The Top Features Your Phone Answering Service Needs
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has impacted countless small businesses and industries across Canada and the U.S. The effects have been largely negative for far too many organizations, but the news isn’t all bad — some companies are experiencing increased business during these trying times.
Coping with increased demand can be tricky in any economy, but it’s especially difficult during a public health crisis. And oftentimes, more business means more phone calls.
Let’s face it, you have enough things to worry about, and answering phone calls shouldn't be one of them. If your business is fielding more calls than usual, a phone answering service can be a helpful asset that clears your plate for other projects and priorities. When choosing a phone answering service, make sure the provider you choose offers these four important features.
1. Trustworthy receptionists with specialized training
Handing over control of the phones to someone new is nerve-wracking, and you need to trust the person (or people) who will be speaking on behalf of your business.
You want a professional and eloquent receptionist who can meet the needs of your business. For example, some receptionists provide basic phone answering services, like recording messages and transferring calls. Others have specialized training in certain areas and are able to provide more comprehensive customer service and support.
If you need someone with a specific type of background, look for a phone answering service that employs receptionists who have been trained in those areas.
2. Dedicated receptionists that know your business
Traditional call centers tend to be impersonal, and the standard call center experience isn’t going to inspire callers to trust your brand. Besides, no one wants to press 0 to speak to the operator. They’d much rather talk to a real human from the beginning. Ideally, that real human will also be familiar with your business and how it operates.
Achieving this level of familiarity is only possible when you work with a dedicated receptionist or small team. This is the model we use at Intelligent Office (IO) — our members work with the same virtual receptionists, which makes it possible to develop an effective, long term working relationship.
3. Access to helpful technology
When choosing a phone answering service, don’t forget to ask the provider about the technology their receptionists use to serve your business.
The right technology gives the receptionist speedy access to relevant information about your business. When a call comes in, they can answer questions with authority while providing top-notch customer service.
For an even more personalized solution, find a provider with technology that lets you update your preferences. For example, the tools we use at IO allow members to quickly and easily share information with their virtual receptionist, which creates a more personalized service. For example, you might provide specific instructions on how your receptionist should respond to calls when you’re in a meeting versus when you’re enjoying some personal time.
4. Local receptionists
At IO, we use terms like ‘virtual receptionist’ and ‘virtual assistant,’ but that doesn’t mean our receptionists are working from a faraway land. We have a network of virtual office space providers across North America, and each location has a team of local assistants to assist members.
When you use IO’s phone answering services, your business will be supported by a local team that understands what it’s like to live and work in your city. When prospects, clients and other important contacts call your business, they’ll notice the difference.