As the owner of a small business, you have many tasks you oversee each day. Completing those tasks is much easier knowing someone’s there to manage your phones.
Sometimes, however, as a business grows, one person is no longer enough. You need someone covering your front desk as well as someone who can handle the growing volume of calls. This is the point in which you reach out to a small business answering service.
What is a Small Business Answering Service?
A small business answering service is designed to meet the unique needs of startups and entrepreneurs. They’re affordable, customizable, and have the ability to grow with the ever-growing needs of small businesses.
Many small business answering services work with you to develop a plan that best suits your business. This includes customized message templates, month-to-month service agreements, multilingual support, in-house fulfillment, and more. Whatever your business needs, your small business answering service should cover it.
Common services include:
- Basic Live Answering
- Automated Answering
You can save on staffing and equipment costs while still providing appointing scheduling, order entry, fulfillment, IVR, and more solutions to your customers. And that’s not including the options you have for lead generation and telemarketing.
5 Tips for Success
It’s one thing to hire a small business answering service. It’s another to hire that right service for your business. Consider these 5 tips for small business answering service success:
1. Understand and Plan for Your Needs
Before buying into any small business answering service, take a moment to evaluate your needs. Consider the size of your business, your incoming call volume, the types of inquiries that come in, and the types of issues you handle.
Understanding exactly what your needs are first can go a long way in ensuring you choose a service best suited to your business and to you.
2. Consider Your Brand Identity
Despite what you might believe about how a small business answering service works, it does in fact go as deep as your brand identity. Think about it. When agents are answering calls on your behalf, they become a direct representation of your business.
Do you want agents to sound happy? Or should they be more serious and professional? Do you have a slogan or a branded means of walking through a call? If any of these scenarios pertain to you, they must be discussed with your prospective service provider.
Once the service provider understands who you are as a brand, they can provide agents who are educated on your standards.
3. Shop Around for the Best Fit
Never assume that you have to go with the first company you find. The fact is – it’s okay to shop around. It’s highly encouraged, too, considering the better the choice, the more fitting it is for both provider and client.
Beyond custom options and scalability, when looking for a small business answering service, look for pricing. For a small business, pricing may be the most important determining factor in their decision. However, not every provider offers pricing on their website. Sometimes you have to be willing to dig deeper and contact them.
And that’s okay. Starting a conversation is a great way to learn more about who you’re dealing with.
4. Choose a Scalable Solution
As mentioned previously, the scalability of a provider holds a lot of power. As a small business, you want a provider who really sees and understands you, despite your business size. You need a provider that understands the nuances of your business and your industry and will customize a solution for you.
Scalability is a huge consideration as, for one, a small business seeking an answering service is likely growing faster than expected. That means you require a small business answering service that is equipped to start small but grow with you. Better yet, you require a provider who can also grow and shrink on demand, depending on the season.
5. Expand Your Service
After your service has started and you’ve already seen great success, don’t be afraid to expand your service. Small business answering service providers offer a wide range of services such as fulfillment, accessibility options, tech support, and nearly anything else your growing business needs.
This also means that while you’re searching for a provider, you should consider those with other available options that truly have the power and infrastructure to grow and expand alongside your business.
What Are You Looking for in a Small Business Answering Service?
Is brand identity the most important aspect for you? Or is 24/7 availability more important? In some cases, you may want a provider that can give you all the services you want and then some. But, these types of small business answering service providers are hard to find.
AnswerNet has been in business for decades, providing successful small business answering service campaigns to a variety of industries. The best part is that we’re a large provider with the personal touch of a boutique-style service to ensure you get the service you want on every call.
For more information, please contact us today.