An automated answering service may sound like a great thing for your business. However, when you choose something new to help your business, sometimes it does more harm than good. Here’s a quick look at why you might choose an automated answering service and why it may not be the greatest choice.
Benefits of an Automated Answering Service
An automated answering service does provide some benefits. You won’t have to worry about the phone ringing non-stop when customers call. The service can also direct them to some specific menu items, which may answer their questions.
For example, when a customer reaches your automated service, they may be given the option to press #3 for business hours. If they press #3, they will be given the business hours. If this is why they were calling, the service did its job by answering their question quickly and efficiently.
Another benefit of an automated service is no call will ever be missed. However, this benefit only really kicks in if the menu is set up to answer the questions the caller has. If they need a live person and the business is closed, it can become an annoyance instead of a benefit.
Disadvantages of an Automated Answering Service
Along with the benefits, it’s important to understand the disadvantages of an automated answering service. When you decide to use this type of service for your phone calls, whether full-time or just after hour, you are choosing a less personal option.
You may save a little bit of money, but you sacrifice the personable aspect of a live person answer your phones. This is one of the biggest problems with an automated system. Since it’s a machine, some callers will automatically be annoyed because they are hoping to reach a live person. Others will simply hang up and move on to a competitor of yours.
A Better Option for your Incoming Calls
Instead of using an automated answering service, you can choose a live answering service. This is also known as a virtual receptionist. It provides a live person to answer your calls during and after business hours.
A live person has the ability to take messages, take orders, schedule appointments, answer questions and provide customer service. Even if they take a message, they can assure the caller it will be delivered and give them an estimate on when they may receive a return call.
With a live answering service, you won’t have to worry about any of your calls being missed. The customers that would normally hang up on a machine or get annoyed by a recording will now have a live person to speak with. This, alone, may be the reason they become a loyal, long-term customer of yours and not of your competition.
If you want to make your callers happy, build a better business reputation and provide amazing customers service. Choose a live answering service over an automated answering service. The benefits of a live person far outweigh the savings you get from automating this part of your business.