What is a live answering service?
A live answering service team is basically a team that is facing your customers front and center. They get their messages, calls and emails and answer them in accordance with the communication rules of your business as well as certain scripts that you as a business owner may have in place.
One of the best examples of a live phone answering service would be a live receptionist that can answer the calls from your customers and clients, redirect them to an appropriate professional and provide them with the simplest answers and information. Live telephone answering service, chat and email answering service and even a team that would answer questions through the social media pages — these are all crucial parts of 24-hour live answering service team.
Advantages of live answering services
24/7 live answering service clearly has its advantages. First, it ensures perfect coverage for the clients and customers who require professional support from a live answering service operator or another member of a virtual receptionist or business communication team. Second, a live answering service team will take various, small but nevertheless time-consuming tasks off of your hands like scheduling, appointments settings, calls redirecting and so on.
But what are the other advantages of the best live answering service?
Live call answering service screening
Live answering service team can easily screen your calls and your incoming messages. Avoid spam and greet customers as they call. This will only further improve your live answering service team’s performance and will ensure that your customers feel the rising productivity.
Never miss another call
4 out of 5 callers will never leave a voicemail message which means that a business loses 80% of customers whose calls are never answered by an answering service representative for whatever reasons: the call came in out of business hours, there wasn’t a sufficient number of live consultants on the line or a call took too long to be answered and the customer refused to wait for a pickup.
Lost calls can result in lower business revenue, poor reputation and less customer turnaround. In its turn, an answering service team can easily reduce or fully eliminate this issue by answering absolutely every call from all customers.
Live operator answering service will improve your customer experience
Live answering services team can easily improve your customer experience and as a result customer satisfaction rate. How? By giving them the information they require here and now, by providing them with instant answers and instant results without any escalation and by making sure that their feedback is heard and acted upon.
With staggering 42% of companies ignoring customer feedback, it is easy to understand why customers are hesitant that their opinions are heard and implemented. But if your live answering service team accepts all the opinions, records them and later you implement changes based on them into your business structure, the customers will surely come back as they will see improved customer experience.
Even though statistics show spam’s share in email listing on a steady decline for the last 12 years — from a staggering 92.6% in 2008 to only 28.5% this year, it is still a considerable amount which means that any answering service team is going to spend a lot of time on tracking spam messages and filtering them, so that they do not influence your answered emails and calls KPIs.
Eliminate spam by hiring a remote live answering service team that will take care of your entire inbound communication. This will help you not to waste your company resources on spam messages and will save you a lot of time and money.
Ensure exceptional customer service
When spam gets eliminated quickly, calls and messages get answered and all the information is given to the customer in a precise and timely manner, then customer service can easily be deemed efficient and effective. And only then will your customer base be able to be completely satisfied with the answering service they are getting.
Types of live answering services
There are several ways of categorizing live answering services. The most popular though is by the channels of communication through which they are received.
Live phone answering service (also known as live voice answering service)
Live phone answering service is probably the hardest type of answering service imaginable. The representatives working the live line are to be knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to their product, and they also have to know how to deal with an angry customer. After all, the customers who call a support line are rarely happy and most of the time they want to leave a bad review or a complaint about a certain service or a product.
This, of course, puts this answering service team right on the front of customer communication as well as sets a certain tone and requirements for them. The more experienced and empathetic they are, the better it will work for the end users.
They are the most useful for: attorneys, lawyers, mental health hotlines, doctors’ offices and emergency call centers.
Among all channels of communication, chat requires the fastest answers — a maximum of 2 minutes, and has the highest customer satisfaction rate — about 82%. So, it might not be as difficult to provide the best answering service via a chat window. But it certainly is the most demanding when it comes to the first response time. In their turn, 79% of customers say that they prefer communicating in chat due to immediacy of the answers they get through it.
It is the most useful for: emergency mechanics, online stores, doctors’ websites (for appointment setting).
Even with an abundance of live answering service channels, email is still one of the most popular and efficient due to the fact that a customer can provide an answering service team’s representative with a lot of information about their questions or issues.
With the average email response time being 12 hours, it is not difficult to set an entirely new timeframe here, by answering in less than 1 hour. This will raise an already pretty high customer satisfaction rate of 61% even higher, making sure that your business is perceived for what it is — responsible, fast and customer-centric.
They are most useful for: real estate investors, online customer support teams, any business really.
Social media live answering services
Social media answering services have only seen their start not so long ago. With businesses only starting to implement social media support and communication solutions just a few years ago, we are now seeing a surge in the demand for the answering service for social media teams. And with more and more customers turning for help through social media, it is clear and quite natural that answering services for social media are only going to see growth from here on.
They are the most useful for: online stores, hospitality industry businesses, service providers.
We at SupportYourApp pay a lot of attention to KPIs, setting and maintaining them. And having been providing answering services for businesses all around the globe for a decade now, it is clear that we gathered a lot of KPIs for our live teams.