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What To Look for When Choosing a Call Answering Service

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Knowing what to look for when choosing a call answering service can mean the difference between a smooth operation that helps skyrocket your business and a botch job that could ruin your business. Though this may seem stark, the truth is that for customer-centric businesses which rely on phone sales or support, hiring the right call center the first time can go a long way toward ensuring success, and getting it wrong the first time can cause an equally speedy trip to oblivion for your business.

With that in mind, hereís what to look for when choosing a call answering service:

  • People: If you need your phones to be answered by a human, people are the first things to look for when choosing a call answering service. You need people who fluently speak the language of your primary customer base. Naturally, these people must know their stuff and be able to quickly and efficiently steer callers in the direction in which you wish them to go. When youíre shopping around, the first thing to ask is if the company will furnish you with a list of businesses who use their service, or at least one such business. You then pick up the phone and put their service to the test. If they wonít give you this information, itís fair to say theyíre not fully confident in their people, which should be an automatic disqualifier. After all, if theyíre reticent to let you interact with their service in an unscripted way, they donít truly understand what youíre looking for when choosing a call answering service.
  • Process: The process by which callers navigate the system is another vital area when considering what to look for when choosing a call answering service. You should be given the greatest amount of control possible over the system and the approach it takes to guiding callers to the proper information. This is usually done with an IVR (interactive voice response) system, and itís imperative that this system be laid out in an intuitive manner. If your system will primarily be used to direct customers to a certain department and eventually to a customer service representative, there should be a minimum of menus between the system greeting the caller and the caller speaking to the appropriate representative.
  • Capacity: Hopefully, your business is going to be undergoing steady growth for the foreseeable future, so the capacity is an important consideration when deciding what to look for when choosing a call answering service. You donít want to be forced to switch services mid stream.
  • Flexibility: This is another example of what to look for when choosing a call answering service. In this situation, flexibility means offering pricing plans that are equally suited to your business as it stands today and where it will stand in five years, if all goes well.
  • Longevity: How long a company has been in business is another critical factor when it comes to what to look for when choosing a call answering service. Obviously, the longer a company has been around, the greater the chance that its services are among the best. This also means that theyíve developed solid procedures for maximizing sales and customer satisfaction through call answering services.

The above list should give you a solid foundation regarding what to look for when choosing a call answering service. Every business situation is unique, so donít be afraid to talk to each of the companies you have in mind and explain to them exactly what youíre trying to do. They may be able to help in ways youíve never considered, and even if not, they may give you other ideas for what to look for when choosing a call answering service.

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