Should you get an telephone answering system?
There is no doubt that you can lose business if someone calls your company and receives no answer at all.
It is especially important to answer if you have a service retirement business.
Here are some options to consider to answer the telephone:
- Your spouse could be the one who answers your phone providing that he / she is willing to stay at home every time that you are not able to answer it. Of course someone will also have to answer the phone in the night. And if you both travel or are on vacation together no one will be answering your phone. Be sure to ALWAYS answer the phone with “XYZ Company, how may I help you” and not just a simple “Hello”.
- Use your phone company’s answering service. The main advantage is that calls are answered even when you are busy talking on the phone. The disadvantage is that it is more costly than your own answering machine and less flexible.
- Buy a telephone answering machine. The advantage is that you control the messages and there is just a one-time cost. The disadvantage is that an answering machine cannot answer when you are using the line. I suggest that if you get an answering machine you also buy a separate phone line dedicated to the answering machine and do not use it for outgoing calls.
- Voice mail machine. This is one step up from an answering machine. The advantage is that if offers many more functions such as remote playback and multiple voice boxes. The disadvantage is the cost.
- An independent answering service. You customers will be talking to a real person. The advantage is that you can take appointments and appear more professional. The disadvantage is the cost and the fact that many answering services offer very poor service. If you use an answering service, be sure to call your company to see how they respond.
- Chat on your web site. Many potential customers will visit your web site. You can install a chat system that will take text and voice messages in addition to a contact me form. The advantage is that you are making it very easy for the customer to contact you and you can answer in real time if you are sitting at your computer. The disadvantage is that you need the assistance of a programmer to install the software on you web site.
Check out these ideas for a telephone answering machine.