How your customers perceive your business is critical. Managing that perception is what we call “branding.” Maintaining a positive brand image requires walking a tightrope and ensuring that every interaction and experience a customer has with your business is positive. Answering services can help ensure that you build a better brand image and stand out from the competition for the right reasons.
A brand image is nothing more than how your customers perceive your brand. It’s a combination of impressions, beliefs, and ideas about your business. Some of that comes from what your business does and how it operates, as well as personal experiences with your brand. Yet others come from your products or services, your marketing materials, and different sources.
Don’t confuse brand image with brand reputation, though. While they’re related, they’re distinct. Brand reputation generally stems from the purchase and use of a product, while your brand image doesn’t necessarily involve a purchase. Factors that drive it can include your marketing messages, the quality of your customer service, the level of your social responsibility, product/service prices, and more.
Why should you be concerned about the strength of your brand image? Simply put, it affects credibility and customer loyalty. The stronger your brand image, the more credible your brand is in the eyes of others. When you deliver what you promise, you also build more customer loyalty and enhance customer trust, further driving retention and repeat purchases.
Unfortunately, your brand image is easily tarnished. Sometimes, a single negative experience is enough to turn away a customer. Answering services can help you build a better brand image and ensure that your business can enjoy all the rewards that come with that.
The most important way answering services help your business build a stronger brand image is by assisting you in creating a customer experience that reflects your brand’s promise. Your brand promise is a statement (expressed or implied) that speaks to the value of your product or service and the experience that customers can expect from you.
An answering service helps you deliver a better customer experience that aligns with your brand’s promise. For instance, every call matters, but your team cannot answer them all. An answering service ensures that no call goes unanswered and that callers aren’t sent to voicemail. As a result, callers feel heard and validated, which strengthens your brand image.
Despite how it might seem at times, customers don’t really want to complain. They want their problems addressed and to go on their way. However, if they have to jump through hoops just to speak with an employee, their experience with your brand will be less than stellar, and chances are good that it will erode their impression of your business.
Answering services help ensure that your customers enjoy a positive experience at every touch point, whether they’re calling about a problem with a product or just need to have their questions answered. It’s all about showing that your brand cares about its customers and that you’re there to help, whatever that might mean to each caller.
Once upon a time, you could count on most customers trying to contact you during normal business hours. Those days are long gone. Today, customers may try to contact you at any time of the day or night, and that chance goes up the wider you cast your net. While even local brick-and-mortar businesses can expect to receive calls after hours, businesses with customers across the country or around the world will experience very high call volumes outside standard business hours.
Answering services ensure that you’re available when your customers need you. In the 21st century, your phone lines shouldn’t be staffed only during standard business hours. An answering service can field calls whenever they come in, ensuring that those callers feel valued and listened to, whether they’re calling for more information about your products/services, to set an appointment, or for some other reason.
Let’s face it – businesses that deliver an inconsistent experience don’t last very long. Customers want to know what they can expect when interacting with a brand, and if they don’t get that consistency, they’ll go elsewhere. Unfortunately, delivering a consistent brand experience can be challenging, particularly when your team is busy and the phones are ringing.
An answering service can do more than ensure that every call that comes through is answered. Professional virtual receptionists can maintain your brand’s language, style, and tone, creating a cohesive, consistent experience for your customers with every interaction.
When your team must stop what they’re doing to answer a phone call, productivity drops, and mission-critical tasks grind to a halt. Maybe a team member has to stop working with a customer in person to field a phone call. Perhaps a team member is late to an important client meeting because they had to spend time answering questions from a potential lead on the phone.
An answering service helps ensure that your team members can focus on doing what matters most without sending current or potential customers to voicemail. That helps improve productivity and profitability while simultaneously building a better brand image.
Is your brand image less than ideal? It could be costing you business. At Smith.ai, we understand the importance of delivering a cohesive customer experience and being available when your customers need you. We also understand that sometimes your team can’t be in multiple places at once. Our professional virtual receptionists act as your 24/7 answering service and help build the positive brand image you need. We can also offer other critical services, including lead intake, appointment scheduling, and more.