January 2019 | Redding Answering Service

Monthly Archives: January 2019

Use a Telephone Answering Service to Save Money

Save Money When You Outsource Telephone Reception Work to an Answering Service

Hiring, training, and managing staff is a huge expense for every company. That’s why an increasing trend is to outsource work whenever possible. Not only does outsourcing reduce human resource hassles and limit business employee liabilities, but it’s also a smart way to save money. One great way to save money is to outsource your telephone reception duties to a telephone answering service.

Here are some ways you can save money when you hire an answering service.

Save Money as Your Business Grows

As your business expands, your phone will ring more often. That’s the good news. The bad news is having someone available to answer those calls, both during business hours and after hours. When your business was small, you were able to handle these business-hour calls with existing staff. Now you’ve grown to a point that what used to work no longer does. But instead of hiring an expensive in-house receptionist to handle this responsibility, save money when you outsource your ringing phone to your answering service.

Save Money When It’s Time to Right Size

Sometimes growing businesses expand too fast and need to make staff adjustments to better align their infrastructure with their customers’ needs. Business managers politely call this rightsizing, but the reality means that you’ll need to let some people go. Hopefully your business will never reach a point where you need to right size, but if it does, look at outsourcing telephone reception duties to an answering service to save money. The cost savings is huge, turning a several thousand dollar a month employment package for one employee into a couple hundred dollars a month invoice from your telephone answering service.

Save Money When You Reorganize

Another common growth issue is when companies need to reposition their personnel to better handle the needs of customers and appropriately adjust staffing levels in various departments. One easy area to consider is your telephone receptionist. Save money by outsourcing telephone calls to an answering service, and move your receptionist into another area, such as customer service, billing and collections, or sales and marketing. Not only does this allow you to redeploy a valued employee where they are more needed, but you can save money in the process.

Conclusion

Outsourcing telephone calls to an answering service is a great way to save money as your business grows, if you need to right size, or for a company-wide reorganization.

 

With a decades-long record of offering telephone answering service to the northwest region and across the United States, Redding Answering Service is committed to providing advanced, first-rate telephone answering service to your company. Let us help you maximize your communication effectiveness—at a cost-effective price—to drive bottom-line results. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer who covers the answering service industry.

Answering Service Case Study: Sweet Rewards for Bakery Owner

Brooke Hiam, owner of Glendale Bakery, specializes in special occasion cakes. When you walk in you see a beautiful display case filled with wedding cakes. Nearby sits a photo album of more elaborate, one-of-a-kind creations.

Her shop is always busy. She has managed to develop her passion for creating decadent wedding cakes into a major profit center for her small business. It might surprise you to learn that an important element of her success has been outsourcing all of her telephone calls to a telephone answering service.

“When I bought this place,” she recalls, “I was everywhere, doing everything. From managing my purchases, to meeting with clients, I did everything you can imagine.”

“Of course, I’ve always loved to create special occasion pieces. That’s my real passion. When we got started, I did a few wedding cakes that first summer. Word got around, and soon I was doing quite a few. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that listening to clients carefully is as important as creating the perfect cake.”

“But, I found that spending an hour with the bride, her mom, or even members of the wedding party took more time than I could handle,” Brooke sighs. “I wanted to keep doing the special occasion pieces, since that’s what I love, but I couldn’t afford to spend so much time selling each job. There is just too much for a small-business owner to do, and pretty soon I was overwhelmed.”

“In the second year, I hired a telephone answering service to handle my calls. That took a lot of pressure off me, but I had no idea how much else they could do! After about three months or so, my account rep at the answering service met with me again. She helped set up a system where all my special occasion callers go through a different process when they call.

“The agent asks them a series of questions that used to take me about a half-hour to go over in person. Then, they schedule an appointment for the bride to meet with me.

“By the time they come into the shop, I already have some price quotes together, samples ready, and photos from my portfolio to show them. The whole meeting is done in half an hour. Now, I’m doing what I love, and I’m managing my time much better. I couldn’t be happier.”

Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Contact us to learn how a telephone answering service can answer your calls 24/7 to better serve your customers.

Don’t Handicap Your Telephone Answering Service

Saving a Few Bucks on Your Answering Service Bill Could Hurt Your Customer Service

When compared to the cost of hiring staff to do it in-house, using a telephone answering service may be one of the best bargains available—anywhere. For a fraction of the cost of one full-time equivalent (FTE), your answering service can handle more calls, offer around-the-clock coverage, and provide professional customer service to your callers and customers.

Given that an answering service is such a great deal, which offers sought-after outcomes, why would anyone try to shave a few cents a day off their monthly answering service bill? Yet some business managers, with laser-like focus on the bottom line, overlook the positive customer service benefits that an answering service provides.

