When Your Clients Simply Must Talk to a Real Person
Regardless of whether you like it or not, as an entrepreneur, you know that the digital age has changed the business world forever. Among the many new realities facing business leaders is the fact that “the office is never closed.” Time zones and working hours mean nothing when the internet is perpetually open and your company’s website and social media presence have to be available for potential clients to peruse. Of course, it is not merely essential for potential customers to be able to find you on the internet, it may also be necessary for them to contact you promptly. If your company has a brick-and-mortar office with a sign out in front that says, “In case of emergency, call…,” then the potential urgency for those who need to speak to you translates to digital traffic as well.
The Perpetually Open Service Company
This reality is easy to grasp if you run a service corporation. Doctors, lawyers and bondsmen were among the first to recognize the need for an after hours answering service. As the world has gone digital, it is all the more obvious that any service company that wants to engage its customers needs to have a human voice standing by to interact with clients 24 hours a day. Professionalism and availability are key for a virtual receptionist. If you are a small business owner, like a plumbing or electrical contractor, who needs to be onsite during the day and wants to have a home life in the evening, the need for a dedicated virtual receptionist—whom your clients perceive to be part of your team—is essential. For you, an after-hours answering professional is a necessity.
The Perpetually Open Product Company
Many entrepreneurs whose businesses provide products are discovering that the shop doors never close for them either. Buyers do not confine their internet activity to business hours. In fact, it is after people get home from work that they concentrate on their internet sales research and find themselves investigating your products. Regardless of how well your website presents your material and how clear-cut your sales processes are, it is bound to happen that a customer needs to interact with a live person. In such cases, FAQ and even a chatbot will not serve. You will likely find it essential to have live chat support for your products. Far from simply taking notes or referring calls, a professional chat representative can be trained to solve problems, soothe feelings and promote those aspects of your business that are most important to you.
The Perpetual Customer Service Department
Going way back to the 1960s when answering services first began, the industry has evolved in many meaningful ways. While medical doctors will never be able to allow their after-hours service to write prescriptions, it is possible for many businesses to train answering services and live chat personnel to offer real support to clients and customers who contact them. A recent article in Forbes describes the great difference it makes in the lives of clients when an answering company goes out of its way to personalize the service it gives based upon the business it serves. There are those highly professional after-hours answering services that specially train their employees based upon the needs of the companies for whom they answer. Additionally, some actually maintain dedicated answerers for specific businesses.
The Perpetual Human Touch
It should go without saying, but the reality is that an answering service is always better than voicemail. There are many reasons for this:
- Some clients simply refuse to speak to machines.
- No matter how obvious the voicemail instructions may seem, some people just cannot get them right.
- Even the best-intentioned businesspeople may hide behind the machine and choose not to return some calls. This tendency is greatly diminished when messages come via an answering service.
- The most important reason that answering services are always better than voicemails is that people who call your business want to hear a live human voice who is ready to interact with them on your behalf.
Sometimes shortcuts are necessary and voicemails are a necessary shortcut that business leaders must utilize at times. When wishing to present the most professional, customer-facing front to your clients, however, both research and anecdotes show that an answering service prevails.