who answers the phone when you`re not there?

holycowcreativeholycowcreative subscriber Posts: 1
Right now my office phone forwards to my cell phone.
It works decently, but sometimes I still miss a call and it goes to voice mail (which NO ONE leaves a message on), sometimes it`s just not a good time to take the call, and sometimes I take it but they can certainly tell I`m on my cell.
I just want to raise my level of customer experience. Now maybe I can turn it into a positive...or maybe I need to get an answering service. It`s not a lot of phone calls, most of my contact is through email.
What do you do? What do you as a customer like?

Comments

  • holycowcreativeholycowcreative subscriber Posts: 1
    Never might be a bit harsh, but rarely. Now we are a service firm, we work with churches to help them communicate better, so it`s a bit different than if we were selling a product perhaps. Most of our new customers come through our websites contact form or through direct email.
    We have a answering service company that is local that is affordable ($65 for 150 calls) but like everyone we watch every dollar and only want to spend it if it really makes a difference.
    I also wonder if an answering service hurts and not helps...are there negatives attached to it? They certainly aren`t going to be very informative and are really a live answering machine.
  • jenidlgjenidlg subscriber Posts: 2
    A virtual assistant could be an affordable option.  I happen to be one and would be glad to speak with you about options but, consider this:
     
    A virtual assistant is not an answering service and can learn the ins and outs of your business
     
    A virtual assistant can be available to answer calls during regular business hours in multiple time zones and most have the option to forward to their mobile phone if they are out of the office (I do). 
     
    A virtual assistant can do many other tasks besides answering calls so you may find you have more time to answer those calls or work on building your business. 
     
    I do agree with Janie though that if you are watching every penny and you aren`t seeing a huge drop in buiness over not answering directly then you might just leave things as they are. 
  • jenidlgjenidlg subscriber Posts: 2
    Sadly Craig, I believe you are right.  Not about it not being so important to answer every call if possible, but about people in general feeling they ARE important.  When you are starting a business or trying to grow a business every call is a potential customer and missing those calls or sending them to voicemail in this the "Age of Narcissism" could mean losing them.  Doesn`t mean you have to be the one to answer.  I think most people would be more content to leave a message with a human than a machine.  I know I would.
    We have to adapt to the changes in our world.  Marketing strategies change all the time.  You wouldn`t send a potential customer a cassette tape right?   
  • AnswersmanAnswersman subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi There,
    I can highly recommend 1-800 We Answer Answering Service.  They`re nationwide, and can do all of the things that you need an answering service to do, including making appointments with a 24/7 live operator and they are available 365 days a year.1-800 We Answer Answering Service provides telephone answering service, call center, voice mail, telemarketing, order taking, virtual office, and mail receiving services, phone installations and sales business and individuals.
    Tel: 1-800 We Answer
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  • BreakouttoolsBreakouttools subscriber Posts: 1
    You mentioned in your post about an answering service. This is one of the most cost effective ways to have a live person answer the phone. You can then have a much better chance of getting you messages. Always do due diligence on the provider you choose and check them out before committing. Once item to ask them is average time before the call is answered and how long are average hold times.
     
    Good luck!
  • jimintexjimintex subscriber Posts: 1
    As a customer, I prefer to have my call answered by a person who can handle my request then and there.  Short of hiring psychics, though, that`s rarely possible. 
     
    I don`t mind a single layer menu if your system has good hunting or call forwarding and can quickly get me to the person I want to reach.  This is one of the things I love about working with or for a small company, because we can do things like that. 
     
    If you`re too big for that, or your call volumes are just so high that you need dedicated customer service staff, congratulations!    There are much worse problems to have, especially with today`s economy.  But please, don`t have your automated system ask me for information, and then have the human I finally reach have to ask me all over again.  Either have the person or the computer do it, and then pass it along internally to whoever needs it.
  • daveb1daveb1 subscriber Posts: 1
    it forwards to the voice mail. if you have a secretary
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