Due to the rise of technology and the many channels customers are able to reach businesses, consumers are now expecting 24/7 customer support. Whether it’s an emergency, time-zone differences or just a late-night shift worker reaching out with an inquiry, businesses simply can’t exist in a 9-to-5 model anymore. Providing that kind of support seems impossible, however. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a major conglomeration, humans have limitations and simply can’t work all day, all night and all year-round.
Technology is failing in 24/7 support
Email, live chat and IVRs (interactive voice response) simply don’t cut it when it comes to the level of customer experience consumers are expecting. Most people don’t feel that sending an email will get a response. Live chat has its limitations since it’s generally automated after business hours. And IVRs are beginning to feel more like time wasters for consumers. Walking through prompts to reach a specific person or department takes up valuable time and if it’s after hours, that person will wind up reach a voicemail. Their next move is likely to hang up and call the next business on their list until a person finally answers.
Answering services rise as a popular option
So much of consumer interaction has begun to be automated, but like the vast majority of consumers are finding it frustrating to pull answers out of live chats, dig through websites for information or go through menu prompts to guess at who may be the right person to answer their questions. What was once considered an almost outmoded version of connecting with people is circling back around to become the preference – simple human to human interaction over the phone. Answering services are increasing in popularity as it offers businesses a way to hire a third party to handle its phone calls. A time of operators is ready and waiting to handle that business’s inbound calls, ensuring a fulfilling customer experience.
Not all answering services are the same
If you want to increase your customer support to 24 hours a day and seven days a week, your search for an answering service is going to get narrower. While all answering services tout themselves as a business solution, read the fine lines, because not all answering services offer 24/7 services. Furthermore, some 24/7 answering services will charge a baseline rate for answering during normal business hours but then increase rates, treating 24/7 more as an a la carte feature. What may look like an affordable option may quickly triple in price.
Be careful with outsourcing
Another thing to consider when hiring an answering service for your customer support is where the answering service is located. Oftentimes, the best choice for a U.S.-based business is a U.S.-based answering service. Businesses in the United States feel that their business can be best represented by U.S.-based operators.
Think of the features you want
When it comes to answering your phones, what kinds of features do you need? Do you want a dialogue to occur between the caller and operator? For example, answering frequently asked questions, processing orders and creating appointments? Many answering services simply offer message taking as their service. At VoiceNation, we have the enhanced technology to support businesses beyond the call. Give us a call at 877.679.3777 to learn more or sign up for our free, seven-day trial.