business and create the right impression – that you are an established, efficient, and dependable business.
It is also far more reliable than using a mobile phone that may have poor reception. This can result in missed or dropped calls or low-quality audio, all of which can cause frustration to your callers and a potential loss of revenue.
3. Improves the customer service experience
Providing an excellent customer service experience is vital, and it can be just as important as the products or services you sell. People expect a professional, efficient, and consistent level of customer service from every business they use or are thinking about using – and they’re not prepared to make multiple attempts to get in touch.
According to new research by the UK Institute of Customer Service (ICS), poor customer service costs UK businesses £11.4 billion per month in lost productivity. One of the best ways to avoid contributing to this figure is to ensure that all calls to your business are handled efficiently and effectively.
By setting up a telephone answering service with a third-party provider, you can rest assured that every caller will receive the best customer service from highly-trained professionals – regardless of how busy you are and the volume of calls made to your business.
4. Minimises the risk of lost sales
Despite advances in online connectivity and communications, research shows that 61% of consumers would still rather speak to someone on the phone when they need assistance. It’s usually quicker and more efficient, especially if the query is complex or the customer has a complaint.
To meet the demands and expectations of all current and potential clients, it’s crucial that your business provides different engagement options, including a reliable telephone answering service. If you fail to do so, you risk losing sales, because every missed call is a lost opportunity for your business.
Some people may be more forgiving and willing to phone back, but many customers will simply take their business elsewhere. In fact, an estimated £30 billion a year is lost by UK businesses due to missed calls alone. This is a staggering figure, but you can easily prevent missed calls and minimise the risk of lost sales by outsourcing your customer call answering.
5. Allows you to focus on other tasks
As a busy business owner, you need to have the time and space to provide your products or services to clients, deal with essential admin, and grow your business. This leaves little room for other tasks, such as dealing with calls.
Answering the phone can be a major distraction and a hindrance to productivity, and it is never a good look if you’re in the middle of dealing with a customer. But if you let it ring out, you could lose a sale or damage relations with another client. Sometimes, it is simply not possible to do everything yourself – and attempting to do so can lead to stress and inefficiency.
You need to have a system in place that allows you to focus and do your job well without interruption, whilst also ensuring that all callers receive optimal customer service, each and every time. And one of the best ways to do this is to outsource your customer call handling to a telephone answering service.
6. Cost-effective alternative to employing a receptionist
Starting and running a business can be costly, so keeping your overheads to a minimum is essential, particularly in the early days of a new venture.
For many small businesses, hiring a full-time receptionist and installing the required infrastructure is beyond their means – and being an employer comes with a lot of additional admin and legal responsibilities. But missing calls can hamper their ability to retain clients and secure future business.
Some businesses also experience fluctuations in demand, with exceptionally busy periods followed by quieter times throughout the year. This type of inconsistency can be challenging to deal with.
Outsourcing this task is much cheaper and straightforward. A telephone-answering service provider also has the required resources to deal with the needs of every type of business, including the flexibility to handle sudden fluctuations in call volume.
You’ll have peace of mind that all of your calls are being answered, whilst keeping costs to a minimum and improving your profit margin.
Rapid Formations Business Telephone Services
At Rapid Formations, we offer an affordable Call Answering and Business Telephone Number Service from £29.99 per month. This is suitable for UK businesses of all sizes, including sole traders, limited companies, and partnerships.
You will benefit from your own unique 020 London or regional telephone number and two dedicated receptionists, who will answer calls in your business name during standard working hours (08:30-17:30, Monday – Friday).
In accordance with your instructions, your receptionists will transfer and announce each call to you, or take a message and forward it to you by email or SMS within 10 minutes, for no additional cost.
Outside of standard working hours, we will provide you with a personalised voicemail service. Your receptionists will manage this on your behalf, with messages sent to you by email on the following working day. Alternatively, we can divert calls to a number of your choice.
This flexible service is available on a month-to-month basis, so you are not tied into a lengthy contract. It includes 30 calls per month, but we can accommodate higher call volumes to meet the needs of your business, if required. Additional calls are charged at 90p per call, enabling you to budget accordingly.
Thanks for reading
Missing the occasional call may not seem like such a big deal, but you risk damaging your reputation and losing business to competitors. You’ve made the effort to start a business, so you need to give yourself the best chance of success.
Outsourcing your customer call handling will relieve some of the pressure for a fraction of the cost of employing a full-time receptionist and setting up the required infrastructure to deal with calls in-house. You will have time to focus on running your business, whilst ensuring that every caller receives excellent customer service when contacting your business by telephone.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about our business telephone services, please get in touch.