Should you hire an answering service?
Future entrepreneurs often idealize the idea of the freedom of working their own hours, managing a staff, and designing a life and business around their values. What they don’t dream of, however, are the many administrative duties that go along with owning a business. Small business owners often find that as business picks up in the direction that they dreamed of, so do administrative tasks.
This can go one of two ways:
- Focus on administrate tasks so that you can be known for high quality business practices.
- Focus on garnering more business so that you can increase the quantity of business you receive.
Now, very few of us start out as millionaires. We need to get our business up and running with quality AND quantity. After all, one customer won’t pay the bills. And if you garner business quickly without concern for administrative duties, you can wind up with misplaced orders, customer service problems, or the lights shut off.
Thankfully, virtual receptionists are around to handle administrative duties. Have you considered hiring an answering service, but aren’t sure if that’s the way to go? Below are a few signs that it is time to hire an answering service.
To hire a receptionist, or not to hire a receptionist?
(That is the question.)
If you’ve been pondering whether or not you should hire a secretary, administrative assistant, or receptionist for quite some time, then it’s probably time to go with your gut. When your resources are spread thin, look for the simpler tasks to be outsourced. If you do so, your time can be used in a more efficient way.
You’re worried that you can’t afford a full-time staff member
A full-time receptionist could make quite the dent in your bottom line. Factor in training, insurance, and new equipment for the hire to use, and that’s a lot of up-front costs. If you know you need the help but aren’t ready to foot bill for a full time employee, there are budget-friendly service packages you can receive from an answering service.
You give out a lot of basic information
If you’ve noticed you’re answering many of the same questions, you’re not spending time growing your business. Potential customers and clients should be able to access basic information quickly and with ease. An answering service’s virtual receptionists are trained with basic information about your business, product or service, and are able to answer questions with confidence.
Professionalism is what you seek
First impressions are everything. If you want to come off as a professional and as a legitimate business, a prompt, professional answer to all calls is a must. A courteous virtual receptionist screening your calls will allow you to put up the professional image you would like to convey, even if you don’t yet have an office!
You’re often interrupted
When you’re making progress toward completing a task and you’re interrupted, it’s at times very difficult to get back in the flow. Virtual receptionists can take messages for you and send them via email or text message, so you won’t have to be interrupted.
You need help with appointment reminders
Many different industries can benefit from an answering service. Some, especially in the medical field, need special services, including appointment reminders. Having many appointments and needing to make reminder phone calls can be a big task. An answering service can take this load off of you so that you may focus on other aspects of your business.
You’re not converting leads
It can be frustrating if you’re consistently putting money and effort into finding potential clients but not reeling them in. Sometimes you may question the quality of the lead generating methods or even opt out. If you’re spread too thin and it’s impeding your ability to collect leads effectively, this might be the perfect time for you to consider hiring an answering service.
You’re receiving calls outside of business hours in a language you don’t speak
That’s tough! You can’t stretch yourself too thin, and you definitely can’t be looking at Google Translate while you’re on a phone conversation with someone. A twenty-four hour answering service with bilingual virtual receptionists will make sure that your Spanish-speaking and night-shift-working customers receive the same quality of service as your during-work-hours callers.
You’re feeling overwhelmed
Are you having trouble concentrating? Do you experience consistent headaches? Are you quick to get sick? Trouble sleeping? You may be overwhelmed with stress, because these are all stress symptoms.
People are becoming more and more impatient with the advances in technology, and they want answers NOW. This makes being a business owner more stressful.
Are your staff members having a hard time getting work done with all of the time spent answering calls? Don’t let them handle the overwhelm much longer, or you may be needing to do more hiring soon! Contact an answering service and relax! They’ll take it from here.