So what happens if a customer calls and you can’t answer?
There is no doubt that you can lose business if someone calls your retirement business telephone and receives no answer at all. But always there will be times when you are just not able to answer. You might be sleeping, away from the phone, traveling, driving, or at a customer site.
- A new potential customer will not try again but call your competitor instead.
- An existing customer will be frustrated and conclude that your service is not the best.
So an investment in a telephone answering system to handle retirement business telephone calls is very important – especially if you have a service retirement business.
Retirement Business Telephone
There is however more than one way to implement an answering system:
- Use your phone company’s answering service. Many local telephone companies offer an answering machine service. Anytime that you don’t answer the phone or, most importantly, when you line is busy, the phone company’s system will answer after so many rings with your own pre-recorded message.
The main advantage of a phone company answering service is that calls are answered even when you are busy talking on the phone. There is a voice box and you can record your greeting. An answering machine cannot answer calls if you are using the line.
The disadvantage is that it is more costly than your own answering machine and less flexible with regards to messages. You also need to periodically call the phone company to check if you have a message. An answering machine has a light that turns on when there are messages waiting.
- Buy a telephone answering machine. You can get an answering machine very cheaply. All telephone answering machines are now digital so you don’t have to mess with tapes.
The advantage is that you can record multiple messages and have multiple voice boxes. There is also only a one-time cost. The answering machine will also light up when messages are waiting. More expensive answering machines can even be connected to the internet to send you an email message with the voice recording.
The disadvantage is that an answering machine cannot answer any call when you are using the line. The only solution is to have a dedicated line for incoming calls and not make outgoing calls on it.
- Voice mail machine. This is a more complicated answering system that can be a standalone box or work with your computer. This is the type of answering system that can route calls (press “1” for service, press “2” for sales etc.).
The advantage is the additional functionality and it gives the impression that your company is much bigger than it really is. It can answer calls when the line is busy too.
The biggest disadvantage is the cost as they are not cheap.
- An independent answering service. You can hire an independent answering service with live operators to take your calls.
The advantage is that your customers can make appointments and you appear more professions.
The disadvantage is that today many answering services use operators in foreign countries that speak very poor English. The cost is much higher. And often the operators are so overwhelmed that they act like parrots. Many do not allow customers to leave a voice message and the operators garble what was said. If you use one, be sure to call them periodically pretending to be a customer to see how you are treated.
- Chat on your web site. Sine many potential customers will be visiting your web site why not implement a “chat” application? 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 can answer customers in real-time while sitting at your computer even if they are not in your local area.
The disadvantage is that you need the assistance of a programmer to install the software on you web site and you must be at your computer to be most effective.
I addition to a local business telephone there are some other telephone options that you should consider.
I also suggest that you install the free application Skype on your smartphone and your desktop computer. With Skype you can text, make phone calls, use video and send files to any other Skype member. You can also make very, very cheap long-distance phone calls to any non-Skype member in the world.
For about $40 per year you get a local phone number anywhere in Canada or the USA from MagicJack. I live in Mexico but have a local USA phone number and can make free unlimited phone calls to Canada and the USA for free. The other person’s caller ID shows my local USA number. There is also a voice box and it sends emails with the recorded voice message to any email account. Once you purchase it you can install multiple copies on your desktop computer, iPhone, tables, and smartphones.
With the free Google Voice system you can get a phone number, voice box, and automatic routing of your calls to any other phone number. This is great if you are on vacation or traveling. It can even route a call to Skype. Google also allows you to screen incoming calls. https://support.google.com/chat/answer/3379791
If you already have a telephone PBX system, you might want to consider just disconnecting from the telephone company and using VOIP. You calls will be routed through the Internet instead. You can eliminate an expensive telephone business lines and the long-distance charges while still using a sophisticated PBX system that you might already own. However, when the Internet goes down, your retirement business telephone system goes down too. Also in most homes when the electricity goes off a normal phone still works, but if your computer is not working, then your VOIP will be dead too.
So look into adding a retirement business telephone answering system in addition to your business phone and cell phone.
Check out this link for more ideas. Hundreds of Retirement Business Ideas.
For more information check out my books