There are a lot of myths surrounding the outsourcing of your company’s phone support needs. Business owners who object often believe only they can properly answer their customer phone calls, while others feel that the digital era and online support has all but crushed their customer’s desire to make a phone call to their business.
Following are 6 common myths about phone answering services that simple aren’t true – debunked!
1. Outsourced agents don’t care about service like you would
There is a certain level of arrogance that comes with being a business owner. The pride that comes from building a business up and making it profitable most often leads owners and their management to think that everything would go sideways if someone who doesn’t work directly for the company were to perform customer service functions on the phone.
Truth is, it’s just as likely you’ll have someone working right in the office that doesn’t care about their job as it is to imagine an agent working for the service you hire is bad at their job. There’s good and bad everywhere and the people working for a professional answering service MUST care about their job in order to keep it!
Not to mention, their sole job is to answer calls and conduct themselves in the most professional way possible, meaning a telephone answering service operator can likely do the job even better than you and your employees can!
2. Phone service is less popular – everyone is using the web
Not true at all. We’ve all been there, done that with email and chat service online. Some is good, some is bad, but neither measures up with actually talking to a real person when you call to book an appointment or ask a question.
Call intelligence firm, Invoca, released a study in 2016 showing that 65% of the 50-million calls they analyzed had customers preferring to call a business as opposed to deal with online web forms, web chat, and email.
If you want to give your customers the best 24/7 service, you need to have someone available to take their call – even if it’s just to take an important message and assure customers that someone will be calling them back shortly.
3. Answering services can create a threat to company and customer data security
If you don’t do your homework and decide to hire a cheap service with no reputation, this just might end up being true. However, a good service provider will have strict software and data-access protocols in place to protect your data from being infiltrated by hackers, copied by employees, or accessed by staff members without a log being kept.
The security of your data will be paramount with companies who care about their reputation. Otherwise, how can they expect to stay in business?
4. Answering phones is part of my employee’s job
That might be what you and your HR staff say, but is that the most productive way to run your business? In most cases, the answer is a firm NO. Even if your employees can answer the phone, what important task is being interrupted every time they have to stop and pick up a call? Who can they rely on for help when call volumes are through the roof and they have a crap-ton of other stuff to get done?
Just take a glance at this study out of UC Irvine that showed it takes the average employee over 23 minutes to get back on task after being interrupted by the phone. The fact is, you may feel like you’re paying employees to do this job, but you’re also holding them back when you do so.
A phone answering service ensures no call gets missed, taking messages and allowing you and your employees the freedom block out specific (more convenient) times to return customer calls and inquiries.
5. Customers hate answering services – what they really want is to talk to me
That’s true. However, when you call your dentist, doctor, lawyer, or (gasp) state representative, how often to you get patched directly to them? What customers really hate is a robot (answering machine) answering their calls, or a random and untrained employee answering the phone because there’s nobody around and they were told to “take a message if anyone calls.”
An answering service will answer calls promptly, can be trained to answer FAQs, book appointments, and often even provide technical support for your products and services.
Either way, an answering service’s professionalism will nearly always outshine an answering machine or the phone being answered by someone in your business that isn’t qualified to provide customer support.
6. Telephone answering services cost too much
This one is really a culmination of many of the above points mentioned already. Consider the cost to hire someone just to answer the phones at your business (ie., a secretary). When you get to that point where an extra set of hands and ears are needed to answer the phone, you have to set them up at a desk, pay them a salary and benefits, and take on all the extra risks that come from hiring someone.
Telephone services usually charge a set monthly rate for the service package you choose, while others will bill you only for the number of calls they take. They pay their employee’s salary and benefits. If one of their employees doesn’t work out, it’s on them to deal with the termination process, compensation packages, and potential legal issues that can ensue when an employee is let go.
Not sounding quite as expensive as you thought, right?
In most cases, answering the phone at your business is costing you way more money than it would to outsource the task. Missed calls, overworked (rude) employees alienating customers, lost productivity, and increased salary expenses are all cutting into your bottom line by continuing to keep this important task in-house.
Stop letting the common silly myths above stop you from giving your customers the best service possible, and robbing you and your employees of the time needed to do the work most important to your business’s success.