Monday, April 28, 2008

Equipment needed to start a telephone answering service

The telephone answering services are growing everyday with the increase in demand and growth of electronic media in daily use. No industry can afford to loose its customers because of lack of communication with its clients. This is where a telephone answering service comes in. They attend to your calls while you are busy doing more important work and most of these telephone answering services are specialized in customer relations.

It’s a good business and can be started with a relatively low capital. An investment of around $10,000 initially for equipment and facilities, and working capital is enough to start up with an answering service. It does not involve much risk, has a low start-up cost and does not require any special expertise. What is really needed is good telephone manners, a pleasant voice, tactful answering strategies and , a passion to build your own business.

What is the equipment needed to start a telephone answering service? You will initially need a phone and a phone line for each client that you are providing phone answering services for. This will probably cost you around $200 per phone line with phone rentals of less than $50 a month. You may want to utilize computer software to track your calls and your messages, as well as manage your business operations as your business grows. In a 2 person operation, you can have your operator selling by phone while you make in-person sales calls. You'll need a leased switchboard from the telephone company. An average of 85 regular customers per every switchboard is required in order to get a minimum profit after all expenses. When you lease an office and get going, switchboards and other equipment - it's good to get as close to the telephone company's exchange or switching station as possible. This is because of the mileage charges it will cost you for landlines. Learn all your equipment well enough as it will be easier to operate when you know all about the systems.

Marketing your telephone answering service will depend on how good you are in your marketing skills as anyone with a business card is your prospect. People who work at their homes are good prospects, especially the ones in their regular jobs while doing their own part-time businesses. Cold calling may be required in the initial stages of your business but clients will come easier when you have some experience in your business of telephone answering services.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Get more business by using telephone answering services.

People that are trying to contact businesses, often complain about not being able to talk to a real person. Automated telephone answering systems seem like a great system to use when running a business, but to consumers it is impersonal and inconvenient. That’s why many companies are changing tactics and deciding to employ answering services to meet their communication needs, in fact you can get more business by using telephone answering services. These services directly handle incoming calls and they have real people handling the calls. These services are not limited to only telephone messages either.

Companies can have an inbound call center that can perform a variety of functions depending on the company’s needs. A telephone answering service is most commonly used to answer phone calls and take messages. This is appealing to many callers who are not comfortable speaking to a machine.

The services can be likened to outsourcing secretarial services. The telephone answering service can handle many of the duties that a secretary performs, for example, the telephone answering service can provide email services as well. Some companies use an inbound call center to manage and answer emails, which can become very cumbersome if not attended to on a regular basis.

Another feature offered by telephone answering services is live web chat support. Website users can get immediate and live support by using the service without it being a disturbance and burden to the company’s own employees. The hours of operation are usually flexible. A business could even use an answering service to provide live support twenty-four hours a day.

A telephone answering service could also be used to accept orders for sales. Customers speak directly to a representative who processes the order. People may think that calling would take a little longer than just placing an order online, but this is not always the case. And many people are still not comfortable shopping online. Speaking directly to a person gives the buyer the opportunity to specify the order quickly without having to navigate through complex online ordering forms. In addition to taking orders, the answering service can also generate incoming leads. The call center can be used as a transaction center that generates sales through incoming calls.

A telephone answering service is ideal to use as an inbound call center that function as a hub for customer service and technical support. Many telephone answering services provide companies with customer service representatives who are trained to meet the business’ unique needs. The inbound call center can also assist customers with questions and concerns outside the company’s regular hours of operation. Technical support is another valuable service provided by a call center. Businesses can offer technical support around the clock for its clientele.

An answering service can be used to process applications and schedule appointments. These tasks can also lead to more sales. Each call has the potential for a sale since the caller probably has an interested in the company’s products or services. If the person is calling, something sparked his interest. This interest may be lost if the person does not get the immediate feedback that can only come from a live person. Many sales are lost to answering machines.

Whether you own a small business or a large corporation, an answering service could be the right option for you. Customers are usually very pleased to speak to a person who can give them the personal service they desire. An incoming call center can be a valuable tool for a company. You can get more information on telephone answering services in the previous post.

Ann Stewart is a regular contributor for Answering Service Tips

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Information on telephone answering services

The importance of phone calls in a business is known to everyone and no business can afford to miss their calls so the use of telephone answering services is increasing by the day. Even small and medium sized businesses need answering services to handle their calls effectively, it can mean better relations and more customers to them. Communication is a vital part in the growth of any business and prompt and effective communication can help in building up the relations with the organization. A telephone answering service can answer the phone for busy professionals when they are out on a job and no one is back at the office operating the phone or when office is shut down for holidays or due to employee vacations.

Often small business don’t have proper offices so they can get telephone answering services to handle their phone calls while they are busy doing their jobs. Answering machines just can not match the telephone answering services when it comes to handling a call as there is no substitute for a live voice on the phone line when a customer calls. Even with businesses which have proper office set up, excessive phone calls mean more time required to attend those calls, where as the same time can be utilized in other productive work. Telephone answering services take you out of this situation.

A telephone answering service is formed of a group of individuals who are trained in customer service. Their job is to answer phone calls when someone else can not. When a telephone answering service picks up a phone call they try to assist the caller in the best way that they can. Telephone answering service workers who are familiar with your business may even be able to answer common customer questions. So its always better to look for telephone answering services which have some knowledge about the nature of your business.

Knowing what do the missed or unattended calls can cost your business, telephone answering services can be a good option for any kind of business.