Sunday, September 26, 2010

Answering Service: A Paradigm Shift from The Traditional

Back in the days when customer service wasn't professionalized and businesses were still localized, entertaining customers was relatively simple as more often than not, business-owners knew their customers well. Everything pertaining to customer needs was easily addressed. With the inception of the telephone businesses began to evolve differently and rapidly. Customers both near and far had the option to call businesses with questions or concerns. Running a business no longer meant just manning the cash register and entertaining only the customers within the premises, it also meant answering the phones which made running a business even more challenging. Business was growing rapidly and business-owners had to catch up with the times, those who weren't fast enough were buried in obscurity.

Catching up with the invention of the telephone and how businesses were managed because of it meant hiring a full-time staff to man the phone. Naturally, this meant additional expenses since the full-time staff has to be paid along with other benefits. This also meant that in case this staff succumbs to any illness, business would have to suffer due to unanswered calls.

When the answering services was introduced as one of many services offered by the BPO's or call centers, not everyone was convinced this was the solution necessary for their business. Business-owners were still convinced that answering their phones was not a core function and therefore, not an immediate concern. On the other hand, businesses who were quick to take advantage and migrated their answering services and /or ordering services to call centers quickly realized its importance as sales picked up along with customer satisfaction. Their reputation as a professional business increased as satisfied customers endorsed them to their friends and relatives. Businesses realized that having a full-time answering service eliminated costs associated with providing a physical workplace for the agents, the technology needed to maintain an answering service, hiring and maintaining additional employees including vacation planning, hiring and training, benefits spending, and paid overtime.

As the answering service industry grew, answering service providers did a great deal more than just answer phones and take messages. They began to offer clients order taking, mail receiving and forwarding, faxing, voice mail and others that deliver support and a competitive advantage for smaller offices. Answering after office hours made sure that businesses could provide 24 hour support for their customers adding to more satisfied customers in their clientele.

Thinking that your business does not require an answering service provider is a very dangerous thought as other businesses have proven catastrophically. Their failed stories are no big secrets and serves as a lesson for business-owners all you have to do is learn from them.


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    Sean @

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