Businesses of all types can benefit from an answering service to handle the multitude of daily phone calls and keep things running. However, not all answering services are created equal. If your provider is causing more problems for you or just not doing their job, it may be time to switch. Keep an eye out for a few key red flags.
Answering Service Red Flags
If you’ve hired (or are considering hiring) a less than ideal call answering service, you’ll probably notice multiple problems surfacing as the deeper issues become clear. If any of these red flags stand out or sound familiar, it’s time to find another service provider for your business’s long-term benefit.
- Poorly trained answering staff
- Surprise or hidden charges
- Lack of communication between answering staff
- Making customers wait too long
1) Poorly Trained Answering Staff
In a way, the answering staff who will be taking your calls work for you. Even if they can’t perform all the same work functions as an actual in-office employee, your business still depends on them knowing enough about your industry and your individual dealings to help you. Are the answering staff able to answer customer questions effectively and direct them to the proper individuals quickly? If the answer is no, and this is a recurring problem, it’s probably time to switch service providers.
2) Surprise or Hidden Charges
An honest call answering service won’t spring hidden expenses on you repeatedly. Check your bill–are you overpaying or being asked to cover an expense you never agreed to? Surprise or secretive charges are one of the biggest signs that something’s wrong.
Pro Tip: Your answering service provider should present you with a completely itemized list of everything you’ll be paying for. Make sure that any changes are made clear before you’re charged for them.
3) Lack of Communication Between Answering Staff
Suppose a customer calls one evening and asks a question of an answering staff member. They’re momentarily satisfied with the answer they receive and end the call. The next morning, the customer realizes that they need more information and call back. Will they be able to speak with the same staff member again to follow up on the original question without explaining the whole story? If not, will the replacement staff member at least have the information to pick up where the first left off? This is very important for customers, who can rightly get impatient when asked to tell the same story to five different staff members before getting any help. Don’t let this happen to your customers!
4) Making Customers Wait Too Long
Nobody likes to sit on hold forever. If your customers start complaining about long wait times, that’s a sign that your call center staff are either lazy or overworked. Neither is a good thing for your business. The more customers sit on hold, the less likely they are to want to call back for business inquiries or help. See if there’s anything you can do to eliminate wait times, and if not, it may be time to switch service providers.
Find a Trustworthy Answering Service
We can all remember “that one phone call” with an uninformed or just plain rude customer service representative who didn’t or couldn’t help us. Imagine how many customers you could be losing if your current answering service treats your clients the same way! If your call answering service is throwing up some major red flags, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Connect with us to see if our team of trained professionals can help your business field the daily flood of phone calls.