What is a live call answering service

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Have you ever wondered how easy scaling up your small business could be? Many successful entrepreneurs begin a business from their kitchen tables. It’s just them, running the show – doing everything from writing pitches for investment to sending out invoices and answering incoming queries – in addition to actually doing what they get paid to do. If the business takes off, this quickly becomes unsustainable. The entrepreneur spends more time handling administration tasks than focusing on the core business that makes their operation profitable. Obviously, this situation is not sustainable for long. And yet it usually takes a while before they can afford to employ additional staff – the cost of recruitment, training and managing the consistent overhead of a salary is too much.

If they still try and do everything themselves, one of two things is bound to happen. In scenario A, they spend so much time attending to these operational matters; they no longer have enough time and energy to pour into the day job and steering the business to new growth. In scenario B, they neglect these smaller tasks – enquiries go unanswered, messages not returned. They lose out on new business opportunities and get a reputation for terrible service. Neither of these outcomes is any good. And that is precisely where a live call answering service can come to the rescue of any small business struggling to keep up.


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So, what exactly is it?

A live call answering service – sometimes referred to as a virtual reception – is an outsourced way of handling those incoming queries and messages that you don’t want to miss. For a low monthly fee, you are provided with a business landline number. Calls coming through to this number are answered remotely, by a dedicated team of call handlers. A vast range of different businesses, such as law firms, estate agents, financial advisors, management consultants and architects use this type of service to process their incoming telephone enquiries. It means that all calls get answered promptly, simple queries are resolved on the spot, and anything more complicated gets passed on to you to deal with when you have the time. Your clients will experience a smooth, professional service – in fact, in most cases, they will never even realise that they aren’t talking to someone directly in your office.

Why Should I Use A Live Call Handling Service?

There are so many reasons why lots of growing businesses already benefit from using call handlers. In fact, signing up to this kind of service could completely transform your day-to-day tasks:

Never Miss A Message – How many times might you have missed an important enquiry, simply because you were tied up with something else? The average small business owner has a daily to-do list a mile long, and everything on it is urgent. It would be almost impossible not to let something slip under these circumstances, but if that means letting go of money-making opportunities, it’s not good news. You can’t do everything at once. Using a live call answering service means 24-hour coverage. You never have to miss an enquiry or an important message because you simply couldn’t answer the phone. You may have a lot of information on your website, but for a lot of customers, nothing beats human interaction, or they have a query which is too complex to be solved using FAQs. In these cases, a virtual reception has your back. This can actually be a great form of lead generation – how many leads would you have to get in a month before this service paid for itself?

Lower Your Overheads – The one thing which sends a lot of promising small businesses into bankruptcy before their first birthday? Cashflow. Start-up companies are in a uniquely vulnerable position. They are faced with large overheads to get up and running, at exactly the worst time – before they have a steady income and established profit margins. Survival takes a relentless focus on keeping overheads as low as possible, to give the business a chance to build up cash reserves that can sustain it. Using a live call answering service can help with this. Hiring permanent reception staff is a considerable expense – and that’s assuming you actually have a separate office to put them in. Even if you do have a couple of members of staff, answering telephone calls is likely to distract them from their main job and may end up taking up a lot of time away from the area you are paying them for. Using a virtual PA is a smarter, low-cost way to deal with incoming queries quickly and efficiently, without the expense of employing a full-time member of staff.

Create A Great First Impression – They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and for fledgeling businesses, that’s very true. You’re fighting to stand out against your competitors and develop a name for yourself, usually in a crowded marketplace. It’s crucial to be seen as a highly professional enterprise that customers can rely on. When you use a live call answering service, it helps massively to create this impression. You can agree on a script in advance which suits your company and what you want to convey. Customers can get an answer to a straightforward query, or an acknowledgement of their message from a real human being immediately. This goes a long way towards making them feel valued. You invest a lot into developing your brand, so don’t ruin it by supplying a bad experience when customers come into contact with you. A simple, timely, professional reply to their queries will put them at ease and give them the confidence they need to do business with you. When calls go unanswered, rightly or wrongly, it makes your business look like you simply don’t care – and no-one wants to be left with that impression.

For a reasonable monthly fee, you could benefit from a professional call handling service which can completely change the way you do business!

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