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5 Ways To Squeeze the Most Out of a Telephone Answering Service

An Interview with Andy McKenna, Owner of Best Reception

In our previous blog about call answering services, we interviewed Andy McKenna, who gave us 17 key things that small business owners should look for when trying to choose a telephone answering service.

Andy has given us some expert insight into how, as a small business owner, you can make the most out of a telephone answering service.

1. Give Your Telephone Answering Service All The Information They Need

“The most important thing you can do is give them all the relevant information you can! Some clients expect to go live within minutes of starting up, without giving us any information, which isn’t the best way to do things.

Remember, telephone answering services aren’t call centres, it’s much better to look at them like extensions of your own company. Call answering services can do lots of things, from booking appointments to giving your potential customers lots of really detailed information about your products and services.

However, far too many customers fail to capitalise on this and make the most out of our services, and too many don’t give us enough information to provide callers with the best service possible.

In today’s world, the telephone is like the shop window, and if you’re not open and available to your potential clients, they’re just going to shop elsewhere.”

Get a call answering trial with Best Reception.
Remember to mention GROW to get your exclusive free 3 week trial.

2. Keep Your Telephone Answering Service Team Updated

“Once again, to your customers, your call answering service is literally an extension of your company, so it makes sense to treat them as a part of the company. If staff members come and go from a company, and you don’t tell your answering service, it becomes very difficult for them to handle the calls properly. More importantly, it looks very unprofessional to your potential clients.

So don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and let them know about changes to any aspect of your business, whether that’s a change in the services and products you offer, your staff, or anything else which affects the information they already have about you.”

3. Do Secret Shopper Calls to Your Telephone Answering Service

“Do some secret shopper calls during your trial to make sure the service is right for you. I know it sounds obvious, but when doing a test call make sure you’ve thought of your alias beforehand. If you hesitate before giving your name, or go with something like “John Smith”, the virtual receptionist is going to know they’re being assessed and it won’t be a true indication any more.”

4. How Medium & Large Businesses Can Benefit Most From a Telephone Answering Service

“If you’re a medium-sized business, and there are plenty of people in your office, a telephone answering service might not seem a necessity. However, I’m sure that your staff have better things to do with their time than screening sales calls, answering everyday enquiries and bouncing calls around the office.

A phone call can interrupt concentration and workflow, and when your office is being deluged by phone calls, it can be difficult to get things done! Therefore, a virtual receptionist can really boost productivity in medium-sized businesses.

If you’re an even bigger company, by using a call answering service you’ll save an absolute fortune on hiring a receptionist. If you hire your own in-house receptionist, you have to cover lunch breaks, taxes, sick days, holidays, emergencies and all the other little expenses that accompany hiring someone. If you use a telephone answering service, they can handle all of that.”

Get a call answering trial with Best Reception.
Remember to mention GROW to get your exclusive free 3 week trial.

5. Case Study

© CBS Productions

“A great way to demonstrate how you can make the most out of a telephone answering service is by looking at how someone else made the most out of theirs.

One of our clients is an osteopath who has been with us for a couple of years. Our osteopath works by himself. Before we came along, this meant that if the phone rang whilst he was in the middle of an appointment with a patient he was put in a dilemma. He couldn’t just leave the phone unanswered and let his new business go somewhere else, but equally he couldn’t just say “Sorry Mrs Jones, please hold this position, I’ll be right back” and abandon his client for however long it takes to answer the call.

Because he has given us all the relevant information we need about his service, we can confidently and professionally handle all of the bookings and enquires that come his way. A virtual receptionist can book in new clients and answer detailed questions about his service. At the same time, by keeping us updated with his whereabouts and availability, we can always let potential clients know when they can expect a call back from their osteopath.

He has also wisely used us to free up a lot of his time. Before he started working with us, he used to be inundated with people ringing him up and trying to get over-the-phone diagnoses, which would cost him time and would mean that they were less inclined to actually book an appointment.

A receptionist isn’t legally allowed to give medical advice over the phone, therefore now people have to book an appointment to come in and see him rather than getting a freebie over the phone. He says that alone more than pays for us each month.”


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  1. Great article full of very good points!

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