e-PA: Services is another one of our great new blog features, in which we want to really show off what we do, show you why we love it so much, and provide real-life stories, information and testimonials as to how our services improve businesses and lives, every day.
In this first entry, we look to answer a question we have been asked thousands of times (literally) in our 20+ years in the industry, and one we are still asked several times, daily:
“Why does my small business need an answering service?”
To better answer this question, let’s just have a quick look at what exactly an answering service is. To use our offerings here, at e-PA, as an example, we take a complete multi-channel approach to answering, ensuring that, whichever channels you are marketing your business through, such as social media or your website, or opening yourself up to customer interaction through, like emails or the good, reliable old telephone, you never need to worry about missing an enquiry. After all, just one single missed enquiry represents a missed sales opportunity for your business which, in turn, prevents your business from achieving its full potential.
Whilst it’s no secret that things can get chaotic when trying to run a small business – after all, that’s sometimes part of the thrill, right? – when things start to spin out of control, that’s when you’re in trouble. This is where you can damage your reputation and lose customers.
Finding an answering partner whose passion for helping your business reach the next level of customer service, is just what the doctor ordered. Below are 7 reasons why:
It helps you control staffing costs
Small businesses are constantly growing, and a part of positive growth is managing employee costs. Hiring employees and managing the related expenses and benefits programs can add up quickly. By outsourcing the management of your enquiries to an answering service provider, you can eliminate the cost of hiring a receptionist or an admin person and enhance your customer service. That frees up funds to invest elsewhere in your business. Plus, it eliminates the costs of hiring the wrong person.
It boosts business productivity
Despite being a vital part of daily operations, incoming enquiries can be a huge distraction, and can significantly hamper productivity, by interrupting workflow and wasting time. Plus, they can break momentum when you are working and force you to spend time finding out where you left off before the enquiry. An answering service is a cost-effective way to eliminate phone calls and boost productivity. Plus, it helps you and your staff maintain momentum and focus on what you’re doing. You’ll get more things done in less time, boosting profitability.
It gives you the freedom to take time off
Whilst it would be nice to have the ability to run your business 24/7/365, doing so would lead to burnout and chronic stress, before you know it. In fact, few small businesses – particularly start-ups and ‘one-man band’ type operations, have the ability to continue operating whilst they are away, either on holiday, days off, or absent due to health reasons. Put simply, quite often, if they aren’t working, their business is effectively closed. Hiring an answering service is a cost-effective way to expand your hours and boost profitability, while you or your staff are not on duty.
It helps you maintain a level of flexibility
From day to day, you never know what can happen in a small business. One thing we all do know for sure, though, is how quickly an unexpected event or a sudden emergency can occur, at any time. If you’re not prepared to handle it, it could wipe you out. An answering service can help you cope with the unexpected – even if it’s just something as simple as a temporary surge in calls. Having that system in place can keep you up and running, even when things deteriorate, and it helps you continue to meet customer needs quickly and efficiently.
It maximises return on investment (ROI)
This is something that is imperative for a small business, yet often overlooked. Spending hundreds or thousands on marketing is a waste, if you’re missing enquiries when sales calls come in, due to your promotional efforts. That negatively impacts the ROI of these projects, dramatically. Partnering with an answering service means you won’t miss any sales opportunities when you or your staff aren’t around. Thanks to the answering service, you could see hundreds of hot leads in your inbox, maximising the ROI of your marketing investment.
It helps you manage appointments & meet deadlines
Managing appointments can often be a challenge. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it can be a real nightmare, if you lack the right staff, the right technology and, most importantly, the time required – all of which result in missed appointments. Missing a meeting is unprofessional, and creates a poor first impression if you’re meeting with someone for the first time. Turning appointment setting and managing over to an answering service provider that offers diary management as a service extension, like e-PA, can help you beat this challenge. It simplifies things and frees up you and your employees, by removing the hassle of managing a full schedule of appointments. That way nothing falls through the cracks.
It maintains your reliability & consistency
Your customers need to know they can rely on you when it counts – like when they have questions or issues with your products or services. The challenge is making sure your business is also poised and ready to deliver epic customer service, every time. Using an answering service can guarantee procedures are followed, routinely, when customers contact you, and top-flight customer service is delivered, consistently, without failure. If procedures change, your answering service has the flexibility to change its activities to meet your needs, ensuring reliability and consistency. Additionally, without the distractions of your day-to-day operations, service is able to be provided to each customer, individually, ensuring they feel like they are the number one priority (because they are), without distraction, keeping them coming back time and time again.
Managing a small business isn’t easy. With everything that goes on, on a daily (or hourly) basis, you can easily lose control of things. When that happens, you need to do something about it. Partnering with an answering service can help you regain control of your business. More importantly, it can provide massive advantages, that can help your business survive and thrive.
At e-PA, our industry-leading, multi-channel answering and business support services can be tailored to meet your exact needs and budget. Get in touch with us, today, and take the first step in ramping up your business to the next level and welcoming your clients to the future of customer services.
Customer service solutions dedicated to the legal industry: read more here!
Find more business-related articles on our blog section, here.
Proper diary management is the key to success! Check out the article here!
Share on social media
Trial unique telephone answering completely free for a week.