5 Proven Ways to Reduce Answering Service Costs
We're all trying to produce better results with less resources these days. Whether the resources are time, energy or money we are always on the lookout for ways to improve.
The same holds true for telephone answering services. Leveraging new technologies and techniques can pay dividends for you with increased efficiencies and reduced costs.
Switch to Text Messaging
If your call center is calling your staff by phone or they are calling in for messages after being paged, consider switching to text messaging. Receiving all of the information via text is a huge time saver and reduces costs by eliminating the need to speak to an agent and needing to write down the information.
You can also acknowledge receipt by simply sending a reply text. Some text messaging apps also allow you to clear the call with the press of a button. If you're in the health care space and bound by HIPAA, it is absolutely critical to use a secure text messaging app in order to encrypt the data as standard text messages are not encrypted.
Weed out Routine Calls with Voice Mail Pre-Screen
If many of the calls that you receive are routine in nature such as questions about office hours, directions and frequently asked questions then playing a recorded greeting before the caller reaches an agent can significantly reduce costs.
You can also add multiple greetings to accommodate multiple languages as well as giving the caller the option to leave voice mail messages.
To hear an example of voice mail pre-screen in action call (866)222-6160.
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Remember Repeat Callers with Caller ID Recall
If many of your callers are repeat callers, their information can be remembered by the call center to automatically populate certain fields the next time they call into the answering service.
This is a nice touch from a customer service standpoint as the caller feels 'they know who I am'. It also reduces your call handle time by allowing the agent to simply confirm information rather than entering in from scratch.
Pre-Populate Information with Database Integration
This is similar to Caller ID Recall but with more gusto. A database look up has many applications such as verifying callers are eligible based on certain criteria in the database. Any number of fields can be imported into the message form or ticket making the call a smooth experience.
A good example of it's 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 answering service but also can help reduce staff fatigue and overtime costs.
Use Web On-Call Calendar Software
If your company has an on-call person, you're probably tired of having to call, email or fax in last minute on-call changes. Using web on-call allows you to make changes in real-time with the call center.
In addition, you can kill two birds with one stone by creating the calendar for internal use using this tool. Consider having a read-only sign in that you can share with staff that prevents accidental on-call changes by staff.
You should also see a reduction in costs from the answering service as web on-call ties directly into the agent screens.
About Aaron Boatin
Aaron Boatin is President of Ambs Call Center, a virtual receptionist and telephone answering service provider. His passion is helping clients' businesses succeed. Melding high tech with high touch to provide the best customer service experience for clients is his core focus.