Easy Ways You Can Reduce Answering Service Costs
Customer Service | Human Resources/HR Solutions | How Answering Services Work | Healthcare | Real Estate & Property Management | Entrepreneurs/Small Businesses | Attorneys | Trade Services | Virtual Receptionists 101 | IT
We’re all trying to tighten up expenses during this crazy time and the family at Ambs Call Center is here for you. Learning about ways to streamline your account can dramatically reduce your answering service costs. All without affecting the service level to your customers.
Voice Mail Prescreen
One of the first things we are recommending is to put a recorded prescreen message into place. If you have a large call volume of routine calls that don't need a 24 hour live answering service agent to answer the phone, playing a recorded greeting before speaking to an agent can significantly reduce costs.
Examples are asking business hours, directions, and answering frequently asked questions. You can also add multiple greetings to accommodate different languages as well as giving the caller the option to leave voice mail messages.
Voicemail prescreen can also help weed out the dreaded robocalls!
Answering Service Text Messaging
Another cost saving factor would be to switch to text messaging for our virtual receptionists to reach your staff. Relaying messages by phone calls is the most expensive way to deliver that message to you.
Consider switching to text messaging because of its amazing cost effectiveness!
Getting all the information via text is a massive time saver. It reduces costs by eliminating the need to speak to an agent and needing to write down the information. You can also reply back to acknowledge you received the text. Some text messaging apps allow you to clear the call with the press of a button.
If you work in healthcare, consider a HIPAA compliant secure text messaging app that encrypts the message.
Use a Web On-Call Scheduler
Another great way to reduce your costs is to use web on-call calendar schedule software to update your status. You can make your on-call changes in seconds and changes are in real-time.
When on call changes are called in, emailed, or faxed to the answering service you are incurring an answering service charge. The answering service needs to account for their staff's time to make the updates for you. You will save money by using web on-call. You can even give your staff view-only access to the calendar as well as print it.
Pre-Populate Caller Information
Another awesome way to cut down on call time and therefore decrease your bill would be to have information pre-populate into our message fields with Caller ID Recall. If many of your callers are repeat callers, their information can be remembered by the call center to have it automatically populate into certain fields the next time they call into the answering service.
This allows the agent to simply confirm the information rather than entering it from scratch and allows the caller to feel like “They know who I am!”. Talk about great customer service!
For a deeper integration, incorporate a database lookup into your account. It is similar to the Caller ID Recall mentioned above but with more power. You can use this for multiple applications such as verifying callers are eligible based on certain criteria in the database, for employee lookups, and for importing information into any number of fields to make for a smooth call experience.
A good example of its use is to confirm that a caller has an after-hours service plan before waking up a member of your staff. It reduces costs from the answering service but can also help reduce staff fatigue and overtime costs.
Ask for an Answering Service Account Review
These are just a few telephone answering services recommendations that can help you as a small business owner. If you decide to take advantage of some or all of these tips, be sure to review your answering service pricing plans in the days and weeks following. You might even be able to drop down a plan!