What to Look for in a Small Business Answering Service

Last updated September 4, 2020 written by Tetiana

Do you find your business constantly missing calls? Are the staff who deal with your incoming phone calls swamped? You might need a small business answering service to help you to ensure you don’t miss out on any opportunities or get a reputation for missing incoming calls when your customers need you most. In some lines of business, this can be make or break, costing you potential customers.

Answering service could help ensure that you don’t miss out on new leads and that you provide the best possible customer service.

small business answering service

Businesses That Need a Small Business Answering Service

There are a thousand examples we could use to demonstrate the reasons for having a small business answering service. Virtually every business is a candidate. If you have recently started your business or you don't have full-time staff, you might be answering the phone yourself instead of focusing on your business needs. For example, if you are a mechanic and you run a car workshop, you might have to stop what you are doing to take a call, or ignore it and risk missing out on a customer. Small businesses lose $75 billion a year through poor customer service. That includes missing calls.

Another example is a busy office. Even if you have a number of employees, you're probably not running a call center for your small business, so in peak periods, phone lines can get clogged and you can miss calls. An answering service is the solution for small business owners as you can route the phones to a live person rather than a voicemail.

What to Look For In a Phone Answering Service for Small Business

So, how do you ensure that you are getting the right features from your phone answering service? What are some of the key considerations when you are looking for a virtual receptionist service? The right service will bring a number of benefits including flexibility and even saved money, but there are some vital considerations.

Live Answering 24/7/365

If you opt for a call answering service, you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing calls won't be missed. The modern age of business is often 24/7, and did you know that even in this world of email and live chat, 80% of business communication is still conducted via the phone?

Being able to have a live receptionist around the clock is one of the key benefits of this type of service, so ensure that you only work with answering services that offer this. Nexa operates 24/7 so that your business doesn't have to miss out on leads just because someone calls while you are busy, or happens to call when your staff members are on another task. Customers will go elsewhere if they don't get the service they require. Having live chat and telephone support is one of the best ways to improve your customer retention. Simply put, missing calls doesn't show customers that you care!

An Affordable Service

Having live operators available to answer calls professionally can help your business to save money and establish new leads. However, a small business doesn't have unlimited money to spend. When looking for an answering service for small business, cheap and good value services are out there. You don't have to employ someone else on full-time wages to get the sort of stellar service you need.

As with most business opportunities, you will probably be looking to ensure that your answering service team is profitable or beneficial in some way. As well as having the best customer service for a small business, you should also think about the business opportunities you may have otherwise missed, and the new customers that go elsewhere if you can't answer their call.

There are a number of different ways of paying, and different pricing plans. For instance, with Nexa Go, you can pay a monthly fee along with a price per minute, meaning you only pay for what you use. You won't be paying for a professional answering service you don't need. However, for businesses with large volumes of calls, the Enterprise plan might be more suitable.

Trained Staff Based in The USA

For a trusted call answering service, the right staff are required, even when you are outsourcing your incoming calls. An operator should be able to answer your calls and your customer should have no idea that you didn't talk to someone sitting in the office of your HQ. This means highly-trained operators and professional services. To find the right receptionist services, ensure that they know the ins and outs of your business.

At Nexa, not only are staff trained to a high level on answering customer support calls, they go through a 2-3 week training course with skills learned in customer experience, empathy, technology, and more. Nexa will work with you to create an answering script, meaning that virtual receptionists are armed with the information needed to give detailed, helpful answers to your customers. What's the point in having a live answering service if they don't know how your business operates?

Integration With Your Office and CRM

It's great to have a real person answering the phone even out of office hours, but if that person can't integrate with your CRM and office staff then it can lead to a lot of other issues. When choosing a small business answering service, ensure that they can use your system to make bookings and schedule follow-ups, or record any information that you need. When you or your staff come into the office the next day, it should be easy to see what has happened with callers out of hours.

At Nexa, our virtual receptionists are trained not just to answer customer calls, but to act on them in the way you require. Instead of just passing calls on to your team and adding to their work, our receptionists can be trained to create support tickets, onboard new clients, qualify leads, transfer calls to the relevant people and input data into the CRM your team is already using. Our staff can use Salesforce, ZenDesk, and a number of other popular business CRMs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Nexa's Call Center and Staff Based?

Our office and staff are based within the USA, so you aren’t outsourcing your calls to a foreign call center when you work with us.

Can I Influence What The Call Answering Staff Say to Customers?

We work with you to create a script that is suitable for your business. We also look at “what if” scenarios, meaning that a script can cover different scenarios and different questions that a potential customer might have. You have the final say on the script used.

How Can I Track The Data On My Calls Answered By Nexa?

Nexa makes it easy to track the conversations that our virtual receptionists have had, and who has been in touch with your business. Whether by email, SMS, or directly to your chosen CRM, you will be constantly updated on the call data as well as any appointments that have been booked or potential customer leads. Via our specific app, you can also track your monthly billing, reporting and analytics.

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