An answering service is a great investment for small businesses. An answering service allows you to focus on managing your business and helping your clients while they handle the day-to-day calls.
Because an answering service is not intimately familiar with your business activities, the answering service will need to know how you want to handle various activities. To help you help them provide excellent service, work out how to handle these items in your telephone script.
1. What Calls You Receive
Business calls are unique to each type of business. Work with your answering service to determine what the most likely calls they will receive are. Will you have sales calls? Customers with service concerns? Customers placing orders? Vendors calling about arrangements? Employees calling in for various reasons?
Deciding what types of phone calls are likely gives you a chance to address specific situations with your answering service. Develop a short, positive, and respectful script for each likely call type.
2. How to Handle Emergencies
One of the most important functions of any answering service is handling emergency calls. Such calls need immediate routing to a person who can help the customer or a referral to emergency services if that is the most appropriate thing. But you don't want every single customer or vendor routed to your personal cellphone.
An excellent way to parse out emergency calls is to have your service actually ask whether this is an emergency. Create a script for routing a caller that answers yes versus a caller who answers no. If you choose to be less direct, define parameters that may signal an emergency, such as a machine not functioning or a stranded customer.
3. Where Different Levels of Call Types Go
Businesses get a variety of phone inquiries: sales calls, cold calls, clients, appointment requests, information inquiries, or orders. Identify levels of urgency that your answering service can use to route messages.
Your answering service may send low-level calls to a business email while routing high-level calls to your personal email. The more specifics you give the answering service, the more scenarios they can take care of without bothering you and your staff.
4. How to Relay Messages
You have a variety of options these days in how you receive your messages.
Do you prefer a written record of the call delivered to your email? Would you like the record to go to an employee or on-call person's email who can decide how to route it? Would you like different types of calls to go to different email addresses? Do you want a verbal phone call with the details of certain messages?
Are any calls appropriate for text messages? These are decisions you should make before meeting with your future answering service.
5. What Other Services They Can Perform
Modern answering services do more than simply answer a phone call and take a message. They may be able to take information for an insurance claim, take an order from a customer, or connect after-hours customers to someone who is on-call that day.
By creating a script for basic functions such as these, you may be able to increase customer service without using your own employees' time. Be sure to talk with your answering service about specialized services they can bundle with your existing package.
At Professional Answering Service, we work with all sorts of companies with all types of needs and preferences. We can help you design the best scripts for your business and route your phone calls in a way that makes your business more efficient. Call us today for a free estimate.