Interactive is the buzzword in today's high-tech business world. With the internet and the resulting wealth of information at their fingertips, modern consumers expect to be able to have their questions answered at nearly all hours of the day or night. That means your business plan must include the most effective communication methods available. Many business owners utilize business phone services for message-taking, but is this really the best way to let potential customers reach you?
- Inept services and employees
Inept business phone services can mean lost messages, and lost messages can mean lost business. Inefficient staff at your business phone service can copy down incomplete or even incorrect messages that don't get to where they need to go. Additionally, many of today's businesses are outsourcing to foreign countries, and sometimes you don't know it until you start getting complaints. If your customers can't properly convey their messages, or they can't understand what's being said to them, they will get angry, hang up, and go to your competition.
- Long wait times
Some business phone services are under-staffed, especially after hours when you and your business depend on them the most. This under-staffing can lead to long hold times for your clients that will frustrate them. This could lead to them hanging up without having their problem resolved, which is never good for business.
Oftentimes the employees at business phone services are given scripts that sound impersonal and even unnatural to callers. In this case, callers can sense they are not speaking with an actual employee. Your business's reputation can suffer because potential customers become wary of dealing with you. In the worst case scenario, customers may even come to suspect the credibility of your business.
- Over-billed and under-serviced
Some business phone services charge you by the call, regardless of call duration. Most calls are relatively short, especially when you factor in dropped calls, wrong numbers, or a caller who hangs up. If you're being billed for wrong numbers, you're paying for service that you're not getting.
To make the choice that is best for your business, you should decide which method offers your customers the best experience, while ensuring that you never miss a call. A lot depends upon efficiency of service, length of wait times, and the professional attitude of employees. For alternatives to a business phone service, you could utilize voicemail that has the capability of being forwarded to various employees when necessary, as well as a 'virtual receptionist,' which utilizes a more hands-on approach with staff who make appointments, send texts, and make outgoing calls to gather pertinent information.