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You’ve got clients waiting on the phone, a backlog that needs attention, and who knows what emergency will pop up.

Running a business these days is hard work, especially when there’s so much to do, expectations are higher than ever, customer satisfaction needs to be the best it can be, and everything feels as though it needs to be completed yesterday.

On top of that, you’re trying to grow, innovate, and disrupt, all while staying ahead of your competition.

During all this, answering calls feels like one more thing on an already impossible to-do list. But every time that phone rings, it could be a current client needing urgent help or a potential new customer checking you out.

So, how do you make those calls work for you instead of feeling like yet another task is holding you back?

The focus remains on the benefit.

This isn’t just about handling calls—it’s about turning those calls into loyal clients who spread the word about your business. The question is, should you bring someone in-house to focus solely on customer calls or outsource that expertise to a dedicated service?

We’ll break down the pros and cons of each so you can make the best decision for your business’s growth.

Let’s get into it.

The Importance of Professional Call Handling: Your Secret Weapon for Growth

Let’s start with the basics, exploring why handling calls is so important. However, the TLDR here is that you need to ensure your customers are happy with what you’re offering, and this means being available to them as and when they need it.

These days, customers are used to interacting with big brands, chatbots, and social media accounts that give me near-instant responses to anything they want or need. Despite being small businesses with limited resources, customers expect the same from you.

Hence, when they need you, you better be there. Otherwise, they’ll simply jump to work with a business that can.

Let’s break this down a little more.

Elevating Customer Service

Think about your last truly exceptional customer service experience. Were you greeted warmly? Did the person on the phone truly listen to your problem? Did you hang up feeling like they’d gone the extra mile?

That’s the power of professional call handling. It’s the key to turning frustrated callers into loyal customers.

  • First Impressions Matter: How your team answers the phone sets the tone for customer relationships. A rushed, impersonal greeting can leave a negative impression that’s tough to erase. On the other hand, a friendly, helpful voice immediately puts customers at ease.
  • Resolve Queries Efficiently: No one likes to be stuck on hold or transferred endlessly. Professionally trained call handlers know how to find solutions fast. This keeps customers happy and minimizes the chance of problems escalating.

Building Rapport Over the Phone

You can’t see their face, but you can still make a genuine connection on the phone. The best call handlers are experts in building rapport – listening carefully, showing empathy, and adapting their style to the person on the other end of the line.

Why does this matter?

Because feeling understood builds trust, and trust is what leads to customer loyalty.

  • Personalized Interactions: Nobody wants to feel like just another ticket number. When you take the time to tailor the conversation to the caller’s specific needs, it shows you care about them as an individual. Personalization in this way is a simple yet powerful way to stand out from the competition.
  • Consistent Experience: Great customer service shouldn’t feel like a lucky draw. Every time someone calls your business, they deserve the same level of professionalism and helpfulness. This consistency makes your brand feel reliably good to interact with.

Limiting Distractions for Increased Productivity

Picture this: you’re deep in the flow, finally progressing on that tricky project. Then, the phone rings. It’s a customer, and they have a question. This disruption doesn’t just break your focus; it eats up valuable time. Sound familiar?

Professional call handling is the solution. Offloading your phones to a dedicated team (whether in-house or outsourced) gives you the gift of uninterrupted work time.

  • Streamlined Processes: Stop juggling phone calls on top of your core responsibilities. Letting experts take care of customer queries frees up your team to focus on what they excel at. The result? Smoother processes and increased output.
  • Peace of Mind: When you’re not worried about missed calls or unhappy customers, you can dedicate your total mental energy to driving your business forward. That’s peace of mind that’s hard to put a price on.

The bottom line?

Professional call handling isn’t an expense; it’s an investment. It’s about giving your customers a fantastic experience, boosting your team’s productivity, and creating the space for your business to grow.

Why Every Call Counts

Ever missed an important call and kicked yourself afterward? That’s the feeling you want to avoid for your customers. Because the truth is, every missed call could be a missed opportunity.

Missed Calls, Missed Opportunities

Think of every phone ring as a potential sale, a chance to solve a customer’s problem, or an opportunity to build brand loyalty. When you miss that ring, you might be missing out on:

  • New Leads: A potential customer eager to learn about your services reaches out…and gets voicemail. They’re likely to move on to the next company on their list.
  • Customer Frustration: Existing clients need support too! Answering their calls promptly shows you’re there for them, even when things go wrong. This is how you turn a negative experience into a positive one, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction and retaining customers.

Prompt Responses Lead to Happy Customers

We all know how frustrating it is to be left on hold or waiting days for a reply. That’s why making customers wait isn’t just annoying; it’s bad business. Quick responses show you value your customers’ time and make them feel like a priority.

  • Immediate Support: Even if you can’t solve a customer’s problem on the spot, simply acknowledging their call and giving them a timeframe for a resolution goes a long way. This shows you’re on it!
  • Increased Trust: Customers want to work with businesses they can rely on. Being responsive and available builds trust. And trust is the foundation of long-term customer relationships.

Again, every call is a chance to impress a customer and win them over for good. By answering quickly and professionally, you’ll boost customer satisfaction, loyalty, and, ultimately, the success of your business.

Options for Managing Your Calls

Okay, with the reasons of why answering your phones and spending time with your customers to build rapport with them is clear, we need to address how you’re going to do it. You’re already wearing a lot of hats, and the chances are you don’t have the time or energy to do it all yourself.

So, what can you do? Let’s break it down.

