By: Peter DeHaan on January 30th, 2018
Why Do You Want a Multilocation Answering Service?
With advances in technology and inexpensive telephone communications, it no longer matters where an answering service is located. Right?
It’s true that answering service location ceases to be the key consideration it once was. However, location still plays a factor. To be more correct locations play a factor. This is because today’s best answering services operate out of many locations.
Why does it matter for an answering service to have more than one location? In a perfect world, it doesn’t. However, problems can arise from any number of factors. Having a multilocation answering service provides a way to address these issues, whatever they may be.
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Having multiple interconnected sites allows calls to be seamlessly shared between offices. This allows issues to be dealt with more effectively. And the impact of problems, mitigated. This is a strategic decision.
Here are some reasons why you want an answering service with multiple locations:
Respond to Weather Issues
Bad weather impacts answering services in two ways.
First, when weather conditions worsen, the answering service is much more likely to receive extra calls. Sometimes they receive a lot more. Most answering services have turned scheduling into an art form. They project future needs based on past statistical data. However, it’s hard to accurately account for the weather.
Their accuracy in anticipating bad weather matches the weather forecasters. Meteorologists seem to over predict or under predict, just as often as they accurately forecast what the weather will do. Most answering services have contingencies to handle an influx of calls. But the best solution is to have other answering services in their network help take these unexpected calls. This allows them to maintain a high level of quality service.
The other way weather impacts an answering service is with their employees. Bad weather causes staff to struggle to make it into the office. In northern climates this might be due to snow, sleet, or ice. Other areas may struggle with torrential rains and flooding. Another weather concern that creates problems for answering service staff to make it to the office is hurricanes. Along with hurricanes come high winds and surging water.
Answering service employees are dedicated to their jobs. They desire to serve their clients. But sometimes bad weather makes it physically impossible for them to reach the office. Again, with a multi-location answering service, this doesn’t affect the level of service provided to clients. Extra calls simply go to a different office that’s not affected by the weather.
Tap Different Labor Markets
The unemployment rate continues to drop. With this, businesses struggle to find qualified people. The same holds true for answering services. However, an answering service with more than one location has a secret. If one labor market is tight, another one will offer a better pool of qualified candidates.
An answering service with one location is held captive to the labor supply of their local market. An answering service with multiple locations doesn’t have the same restriction. They can hire the best employees from any of their labor markets. This gives them more flexibility to hire the best staff and have them available to take their client’s calls.
An answering service with more than one location has a bigger labor pool to select from than their one-location counterparts. This means they’ll have more highly-qualified staff ready to take calls. With a multi-location answering service, the clients win.
Smooth Out Traffic Peaks
Weather isn’t the only thing that can cause an unexpected influx of calls to an answering service. Other things can also trigger a flood of calls. When this occurs, a single location answering service is left to deal with the problem the best they can.
However, an answering service with multiple locations simply sends extra calls to a different office. This mitigates the impact of too many calls. It solves the problem of not enough staff to handle callers. The result is a consistent high level of service to respond to your company’s calls and the needs of your customers. And isn’t this why you use an answering service in the first place?
Disaster Recovery Solution
We’ve already talked about the weather. This can catch a single-location answering service by surprise and unprepared. But weather isn’t the only issue they must contend with. Besides weather issues are natural disasters, such as earthquakes and fires. In addition to natural disasters are human disasters. This includes a health pandemic and possible terrorist attack.
Each one of these has a localized impact, which can be devastating to a one-location answering service. However, for an answering service with many locations, the effects of such issues are much easier to deal with. Calls can simply reroute to a different location.
Having two interconnected answering service locations is a great start to provide a disaster recovery solution. However, three or more locations provides a much more robust solution. This is the beauty of a multilocation answering service. At any given time, each location is in the position to send extra calls to other locations or to receive extra calls from them.
Ensures Continuous Coverage
With a resilient disaster recovery solution in place, courtesy of an answering service with many sites, the desired reality of providing continuous coverage is a happy reality. Each location works in concert with the others. They can best respond to weather issues, tap different labor markets, smooth out traffic peaks, and provide a disaster recovery solution.
The result of all this is a flexible blend of answering service staff from various points across the country. Working together, from each office, they can ensure they’re ready to answer your call when it comes in. This happens regardless of their location. It also doesn’t matter what might be happening in or around that office. When an answering service has more than one location, you have a much larger team ready and able to work for you.
Why do you want a multi-location answering service? An answering service with multiple offices is uniquely prepared to mitigate the negative impact of local market conditions. They can do this by routing calls to other locations that aren’t impacted and are able to provide quality service, quickly and effectively. An answering service with many locations is ideally suited to respond to bad weather, difficult labor markets, and traffic peaks. Their interconnected network provides a sound disaster recovery solution and ensures continuous telephone coverage.
This means you don’t need to worry about where your answering service is located. The real concern is how many locations they have. If continuous coverage and quality work is vital to you, then choose an answering service with multiple locations.