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I'm going to give you 5 basic tips on how to best use a Call Answering Service. Some see it as a very rigid service, where as in fact, it's incredibly flexible and can work wonders for communication issues with your customers.

1.) Keep your Call Answering Service/Virtual PA up to date on everything.

Let them know when you're popping out for a meeting, or going to be handling deliveries all day. If you can't ring customers back until after a certain time, tell them and they'll update your customers accordingly.

If a member of staff leaves, if a new one joins your team, let them know to be expecting callers to ask for them.

2.) Give them as much information as you can.

Essentially train your call answering team so that they can handle quick enquiries and so that they can genuinely help in situations where you aren't contactable. Call answering is a customer support service, the more we can help your customers, the happier we are. Turn around times, basic fees, access to booking forms. It all helps.

3.) When on holiday and you don't want your customers to know.

Leave the call answering team with details of phone numbers for suppliers and delivery companies so that they can chase orders and deliveries, you'll be surprised at how much this can take away the strain whilst you're trying to sun yourself stress free abroad.

4.) Call your customers back.

Believe it or not this is the biggest sin we experience on a daily basis.

There is only so much a virtual PA can do for you in certain situations, just like if you had your own dedicated receptionist, when orders go wrong, financial matters arise and things that only the business owner can deal with, ringing your customers back and sorting issues will not only help with better customer service reviews for your business, it'll also keep your call answering cost down too.

5.) It needn't be your little secret

Customers demand good customer service, they demand communication and they usually want it fast.

Call answering used to be a dirty little secret, a little trick small business's use to fool their customers.

It needn't be this way any more.

Our own research has shown that even people who know they are speaking to a call centre are much happier than leaving a voice mail because they know we have a great connection with who we're servicing and have a direct link. Plus if we've been kept up to date as per bullets 1 and 2 above, we could even help them with their enquiry.

For some business's, the solution is to tell your customers you use a call answering service. Your most demanding customers have their expectations managed more efficiently and they then leave concise info and they know it's going to get to the relevant person fast, they know not to ask technical questions and are more than happy to wait for a return call.

Customers don't care who they speak to, as long as they receive a good quality service, good communication and get what they want.

There we go!

Gone are the days of business owners looking down on those of us with smaller business's. We are in the new age of entrepreneurial spirit with the millennial attitude that if you want something, you're going to have to work for it.

Call answering is often misunderstood (or maybe there are quite a few useless ones around) and this, as above, needn't be the case. If done correctly (like we provide) it can be an absolutely essential part of your business. To provide stellar customer service and support for your customers.

OK so this last bit was a shameless plug for me to ask you, to Give Us A Try or if you're already a customer, don't be afraid to let those know who could use our help.

Until next time, ciao!

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