As far as overflow call answering services are concerned, call centers and in-house staff can't perform as well as an answering service. While they may be able to answer calls more frequently and consistently than employees with other duties, call centers and in-house receptionists tend to deliver sub-par quality on the calls they answer.
Answering phone calls isn't rocket science, yet still call centers and in-house staff often fail to perform overflow call answering in a manner that prioritizes your teams' time and your callers' satisfaction. Call centers and in-house staff are often not equipped to answer common questions callers have and come with excessive background noise and basic call handling, leaving callers understandably annoyed.
Answering services that utilize live professional virtual receptionists like Smith.ai offer thoughtful accommodations, like scheduled call-backs to adhere to your team's schedule. We even offer options such as our bilingual answering service so your callers can speak in the language they prefer. By paying attention to the details, Smith.ai's answering service can relieve your busy team of call handling pressures, provide your callers with outstanding customer service, and help your business thrive. Hiring a call center or an in-house staff rather than outsourcing overflow call answering services to an answering service may risk your reputation, your productivity, and your customer satisfaction.
If you're a small business, this rings especially true for you. Over 80% of consumers prefer to talk to a real person over the phone yet call center agents and in-house staff can sound rehearsed, impersonal, and unsettling. This can destroy any initial impression a caller may have and erode any trust they may have in your business, which is critical to establish in the initial conversation with a caller.
It's well known that call centers customarily:
- Engage in poor phone etiquette
- Leave callers on hold for absurd amounts of time
- Fail to check your teams' availability before transferring calls
- Have trouble providing high-quality customer service
- Fail to set adequate expectations for callers being transferred
With over 82% of customers wanting their issues resolved quickly , call centers fall short of providing satisfactory service to callers. Incoming calls answered by call center agents take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes , whereas calls answered by a virtual answering service usually only take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes. And with only 44% of callers reporting call centers to be helpful compared to nearly 76% of callers reporting non-call centers, like answering service, to be helpful, it's clear to see that hiring a call center will result in longer call times and unsatisfactory customer service.
In-house staff also regularly:
- Come unequipped to handle overflow calls
- Have limited phone coverage availability
- Have difficulty scheduling call-backs that adhere to your teams' time
- Have no availability during office hours due to being busy themselves
- Have little to no ability to answer more than one call at a time
Even with a full-time in-house receptionist, over 62% of calls go to voicemail or are left unanswered. Despite being their sole purpose, in-house staff still fail to answer telephone calls, which can cost your business potential customers, as up to 50% of sales go to businesses that answer first . With many in-house staff having limited customer service knowledge, current clients are lost as well since over 71% of clients will end a business relationship due to poor phone etiquette . Hiring an in-house staff to answer calls is arguably counterintuitive to your business's success.
All of these common issues with call centers and in-house staff can lead to clients hanging up the phone and potential prospects taking their business elsewhere, resulting in your company losing leads, customer loyalty, money, and time. By hiring an answering service, such as Smith.ai, instead, your team can avoid losing out on clients by having a knowledgeable and friendly virtual receptionist available when your team is busy to answer clients' questions.
If that isn't enough, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that on average, answering services cost only about 20% of what an in-house staff or call center costs despite offering more features and better quality services.
As a matter of fact, Smith.ai's virtual receptionists can:
- Provide reliable and open availability
- Answer phone calls immediately and consistently
- Foster leads with personalized, friendly customer service
- Schedule appointments and consultations
- Build a foundation of trust between you and your clients
- Prepare clients with information about your services
Outsourcing overflow answering services to an answering service like Smith.ai instead of a call center or in-house staff can save your business from overextended budgets, embarrassing client interactions, missed lead-capturing opportunities, and frustrating workplace complications. Rather than risk your revenue and client relationships on inexperienced or ineffective call center agents or in-house staff, trust Smith.ai's reliable service to nurture callers, capture leads, and take the pressure off of your busy staff.
Don't just take our word for it. Check out some of our clients' reviews to see why so many businesses trust Smith.ai to handle their overflow answering services.