All businesses, especially small or medium-sized ones, are looking to spend as little as they have to — especially in a still-sluggish economy. But if you own one of these businesses, you also need to balance out concerns of customer service, making sure that new and existing customers alike can always reach you. One of the greatest tools a business can use to keep labor costs under control is to utilize an after hours phone service. Might it be worth hiring such a service for your business? Ask yourself the three questions below.
- Do You Deal With Emergencies?
This is the most obvious reason to invest in after hours phone services. If any customers or clients call you when they have emergencies, then they need to be able to reach you outside of normal business hours; crises don’t tend to wait for a convenient time between 9 and 5. That’s why live telephone answering services are so popular among doctors’ offices, law practices, property management companies and the like.
- Do You Have Unusual Hours?
If your business hours don’t line up with most people’s free time, then you’ll need to give them some way of reaching you. You might think that being open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. offers plenty of hours, but that’s not going to help a consumer who spends the morning hours rushing to get kids off to school and is still at work when you close up shop for the day.
- Do You Lose Many Customers?
If you have customer retention problems, one of the best things you can do is ask them to tell you why they’re leaving. Very often, the answer will be communication problems — and sometimes more specifically that they struggled to get ahold of you. You may be able to alleviate some of these concerns by offering alternative contact channels such as email, but the bottom line even in this digital era is that most customers want to be able to call you on the phone and reach a live person.
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then the overall answer is probably yes — an after hours phone service would be a wise investment for your business. You’ll spend a little extra, of course, but you’ll save money in the long run by not having a larger in-house team with extended hours. And you’ll be more likely to bring in and retain the customers that keep your business running.
Do you agree? Share your feedback in the comments.