Answering customer calls is an essential part of running a successful business. But who has the time for it? Chances are good that when your team is busy, those calls get sent straight to voicemail. Someone will check the messages and then return the calls later, right? Wrong.
Depending on your industry, you could be missing between 20% and 45% of your calls. A significant percentage of those calls are current customers. Many more are leads. Few businesses can withstand the disengagement that creates.
The good news is that an outsourced answering service can dramatically improve your customer engagement, convert leads, and help you build a thriving organization. How, you ask? Here are five ways.
Let’s start with the most obvious way an outsourced answering service can transform your customer engagement rates. You no longer have to worry about missed calls. In an age when more and more businesses are using automated systems that keep customers on hold for ages, that automatically sets you apart.
When a customer calls and can speak to a live representative within seconds, it transforms their experience. It also helps prevent them from getting frustrated and angry. NPR notes that 43% of customers “yelled or raised their voice to express displeasure” concerning their customer service experiences.
With an outsourced answering service, you no longer need to worry that customers are being kept on hold for 15 or 20 minutes or that their calls are being declined and sent straight to voicemail, where they might never be responded to.
Digital technology and automated systems are all around us. We use the self-checkout at the grocery store. We shop on e-commerce websites. Even fast-food restaurants are getting into the act with automated kiosks instead of cashiers. It’s a weird world that’s filled with humans who never interact with one another. And that drives disengagement.
An outsourced answering service can give your business that much-needed human touch. Imagine the relief a customer might feel when their call is answered by a professional virtual receptionist asking how they can help rather than an automated call menu asking them to “please press 1”.
Humans are social creatures. We’re hardwired to need that human connection. Unfortunately, the world we’re building deprives us of that. An automated answering service can give it back to your business, boost customer engagement, and help you stand out in an increasingly competitive industry.
When a customer calls you, it’s because they have a need. They have a problem that requires a solution, a question that needs an answer, or a situation where expert advice is necessary.
However, if their call isn’t answered, they cannot find the solution they require. An outsourced answering service ensures your calls are answered promptly and professionally by a live virtual receptionist who can provide the answers, guidance, advice, or solution the customer requires.
At Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists can do more than field phone calls, take messages, and forward calls to the appropriate person. They can take information about your business’s products or services and provide answers to customer questions and solve their problems without having to escalate the call in many instances.
It’s about having real conversations with your customers so they sound heard and providing a streamlined process that gives them what they need while keeping them engaged.
In a perfect world, your customers would only ever call during standard business hours. We don’t live in such a world. Chances are good your customers call at all hours of the day or night.
Maybe they can only call once they get off of work. Perhaps they live in a different time zone. Maybe they’re on the other side of the planet, and there’s no feasible way to call during your business hours. An outsourced answering service ensures that your customer calls are answered no matter what time it is.
How much more smoothly would your business operate if customers who called after hours connected with a live human being? How much more engaged would your customers be if they knew they could get answers or help no matter what time it was?
Many businesses face seasonal spikes in customer demand and phone call volume. The hospitality industry is one example, but there are plenty of others, from patio furniture manufacturers to garden tool suppliers. Having a solution in place to help offset high call volumes during peak season can boost customer engagement and satisfaction while also improving your company’s growth potential.
One way that Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists help offset increased call volume during seasonal spikes is with call overflow answering. If your representatives are busy, the calls are intelligently routed to our live receptionists, who can answer questions, take down customer information, qualify leads, book appointments, and hand off warm leads to your team.
Did you know that 96% of customers say customer service is an essential factor in brand loyalty? Zippia also points out that customer experience drives over 60% of brand loyalty, and 89% of customers who have a poor or negative customer experience with your brand will switch to a competitor.
Customer engagement is a critical metric, no matter your industry or niche. If you’re unable to move the needle, your customers will go elsewhere. At Smith.ai, we deliver the outsourced answering service you need to ensure that every customer call is answered when it comes in. That means no more missed calls thanks to 24/7 call answering, no more dealing with a glut of voicemails first thing in the morning, and a better overall customer experience.
Our virtual receptionists give your business the human touch it needs while ensuring that customers feel heard. We can also provide you with important advantages, like call intelligence, call recordings, and transcriptions, so that you can connect the dots and build a stronger business.