We have come a long way since those days when forwarded calls usually ended in a voicemail box that nobody bothered to check. Businesses that previously used call forwarding facilities to record customer messages often felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of calls, and simply used to give up calling them back.
Today, call forwarding to mobile numbers, IVR, and even to call centers are all options that a business can easily find in the market place. Frequently, many businesses choose to forward their calls to an IVR after business hours. However, they are making a big mistake.
Let us take a look at why live receptionists always provide a better experience for the caller and the business than call forwarding, whether to an IVR or a mobile number.
What is call forwarding?
Call forwarding helps you to redirect business telephone calls to another destination like your cellphone or a call center. Some examples include Google voice call forwarding, T-Mobile call forwarding, Verizon call forwarding, and Spectrum call forwarding. However, most tend to forward calls to a voicemail box or to an IVR. while call forwarding provides you with a number of options to handle calls post-business hours, it still is not a substitute for a dedicated team of customer support agents who personally handle your calls 24/7, during and after business hours.
What does a live receptionist do?
A live receptionist is a professional call handling employee who is usually outsourced but acts as an in-office receptionist. These virtual receptionists take customers’ calls and provide a human touch while handling all customer queries. They are well trained to address regular issues instantly and they provide on-call solutions to callers by understanding their queries, issues, and problems.
Live receptionists are better than call forwarding because
1. Your business is live 24/7
As virtual pick up your customers’ calls 24/7, your business stays virtually open all the time. Having a 24/7 virtual support builds confidence and adds to brand value to your organization. Live receptionists are well-trained in different processes, and each call is handled with the same courtesy and professionalism all day and night.
2. You have the option to take specific calls
However, when you forward your calls all the time, your customers may not get consistent customer service as you may be busy to respond to them properly, and if you have an IVR set up, it might simply annoy the customer.
When you subscribe to a live answering service, you may choose to answer certain calls. Live receptionists actually forward calls based on your instructions. This means, only very important calls are forwarded to your cell phone, and only when you think it is appropriate to receive calls. Otherwise, callers are always attended to by friendly and professional live receptionists.
3. Focus on private time
Getting a live receptionist will help you to free up a lot of time, both at work and after work. While you can focus on spending time with your friends and family after work, during work, you can use that time to create valuable relationships with your employees and teams.
If you only have call forwarding set up, you will find customers calling you during your dinner, late at night, and just about any time they want. Your customers will not get a consistently professional customer support, and you will not have time for yourself.
4. More time for building business
Live receptionists are specifically trained to enter important customer data and make note of it in the CRM, which helps you to generate more leads and nurture them in the future. Not only do they receive calls, but they also try to help you grow your business as much as they can.
Mere call forwarding can result in the customer talking to you on your mobile phone, or leaving their message in a voicemail box. It is not going to help you with subtler forms of business building.
5. Creating a professional image
By letting a virtual receptionist answer your customer’s calls you can actually generate more leads and hit major targets. All this is possible as your customer service representative will be able to understand your customer’s problems first hand and suggest solutions in a professional manner. In addition, a consistent customer support experience creates a professional brand image in the eyes of customers.
Call forwarding makes you look like a very small business that cannot afford a full-fledged call center. Call forwarding also doesn’t provide a consistent customer support experience, which can result in missed opportunities and a diminished brand image.
Choose a live receptionist. Strike two birds with one stone
A good live receptionist service is not only professional, but also affordable. While call forwarding seems like an easy solution to have your business calls answered at all times, it doesn’t actually serve the purpose. It does not provide the kind of consistent and professional customer support that a live receptionist service does. Most importantly, call forwarding does not help you in lead generation or in cross-selling or up-selling. Abby Connect’s live receptionist service offers bilingual call handling in English and Spanish, and lets your business have access to a full-fledged call center. If and when required, you can have some of the calls forwarded too.