Running a small business can be both exciting and overwhelming. Just a handful of people often manages startups, sometimes a solo entrepreneur, and there is rarely room left in the budget for additional staff. Each person has to juggle several roles and responsibilities, which can lead to inefficiencies, mistakes, poor customer service and employee burnout. This can also be true of more established enterprises that are growing rapidly. A business phone answering service is a cost-effective way to ease the pressure on staff and boost efficiency.
Save Your Business Money
Small businesses generally don’t have huge budgets to play with. The business owner must prioritise the resources needed and spend wisely. Employing staff is one of the biggest costs to a company, yet creating a professional first impression on potential customers and partners is essential for business success. Investing in a business phone answering service is much more cost-effective than hiring a receptionist or call handler. For a low monthly subscription, calls can be handled professionally 24 hours a day. The cost of hiring a new staff member is significantly higher. In addition to annual salaries, the business will have to cover the costs of recruiting, onboarding and developing that individual.
Manage Business Growth Effectively
As a business grows, it requires more resources to ensure standards of service are maintained. Trying to run a rapidly developing company with the same level of staff and basic equipment will result in mistakes, inefficiencies and ultimately, lost customers. Staff need to focus on developing and growing the business, which often means tasks such as answering calls are neglected or handled poorly. A telephone answering service can fulfil the role of a full-time receptionist, ensuring customer service standards are maintained and staff are free to concentrate on business growth. A good business answering service will offer a range of advanced features such as call whisper, fax-to-email and call recording, allowing you to scale the service with your business.
Create a Professional Image
According to research by Enterprise Nation, 70 per cent of new businesses in the UK start at home. Whether you’re running a business from the kitchen table or a plush office in Westminster, it’s important to create a professional image from day one. Consumers buy from companies they trust. Using a personal mobile phone number for business is a big no-no. IT looks unprofessional and damages the credibility of the brand. It may also contribute to burnout as there is no separation between professional and personal lives. A business answering service can make a startup appear more established and trustworthy. You can also choose a number that benefits the business. Enhance customer service by providing a toll-free 0800 number or choose a local number to give you a presence in a new geographical location.
Provide 24/7 Customer Service
Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and they expect to be able to contact a business at any hour of the day or night. A company that limits communication to office hours is likely to miss out on a lot of business. Sticking rigidly to office hours in your time zone will also exclude international customers from getting in touch at convenient times for them. A business answering service can provide support around the clock. It doesn’t need to sleep and will never take a day off sick. An answering service can take voicemail messages and signpost customers to other sources of support that can be accessed when office staff are not available. This allows you to provide a consistently high standard of customer service while achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Improve Employee Efficiency
You’ve taken the time to recruit and train a team of highly-skilled and experienced staff. Do you want your staff spending hours answering phone calls and taking messages? Are they frequently distracted from the job they were hired to do because the phone keeps ringing and there is no designated call handler or answering service? An efficient business phone system can be relied upon to manage calls effectively, allowing your staff to focus on the job at hand. They will have more time, fewer distractions and thus will become more productive.
Add Credibility to an Online Business
Many businesses run entirely online, but some customers still need the reassurance of being able to reach a company over the phone before they commit to a purchase. Adding a business phone number to your website can enhance the credibility of the brand and increase customer trust. Providing an alternative means of communication via a business answering service also demonstrates a commitment to customer service. Consumers want to have a choice of how they get in touch and offering this allows for more personalised service.
A business phone answering service is a cost-effective way to make your business more efficient and maintain the highest standards of customer service. It’s quick and easy to set up your service with City Numbers and our range of additional features allow you to scale the service as your business grows. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.