I’m often asked what the benefits are of using an outsourced telephone answering service compared to the more traditional alternative ways to manage your inbound calls. Such as answering all the calls yourself, using voicemail to pick up missed calls, employing a receptionist or juggling calls between existing employees.
My first response to this question is that I can guarantee that a telephone answering service will cost less, cause you less hassles, and is a far more flexible way to manage your calls.
Recruiting A Receptionist Is Difficult:
Recruiting the right person, with the rights skills is more difficult now than it was a few years ago. Shortages in the labour market and low unemployment rates have left many companies struggling to fill vacant positions.
Advertising, interviewing and training all cost time and money, with no guarantees that it’ll all work out.
Employees Are More Expensive:
An employee isn’t paid on a per task basis. This means that you’re committed to paying an hourly rate regardless of the amount of work completed. And if you just need an hour but at various points throughout the day, this is rarely possible with an employee as it’s more beneficial for them to work their hours on longer blocks such as 4 hours at a time.
In addition to this you’ll need to pay for training, breaks, holidays, sick absence, maternity cover etc.
If you then add employers NI, pension payments and the time it takes to complete tasks such as payroll, HR, then the hourly rate is often more than you think.
With a telephone answering service you only pay for what you use. Your receptionist will be ready to take a call as soon as the phone rings, but not a drain your resources at other times.
Employing A Receptionist Offers Less Flexibility:
If you’re lucky enough to find a good and reliable receptionist, then they can still only answer one call at a time and can’t be at their desk for 100% of their working hours. You’ll still miss calls.
By using a telephone answering service you can easily flex up and down to meet your requirements. Two Calls ring at once, no problem. Receptionist pops away for a comfort break, we’ll pick up the call.
The flexibility of a telephone answering service will easily deal with seasonality up/down turns and cope with the unpredictable nature of call volumes.
You can use the service as an overflow support to your current team, or for all your telephone answering requirements.
Employees Take Time Off:
If you choose to employ a receptionist you’re still going to need to provide cover to avoid missed calls.
You’ll need to cover any time they’re away from their desk, whether this is making a cup of tea or taking a 2 week holiday. You never know which missed call means a missed lead.
With a virtual receptionist you won’t need to worry about attendance levels as resources will automatically be provided as required and available to answer your calls immediately.
Employees Need Resources:
An employed receptionist will need to provided with the appropriate resources. This could be a desk, chair, phone, laptop, software license (e.g Microsoft). Using a virtual receptionist to answer your calls will cut all this out. All resources and up-to-date technology are provided as part of the service.
More Than Just Telephone Answering:
In addition to answering your calls, a good telephone answering service will provide additional admin services to support you and your business, just when you need it.
For example, they can book and manage appointment diaries, take payments and orders, manage emails, prepare documents, keep CRM’s up-to-date. But…
You’ll have to make your own tea!
Would You Like To Find Out More?
If you’d like to investigate if a telephone answering service could be a solution for your business, then follow link to find out more about the service and how you could set up a 14 day free trial (easy set up, no obligation), or you can call me on 01928 508800.