Answering Service Blog

The End of Phone Automation? 3 Reasons People Want to Talk to People

Posted by Ken Peffer on Wed, Nov 25, 2015

No matter how many Tweets go out, Facebook statuses get posted, or websites get viewed, customers still reach for the phone when they want to contact a company right away. But that isn’t just a guess, survey after survey have proven that speaking with a live operator on the phone is people’s preferred method of contact in a business setting. It was proven again in a new report issued jointly by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and inContact.

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Topics: telecommunications services

4 Differences An Answering Service Can Make For Small Law Offices

Posted by Ken Peffer on Thu, Oct 22, 2015

In large law firms, the costs of running the office are easily managed. But in small offices, those expenses can be daunting. So, how does a solo or small law office cut costs? One way would be by cutting down on staffing expenses and outsourcing services, like a receptionist. This one small step can do wonders for the business side of your law firm. Some of the positive changes an answering service brings can include:

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Topics: 24/7 answering service

Get to Know MLT

Posted by Ken Peffer on Fri, Oct 9, 2015

Here at MLT, we are so concerned with providing fantastic answering services for professionals that we sometimes forget to stop and talk about ourselves. In order for you to trust us with your unique business needs, you need to know that we are reputable and stable. We are proud of our longevity in the answering service industry, so if you’re interested in knowing more about our dedication to our clients, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, keep reading:

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Topics: Main Line TeleCommunications, 24/7 answering service

4 Benefits of Maintaining 24/7 Communication for Home Health Care Professionals

Posted by Ken Peffer on Wed, Sep 23, 2015

There are three vital communication elements that are required for those who work in the Home Health Care and Hospice services: sensitivity, accuracy and promptness. Your company is expected to be portraying all of these characteristics at all times, especially during the night or on weekends. If nighttime emergencies have a slow response, or you’re waiting until Monday morning to return most calls, you seriously lack in the “promptness” category. What’s worse, your patients may perceive you lack in the “sensitivity” category as well. In order to ensure your patients’ satisfaction, you can engage a 24/7 telephone service to cover those phone calls that are currently being missed or delayed. Hiring a 24/7 telephone service will:

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Topics: call handling services

How a Telephone Answering Service Can Help Win New Customers For Contractors

Posted by Ken Peffer on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

As a locally owned business, you need one main thing to put you ahead of the larger, chain store competitors: excellent customer service. The 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer study found that 60% of respondents who intended to conduct a business transaction or make a purchase decided not to do so after a poor customer service experience. In fact, the quality of service was the second most important factor that people consider when choosing a company to do business with. Luckily, the study goes further to describe what constitutes great customer service:

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Topics: contractor answering services

3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Telephone Answering Service

Posted by Ken Peffer on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

The concept of an answering service works well for many companies who need additional phone coverage during busy times, mealtimes, emergencies, nights, weekends, or any time they need help fielding calls. Signing up with an answering service is a great way to keep costs low without sacrificing your customer service. These professionals can take messages, provide information, escalate urgent calls, and more. To decide if a live operator answering your calls during the hours you specify will be beneficial to your company, start by asking yourself a few questions:  

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Topics: 24/7 answering service, reliable answering services

The Death of Voicemail: Why More People are Hanging Up Before the Beep

Posted by Ken Peffer on Fri, Aug 7, 2015

We've all heard that automated voice mail lady, telling us what to do after the beep, but fewer people than ever are actually leaving messages. Voicemails among the general population shot down by 8 percent from just October 2013 to April 2014, and they’re still decreasing. If you’re expecting potential customers who call after hours to leave a message, you could be severely disappointed. People are reporting their anti-voicemail sentiments for several reasons, all of which matter to you if your phone calls are going unanswered:

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Topics: after hours answering service

Who’s Answering Your Business Phone When...?

