One of the keys to running a successful business is to create efficient sales and customer support teams. That way, you can make sure that calls to your business are dealt with effectively and promptly, whenever your prospects choose to contact you. However, even if you employ a host of talented in-house telephone operatives, you could still be failing to handle every enquiry that you receive – and that means you won't be maximising your sales. How could working with an out of hours call handling company help you boost your performance?
Calls and Emails - Do You Need to Use an After-Hours Call Answering Service?
Today's consumers are – in general – becoming more used to contacting suppliers during evenings and weekends, while corporate buyers are working increasingly flexible hours. That means that your business may receive a large number of telephone calls outside of standard office hours. Does this apply to your business? The average volume of out of hours enquiries varies from sector to sector, but a rule of thumb to gauge demand is the number of new emails, missed calls, and voice messages that greet you when you start work in the morning. Prospects that send late-night emails (or messages through your website) may be doing so instead of making a phone call, because they assume they won’t be able to get in touch with you. If an after-hours call centre answering service is advertised, many of these people will call instead.
Call Backs and Missed Opportunities
The problem is that once a message is missed and someone can’t get through immediately, it’s very difficult to recover the momentum. By the time you get back to the person, they may have changed their mind about making a purchase, forgotten what they called about, or already moved on to a different supplier. Therefore, even if your in-house staff can handle the calls that you receive as part of the usual working week, you could be missing out on important sales and service opportunities made when the office is closed.
If you're marketing your company effectively, the chances are that many of the enquiries you're receiving out of hours are from prospective customers. And these prospects may be at the ‘decision’ stage of the buyer cycle, ready to spend money, here and now. Prospects who are merely considering their options are less likely to pick up the phone.
That means that missing these calls could have a direct impact on your sales. Even if your telephone system sends missed calls to voicemail, it's likely that callers won't leave messages and will contact your competitors instead – not everyone is comfortable leaving a voice message. Whether they leave a message or not, prospects may be left with a negative impression of your company, especially if it takes a while for their call to be returned the following day. What's more, when you use an automated voicemail system, you increase the chances that your staff will fail to deal with messages promptly or that your enquiries will go astray.
What a Professional After Hours Call Handling Company Can Do For You
A professional after hours call answering company, such as Answer4u will be able to take messages for you when your office is closed. They can act as an extension of your in-house team, dealing with your callers in exactly the same way. That means that prospective clients will receive a seamless, customer-focused service from the start – and that could encourage them to sign on the dotted line.
Some out of hours call handling service providers train their staff to answer frequently asked questions about your business, products, or services. If there are queries that they aren't able to deal with immediately, they'll take messages and pass them onto the appropriate members of your in-house team, or forward them in real-time if requested. They'll prioritise the most important enquiries (using your criteria) and filter out nuisance calls so that your employees can deal with the most productive or critical calls first.
What's more, a proficient 24/7 call handling company will be able to provide you with additional support both during and outside your usual office hours in busy periods, so you can temporarily scale your operations to meet demand.
Find Out More
At Answer4u, we offer a range of flexible call handling services, including out of hours and emergency solutions.