How do you view your answering service? Do you view them as a valued partner or an adversary? Some people view their answering service as an investment and others view it as an expense.
Answering service investment or answering service expense? Which one do you see?
When you view your answering service as an expense, it becomes a cost to control. Taken to an extreme, cost-cutting efforts end up rendering your answering service ineffective or eliminating them altogether. Though this may save a couple dollars a day on your income statement, it can cost many times that amount in terms of angry customers, disenfranchised buyers, and lost business.
Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish when it comes to your answering service. But that’s what happens when you view them as an expense. This causes you to lose sight of the tremendous value they provide to your company’s operations and more importantly to your customers and prospects.
If money is all you look at, then eliminate your answering service and replace it with voicemail. An even more extreme solution is to not answer your phone at all. That cuts your phone-answering cost down to zero, but no one would really do that.
However, when you view your answering service as an investment, you change your perspective from controlling costs to maximizing your return on investment (ROI). An answering service investment provides a smart ROI.
For example, one after-hours call answered by a telephone professional at your answering service can result in a new sale that you would have otherwise missed. That sale could conceivably provide enough profit to pay for your answering service for a whole month—even more, perhaps a year. Yet one sale is seldom only one sale. An initial sale usually results in additional sales. Consider the lifetime value of a customer. One call answered by your answering service produces the lifetime value of a customer. That’s a huge ROI from a wise answering service investment.
Or what about a frustrated customer who calls your answering service at 3 a.m. prepared to unleash their flurry at a mistake your company made. They expected to leave a voicemail message, but the gentle voice of your answering service rep caught them off guard. Their invective evaporated, and they were able to explain their frustration without yelling. Then your answering service rep resolved the problem, turning a lost customer into a kept customer. That’s another great ROI and a valuable answering service investment.
Reject the idea of your answering service as a cost, an expense to control. Then it will emerge as an answering service investment, one that provides one of the most significant ROIs you’ll ever encounter. Look for ways to calculate the ROI of your answering service investment, and the amazing results will astound you.
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.