Are you closing the doors at the end of your busy work day only to leave your incoming callers greeted by an impersonal voicemail? Have you been on the receiving end of one too many negative customer service reviews? Or perhaps you’ve lost sleep over the fact that your busy season is about to begin, and you’re not really any more prepared than you were last year. If any of these scenarios hit close to home, it’s time to consider a solution that might not have been top of mind: an answering service. In this post, we’ll examine seven red flags that signal the need for an answering service, and we’ll provide statistics that reveal the consequences of neglecting them.

  1. Seeing Business Phone Calls as a Distraction
  2. Leisurely Returning Phone Calls
  3. Using Voicemail After Hours
  4. Employing Interactive Voice Response
  5. Negative Customer Service Reviews
  6. Seasonal Fluctuations
  7. High Employee Turnover


red flag


Seeing Business Phone Calls as a Distraction

A ringing phone can sometimes serve as a distraction in the workplace, but it's important not to underestimate the role of phone calls in fostering business growth. Phone communication remains a direct and personal way to engage with customers, providing immediate answers and building relationships that other digital channels might not replicate as effectively. If you’re starting to see the phone as a distraction to your work, you’re really being distracted by opportunities!

A 2022 article by AWeber dives in to some call center research, and according to their findings, “with the exception of robocalls and solicitor inquires, most calls (92%) represent opportunities— opportunities to win, retain, or lose business.”

That being said, such opportunities should not be perceived as distractions! If you’ve been dividing up your focus between your job at hand and the phone, it’s time to get an answering service on your team. When you do, you respond to the opportunities presented to you by callers immediately!




Leisurely Returning Phone Calls

Alright, so you miss a phone call here and there, and you call those potential customers back when you can. No big deal, right? Well, in the case of making sales… wrong! As previously mentioned, when you “respond to the opportunities presented to you by callers immediately,” you significantly increase your chances of converting those leads!

An article by MTD Sales Training Specialists points out the fact that “35% to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.”

The quicker you stop seeing the phone as a task that you’ll “get to when you get to,” the more sales you’ll secure. By handing the task of answering the phone over to an answering service, you increase your chances of being the vendor that responds first!




Using Voicemail After Hours

When your hours of operation come to an end for the day, your business still receives calls. Even though voicemail serves as a way to capture leads outside of operating hours, you might still be missing out on some serious revenue!

SellCell wrote an article detailing findings from their 2023 voicemail study. In that article, they note that of all the calls that go to voicemail, “only 20% of [callers] actually leave a voice message for the recipient to respond to.” The article then goes on to call on an opinion from one of their experts, who commented that “people dislike leaving voicemail messages as it adds a certain degree of pressure for the person leaving the voicemail, in terms of ensuring the message is short enough for the recipient to engage with it, but contains enough information for them to respond to.”

Let’s do some math. If five people call your business after close, whether to have some questions answered or to book an appointment, the odds are that only one of them will leave a message for you to respond to… and we can only hope that they remember to include their contact information. An answering service wouldn’t only answer your calls, but they’d also record your callers’ information properly. Some answering services will even book your appointments for you!




Employing Interactive Voice Response

Another way business owners try to handle calls is by employing IVR (Interactive Voice Response), but this isn’t a good solution, either! IVR is the technology you’re met with when you call a business and a robot picks up. “Press one to hear our hours of operation, press two for directions to our location, press three to pay your bill,” and so on and so forth… only for there to be no option for the solution you’re looking for. And when you finally get to the number for the operator, no one answers!

If you’ve ever been frustrated when met with an IVR phone call, think about how your callers feel! An article by Userlike points out that “67% of customers have hung up the phone because they could not talk to a [human being] … and 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.”

Whether your customers are hanging up on your IVR system because they were met with a Siri-like voice or because it took them too long to reach a person, you’re losing business. When you employ an answering service, you hit two birds with one stone. Your customers will never be met with the voice of a robot; instead, they’ll immediately experience the voice of a fellow human being who can hear and understand each of their unique concerns.




Negative Customer Service Reviews

Maybe you’re having a hard time finding customer service representatives who possess the ability to consistently answer phone calls with compassion. Maybe you’re your business’s only customer service representative, but you’re too busy to return calls in a timely manner. Either of these scenarios can lead you down a path to negative customer service reviews, and that’s a situation that no business owner wants to be a part of.

According to an article written by Power Reviews, “98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions, up from 89% in 2018.” That being said, if you’re experiencing a surplus of negative customer service reviews, those reviews are really hurting your business!

An answering service aids in this arena by promptly answering all of your calls with kindness and professionalism—twenty -four hours a day, seven days a week. Not convinced that an answering service can really guarantee excellent customer service? Check out how we train our agents here.




Seasonal Fluctuations

Some businesses expect a boost in sales at certain points throughout the year. For example, HVAC workers prepare for their busy season to occur during summer— the hottest point in the year. On the other hand, small boutiques prepare for an influx of shoppers around Christmas time. Whatever your case may be, if you experience seasonal fluctuations in business, an answering service can help you to leverage your busy season.

For a statistic on how an answering service can help you throughout seasonal fluctuations, we have a statistic from one of our own clients. TR Miller is a heating, cooling, and plumbing company based in Illinois, and despite being fully staffed for their 2022 busy season, an answering service (in their case, Dexcomm) still answered 28% of their total call volume, and 22% of the calls answered by their answering service resulted in booked jobs.

It’s important to always provide excellent customer service, but it becomes even more important during your busy season. Stop taking on the stress of busy season on your own—let an answering service help out with call overflow!




High Employee Turnover

Training new Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) is not only time-consuming but also a significant financial investment. When you factor in the costs associated with recruiting, onboarding, and the ongoing development of each new hire, it's evident that these expenses add up quickly. If your business is facing high employee turnover, this cycle of training and retraining becomes even more costly.

According to an article by Workplace, “the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary -- and that's a conservative estimate.” High turnover doesn't just disrupt your team's dynamics—it directly impacts your bottom line.

While an answering service will cost you money, it will not cost nearly as much money (or time) as high employee turnover. On top of that, some answering services charge only for the time that they answer for your business! What would you rather: pay an employee even when they’re not answering your phone in the office or only have to pay for when they are answering the phone?





Investing in an answering service is not just about outsourcing a task—it's about enhancing the capabilities of your business, ensuring that every call adds value to your customer relationships and, by extension, to your bottom line. Whether it's managing distractions from incessant phone calls, handling after-hours communications, or improving customer interactions that your current system mishandles, an answering service seamlessly transforms these business red flags into green flags for your callers.

Dexcomm is a Louisiana-based corporation that provides answering services to businesses and service agencies across the United States. We have been open since 1954, employ a staff of roughly 80 people, and our average client retention rate is 10+ years.

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Read More About The Author: Kennedy McNabb