Simply answering these ten questions will help you get the right answer from your Telephone Answering Service
Paperclip has been delivering Telephone Answering Services to hundreds of clients across South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and beyond for over ten years. No two clients’ requirements are exactly the same. Furthermore, a client’s requirements flex over time as their organisation evolves.
In our experience, clients that think through the answers to the following ten questions get more from their call answering services:
Have we got the right telephone number(s)?
Modern telecommunications technology means that, within reason, you can choose numbers to match your business and marketing strategies.
For example, if you are based in Sheffield but serve customers across Manchester, Leeds, Derby and Nottingham then you could have a local number for each of these cities.
For some services, prospective clients intuitively feel more comfortable calling a local number. This strategy can be very focused indeed.
For example, you could be based in Chesterfield and have numbers for Sheffield, Mansfield, Worksop or locations in the Peak District such as Bakewell or Hathersage.
If you are not sure, give Paperclip a call on 01246 418181. We’d be happy to help you.
What should be our approach to call diverts?
About 20% of our clients have numbers that come straight through to the Paperclip team. We function as their ‘reception desk’ and filter and transfer calls in line with agreed protocols. The benefit of this approach is that calls are answered within five seconds and in a consistent and professional manner.
Most businesses, however, operate with what is known as a delayed divert. The call is transferred to Paperclip only after an agreed ‘delay’ during which the client’s team has the opportunity to answer the call.
We recommend the delay is set at a maximum of 10 seconds. When the call hits the Paperclip system we aim to answer within five seconds, giving a total call wait time of 15 seconds. Research indicates that the average person is willing to wait for only 17 seconds.
17 seconds doesn’t sound much, does it? Try it yourself though and you’ll find waiting longer than 17 seconds is very frustrating, particularly if your call is urgent.
The golden rule? Treat callers as you would wish to be treated yourself.
What telephone numbers should we divert?
Anybody with teenage children will recognise how futile it is to leave a voicemail for them. Industry statistics show that for business calls, fewer than 3 in 10 people are willing to leave a voicemail. People don’t enjoy leaving voicemails and this is compounded by experience that businesses don’t respond to voicemails well anyway.
Most Paperclip clients start by diverting calls from their main landline number. They then start to add direct dial numbers. Those that are serious about customer service, divert calls from senior management mobile numbers too. The divert rules can be different for each number. You can tailor the service to your specific needs.
How do we want our calls to be answered?
How does your organisation answer incoming phone calls? Do you have set procedures that everyone follows?
The Paperclip team answers client calls in line with agreed protocols. The answer can be different for personal mobiles compared to, for example, the main landline.
When a prospect calls you for the first time the initial impression can be all important. In marketing terms, this is sometimes referred to as the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’. You can read our blog about the importance of the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’.
Outstanding. We used Paperclip Admin to cover maternity leave in our company, they were friendly, professional and efficient. We found their phone answering service very helpful when we were unable to take calls ourselves.
John Owen, County Conveyors