Working from home, or having a home-based business, is great in a lot of ways. However, one of the disadvantages of the home office is that the home doesn't come with the great infrastructure that the typical office does, unless you spend the money on that infrastructure. But, most working from home or building a home-based business aren't going to spend the money to replicate the typical office environment.
So, one of those the aspects of that office environment that's lost is a professional business answering service, someone dedicated to handling the calls. We're not saying that people who work from home aren't professional. We're saying that it's tougher to create that professional image and appeal from home. Yet, a home-based business answering service is a start, and here are 4 reasons why it's a good idea for any work-from-home professional or home-based business:
- Forwarding to Cell Phones Isn't Always Best - As convenient as cell phones are, they can be pretty pesky sometimes. They drop calls, people break up as the they are talking, or the signal's not there and the call is missed. Even though folks understand that these things happen with cell phones, it still doesn't look good to a potential customer if you missed their scheduled call or you have to call back in the middle of conversation. A business answering service doesn't use cell phones, so you can either have someone else take certain calls, or patch them through if its that scheduled sales call.
- Do You Have a Business Number? - Yes, more and more businesses are building online presences, or even moving online all together. But, this doesn't mean that the traditional aspects of a business, particularly the address and the phone number, are out of style. It's actually considered unfriendly and suspicious if the only option you have for people to contact your business is through a contact form. How does anyone know if there's a real person on the other end? Besides, if there's something wrong with the contact form, how is someone supposed to get in touch with you, or even let you know. A home-based business answering service, at the very least, gives you a professional business number to put on your website and to give potential customers the option to call you.
- Your Customers Don't Need to Hear the Dog in the Background - The thing about homes is that they are often located next to other homes. Those other homes can have dogs, children, lawnmowers, street cleanings, garbage trucks etc. all sorts of things that would be distracting to hear on a call, but are very much a part of the home and the neighborhood. A business answering service wouldn't be located at your house, so the service can handle calls professionally without your customer hearing the dog bark or the kids playing out back.
- You Didn't Go into Business to Answer the Phone - It's a good thing if the phone is always ringing with customers! However, if you're spending more time attending those calls then doing what you need to do to make those customers happy, then a business answering service is exactly what you need. After all, you went into business, or work from home, to do your job and to meet customers needs. Very rarely is that talking on the phone all day (unless your customer service or support).
The best thing about a home-based business answering service is that it creates the image of professional enterprise while you get to remain within the comfort of your home. We understand that people have their reasons for working from home, whether it's to save on costs as the business builds, or to maintain a better work/life balance, or to be able to have the freedom to work your own hours or to not have to spend two hours a day travelling. A business answering service can help with all that, without taking away anything from the home office.