Use an Answering Service as Your Business Expands

All business owners and managers want to see their businesses grow. Standing at the helm of an expanding business is an exciting time, but it can be a trying one as well. Growing pains prevail. And you don’t need to contend for the Inc. 500 or Inc. 5000 list to experience the travails of rapid growth. Problems resulting from hurried expansion include overworked staff, the inability to hire qualified employees, infrastructure limitations, a lack of adequate controls, cash flow challenges, and so forth. While an answering service can’t solve all of the challenges faced by a fast growing business, the oft-overlooked telephone answering service can play a key role in addressing critical communication issues. Here are some things answering services can do to help all businesses, especially those dealing with growing pains: Answer Phone Calls: Most everyone knows an answering service answers the phone. Instead of hiring a receptionist, cobbling together afterhours phone support, or drafting an overqualified employee to answer the ringing phone, just outsource this to an answering service. It’s what they do. Give Out Information: Most people don’t realize that answering services are great at providing information to callers. Give them your phone call FAQs, and let them handle all the routine calls, answering callers’ questions and directing them to self-help solutions. Escalate Emergencies: When someone has an urgent need, you want their concern expedited, not relegated to the logjam of routine calls. Answering services are great at providing phone call triage. Just give them your protocols, and let them implement your expectations. Take Messages: Of course answering services can take messages, but you only want messages on calls that need your staff’s attention. Screen Callers: Answering services are skilled at screening calls. As mentioned above, they can give out information, escalate emergencies, and take messages. They can also compile information, such as the number of people complaining about the sluggishness of your aging website or the mailing that errantly went to the wrong list. Beyond that, some calls require no action: wrong numbers, hang-ups, misdials, robo calls, and mismatched telemarketing efforts. Handle General Email: Most businesses struggle to keep up with their general email accounts, such as email addresses beginning with info@, sales@, service@, inquiry@, or billing@. This is an even greater challenge for rapidly expanding businesses. Just turn this over to your answering service. Monitor Social Media: Leading answering services can monitor your social media accounts. They can post material, interact with customers, and escalate urgent matters. Handle Text Messaging: As more people gravitate to texting, they expect businesses to be similarly equipped. Let your answering service receive, respond to, and filter your text messages. This puts you ahead of your competition. Today’s telephone answering service can do all this and more. While they can’t address all of your growing pains, they can handle the bulk of your communication woes. Service is fast to setup, easy to scale, and flexible to your ever-changing needs. Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier consultancy for corporate call centers, whose team possesses decades of relevant business and call center experience. Contact Janet at or 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan  is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.