So, you’ve finally started outgrowing the small business market—congratulations! Of course, with that growth comes the occasional growing pains. If your mid-market business is one of the growing organizations in the business world today, you have a lot of resources available to help with whatever you need. That includes help answering the phone, along with support for other communications and admin needs.
The use of an answering service can free up a lot of your time and resources and give you access to professional support in ways you might not have anticipated. The caveat is that you will need to explore the available services and see what best fits the needs of your growing business. That way, while you’re working on building your business, you won’t have to worry about missing a single opportunity, even when you’re busy.
Having a dedicated answering service means that you can enlist their help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s never been easier to keep up with the big companies and take your business into the future of communications with a dedicated virtual receptionist or answering service. And when it comes to the criteria that should be on your list, here are the top five things to consider.
Even if you’re a business that operates during “typical” business hours, your client base might not be. They could have jobs, families, and any number of other things keeping them from reaching out to your company during those hours. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose an answering service that offers 24/7 availability. Even when you’re working on something, sleeping, or enjoying a weekend with the family, your business won’t miss a thing, thanks to the answering service.
Plus, it won’t just be an automated system or message service—your callers will reach live people at all times, no matter when they call or what they need. That’s going to take your mid-market business to the next level faster than you expect.
Now that you’re in the mid-market world, you need to act like it. That includes partnering with services and providers who can deliver the level of professionalism that reflects your business. Answering services should have professional training and experience, both in handling communications and admin needs and in delivering the right type of communication based on the business they represent.
Make sure that answering services or virtual receptionists are trained in a formal manner and that everyone undergoes the same process. Check their standard practices and make sure that they always aim to go above and beyond. This is also a good time to check out reviews and see what existing clients, previous clients, and third party reviewers have to say about the company that you’re considering. That can give you a lot of valuable insight into all of this and more.
As you know, no one likes vague or blatantly withheld pricing information. If you are looking for a reputable partner for answering services, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a provider that is open and transparent about pricing information, plans, and other details. Even if their services are more expensive than others, the fact that a provider will disclose all their costs means that they respect you and that they stand behind their pricing.
It also makes it a lot easier for you to find the best services within your budget and maximize your investment in an answering service. Even if companies do require custom quotes because of the nature of their custom services, they should be able to provide a general idea of what to expect or make it easy and hassle-free to get that quote.
How much can you customize and scale the services offered by the provider(s) that you are considering? Being able to customize plans is essential. There’s no sense in paying for services that you don’t need and these days, you don’t have to. Take the time to consider how much customization you get from different providers and whether they will be able to scale and grow with you over time.
After all, the last thing that you want is to find a great answering service that has all the features that you want, only to realize that when your business grows, it can’t grow with you. Choose a provider that fits your needs now and that can be rearranged to fit your needs in the future, too.
Even if you’re new to the idea of an answering service, you’ll want to check over the features that they have available. Think about what you would most benefit from at the current stage in your business, as well as what could help you in the future. The best companies will have a full list of features that range from basic answering services to lead intake, payment collection, and even help with outreach campaigns and outbound sales.
While you’re learning about the available features, make a note of which ones are most important to you, and as mentioned above, whether or not you can customize a plan with the features that you need. There’s no sense in paying for what you won’t use, after all, but you do want to make sure you get the features that you need.
When your business is growing, so is your to-do list. That means that you’ve got enough to handle without having to answer every call that comes in. Fortunately, when you partner with Smith.ai, you’ll get a team of dedicated virtual receptionists that will handle your every need. Whether you just want a 24/7 answering service or you want to create a partnership to handle other needs like lead intake, appointment scheduling, and live website chat, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we’ll work with you to create a custom strategy to manage every detail.