Research shows that when it comes to making judgements about businesses, customers want a personal touch. Known as ‘relationship marketing’, demonstrating interest and care in customers by going above and beyond to make them feel valued is linked to powerful economic returns. Having a professional out of hours telephone answering service available 24/7 is one way to improve your customer relations. Here’s how it works.
Professionalism: the golden ticket
Customers are quick to judge. In a world filled with endless choice, unlimited competition, and fiercely agile rivals, keeping customers happy can feel like a daunting task. One of the most important starting points is offering a sense of professional security. When customers believe that the company has professional integrity, they are more likely to trust in the value of the services and goods on offer.
Sending the wrong message
Customers have very short fuses when it comes to waiting. Studies have repeatedly shown that people give up on phone calls after around seven rings, that three out of ten will not leave an answerphone message, and that not getting a swift answer from a company is enough to send them straight to a competitor. For many organisations, this creates a headache, because ensuring that telephone lines are both free and monitored 24/7 is difficult, especially when it is busy. Having a phone line that is either engaged or that is not answered sends a very clear – and very negative - message to customers.
Out of hours telephone answering ensures that your business is always ready to answer customer queries in a friendly, professional manner. This means that even during busy periods or seasonal uplifts, the customer will always feel valued. For companies with an international market, after hours telephone answering services ensure that the office operates around the clock, so that the doors are open whenever they need to be. This approach demonstrates professionalism by showing customers that you care, enabling your company to reap the benefits of relationship marketing.
An even deeper level of professionalism
Virtual receptionists and an out of hours telephone answering service can do more to improve your professionalism than simply creating the right image. Professional call operators collect important information such as names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and the nature of the query, and forward this to you in a coherent and organised way. This means that your company can prioritise the way that you respond to calls and monitor the reasons that people are calling. In the often-unpredictable world of customer queries, after hours telephone answering services offer a chance to maintain professional control, something that can be particularly valuable during start-up or growth phases.
Out of hours telephone answering services can make a real difference to how customers perceive your level of professionalism. This in turn can translate to increased profits, and a healthier relationship with your audience.