Hiring an Employee

Bringing a dedicated call handler onto your team is the classic solution. If you need someone with deep business knowledge and a consistently high call volume, this could be the right fit. Here’s what to consider:

  • The Process: You’ll need to define the job requirements, write a description, interview candidates, and invest in onboarding your new hire.
  • The Upside: An in-house team member can gain in-depth knowledge about your products, customers, and company culture.
  • The Downsides:
    • Cost: Full-time salaries and benefits add up.
    • Training Investment: Getting your new employee up-to-speed takes time and resources.
    • Fluctuating Needs: If your call volume isn’t steady, you risk having staff who are overworked or underutilized sometimes.

Hiring an employee isn’t the only solution. If flexibility and cost-effectiveness are priorities, there are other options to explore. Let’s consider outsourcing your call handling.

Utilizing an Answering Service

Need the professionalism of an in-house receptionist but with more flexibility and cost-effectiveness? An answering service might be your perfect solution. Think of them as your on-demand call-handling team. It’s customer service outsourcing at its finest.

What sets an answering service apart?

  • Cost-Effective: You only pay for the time you use when investing in call center services. No full-time salaries or benefits to worry about.
  • Scalable: Got a sudden spike in calls? Need coverage during a product launch? Outsourcing customer support tasks can ramp up (or down) instantly to match your current needs.
  • 24/7 Availability: Customers can reach you anytime, even outside of your usual business hours.
  • Feels Like Your Own Team: A good answering service integrates seamlessly with your business. Callers won’t even realize they’re not talking to someone in your office.

The best call center outsourcing teams are trained to emulate the style of your business perfectly. Whether you’re a casual, hip organization or a professional B2B company working with enterprises, the best customer service outsourcing companies will ensure every interaction feels exactly like you.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to offer top-notch customer service without breaking the bank or losing control of your schedule, an answering service could be a game-changer for your business.

The Hybrid Approach: The Best of Both Worlds

Can’t decide between in-house staff and an answering service? You don’t have to! A hybrid approach lets you combine the strengths of each:

  • In-house During the Day: Your team handles the calls they know best – customer questions about your products, appointment scheduling, etc.
  • Overflow and After-Hours Support: An answering service with call center agents via a call center service steps in for busy periods, evenings, and weekends. No more missed calls = ultimate customer satisfaction.
  • Gradual Transition: If you’re nervous about outsourcing, this lets you dip your toes in while still having that safety net of your in-house team. When you’re ready to make the switch full-time, you can do so with ease.

The Right Fit for Your Business

There’s no single “perfect” solution for everyone, but outsourcing customer service is pretty close.

The key is to figure out what mix of in-house and call center outsourcing services will give your customers the best experience while also meeting your specific business needs.

However, no matter which path you choose, one thing’s for sure: making sure every call gets a professional answer is a smart investment that will pay off for your business in the long run.

That’s the key to success.

Why Outsourced Contact Center Services Come Highly Recommended

Think answering services are only for big corporations? Think again! These days, businesses of all sizes see value in virtual receptionists. Why the popularity? Here’s the deal:

  • Customer Service Superstars: Outsourced call center services don’t just answer phones; they excel at building positive relationships with callers. Their staff is trained in communication, empathy, and problem-solving, which means happier customers for you.
  • Efficiency Experts: When your team isn’t juggling phone calls on top of their other work, everyone gets more done. Business process outsourcing like this frees up valuable time and mental focus.

Let’s get specific. Here are a few key benefits answering services offer:

  • Cost-Efficiency: Cut your call-handling costs without sacrificing the quality of your customer service operations. With outsourced customer service providers, you only pay for the time they actually spend on the phone instead of a full-time salary, saving you lots of money to invest in other areas of your business.
  • 24/7 Availability: Customers don’t always call during business hours. An answering service ensures someone friendly and professional picks up, even on nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • Professionalism and Consistency: Every caller deserves the same great experience. Customer support outsourcing services are trained to handle calls expertly, ensuring a positive impression every time. It’s what they do day in and day out.
  • Scalability: Business booming? Suddenly need more call support? Answering services can scale up or down quickly, so you’re never understaffed or paying for idle time.

Answering services offer a unique combination of expertise, flexibility, and affordability. That’s why they’re not just a “nice to have” anymore — they’re a smart business investment for anyone who wants to provide top-notch customer service without breaking the budget.

Making the Right Choice for Your Business

Choosing between in-house staff and an answering service is a big decision. Here are some key questions to help you figure out the best fit for your needs:

  • How Busy Are Your Phones? Track your call volume for a week or two. Are there predictable busy times? Do you get after-hours calls?
  • When Do Your Customers Need You? Problems don’t always happen on a schedule. If you offer 24/7 support, an answering service can be invaluable.
  • How Technical Are the Calls? Can a general receptionist handle basic questions, or do you need someone with specialized knowledge? If you need technical support but still want to outsource, you’ll need an outsourced customer support provider on the same page.
  • Where is Your Business Headed? If you’re expecting growth, a scalable solution like using outsourced customer service companies might be the smarter long-term investment.
  • Don’t Forget the Big Picture: It’s easy to get caught up in the costs, but remember: every customer interaction is a chance to impress. A fast, knowledgeable answer builds trust and loyalty, turning callers into long-term clients.

Choose the call centers and customer support team solutions that will let you provide the best possible customer experience today, while also setting you up for success as your business grows.

Conclusion

In every business, each call represents an invaluable opportunity to foster customer relationships, promptly address issues, and drive growth.

We’ve explored the tangible benefits of professional call handling, weighed the considerations between hiring in-house versus utilizing an answering service, and highlighted why answering services like Absent Answer could be the superior choice for building rapport with your clients.

Answering services provide round-the-clock professionalism, scalability, and cost-efficiency, making them essential to your business strategy. It’s time to elevate your customer service experience and ensure no call—and no opportunity—is missed.

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By Last Updated: April 30, 2024Categories: Blog11.6 min read