Posted by Ken Peffer on Thu, Jul 23, 2015

Being a small business owner isn’t a 9 to 5 job; it’s a lifestyle. You can work as hard as you can and put in as many hours as is possible, but it seems like there’s always more to be done. You can’t always be the one greeting customers at the door or personally delivering a service. You also can’t always be there to answer your business’s phone. Whether it is late at night, over the holiday, or simply an inconvenient time for you, there will be instances that you can not pick up the ringing phone. So, what happens? Who is answering your phone when...

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Topics: after hours answering service, small business

5 Ways to Provide Professional Customer Service Over the Phone

Posted by Ken Peffer on Wed, Jul 15, 2015

Providing quality customer service, even over the phone, is paramount in keeping your customer’s happy and your business profitable. How do you want your brand to be perceived by those who call? Friendly? Smart? Trustworthy? When we speak, our listeners get an impression of how we feel from our tone of voice. It is not enough to just say the right words; we also need to be cautious about the tone we use so that we convey our message effectively and professionally. If your customer service reps let their underlying frustration with a rude customer interfere with the conversation, it is sure to make the situation worse and you may even lose a customer. Follow these helpful tips to keep the professionalism in your company’s phone conversations:

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Topics: customer service

4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Telephone Answering Service

Posted by Ken Peffer on Thu, Jul 2, 2015
Searching for a telephone answering service to work with isn't an easy task, especially if you don't know Expressions-6what to look for. Your customers and prospects are the heart of your business, and finding an answering service you can trust can be time consuming. After all, you don't want to lose business by hiring the wrong answering service, and it's important that you find one that's trustworthy, professional, and experienced. On top of that, you may still be asking yourself what a telephone answering service can do for you, and how using one will make your life easier. Finding the right answering service for your business is a matter of knowing what to look for and asking the right questions.

If this is your first time looking into an answering service or if you just need a bit of a refresher, here are four things to consider before hiring a telephone answering service for your business:

How it will affect your bottom line

If you're thinking about hiring an answering service, there's a good chance you sense revenue opportunities are being missed because you and your staff simply can't get to every call. People are much less likely to leave voice-mail these days, and by providing a live person to answer each and every call, you greatly increase your chances of gaining new business, or more business from existing clients. Before making the decision to hire an answering service, it's important that you sit down and determine the specific reasons you feel you need a service; it may be to capture more opportunities, provide a better client experience, free up staff to focus on other priorities, or a combination of reasons. Have an understanding of those reasons and what they are worth to you so you have a better sense of how your answering service investment will benefit your organization. Most businesses find that a telephone answering service is cost effective and beneficial to their business, but it's important that you take the time to lay this out for yourself.

What is the fee structure?

Most answering services either charge per minute or per call. It's important to find out which fee structure an answering service uses before making a final decision. Per-call plans can appear attractive, but make sure you understand their definition of 'a call'. Some providers put time limits on their call definition, or consider each text, e-mail or fax they send to you a call as well. So what you assume to be one call could actually count as 3 or 4 calls based on their parameters. Most of the time, per-minute plans are easier to budget for and can help save you money. However, only you know what fee structure is best for you. An experienced telephone answering service will go over all of this with you and explain how their fee structure works.

What is included in the pricing plan?

Inexpensive plans aren't necessarily a good thing because they may not include all of the features that you need or want. Some answering services include holidays, basic reporting, and after hours calls while others will charge for those services. Always find out what is included in the pricing plan, what costs extra, and how much those extra services will cost. Getting this information ahead of time will help you avoid any surprise fees in the future.

Quality and experience

After you've narrowed down your list of potential answering service providers, reach out to the companies and ask for testimonials, the number of years they've been in business, awards and recognition, and references specific to your industry. There are many different questions that you could ask an answering service when you're trying to make your final decision, but these questions will likely be the most beneficial. A majority of your questions should revolve around your specific business needs and how each provider can help solve those needs. This will help you to get a better feel of which answering service company is the best fit for your business.

Searching for an answering service can be a stressful task, but it doesn't have to be. Regardless of whether you're searching for a telephone answering service for the first time or you're looking to switch providers, the points above will help you make a more informed decision for your company.
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Topics: 24/7 answering service, 24 hour telephone answering services, national answering services