You want to be as hands-on in your businesses as possible, but sometimes delegating certain tasks to other people is the best solution. Answering your own phones, for example, is one of those tasks that’s better handled by a receptionist or answering service.
If you’re answering your own calls yourself instead of delegating to a receptionist or an answering service, you could actively be harming your business in six very significant ways.
1. You’re not Optimizing your Time
If you’re answering your own phones, you’re not making the most out of your time. Answering every small question is an interruption. The phone takes away time that could have been spent on other tasks.
You’re busy running your business; make sure you’re spending your valuable time actually running the business. Customer calls can easily be handled by someone else.
2. You could Lose Credibility
Wouldn’t you be just a little caught off guard if you called your doctor’s office and your doctor was the one to actually answer the phone?
You’d probably wonder why he didn’t have a receptionist taking the calls. And then you’d probably wonder why he had enough free time to answer the call in the first place. If your customers think that you have nothing better to do than sit around and wait for calls, you could lose credibility… and their business.
Having someone else (preferably a professional receptionist) answering your phones will lend credibility to your business, making you look more professional and established.
3. You’re Being Pulled in Too Many Directions
When you’re answering every call, you’re getting slammed with interruptions that distract you from what you’re doing. This reduces your productivity significantly, and ultimately leaves you too frazzled and exhausted to tackle what you actually need to do.
That profit and loss report that should have only taken an hour to analyze has suddenly taken three, and since you were interrupted twice you may have overlooked something important.
For your business to thrive, you need to be able to focus on running it, and getting pulled in too many different directions during the day will keep you from doing just that.
4. You’re Driving Up Costs
Answering your own calls drives up the costs of running your business; even answering them in-house through a receptionist or a customer service representative actually costs you more money than alternatives, like an answering service. All these distractions, productivity loss, and customer churn loses you money.
Another major cost: upgrading your phone and messaging technology, an incredibly expensive undertaking for a growing business.
If you add in the fact that you may be paying other key, high-earning employees for more hours because they’re getting bogged down with phone calls someone else could tackle, that’s a big loss of profit that adds up quick.
5. You Risk Missing Calls… and Customers
No matter how much you work, there’s only so much time in your day. You can’t possibly answer every single call, especially when you’re on the phone with other customers, or in meetings (or, you know, sleeping). Even if you exhaust yourself trying to answer every call, you’ll never possibly be able to answer them all.
Since missed calls mean missed customers and major losses in sales, you don’t want to run this risk.
Keep in mind that answering services offer 24/7 availability (even on holidays). Even if you only need some extra help during the busiest hours of the day, they can make a huge impact on your business in the best way possible.
6. You Could be Caught Off Guard
As the head honcho, you’re the ultimate authority for your business, so if you’re answering your own phones and someone asks you a question you can’t answer, that doesn’t look great for you or your business.
You can prevent this from ever happening by hiring someone else to answer your phones. If your receptionist answers and says they have to check with you, this gives you time to research or consider the answer before you have to give it. Both you and the business will come out of the situation looking a lot better as a result.
The Solution: an Answering Service
Answering services help your business and put money in back in your pocket in so many different ways. Many high quality answering services can even replace the need for you to have a receptionist in office, providing 24/7 accessibility with exceptionally trained and talented agents waiting to answer those calls.
A professional answering service does everything from taking messages to answering questions about your company to processing sales and registrations.
You can even add your personal touch by providing the service with specific scripts you want the agents to follow. This guarantees that they’ll represent your company well, strengthening your business in the process.
Republished by permission. Original here.
Photo via Shutterstock
Answering the phone takes time. I am thinking of using the technology of Google Voice that has just recently been showcased.