Looking for the right phone answering alternative for your business can be daunting. Everything from a fully online answering service to companies like voicenation are all over, promising you the best results. But the only way to know for sure whether or not a specific answering service is going to work for you and your business is to do your research.
That’s where this article can help. Below you’ll find the 7 best tips for choosing the right alternative phone service for your business that are sure to send you in the right direction.
Look at Reputable Companies
If you go online and search for a phone service, you will likely be bombarded by so many that it would be impossible to choose. Narrow down your results immediately by looking at what other companies are using for their service. If you have business partners or colleagues that use a similar service, ask them which one they use and why.
You may not be able to figure out exactly what you need based on this information, so that’s why it’s always best to know what your company needs before you start looking. Pro tip? Make a list of the things you definitely need and use that as your guide as you search the internet high and low.
Prioritize List of Services
After you have figured out exactly what you’ll need, look into the functionality that the alternative phone service offers. Do they implement Excel? What are the vendors offering? What kind of customer support services do they have?
Since you will be using their support services more than you think you will, it’s important to know exactly how this works for each company you are interested in.
Secure Base Charges
Alternative phone services usually have a set list of base charges that do not change from client to client. Make sure that these basic services will work for you, or if not, find out how much it would cost you for add-on services. Things that you shouldn’t ever have to pay extra for are emails, texts, and faxes.
You’ll need to think about things like weekend availability, directories, and directives as you narrow down your results.
Verify Their Experience
If you already know that your potential alternative phone service is reputable, why not go the extra mile and verify that they have the proper experience to work with your business model? You’ll need to ask them questions like: how are your agents trained? Where are they located? When are they available?
Getting ahead of potentially sticky situations is a good idea when it comes to knowing the answers to these questions.
Importance of Location
Some call centers are not U.S.-based so it’s important to do your research here. Although it may be initially cost-effective, going overseas may distance your clients from your work if you deal primarily with clients in the U.S. However, if you have a business with offices in multiple countries, you might only want to look at alternative phone services that have the ability to work between multiple countries. This would be ideal in your situation.
Discuss Call Directives
Knowing where all your calls are going ahead of time is extremely important to running a business well. Make sure that your alternative phone service is easy to communicate with and understands your business needs. This is important to do because you will find yourself needing to adjust the protocols of incoming calls regularly if your business is growing.
Knowing how to communicate with the people that are answering the phone is very important since it will dictate whether a customer is won or lost!
Things to Avoid
Lack of availability is one major thing you should avoid as a business owner looking into alternative phone services. If you can’t rely on the service to pick up the phone every time someone calls, you will lose customers left and right.
Complicated processes are also something you should avoid. Answering and directing phone calls should not be a challenging thing, but if it is, know that the service is probably not the right one for your business.
Now that you know these helpful tips, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your next potential alternative phone service for your business, large or small.