As far as text message answering is 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 rarely offer SMS text message answering and if they do, they tend to deliver sub-par quality on the texts they answer.
Answering texts isn’t rocket science, yet still call centers and in-house staff can’t seem to do so. In failing to provide more modern communication options, call centers and in-house staff miss the mark on prioritizing your teams’ time and your clients’ satisfaction. If they do offer SMS text answering, call centers and in-house staff are often not equipped to provide quick and efficient answers, leaving clients understandably annoyed.
Answering services like Smith.ai offer thoughtful accommodations, like appointment scheduling through text to adhere to your team’s schedule. By paying attention to the details, Smith.ai’s answering service can relieve your busy team of call handling pressures, provide your clients with outstanding customer service, and help your business thrive. Hiring a call center or an in-house staff rather than outsourcing text message answering 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 89% of consumers want to text your business about becoming a client yet call center agents and in-house staff miss these clients by simply not offering SMS text answering. If they do offer it, they can’t provide timely responses, as call centers and in-house staff aren’t available 24/7, and when they do finally respond, they can often sound rehearsed, impersonal, and robotic. This can destroy any initial impression a client may have and erode any trust they may have in your business, which is critical to establish in the initial conversation with a potential client.
If a call center does offer SMS text answering, they often:
- Respond irregularly and inconsistently, if at all
- Lack knowledge of proper text message etiquette
- Provide unsatisfactory customer service
- Can’t offer scheduling for appointments or consultations
- Lack 24/7 availability
With over 82% of customers wanting their issues resolved quickly, call centers fall short of providing satisfactory service to clients. Text messages answered by call centers are often met with lengthy response times and unsatisfying answers. And with only 44% of clients reporting call centers to be helpful compared to nearly 76% of clients reporting non-call centers, like answering service, to be helpful, it’s clear to see that hiring a call center will result in longer response times and unsatisfactory customer service.
In-house staff also regularly:
- Come unequipped to address customer service concerns
- Lack availability to answer text messages after-hours, on weekends, and during holidays
- Respond to text messages irregularly and inadequately during business hours
- Fail to understand and follow SMS text answering policies and procedures
- Are unable to demonstrate friendly customer service through text
Even with a full-time in-house receptionist, over 62% of clients’ questions or inquiries are left unanswered. Despite being their sole purpose, in-house staff still fail to communicate with clients, 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 encourage clients and potential prospects to take 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 representative available at all times to answer clients’ questions, respond to interested leads, and schedule appointments all over text.
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
- Demonstrate SMS text answering expertise
- Answer text messages 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 SMS text answering 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 clients, 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 text message answering.