Unless you’re iTunes, Spotify, or SoundCloud, you can be sure that clients do not want to hear any music when they call in.

Clients hate it even more when you put them on hold! All they want are fast, effortless solutions to their problems.

An answering service can help you deliver that efficiently.

Are you running a business? Is effective communication with clients one of the challenges you struggle with most? Then you need to hire an answering service.

By now you’re probably thinking, “What is an answering service anyway?” Read on and find out everything you need to know.

What Is an Answering Service?

An answering service is what you use to help you receive and respond to information from your clients. Such services are provided by customer service professionals. These are professionals trained to speak to clients served by various industries.

Unlike a traditional receptionist, an answering service provides more functionality where many clients are concerned. This is a service that will help you handle your business’s phone calls, customer inquiries, and appointments remotely.

Types of Answering Service

Answering services come in various forms. The following are examples of different answering services:

Live Answering Service

This type of answering service is highly rated by consumers due to how effective it is. With this method, your callers get to talk to a real person on the other end of the phone in real time.

The service comes in different formats. The live answering service can be provided by professionals working from their homes. The team can also work in a hired working space.

With this type of answering service, your clients get the feel of speaking with someone in your actual office.

Online Answering Services

Most web-based business use this type of service. However, this type of answering service can serve businesses that are not web-based too. Such a service makes processes such as making inquiries and order processing easier for clients.

Some companies use this type of service and the live answering service interchangeably. If the nature of your business demands that you do most things online, then this might be the best choice.

Automated Telephone Answering Services

This type of service is excellent for the individuals that want 24-hour call answering services. In this case, the caller does not talk to a live person.

The technique makes use of an automated voice with prerecorded prompts for your clients. An example might be, “Press zero to talk to one of our agents.”

Call Center Telephone Answering Services

Industries that have multiple clients benefit a great deal from such answering services.

The call center answering service is efficient for a business that receives high volumes of calls at any given time. An example of this is the telecommunication industry.

Industry-Specific Answering Service

This is the type of service dedicated to serving industries that need niche-specific technical support.

For instance, if you run a law firm, you would need to hire a legal answering service.

Answering Service Features

Call answering services are different. It’s critical that you find the right service with features that work best to enhance productivity and improve communication at your company.

Some of the features of call answering services are:

Appointment Reminder

This feature helps retain clients and reduce the number of people who don’t show up for their appointment. If you’re a dentist or in the health industry, this is a must-have.

Lead Capture

The ability to capture leads is also another important feature of answering services. This feature helps companies bring in prospects to your business. This is a huge benefit to your company because the call answering service will be capturing leads for you.

Appointment Management

Organization is a critical factor in your business. With this feature, you can ensure that all your appointments are arranged the moment they have been scheduled–each one in order of priority.

Phone Answering

Phone calls ought to be answered consistently, especially if you want to retain clients or get new ones. You need a service that will answer your callers with a professional greeting, a friendly tone, and any other requests you have for the service provider.

Industries That Make Use of Answering Services

Many industries and businesses would be great fits for answering services.

They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Dental
  • Medical
  • Legal
  • Sales professionals
  • Insurance
  • Real estate
  • Marketing
  • Contracting
  • Health and beauty
  • eCommerce

Choosing a niche-specific answering service is quintessential to improving productivity and making your business run smoothly.

Does Your Business Need an Answering Service?

Knowing what an answering service does is not enough. You might also be sure that your business is a good fit for one too.

However, you may be struggling with the thought of whether you should hire one. If that describes you, here are some signs that might be time to hire an answering service:

  • Several missed calls on a daily basis
  • Numerous voice messages
  • Inability to concentrate on work because you have to answer calls
  • Dealing with several clients on the phone daily
  • Worries about losing business due to missed opportunities
  • Negative feedback from clients regarding your communication problems

You don’t have to make your business suffer. This is an investment you will never regret. If anything, it will help you retain clients and even attract new ones.

Benefits of Answering Services

Hiring an answering service comes with numerous advantages. The benefits outweigh the cost you might have to incur when choosing one.

The following are some of the perks that come with having such a service working for you:

Round the Clock Answering Services

Unless you’re a robot, it’s impossible to manage phone calls 24/7. However, you can hire a call answering service that offers various call answering solution packages around the clock.

A good example of such a service is alldayPA, which has different packages you can choose depending on your business. You’ll get time to handle other things and enhance productivity, thanks to the 24/7 services your call answering services can provide.

Customer Retention

There are many ways to give your business the desired popularity you yearn for. Having a good reputation is a key factor in doing so. A call answering service will help you maintain a good image with your clients.

If your clients call in and all they hear is boring hold music or a prompt to leave a message, you can be sure you will lose them. It gets worse if you haven’t returned any of their calls either.

