Organisations which attempt the idea of outsourcing likely do so for one of two reasons: either they lack the resources to provide appropriate telephone answering services to their clients, or they choose to outsource because it is “less expensive.”
Outsourcing has been lauded as a great way for businesses to save their hard-earned capital, but we tend to disagree. Below are the reasons why we believe that all businesses should stick with a local-based telephone answering service, starting with:
Local Telephone Answering Companies Better Understand Your Customers
By choosing a regional telephone answering service based in the UK, you are choosing to outfit your business with a team of individuals who are from the same area or areas as your clients. This means that the individuals picking up the phone and assisting your customers will have a better understanding of their pain points and thus are able to better serve them.
They will understand colloquialisms and regional peculiarities, whereas the staff of outsourced telephone answering companies will not. A regional telephone answering outfit will be able to offer more customised and personalised care and attention to your customers, which will leave them feeling more valued and respected.
Proving You Are Re-Investing in Your Local Economy
Businesses need to take into consideration what sort of impression they are leaving when they choose to outsource their telephone answering services. Many of these individuals will not have the same accent, which immediately will raise red flags with clients and customers. This not only leads many of your customers to believe that they will receive inferior service and that your business is trying to cut corners when it comes to their customers, but it also tells them that you are not re-investing in your local economy.
By choosing a local or regional telephone answering service, you are telling your customers that you care about the UK and are working on building its economy. You are telling customers that you are investing in the mums, dads and other individuals who may be living on your very same street as you are. You are also telling them that you are willing to invest capital in providing superior customer service, something which will not be missed by your customers.
You Can Pay Them a Visit
When business owners choose to use a UK-based telephone answering service, they are also giving themselves the opportunity to easily go and visit the service’s office. If at all possible, take the time to travel to the office from which the telephone answering service is operating and see whom the agents are. Start building a relationship with these individuals as this will ensure that you (and especially your customers) are treated with the utmost care. Unlike answering services which are located overseas, you can actually see how the agents operate, how they are managed, and what sort of work they provide. Take advantage of this and plan to take a trip out to see the facility prior to hiring a telephone answering service.
What You Should Expect from a Local Telephone Answering Service
Choosing to work with a UK-based telephone answering service is obviously beneficial. But the extent of the benefits you will be able to enjoy depend on what the service is able to offer. If you are wondering what you should expect from a UK-based answering company, read on.
A Live Voice Response 24 Hours a Day
The best answering service will be able to provide your customers with a live human being 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These services will even be fully staffed and able to accept calls on the most unexpected of days, such as Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday. When looking into your options, ask about how the company you are considering staffs themselves during these holidays and whether they provide “graveyard shift” coverage (night-time coverage between 11 pm and 7 am). Having this option is particularly important if you are, or want to become, a global company which deals with clients from many different time zones.
Other Language Capabilities
Many of the companies which offer answering services in the UK do so only in English. Others may be able to guarantee that they will have other customer service agents available who can speak in different languages.
Having a customer service agent on hand who is able to handle calls from other countries and speak in other languages (such as Spanish, French and German) is handy and can help you cut down on your costs. Keep in mind, however, that there is now a number of third-party translators with whom you can work to ensure that all of your customers and clients speaking different languages are able to appropriately communicate with you. Ask the telephone answering company if they currently use one of these services. If not, ask them how willing they would be to accept one which has been hand-picked by you for your business.
Taking Messages and Escalating Issues on Your Own Terms
Having a live human voice answering your phone calls can be the difference between your business sinking or thriving in this already competitive landscape. Even if that live voice is just taking a message for you to respond to the next day, your customer or client will feel more cared for and catered to than if they were to leave a message on an answering machine.
Another important aspect for business owners to consider involved situations where there are issues which need to be escalated. Fortunately, the majority of phone calls which will be received outside of business hours will not be urgent issues which an owner will need to deal with. However, in those instances when an issue needs to be expertly handled right then and there, a live voice will be able to comfort the client and then escalate the issue to you (the business owner) to handle how you see fit.
At the end of the day, business owners need to examine how they want their business to be perceived. Do you want to be seen as a penny-pinching company who cares little for the customer care that their customers receive? Or do you want to be seen as a business which has their customers’ best interests at heart? Weigh the pros and cons, and you will likely find that a regional and reasonably priced UK-based company is the best way to go.