In this fast paced 24 hour world, there is no room for missed communications. It seems that any time there is a service outing whether it be for cellular networks or even for streaming video services, people take to the internet in seconds bemoaning the poor customer service they are receiving. For the bigger companies this goes part and parcel with several millions of people each day, they have plans in place for these issues as well as a team of thousands prepared to fix any problems with a moments notice. For the small business owner these resources are not available. When you own a small business your client base is significantly smaller and unfortunately much less forgiving to hiccups that occur with services or goods. As the old saying goes a happy customer will tell another person about their experience, while an unhappy customer will tell two people about their bad experience. Unlike the large companies that have massive public relations departments that are able to take any bad situation and a ply a healthy dose of spin in order to rectify situations, the local business owner only has their own reputation to rely on. This is why it is imperative that customers with grievances are able to access a live person even during hours when the business is closed.
How Recorded Messages Can Lead to Loss of Return Customers and New Business
Imagine one of your customers is attempting to get a hold of you during off hours. If you provide services that require emergency assistance, the last thing a customer wants to hear is a recorded message asking them to leave their name and number. In this day of instantaneous communication, the old standard of the recorded message isn’t enough for most customers, in fact it can be viewed as dismissive. When the customer feels that their needs are not being adequately addressed in a timely manner it will inevitably lead to a loss in repeat business and subsequently new business as well.
Studies Show That Digital Communication is Not a As Effective a Live Answering Service
Many small business owners believe that having an online presence is a substitute for a live answering service, but unfortunately the data would suggest otherwise. Email has a very low customer satisfaction record. According to market research customer service emails are reported to only help fully resolve only 27% percent of customer service issues. That means that over seventy percent of customers that use digital customer resolution means are still dissatisfied with the answer. This is taking into account that all customer inquiries are actually answered in a timely fashion.
24 Hour National Answering Services Lead to Greater Customer Satisfaction
In an effort to maintain good customer relations, many small businesses are using the services of national answering services. By employing a national answering service, small business owners are able to provide customers with an after hours answering service that can address their issues. Studies show that a live operator answering service leads to higher customer satisfaction. IT was reported recently that for every one unsatisfactory customer experience a business owner would have to have 12 positive experiences to cancel out the one poor experience. Think about how much time and effort it would take to go above and beyond to placate people at a 12 to 1 ratio. As they say in the sports realm, the best offense is a best defense. When relating that to business, the best advertising is a happy customer. Studies show that customers that are satisfied have a much higher likelihood to be loyal to business. In fact over 88% of customers reported that they would be willing to pay a slightly higher price in order to receive a higher caliber of customer service from a small business.
By having a 24/7 answering service You are able to relay to your customers that you do indeed care about their concerns any time of the day. Studies show that the initial cost of a national answering service will quickly be made up in repeat business as well as new customers. When it comes to it can you really put a price on your small business’s reputation?