If you’re in the business of landscaping and gardening, you probably don’t spend a lot of time by the phone. And even if your mobile device is right in your pocket, you might not be clean enough to reach it when a call comes through. Whatever the case may be, an industry like landscaping can really benefit from having someone always available to answer the phones.
Hiring a receptionist or even outsourcing to a call center might not be on your list of possibilities for one reason or another. And yet, you need some help. Fortunately, there are several different answering services available today that can deliver all kinds of solutions for your landscaping company. Most importantly, the best answering service will ensure that you never miss a single opportunity.
Of course, not all answering services and virtual receptionists are created equally. It will be up to you to do a little research and learn about what you can get when you enlist the help of these services. Fortunately, you’re not totally on your own. Below, you’ll find a list of five must-have criteria for anyone you consider partnering with.
Before we dig into the best features of an answering service, let’s talk about why you need one in the first place. For starters, a phone answering service will ensure that you have more time to work and get jobs done. Instead of having to stop everything to take phone calls, you’ll know that the business is handled while you’re doing the hard work.
You’ll be able to deliver that higher caliber of customer service without having to invest in your own customer service team. This will also allow you to set more appointments, convert and connect with more leads, and ensure that you’re delivering a straightforward, streamlined experience for your customers. You may find even more features, depending on what you’re looking for in an answering service, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Speaking of features, here are five criteria that should be on every landscaper’s list when shopping for an answering service or communications partner.
Landscapers usually handle things like snow removal and emergency tree issues, so having 24-hour access can be invaluable. Even if your company doesn’t offer after-hours services, you may still have people who want to call after typical business hours and they should be able to do so. Hiring a 24/7 answering service gives your audience peace of mind that you’ll always be there when they need you, which can help increase your customer retention.
Being available 24 hours a day might not seem like a big deal to you at first, but when you see how much more communication you get when you do extend your availability with an answering service, you’ll be glad you made it a big deal.
Again, if you’re dealing with outdoor services that are needed in a pinch, you want an answering service that’s experienced and capable. That includes being capable of notifying you of emergencies or being able to otherwise escalate calls to ensure that people get the solutions they need on their time. If you don’t deal with snow removal, trees, or other potential outdoor emergencies, this may not be as high on your list, but for most landscapers, it’s definitely worth looking into.
Your callers need to feel like they’re the most important person you’re talking to. They need to feel like all the attention is on them and that they aren’t just another person waiting to get an answer from some company. Working with an outsourced, professional service will give you the tools and resources to create the perfect custom calling experience for anyone who might reach out to your landscaping business. This can improve conversions and draw in more business because people feel valued by your company.
This is a critical element for any business that you partner with or anything that you outsource. You want to come off as an experienced professional and an authority in your field. Therefore, you also want a call center that can help you accomplish that goal. With experienced virtual receptionists and call centers, you can guarantee that every call will be handled professionally and with the highest levels of expert assistance no matter who calls. And, when calls need to be escalated to you, they’ll be redirected accordingly.
Finally, you need to make sure that you choose a company that has all the features that you need. A service that only takes part of the work off your plate is okay, but you really need a full-service solution that covers everything from answering calls and taking messages to scheduling appointments, outreach and marketing assistance, and even taking payments. That way, you can stick to the landscaping and let someone else handle the rest.
Review all the available services and features. Consult with each company that you’ve shortlisted to make sure that they have what you need. Ask your team if you’re missing or forgetting anything before you finalize and commit. If a company doesn’t have the features you need, there is one out there that will. This is not a compromise point for most companies.
Answering services are great, but what could you do with a full team of dedicated virtual receptionists? When you partner with Smith.ai, you’re sure to find out in short order just how much we can help. For starters, we can provide that 24/7 answering service so that you never miss an opportunity. However, that’s not all we do. We can also assist with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your outreach campaigns.