You may not love the phone call. But people call your business for a reason. They’re customers. Potential customers. Partners. Vendors.
They have something to say. Do you have someone answering?
Equally important, do you have someone answering when you’re not there?
Small businesses in numerous industries are starting to utilize 24/7 answering – ensuring there’s someone answering your phone even when you aren’t in the office. 24/7 answering has numerous benefits. It ensures you capture opportunities, your meetings get scheduled, you return to the offices with messages ready, you’re aware of emergencies, and many more.
But, like everything, there’s a cost associated. So… is 24/7 answering right for your business?
What is 24/7 Answering
Traditionally there was one kind of answering service. They worked out of large call centers, and they’d pick up incoming calls and park or forward them. At the time, it was clear they didn’t know your business, and callers always knew they were talking to a call center.
These days, there are a lot of services that perform 24/7 answering — answering services, virtual receptionist services, and more. Functionally a 24/7 answering service could mean a lot of things. For instance, at Abby Connect, we not only answer calls but also answer FAQs, schedule appointments, and provide caller intake. And we can do all that while you’re asleep. For the purpose of this conversation, 24/7 answering is any service that will pick up your phone no matter the time of day.
Is 24/7 Answering Right for Your Business
Do you sleep?
Okay, that was a little sassy. But do you ever wake up to missed calls or important messages?
The average business isn’t equipped to handle 24/7 communications, and your customers don’t always call within business hours. In fact, with the internet and growing trends towards quick communications, customers expect availability more than ever.
You shouldn’t be answering your phone during dinner, while you’re out, or while you’re asleep. Especially because you can’t always know what is going to be an important call and what isn’t. But you also can’t afford to miss these communications if they’re important and potentially beneficial to your bottom line.
That’s where 24/7 answering comes in. A high-quality service can capture your incoming callers, filter out the stuff you don’t need, and forward, schedule, or take messages from those you do. You’re providing a better experience, you don’t need new full-time staff, and you’re capturing opportunities. That’s good for your bottom line.
Is it too expensive to maintain multiple full-time receptionists?
One option is to simply have multiple receptionists. You could potentially have a morning receptionist, daytime, and nighttime receptionist. It would take a couple of receptionists to get full coverage, but you could mostly piece together what you need.
Of course, this won’t be cost-effective. It means you’re paying three salaries + overhead, someone has to be sitting in your office, and you’d need a high volume of incoming calls for it to pay off.
With a 24/7 answering service (or virtual receptionist service), you only pay for the calls that get answered. You aren’t paying someone to sit at a desk all night. You’re paying for the 2- 5- or 10-minute call. You’re paying for the minutes you use. And 24/7 also means you get coverage during business hours. If you don’t have a receptionist, they’re busy, or they leave for the day, you always have coverage.
Do you like getting calls pre-filtered and qualified?
One of the main benefits of 24/7 answering is that you aren’t the one answering the phone. By having a virtual receptionist (or, at Abby, a dedicated team of receptionists), you get a gate. Your receptionists answer your calls and forward, take messages, or filter them out according to your criteria.
Your receptionists aren’t sending you spam calls and time wasters. They’re only sending you the calls that matter. So, you can focus on what’s important.
At Abby, we take it one step further. We can perform caller intake and schedule appointments on your behalf. You save all that time upfront and are already prepared by the time you get on the phone.
Need help evaluating your receptionist service options? Our checklist can help!
Who might benefit from 24/7 answering?
Small businesses and startups are our bread and butter. Small businesses build real relationships with their customers and care about their experiences but can’t always afford full-time staff. That’s where 24/7 answering comes in.
Your callers get the experiences they deserve, it’s cost-effective, and it scales with you. Because you’re only paying for the time your receptionists spend on the phone, your costs scale as your incoming calls do. The more leads and customers you have, the more efficient your per-minute price is. The more successful your business, the more useful your receptionist team is. If you have limited hours or off-hours, your receptionist team can still have you covered.
Service, Construction, and Contractors Businesses
You aren’t even in an office. You’re on the go – performing a house call, in your truck, or on a job site. A ringing phone can be a big distraction when you’re in the middle of a project. But a job can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, and you don’t want to miss it. A 24/7 receptionist service for contractors can screen your calls, take messages, schedule appointments, and perform intake. You can see, at a glance, what a caller needs and if it’s a job you want to tackle.
Don’t forget the emergencies! Sometimes, your client’s pipe bursts, the A/C goes out, or the roof gets hit by a tree. These kinds of emergencies, unfortunately, don’t always happen on schedule. Abby can help you prioritize those calls and impress those customers.
The solo, or small-firm attorney is busy. You’re focused on your clients and billable hours, while always bringing in new clients. And you don’t have a large firm’s resources. 24/7 answering for law firms will help you free up your billable hours, prioritize your calls, capture clients, and grow your firm’s reputation.
Sometimes, when in a bind, clients are working down a list of potential lawyers. If you don’t answer when they call, they’re crossing off your name and moving on. That loss could potentially cost thousands.
Medical and Dental Offices
A HIPAA-compliant 24/7 answering or virtual receptionist service can be a game changer for small medical clinics or dental offices. With 24/7 answering, you can get appointments scheduled, messages recorded, and basic intake performed before or after you’re in the office. Your patients will appreciate not being sent to voicemail, and you’ll appreciate taking your time back. And HIPAA compliance ensures that your patient’s data is secure.
The Abby Connect Difference
At Abby, we’re more than your typical 24/7 answering service or virtual receptionist service. Every Abby client is treated to a white glove experience – with a calibration period (so we can get to know your business), a dedicated receptionist team, and a dedicated CSM. Proprietary technology and trained call-handling experts make Abby more than your typical service. What we provide is exceptional.
We’ll answer, transfer, take messages, screen calls, provide intake, schedule appointments, and impress your callers. And we’ll do it with a smile you can hear.
Want to learn more?