A professional answering service is an extension of your business. From initial contact to customer follow-up, the efficiency of an answering service can be the difference between increased revenue and customer retention or a declining client base and lost opportunities. Staying ahead of impending issues with your answering service can save you time and money by preventing profit loss and a damaged reputation.
Consider these 5 clues that tell you your answering service is no longer serving your needs:
1. Missed Opportunities
Call abandonment or missed calls leave 56% of customers frustrated. This is especially true for companies that lack additional ways for the customer to reach them. A few missed calls from your answering service can make your company appear disorganized and unreliable. If customers feel ignored or unsupported during an emergency, this makes them feel undervalued and potential clients may feel apprehensive about doing business with you.
Missed calls lead to missed opportunities and there are a variety of reasons why an answering service may be repeatedly missing your customer calls. If any of these factors lead to lost revenue and growth for your business, this is a red flag.
- Inadequate, outdated, or faulty call center equipment
- Limited call center staff
- Inattentive or disinterested agents
- Lack of motivation
- Decreased morale
Repeated missed opportunities extend beyond your service provider and your bottom line. These behaviors can overflow into your company, and directly affect your internal staff’s production and morale.
2. High Cost
Companies outsource answering services as an affordable option to expand and grow their business. However, when the cost outweighs the service your business’s customers receive, it puts your business in jeopardy. Many answering services provide simple month-to-month contracts and billing options based on your service needs. However, many others provide basic services and bill standard services as add-ons. The best way to avoid issues with this is to familiarize yourself with the total contract cost for all services provided. Hidden fees and surcharges can accumulate quickly and significantly increase your overhead. It’s best to hire a service that provides an inclusive total package price and upfront pricing for any add-ons so you know what to expect.
3. Poor Customer Service
Providing and maintaining satisfactory customer service is a major factor in customer retention and one of the reasons businesses hire professional answering services. Customers are 33% more likely to switch to a competitor immediately after receiving bad service and 60% more likely to switch to a competitor after 2-3 bad customer service experiences. Customers define poor customer service as:
- Disinterested agents
- Slow and complicated processes
- Rude agent behavior
- Feeling rushed through transactions
- Unclear or unprofessional communication by the agent
- Inattentive agent
- Agent’s lack of knowledge
Poor customer service is a costly mistake companies cannot afford to ignore. If your customers repeatedly receive inadequate service, find out what internal steps the answering service is taking to improve their service levels but if you’re not satisfied with their approach, it could be time to find another provider.
4. Lack of Knowledge
An answering service is an extension of your company and the agents should be knowledgeable in how to handle your customer's inquiries. Knowledge and confidence are important. Customers have stated that interacting with a knowledgeable service agent was just as important as the agent’s friendliness. An inadequately trained answering service causes a variety of minor or major concerns from causing an inconvenience for the customer to legal ramifications that can jeopardize your business.
5. Declining Company Reputation Due to Negative Customer Feedback
Customer service is the backbone of your company’s reputation. The increased scrutiny given to customer reviews and social media posts about businesses has increased the fragility and importance of brand reputation. Any of the above issues with an answering service can lead to a decline in your company’s overall reputation due to negative customer feedback. An increase in negative customer feedback related to customer service calls is a clear sign your current answering service is no longer meeting your needs. It takes years to build your company's reputation, and just a few bad customer service experiences damage it rather quickly. Consider the testimonials provided by the answering service’s customers when selecting a new answering service.
Pittsburgh Telephone Answering Service (PTAS) is your answer to a professional and reliable answering service that is available 24/7. We provide affordable and transparent upfront pricing far less expensive than hiring a receptionist or entire in-house staff. Our dependable and friendly agents provide award-winning around-the-clock support to your customers 365 days a year. PTAS agents are knowledgeable and specialize in managing calls for many industries including medical practices, property management and real estate, hospitality, legal practices, and more.
We take the time to learn about every company we work with and our streamlined process of emergency-directed calls and messaging options help maintain continuity as an extension of your company. Contact us today about how to get your answering service needs met!