The first rule of business is to always be there when your customer needs you. But sometimes that’s not quite as easy as it sounds. People are busy and time is money. In today’s increasingly demanding marketplace your customer might decide he needs you at any time of the day or night at any time of the year.
Anyone who lives in Western Canada will be familiar with the frustration of trying to call a business in the middle of the afternoon only to find that their office is in Ontario and they closed an hour ago. But that can be a two way street. How many times does your business phone ring after your doors are locked and you’ve gone home for the day? Every call is a potential sale and even one missed call is one too many.
So should you be keeping you business open around the clock? Well, that rather depends. Obviously, unless you have limitless resources, going 24/7 presents a significant challenge. There’s no shortage of reasons to stick to the tried and tested 9-5. For one thing, finding good staff is never as easy as you’d hope it would be. It’s safe to assume that finding good staff who are both able and willing to work a night shift on a Sunday in January is going to be just that much harder. Then there are extra wages, increased operational costs for insurance, lighting and heating, overtime payments ... you can probably see where this is going and you’re probably not going to like it.
So what are you to do? Every missed call is a missed opportunity. If your phone’s left unanswered or goes to voicemail there’s a very good chance you’re caller won’t be back. That’s just the reality of the way things are. And you may have any number of missed calls, especially if you do any business out of province or provide a service that could be needed at any time of the day. You simply do not want to miss those calls, but in a lot of cases staying open all hours may not be practical, and it certainly won’t be cheap.
Choosing the best way to handle this problem depends very much on the size and scalability of your business. If you’ve got enough going on to justify staffing your operations around the clock seven days a week congratulations! Things must be going well.
But if you feel you’re not yet at the point where you can seriously consider around the clock opening, read on.
There is a simple solution that offers your customers the flexibility of 24/7/365 operation, without sticking you with any of the extra headaches or a lot to the increased costs.
If you choose to work with a call answering service you can make sure your phone is always answered, no matter what time of night or day that call comes in. That means, as far as your customer’s concerned, you’re always open for business, even if you’re actually at home in bed.
There’s more to this than simply answering your phone and taking a message. Your call centre can develop a custom-designed solution to meet your specific needs. That means they’ll answer the call using your company name, and by using customized scripts and screens put together according to your design specifications, you’ll get the benefit of a unique and personalized service.
The right call answering service can work as a seamless extension of your business. Give them the nod and they can also book appointments and give out information on your behalf. They can take your messages more efficiently and effectively than an answering machine, and a live call agent can offer a human touch that voicemail cannot hope to match. Often your callers won’t even be aware that they aren’t talking to a member of your staff.
If you have a website with a live chat feature (and if you don’t you should consider it) a call centre can help there too. Once again it’s about having someone available to greet your clients and potential customers, to answer those basic questions that come up time and again and to make sure that anyone who wants to contact you is able to, no matter what time of day they choose to get in touch.
Make things easy for your customers. They’ll appreciate it.
If any of this sounds interesting, maybe we should talk. At Intercon Messaging we have professionally trained call centre agents who can help you take your business to the next level. Our agents can answer your calls or the live chat on your website whenever you’re not able to. And that’s regardless of the hour of the day or the time of the year. We are open 24/7/365, and by working with us, you will be too.
Still not sure how many calls you’ll actually get after hours? We can provide a detailed report of who called and when. And if your phone doesn’t ring, there’s no cost to you. We only charge for the calls we answer.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can work together to expand your business, give us a call at 866 6055 2055 or request a quote today. This could be the start of something good.