The unfortunate outcome of their penny-pinching ways is that to save a few dollars, they end up keeping their answering service from doing their best work, to the best of their ability. It’s like asking someone to type with one hand. They can do it, but it’s not efficient, and the results aren’t good.

Automation Isn’t the Answer

One common mistake that budget-conscious managers make is replacing the professional and personal service offered by real people with impersonal computer automation. Yes, this could save a few dollars a month on their answering service bill, but they’ll irritate all their customers in the process.

Most people don’t want to interact with technology. That’s why they picked up the phone in the first place. They seek a real person to help them out and address their concern. Listening to a recording and pressing buttons seldom accomplishes the results they seek.

Cutting Hours Doesn’t Help

Another shortsighted approach is to scale back the number of hours that you’re answering service answers your phone each day. Yes, this reduces the number of calls they answer and therefore lowers your answering service bill. However, it will also reduce the number of people who receive the help they want when they want it.

If they call your company and can’t reach a person, they’ll hang up. But they won’t call back during regular business hours. Instead they’ll start calling your competitors until someone does answer.

Great, you save a few dollars on your answering service bill and lost a customer in the process. That doesn’t make financial sense.

Conclusion

Business managers sometimes make the mistake of viewing their answering service as an expense. Instead it’s an investment. It’s an investment in serving your customers, turning prospects into customers, and keeping the customers you have. For most businesses gaining one new customer or keeping an existing one is worth far more than the cost of an answering service for a whole month, maybe even for a whole year.

As the old saying goes, “Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.” This goes for your answering service bill too.

 

With a decades-long record of offering telephone answering service to the northwest region and across the United States, Redding Answering Service is committed to providing advanced, first-rate telephone answering service to your company. Let us help you maximize your communication effectiveness—at a cost-effective price—to drive bottom-line results. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer who covers the answering service industry.

Remember to Let Your Answering Service Know Who’s On Call

To Successfully Handle Your On-Call Messages, Your Answering Service Needs the Correct Information

Most answering service clients have someone who’s on call. In some cases the on-call person is there for those rare situations that can’t wait until the next business day. However, for other companies, having on-call staff is a regular part of their business operation. Regardless if your on-call staff is contacted infrequently or often, it’s critical for your answering service to know who to reach and how to best reach them.

If they don’t have this information, they’ll make the best determination they can based on the latest information you provided. In many cases this works, but in some instances it doesn’t. However, before you go blaming your answering service for not following your protocols, make sure you gave them the right information in the first place. Here are some things to check.

Primary On-Call Staff

Some companies have simple on call procedures and others follow more involved scenarios. Regardless of the degree of complexity of your on-call protocols, make sure your answering service knows who your primary on-call person is. This is the first key to on-call success.

Backup On-Call Staff

It’s always wise to have a plan B. Though you expect your primary on-call person to always be available and reachable, sometimes problems occur. For these scenarios, it’s wise to have a designated person serve as a backup on-call resource. Having a backup is also helpful in case an urgent call comes in and the primary on-call person is already working with another customer.

When to Reach On-Call Staff

One sure way to frustrate on-call staff is to contact them for situations that don’t warrant their time. This irritates them, adds to their after-hours workload, and can build mistrust between them and the answering service. Yet there’s no reason for this to occur. Carefully spell out the situations for when your answering service should contact your on-call staff. Make sure your on-call staff is aware of these parameters so that everyone is working from the same set of rules.

How to Reach On-Call Staff

Last, but also critical, is how to reach each one of your on-call employees. Some people prefer phone calls while others want a text message. For more detailed communications email is an option. Find out the preferences for each on-call person. Then communicate this to your answering service. Start with the employee’s preferred contact method, along with a backup option. But also include other ways of reaching them, just in case. Without this information, your answering service will need to decide on their own how to reach the on-call person, which may not be in line with their preferences. Save everyone frustration by letting your answering service know the best ways to reach each one of your on-call employees.

Summary

Dealing with on-call situations is something your answering service is familiar with and excels at handling. However, to maximize their success in doing so, make sure they’re armed with up-to-date and accurate information. Make sure they know who’s on-call, who’s on backup, and when they should reach someone after hours. It’s also critical that your answering service knows the preferred ways to reach each one of your employees. Armed with this information, your answering service will handle your on-call scenarios with excellence, delighting your customers while not frustrating your staff in the process.

 

 With a decades-long record of offering telephone answering service to the northwest region and across the United States, Redding Answering Service is committed to providing advanced, first-rate telephone answering service to your company. Let us help you maximize your communication effectiveness—at a cost-effective price—to drive bottom-line results. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer who covers the answering service industry.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

As we transition into a new year at Redding Answering Service, we want to wish you a successful and prosperous one.

May this year be your best year yet.