Use a professional call answering service to prevent poor call answering at your company.
We've talked a lot here about good call answering, and why call answering services can help a business. However, you would also want a call answering service to prevent poor call answering and scaring away customers. Yet, what does poor call answering entail and how can it hurt your business? Here are four ways poor call answering negatively affects the bottom line and scares away perfectly good customers:
Poor Call Answering Affects the First Impression
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and if someone is calling your business for the first time, then that call is the first impression. If that call doesn't go well, such as the receptionist is rude or unenthusiastic, or the caller doesn't get to talk to anyone, or if the call quality isn't good, then you've lost the opportunity for your business to make a good first impression with that caller. That person isn't going to call back to try again, and will instead call your competitor.
No One Likes a Runaround
With a professional call answering service, you can ensure that callers don't have to deal with an automated menu, or don't end up in circles trying to find the right person. Menus and circles only leave callers frustrated, giving up before they are able to get what they need. It makes your business look disorganized, or ambivalent toward customers and potential customers. Poor call answering isn't just leaving calls unanswered or not being polite on the phone; it's the whole calling process, from dialing the phone until the person hangs up. This would also include taking a while to answer a call. Most people hang up after six rings, but will find that three or four rings is too much.
Non-Working Voicemails Aren't Good Either
Granted, the right person to talk to isn't always available. If this is the case, then you want to have a working, customized voicemail message ready to go. Callers like knowing they are leaving a message for the right person, or even that the number went to a person who could get back to them or forward their message. Customers don't like going to voicemails that aren't setup yet, or are the default message that doesn't reveal any information about the person, so they'll be discouraged to leave a message or even to call back another time.
Poor Call Quality
With cell phones and online technology such as Skype and Google Voice, it's much easier than ever to reach someone. However, technology isn't always our friend, and a whole array of problems can show up with these options. Calls are dropped, calls break up, calls are missed all together because there's no signal, calls come at the most inopportune times. We may all be busy and have things to do, and sometimes technology doesn't always help, but customers want quick service and want to know that they have you're full attention. Poor call quality can make a customer feel otherwise.
There's No Reason for Poor Call Answering
With all the professional call answering services out there, plus a common sense attitude about working with customers over the phone, there's no excuse for poor call answering and for leaving customers hanging. At the very least, calls should be answered quickly and customers should be helped as much as possible, whether that's answering their question or directing them to the right person, or even taking a message for them. Not treating these calls a priority is poor call answering in and of itself.