There are enough things to do when running a business than also worrying about whether you’re missing out on new business or disappointing customers by not answering the phone.

Phone calls can seem like a small thing when you’ve got so much else going on, especially when you’ve got emails, instant messaging and chatbots for customers to use instead.

And even if a customer calls and you don’t answer, they’ll just leave a voicemail so you can return the call later. Won’t they?

Actually, they’re not likely to do that.

In fact, according to research, 80% of callers sent to voicemail don’t leave messages.

So what can you do instead?

One answer can be to invest in call answering so you always have another person picking up the phone and responding to the customer.

But how do you know if it’s worth it for your business to invest in a telephone answering service in London?

Reasons you could use a telephone answering service

  1. You’re seeing an increasing volume of incoming calls

As your business grows, you’re likely to see an increase in the number of incoming calls to deal with from existing and potential customers.

You may have been able to deal with these yourself in the early days, but as you get more calls, it’ll become more difficult to manage them with your existing resource.

Struggling to keep up with this rising call volume is a clear sign you should consider a telephone answering service.

By outsourcing, you can free up your own time while ensuring all your calls are still being dealt with.

  1. You’re dealing with frequent out-of-hours calls

Out-of-hours calls are inevitable in some businesses because, while you may work the usual 9-5 office hours, your customers will be working to the same schedule and be unable to phone you while at work.

It can be a challenge to handle out-of-hours calls effectively, especially when you and your team can’t be available because you’ve gone home for the day.

Unless you want to start giving your mobile number out so you can be called in the evenings and on weekends.

Using a telephone answering service can help with this because you can have calls dealt with by real people beyond your usual opening hours, without needing to work or answer your phone every hour yourself.

  1. You have a high rate of missed or dropped calls

If you notice your business frequently misses or drops calls, that’s an obvious sign you need an outsourced call answering service.

At the very least, a call answering service makes sure that every incoming call is answered by a human, and they can either take messages to be passed on to the right person, or they can forward the call on to the right person if they’re available.

Having a real person answer incoming calls (even if they can’t directly help the caller) is more reassuring to customers because they know they’ve spoken to a real person and had their enquiry logged or passed on.

This is much better than leaving a message on an answering machine when you have no idea when – or if – the call has been listened to.

  1. Staff are becoming less productive because they’re dealing with calls

When incoming calls start to overwhelm your staff, it can lead to decreased productivity and customer dissatisfaction. By outsourcing call handling to a telephone answering service, you can relieve your staff of the burden of answering calls and allow them to focus on their core responsibilities.

This can also be better for customers because when staff are busy, it can be easy for them to answer the phone as if it’s an inconvenience rather than a chance to help a customer or win new business.

  1. You’re answering a lot of the same questions

Every customer thinks their enquiry is important, and it is, but often customer enquiries are the same or at least overlap.

And while it’s critical you answer these questions to help your customers, it can take a long time and become repetitive to answer the same enquiries over and over.

A telephone answering service can help here because you can use your PAs to directly answer basic and frequent questions to save you time.

These enquiries could be basic things like your opening times or services. But PAs can also be used to handle more complex things like lead qualification.

  1. You’re answering lots of spam calls

Any business owner will know the frustration of having unsolicited sales or spam calls pulling them away and their team away from what they’re trying to do.

They’re a normal part of business, with third-party providers trying to sell their own goods and services.

But when you’re getting lots of these calls and taking up hours in the day, they can become a real detriment and threat to your business’ productivity and profitability.

A telephone answering service takes these calls away by acting as a barrier between you and unwanted calls.

Your PAs can also have you removed from sales lists so you get less of them over time.

Answering calls is a key part of business success

The majority of customers still prefer to call a business and speak to someone on the phone.

So by overlooking the importance of efficient and professional call answering, you’re potentially losing out on new business or losing customers who become dissatisfied with the service they’re getting.

Using a telephone answering service can help remove many of the problems you can experience as your business grows and you deal with more calls.

By providing a professional call answering service your customers will always be dealt with professionally when they call and you can see your call management become a valuable tool in your business rather than a hindrance to success.