Hiring a call answering service helps you create a good relationship with clients. This ensures loyalty to your business.

Keeping Track of Your Appointments

Another advantage of such a service is that it helps you stay organized. If the nature of your business requires clients to schedule appointments, hiring a call answering service helps you keep track of the appointments without losing your mind–or your clients.

Helps Save Your Cash

Some answering services come in packages. If you were to hire more receptionists working full-time to handle your calls, you would have to pay them more.

In addition to that, an answering service firm may allow you to chose a single package from the many they have. You can pick the one that best suits your budget.

Saves You Time

As a small business owner, keeping track of your calls, replying to messages, and scheduling appointments can be a headache.

However, with such a service, you will have more time on your hands. Then you can deal with a variety of things you just can’t seem to find enough time for otherwise.

Enhanced Productivity

If you don’t have time to deal with certain elements of your business, things will fail. Hiring a call answering service will enable you to have a balance, which ultimately allows you to enhance the productivity of your business.

Helps You Lure Prospective Clients

Clients are very particular about what they want. With this fast-paced society, you will lose many prospects any time a potential customer calls and they do not get an answer to their call.

For instance, if you are a legal firm, you may end up losing a client that needs representation from you simply because you were busy elsewhere. Hiring a call answering service helps you capture the prospects by being available when they are in need.

Take Time to Research and Hire the Best Answering Service

Your question of “What is an answering service?” is answered.

However, you might be thinking about what to consider when hiring such a service. The essential thing is to do your research well. Make good use or reviews and you will have nothing to worry about.

If you found this piece informative, we’re sure you’ll love our other blog posts too. Whether you’re interested in health and fitness, beauty and wellness, technology, or travel and entertainment, we have excellent content that you can benefit from.

You can find out more about us here. And we would be happy to hear from you anytime.

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The Unbreakable Rules of Social Media Marketing

The buzz surrounding Social Media Marketing would seem to suggest that it is the ideal way for any individual or business to increase their online presence.

Now, Social Media Marketing (SMM) firms are springing up like mushrooms and devotedly spreading the message of the importance of social media like Facebook and Twitter.

But is this form of marketing worth the hype? One thing is for certain; social media has now indeed become a favourite choice of platform for marketing a plethora of products and services.

But to succeed in the highly competitive SMM arena, one has to go far beyond the so-called tried and tested methods of “community engagement” to turn the marketing campaign into a success. This is where the golden rules of marketing come into play.

The unbreakable rules of social media marketing

So what are the fundamental rules that can lead to a successful SMM campaign? These are not overly complicated or time-consuming methods, but simple ways that are often ignored by marketers.

Rule 1: Content is king

Yes! Marketing on social media is unlikely to succeed by posting fluff content with little or no value. To gain attention from the audience, your content needs to be unique and through provoking.

The ideal way to engage the audience while building your brand reputation is by posting quality content on a regular basis, which is not just a collection of information from other websites.

Try to match your content to your product and your market, as this will have the most chance of being well received by your audience as well as generating revenue.

An example, this post on The Canvas Factory blog, about photographic techniques. Great match to the product and the audience, no doubt it performed well.

Rule 2: Listen more

Far too many social media marketers are involved in making posts on such a frequent basis that they forget listening to the feedback of their audience. Y

our marketing campaign will fall flat on its face if it does not aim to build a rapport with the public and fails to deliver what they want. It’s very easy to buy likes on Facebook but getting people to participate on posts or conversations is an entirely different ballpark.

Rule 3: Be genuine

You’re probably saying to yourself “what’s up with all these clichés?” but this rule is as important as any other. You would want your marketing campaign to be community driven and genuine in its approach.

What does this mean? It means you’ll have to interact with the audience as a human and not a corporate gizmo. If you truly want organic likes and followers, your marketing strategy better involve prompt replies and round-the-clock help.

A great example of failing to be genuine can be found in the ‘Fresh in Our Memories’ promotion from Woolworths on Anzac day. Huge backlash, huge miss.

Rule 4: Expand your reach

Don’t just put your all your money on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube because there are dozens of other social networking sites that you can leverage.

To make the most out of your Social Media Marketing, utilize different platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumble, and others. You may be shocked when you find out how much all these lesser known social networking sites can contribute to the growth of your online presence.

Rule 5: Give it time

If Rome wasn’t built in a day, you shouldn’t expect your brand to be known throughout the world at the same time. No, you’re not building a city but what you’re doing is going take time and effort.

An effective SMM strategy always focuses on attaining long-term results and seeks to establish a reputation by consistent service. If you can prove that your business is trustworthy, followers will automatically increase.

Final words

If you follow the five unbreakable as mentioned above with a passion and have the presence of mind to adapt to changing scenarios, it shouldn’t take you long to establish your business as a reputed online identity.

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