There are plenty of advantages to hiring an answering service that you’re likely already familiar with. Having someone else handle incoming calls is an enormous time-saver, and the fact that you can pass off the task to someone who will treat your clients as well as you do is a huge advantage. You and your staff can take breaks, holidays, and nights off without having to worry about client calls coming in and not being answered.
These are just the advantages that are widely known, however; there are many more that most contractors haven’t even heard of. Before you decide whether hiring an answering service is right for your contracting business, take a look at these 4 unexpected benefits you can get from quality answering services.
1. They Save You Money
Adding an extra expense on top of your existing bills may not seem like a way to save money, but hear us out. When you hire an answering service, you essentially free yourself and others to perform more profit-driven tasks rather than being on the phone. As a contractor, your time is money and an answering service buys you time to do what you do best.
Not only does an answering service save you money by freeing yourself or your staff from the phone, but it can actually make you more money. Considering 82% of smartphone users use their search engine to find local businesses like you, you’re going to want every single potential client called answered in a hurry. Missing a potential client call means missing the opportunity, and with a 24/7 answering service you’ll capture every new opportunity.
2. They’ll Help You Improve Your Reputation
Reputation management is a crucial part of starting and building a contracting business because what you say doesn’t matter quite as much as a customer’s perception of you. It doesn’t matter, therefore, if you claim that customer service is a pillar of your business if you can’t back it up.
It’s our agents’ jobs to answer every call as quickly as possible and to handle each one with enthusiasm, empathy, and dedication no matter what time of day it comes in. We can spend plenty of time helping your clients because we don’t have meetings or conference calls or any other work we need to do; it’s all about helping your customers. This can help turn unhappy callers into satisfied clients and making them more likely to use you again or refer you to someone else.
3. They’ll Help You Earn More Referrals
With referrals being a top resource for new leads, an answering service can help you provide an experience that all of your clients will be talking about. Consider being at home on a hot summer evening when your AC goes out. You would then search for a contractor to come service your unit but no one is answering in their off-hours.
With an answering service, not only is it assuring to speak with a live human in a time of need, but they can even schedule the first available appointment for you. Always being available with a friendly and professional voice is a great way to gain a client for life and a client that spreads the word about the top-notch service you provide.
4. They Can Do Much More than Just Answer Phones
Answering phones and directing calls is obviously a huge time-saver as it is, but most answering services can offer much more than this.
Many of the best answering services have highly trained customer service specialists who are qualified to do everything from providing basic customer support to processing payments for you. All of this is done safely, securely, and following every one of your company’s internal regulations. This will free up more time for your internal team, allowing them to focus on business-critical tasks instead.
An extended list of services that companies like PATLive offer include:
- Appointment scheduling
- Payment processing
- Call transfers and screening
- Emergency response
- Lead collection
- Message taking
- Bi-lingual answering
Additional Benefits You Should Look for When Choosing an Answering Service
Each of the following features (all of which we offer here at PATLive!) will directly benefit your contracting business, so make sure the service that you choose has them:
Experience with Contractors
Contracting businesses operate differently than other businesses. You’ll want to ensure that the answering service you choose is already taking calls for businesses like yours.
Flexible scripting lets you not only add your personality into the mix, but really determine how we’re handling your calls so that it aligns well with your brand. “Flexible” is key, though, as you don’t want our agents stuck to a script word-for-word; our agents are trained enough to go slightly off the script to make each call personalized to the individual on the other end of the line.
Not all answering services offer this, but they should. Look for a service that has people on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year– even on holidays.
Not all of our customers have the same call volume or need the same services. Choose from our scaled pricing based on the volume of calls you expect, and remember that you can change it at any time.
No Binding Contracts
We don’t ever want you to get locked into a price structure or service that doesn’t work for you, so we don’t have any binding contracts that keep you stuck in any kind of month-to-month agreement. If you’re unsure if you want to proceed, you can also take advantage of our two-week free trial before you sign-up.
Answering services can help your contracting business in a number of ways, acting as an extension of your business that makes it easier for you to connect with and serve your customers. The key, however, will be to hire high-quality, U.S.-based services that exclusively hire native speakers who are customer service experts. These will be the companies that are best able to deliver the kind of customer service that you expect and that your clients deserve.