An outsourced phone answering service is a brilliant way to save your company time and money. However, with the multitude of options out there, it can be hard to tell if the one you’re working with is the absolute best partner for your business. That’s why we’ve pieced together this checklist—so that you can assess your current answering service with ease. Throughout this post, you’ll find eleven “yes or no” questions to accurately critique and evaluate your current answering service.
Have I received less customer complaints since partnering with my answering service?
Customers’ experience with your business directly impacts your business’s reputation; therefore, customer satisfaction is one of the most important factors to consider when analyzing your current answering service.
Your answering service should be contributing to a significant decrease in customer complaints, not an increase. Whether it be about efficiency in answering or the way the customer was treated, your answering service should be resolving such problems, not causing them.
Do customers seem to hang up with more peace of mind than when they first started the call?
Not all callers who are thrilled or upset with your services will call and make a comment about it. At the end of each call to your business, you should recognize that callers feel more assured, or at the very least, experience peace of mind knowing they were heard.
Have I witnessed an increase in sales and/or booked jobs since partnering with my answering service?
An answering service, especially one that answers for you after hours or during call overflow, should be contributing to an increase in appointments for your business. Given, not every call will be someone calling to book a job, but you should still see an increase in either (or both) sales and booked jobs.
Have I reached new customers/grown my customer base since partnering with my answering service?
Excellent customer service isn’t common nowadays, and when people experience it, they remember it. With the right answering service on your side, you should see an increase in your customer base, as your answering service should be capturing leads that your customer service reps miss throughout the day.
Am I happy with the way the agents represent my company on the phone?
No one wants to call a business only to be met with an unenthusiastic, unhelpful voice on the other end of the line. The agents who answer for your business should pay as much attention to your callers as they would a close friend, and they should speak in a way that represents your business professionally.
Are my customers speaking to agents with industry knowledge who can give them the answers they’re looking for?
Not only should agents be engaged with your customer, but they should also be equipped with appropriate industry knowledge to better serve your customers. If this isn’t the case with your current answering service, there is a cap to how much those agents can help your callers.
Are the agents recording accurate information from the call (phone numbers, addresses, customer concerns, etc)?
When you review the messages from your answering service provider, do you find that the recorded information is accurate? A good call answering service will guarantee that you know who called, when they called, and what exactly they needed.
Accuracy is especially important in industries that use an answering service to schedule appointments. It is important that your callers' names, phone numbers, and addresses are correct, as misinformation could result in a lost sale.
Do agents answer the phone promptly?
When your callers are waiting for an answer, timing matters. Are they listening to multiple rings, becoming frustrated and possibly hanging up? Or are they hearing a few rings before being connected to a professional who can best assist them and answer their questions? The standard for most answering companies is to pick up a call within three rings or less.
Does my answering service allow me to listen to calls they take for my business?
Your answering service should provide you with the transparency of being able to listen in on the calls they handle for your company. How else will you be able to get a true sense of the service they're offering to your clients? You’re paying your answering service to represent your business; therefore, you should certainly have access to the way they treat your callers and customers.
Does my answering service work to achieve my definition of quality?
Being that it’s your callers and your business that’s being represented on the phone, it should also be your definition of quality that your answering service works to achieve. Those at your answering service should seek to communicate with you, define your definition of quality, and make it a point to consistently maintain that.
Do they value my feedback?
If your feedback and concerns aren’t valued by your current answering service, then that’s a serious red flag. Your answering service should be concerned about your long-term growth, not just seek to make a dollar off of you.
In conclusion, you’re paying your outsourced phone answering service to help you, not to hinder you! If your answering service is causing you more troubles than peace of mind, it might be worth your time to have a conversation with them or to begin seeking out other alternatives. If you would like Dexcomm to audit your answering service’s level of customer service, click here!