Depending on your business, you might be open nights and weekends. Any online business is technically open during those hours, even if you aren't available to talk to customers. Businesses that have on-call services, such as a home repair company, a private health practice or clinic, would also operate on nights and weekends when necessary. Other small businesses, like retail shops and convenience stores, would also be open (and may even be busy) on nights and weekends. It's businesses like these that could really benefit from a business answering service.
What's a Business Answering Service?
A business answering service is simply a live remote receptionist who will take calls for your business on nights and weekends, as well as during normal business hours. Typically, this service is cheaper than a part-time or full-time receptionist while covering those nights and weekends when calls could come in, but an on-site receptionist might not be available. This service may also be easier than finding someone to cover those night and weekend hours, which may be a relief to businesses who are often busy during those times, or would have trouble keeping someone to answer calls on the overnight shift. Overall, a business answering service will be there when you or your receptionist, so you'll never have to miss a call from a potential customer again.
You Don't Have Time for Phone Calls Anyway
If your business can afford to have someone on the phone at all times, then that's great! However, most businesses aren't in that position, meaning that someone who should be working with customers or doing something else is answering those phone calls. For many small businesses, that's just not a good use of time, and a business answering service can help ensure that time is used wisely. As an example, the owner could be on the phone with someone who's only looking to have their questions answered, and may not necessarily buy, when there could be a customer in the store needing help or wanting to make a purchase. The owner, while on the phone, may not see that person in the store and that person may leave before the owner has a chance to help them. Not only did the business lose a sale, but it did not get one from the phone call. How much better would the business be if a business answering service could have taken that call, allowing the owner to work with that person in the shop?
A Business Answering Service Can Keep Customers Happy
Customers, and potential customers, like fast service and quick responses. Those may be tougher to deliver on nights and weekends, but you can ensure that your business does exactly that with a business answering service. More people can be helped more quickly, which is great for everybody. A business answering service can also ensure that a calm, professional voice is what answers the phone, not someone who is overwhelmed or pressed for time, which can happen if you happen to be busy when people are calling. No customer, or potential customer, wants the company voice they hear to be stressed or rushed. This is especially beneficial for businesses with on-call services, where customers themselves could call when they are overwhelmed, pressed for time, or stressed. They certainly don't need someone else feeling the exact same way trying to help them.
There are many types of businesses that could use a business answering service, not just those that are open on nights and weekends. Any business could really use someone answering the phone during those off hours, as people do call just after closing or just before opening, when a receptionist might not be there. However, that person calling could easily be money out the window if a business answering service isn't there to take the call.