Do you own a small business where you are not always able to answer the phone? Know that it is possible to still be connected to your customers by using a 24/7 business answering service. If you do not pick up the phone at your business, it will automatically be forwarded to a call center. When you move forward with using an answering service, it will help to get started by doing the following things.
Write Your Answering Script
The person answering the phone at the call center is not going to be familiar with the ins and outs of your business. Their job is going to be to greet the customer and take a message. That's why it helps to write a script for the receptionist to read when they answer the phone. This will help make the customer feel like the receptionist is part of your business with relevant information that they need to know.
You'll also want to supply common information to customers that may be asked. For example, people may be wondering about store hours, where to send a payment to, or your email address. Think of common questions you have answered on the phone in the past and how you would want someone to answer them for you.
Set Up A Dedicated Email Address
The answering service will relay your missed calls by sending you messages electronically. It will help to have those messages forward to a dedicated email address so that you can quickly see your missed calls. While it may be tempting to forward them to a main email address, it can be easy to lose messages in between all of the other emails that you receive. Seeing the unread emails in that account is a good way to know at a glance how many unread messages you have to go through.
Set Up An Emergency Call Protocol
You may have certain calls that you want to be notified about immediately. For example, you may be awaiting a call from a certain client and do not want to lose their business. You may be an emergency dentist and need to be notified of someone that is in need of emergency dental work right away. It is important to set up a protocol about how these calls are handled. The receptionist may need to call your personal cell phone immediately or leave a message on a pager so that you know to call back as soon as possible.