Almost 20% of the US population will be affected by the massive winter storm in the central states, dumping up to 18 inches of snow in some areas and torrential rains and thunderstorms in others. Weather this severe will have many people leaving work early, or not coming into work at all. Sure, the weather might also slow down business in general, since customers are less likely to come in and to think about making purchases. However, if you need it, professional phone answering services never take a snow day, and will be there even when it isn't safe for you and/or your employees to be there to answer the phone.
How Does a Professional Phone Answering Service Do It?
It's very similar to how we do it all the other times of the year, but one of the biggest differences is that in these situations, we can tailor our services to accommodate the special circumstances. For example, if your business is on a snow schedule, where your opening/closing time will depend on the road conditions, we can tailor how we answer the phone to communicate this information to potential customers. Instead of leaving these calls unanswered and hoping they see your Facebook page, you can have someone "there" to let these people know what's happening. It might seem disingenuous, since a phone answering service would have to admit that they aren't in the building and are answering the call remotely. However, you can customize your message so that this person is honest about who they are and why they're answering the phone.
A professional phone answering service can also forward important calls, just in case they come in. This is a great option for those who have a nationwide-base, and may have clients and customers who might not realize the closures or the severe weather. It's also a nice touch for small businesses and entrepreneurs who might not be able to afford closing up shop and taking a day off. Because of technology, most people won't take the entire day off and might end up working from home or a coffee shop. If you're able to help clients and customers who need it, then why not have an answering service do that so you don't have to venture out into the storm?
Professional Phone Answering Doesn't Leave Customers Guessing
One of the last things you want to do in severe weather is to leave customer hanging on whether or not you'll open, or have an event, or fulfill any other service that you typically would. Despite the weather, some will still want or would prefer your services. Others might wonder if there will be a delay in something they've already paid for, such as a delivery or a catering service. Not answering the phone may show that you're unprofessional, that you're prepared for these things. Replying to everyone via email may help, but is also time consuming and impossible if you don't a person's email. A professional answering service can alleviate the stress of keeping your customers in the loop when everyone is worried about being safe and knowing what's happening. If possible, you don't want to rely entirely on social media, where some might miss the message or you'll have customers asking questions over and over again anyway.
Of course, you wouldn't get a phone answering service for just a few days out of the year, but handling severe weather conditions is something to consider. In some parts of the country, this might not matter because snow days don't exist or snow happens often enough where everyone is prepared to come in to work and to do business as usual. However, when times are unusual, it's good to have an unusual solution to help.