How an Answering Service Can Help Your Small Business Grow
Small businesses across the globe have been using answering services for decades. Using an answering service can help your small business grow in a whole host of ways.
An answering service is a useful tool for many small businesses as it fulfils an essential role within a business, at a fraction of the cost required to hire someone in-house.
These are some of the main ways in which an answering service can encourage business growth.
As a small business, lack of hands and cash can often be a problem. Your small business may be desperate for a receptionist to handle calls but simply not be in a financial position to take someone else on board.
This is where an answering service comes in. An answering service fulfils the function of a receptionist without the financial commitment of taking on an employee, leaving your business with more time and cash to invest in business growth.
Your businesses customer service levels will see a drastic improvement when using an answering or call handling service. Great customer service is of course a huge factor in helping small businesses to grow. Whilst utilising an answering service you will never miss a call during office hours, and out of hours, customers can leave a message in your dedicated voicemail box.
In what can typically be the first point of contact with new and potential customers, you want to make a good impression. A huge bonus to a virtual receptionist is that they come ready trained in telephone manner and customer service, our team will get to know your business and speak to your callers as if they are in-house members of your team.
The Illusion of Size
A receptionist answering incoming calls can make your business appear bigger than it is, especially when combined with one of our virtual office packages. The virtual office packages offer an address for your business so it appears your business has a, or even an additional, physical location.
For smaller and start-up companies this can really help when competing with larger more established companies.
Time and Productivity
A virtual receptionist or answering service can drastically increase your own, and your teams productivity, and free up a huge amount of time day to day.
Phone calls can be a huge disruption and distraction in a work environment. Whilst it is important to take and respond to calls, not all calls are a priority. A virtual receptionist can filter out cold calls and make a note of or forward the calls that matter.
If you are too busy to take calls either because you are travelling, in a meeting or working on an important task, your answering service can pick up the calls and take detailed messages on your behalf. You can choose to divert calls when you don’t want to be disturbed, and prioritise calls in order of importance to you, all whilst maintaining a warm, customer service friendly, personal approach.
Telephone Answering Services for Small Businesses
There is an increasing demand for telephone answering services for small businesses and sole traders. This is down to the rapidly growing numbers of people choosing to work for themselves rather than for a large business.
However, the cost of hiring your own office space and fitting it out with all the telecommunications equipment needed, as well as hiring the staff to man your office, can be seriously prohibitive. Instead, it can work out to be far more cost-effective to forgo a traditional bricks and mortar office and hire a professional telephone answering service to handle your incoming business calls for you.
For example, at The Answer Centre, our clients come from lots of different backgrounds, but all want the same thing – to be able to have their business calls answered quickly and professionally by a highly trained virtual receptionist.
In fact, all of the services on offer from The Answer Centre are perfectly crafted for the busy entrepreneur, sole trader or small business owner. We offer you a top-rated telephone answering service with a fully personalised virtual receptionist, along with business address and mail forwarding services and smart state-of-the-art meeting rooms that you can hire by the hour.
We understand how important it is for your small business to create the right first impression with your existing clients as well as to prospective new customers. This is why you can impress your callers with our professional telephone answering service. Their call will be answered by a trained virtual receptionist from our small and friendly team.
You can use our answering services for when you are unavailable to take calls yourself, for example when you are in an important meeting or driving between appointments where it would be impractical to take phone calls. You may prefer us to handle all of your incoming business calls to create the impression that you have an established head office in a prestigious location. It is up to you when and how often you would like to use our flexible call answering services.
How our call answering services work
When a caller rings your number, their call will pass to your virtual receptionist. Their call will be answered in a friendly and professional manner using your preferred greeting. The call can then be passed to you or one of your colleagues on a specified number. If you are unavailable, a message can be taken and will be forwarded on to you immediately either by email or via text message.
We will know when an incoming call is for your business because we will issue you with a unique telephone number for your clients and customers to use. When your number is called, your receptionist will see a screen notification and will answer the call with your company greeting. The caller will think they are speaking to your own personal company receptionist!
Why not try out our phone answering services for yourself – free of charge! We can offer you a two-week free trial of our service so you can see for yourself how valuable and cost-effective our phone answering services are.
It is a well known fact that most freelence IT consultants are also budding entrepreneurs and strive to run their own business one day. No one knows this better than The Answer Centre’s MD Andy Gillen who started his career a number of years ago as a freelence IT consultant. Although Andy generally worked at one main clients’ office most of the time he was also building his own IT consultancy business and trying to expand his client base. It was during this period that Andy discovered that the use of a call answering service was an essential service to support the development of his business.
Andy comments: “While I was working at my main clients’ site, I would generally be located in an open plan office environment so it was extremely difficult to take calls and in particular new business enquiries while I was simultaneously charging my main client for my time on an hourly basis.
So I decided to utilise the services of a small personalised call answering service which meant that my calls were answered in my company name and gave the caller the impression that I was a well established IT consultancy with my own receptionist.
Messages were sent through to me by email so I could easily pick up my messages while at the same time developing and coding systems for my main client. This was an ideal set up and allowed me to then pop out of the office at a convenient time to make a call and follow up on the enquiry.
I had a number of colleagues who were in a similar position and it became very clear that there was a real demand for a call answering service for IT Consultants in a similar position to myself”.
The Answer Centre opened for business on 1st June 2000 and as well as providing a call answering service for IT Consultants we now answer calls for businesses of all types.
To find out more about the Call Answering Services and Virtual Office Services provided by The Answer Centre you can call us Free on 0800 093 7333.