An after-hours answering service is an important investment in your business. It is a way to provide prompt and courteous customer service for callers after regular business hours, without having to hire new staff or ask your current staff to work nights and weekends. In many professions, the ability to talk to a real person who can pass on the message (rather than leave a voicemail to be answered the next business day) is a huge plus for the customer. The service that you contract to do this should offer high-quality customer service and up-to-date technology, but beyond that, how do you choose the right answering service to meet your needs?
When you’re researching answering services, look for ones that have years of experience not just in the answering service industry, but in your industry as well. If you are a medical office, do they have experience fielding distressed patient calls? For that matter, an evening call from a sick adult is a very different call than a frantic midnight call from a first-time parent. Make sure that they have the experience to handle your customers’ or clients’ needs.
Same Day Service
If the service says they can start that very night, beware. This service is going to be the face of your brand and business for any customers who call overnight or on weekends. Do you want them to start without training to meet your unique needs? More often than not, you want to make sure that the service has onboarding and training requirements and can explain them to you.
Check Out Their Tech
All of the answering services will claim to have state of the art technology, but there are a few technological elements that are more important than others. The biggest is backup facilities or services. If there’s a storm that knocks out their power, will they still be able to handle your calls? A service that has multiple locations is less likely have an issue since they can transfer your calls to another location. However, if the service provider only has one location, make sure they have a generator and backup systems so that your calls continue to be answered.
Another vital piece of technology they must have is call recording. If you ever get feedback about a call being less than satisfactory, you need to be able to assess it for yourself. Make sure that they not only fully document all calls (including an audio recording), but that you can have easy access to them.
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