Three alternatives to a call handling service
There are a few other ways of dealing with customer queries aside from a call handling answering service. Here are a few of the main ones, along with an explanation of the key reasons why a handling service might be a preferable option.
1) Do nothing. Let your team handle customer calls
There are reasons you might want your own team to answer calls. If this is the case, you will still need to offer training to deal with higher volumes customer calls, processes to resolve calls, and task prioritisation should your team also have other responsibilities.
Task prioritisation is an underappreciated aspect of internal call management. If not adequately addressed, personnel can be distracted from their work by the need to answer calls from clients.
You also need to consider overflow and out of hours calls. Many people refuse to wait on hold and won’t leave messages. Instead, they’ll keep phoning providers – your competitors – until someone answers.
2) Choose an automated call handling service
Many businesses aim to save time and effort by utilising an automated customer help service. Customers call a given number and, instead of speaking to a human being, punch in numbers on their handsets to receive answers to the relevant questions.
This is often a cheaper option, but most customers prefer the human touch. When dealing with a problem, they much prefer being able to talk to a real human being who is well trained and who has access to all relevant information. Automated responses seem very impersonal when attempting to resolve an issue.
3) An instant chat feature on your website
Live chat allows customer queries to be answered in real time. Many people prefer to talk over the web rather than over the phone: this can be useful for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, for example.
However, you will still need to have team members manning the chat service 24/7 if you do not want to end up with customers unhappy that you are unresponsive. You may wish to choose a service that can answer your calls as well as your chat features.
Talking over the phone has a more personal feel and gives your company more of a human face. A web chat customer service outlet can be maintained as a complement to, rather than a replacement of, a telephone-based service.