What comes to mind when you think of an answering service? Is it customer service reps who only answer after-hour calls? Or, do you imagine it’s phone agents who take messages or relay emergency information to others?
How an Answering Service Helps
An answering service is a third party tasked with answering phone calls for other businesses. But that’s an old-school definition. What you may not know is that there is so much more to today’s answering services – and how they can benefit your business.
In fact, most answering services partner with businesses and become an actual extension of their brand. They help bridge the gaps to take communication to the next level by offering more channels of communication for their own customers, including live chat, email, SMS texting, appointment reminders, social media, and more. This multi-platform or omni-channel approach allows our client’s customers to communicate the way they prefer.
The Benefits of an Answering Service
Let’s talk about some of the services that have a proven impact on businesses today.
1. Live Chat
Live Chat is where it’s at. It’s a great way to improve your online customer service experience. Customers love the chat feature because it’s so convenient and provides immediate access to help, sales, and customer service. Businesses love Live Chat for customer service support, sales support, cross-selling and upselling opportunities, and appointment scheduling. Live Chat is easily installed on any public-facing webpage.
2. Email Management
The sheer number of emails that come through a business daily is overwhelming. How long does it take to get through your general email box on a Monday morning?
Did you know answering services offer email support? They directly respond to senders using customized scripts designed by you. That, or they sort and forward messages to the appropriate departments.
Answering services do this for clients every day. Agents are specially trained and have comprehensive writing, typing, and comprehension skills. They provide clear, concise, and prompt responses. Email response services include sales inquiries, customer services inquiries, and order entry just to name a few. What is there to lose other than a full inbox?
3. Appointment reminders
When it comes to appointments, no-shows get costly. Answering services minimize this by calling patients or customers to remind them of their pre-scheduled appointments. The individual will never know the call did not originate from your office. Additionally, call centers program the caller ID to display the name and number of the office they are making callings.
These calls are either made by a live agent or sent as pre-recorded messages. Emails and text messages can also be sent to remind customers of upcoming appointments. Answering services minimize no-shows and substantially increase income.
4. Social Media
Everyone spends more time on social media platforms than we really want to admit. Social media has had a huge impact on how businesses find and communicate with their audiences. Answering services respond to many inquiries through social media messaging tools. They easily integrate with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms.
With an estimated 3 billion people using Text Messaging worldwide, convenient and instantaneous communication with your customers has not only become necessary but expected. Answering services run business’ text messaging campaigns. They take advantage of a simple, fast, technology that delivers your message to customers and stakeholders at any time. These services also sending announcements of retail sales and promotions.
How often do you get a text about a sale? The use of on-location marketing to gain repeat customers is one of the most profitable ways to gain new buyers – and answering services make good use of it. Who doesn’t love a good bargain?
On a serious note, answering services also offer emergency response text messaging. You’re able to relay emergency information in a time of need, keeping people safe and informed. Text messaging services not only increase sales but give you peace of mind in the case of an emergency. It’s a win, win.
Take Advantage of These Great Services Today!
Today’s consumers expect instant gratification. They‘re tech-savvy and have everything at their fingertips. Let them communicate the way they want. These services prove to be invaluable components to the answering service environment and a staple in many client’s communication plans.
By adding these services, you improve communications, enhance customer service, and increase your bottom line. Answering services help to keep businesses successful and competitive in today’s market. They’re not just about answering phones anymore, they are about communication! For more information on AnswerNet’s answering services, including a price quote, call or text 800-411-5777.