“What? I repair computers! What do I need an answering service for?”
I know, likely the first thought to go through your head.
However, I personally know the value of having an answering service to handle phone calls for your business. Avoiding the interruptions… capturing new prospects… quality service. They all are benefits your computer repair company can receive.
To review this in more depth, I went right to the source. I contacted Damion Rutherford with Antietam Call Center. They are a 36-year leader in the call center industry, and Damion is always glad to share advice to help business people.
Below is the transcript from our conversation. Enjoy!
Me: “Damion, thanks for sharing a few minutes of your time. Let’s get right to it. I wanted your input on why computer repair companies can benefit from using an answering service.”
Damion: “Certainly! I sat down and put together a list for you. The top five reasons computer repair companies need an answering service. So, let’s start with reason number one.”
Damion: “Reason number one. Capturing missed opportunities and new business. Think about it Steve. We market our business to bring new clients in. Then, we miss phone calls because we’re business doing the work, and so on. Unless you have an established relationship with a prospect… and unless they are a past customer or a solid referral, you don’t… the prospect isn’t going to leave a voicemail and wait for you to get back to them. It’s too easy for them to call the next competitor who will answer the phone.”
Me: “That’s a very good point Damion.”
Damion: “Right. Amazingly, 90% of new prospects won’t leave a voicemail. They’ll simply hang up and call someone else.”
Me: “Wow. That’s scary!”
Damion: “It is. So, with an answering service that is available 24/7 whenever you need them, all of those missed opportunities can now be captured and turned into new business. For most service-based companies… an answering service quickly becomes a profit center over a cost”.
Me: “Great point. OK, so what’s number two on your list?”
Damion: “The second reason a computer repair company should implement an answering service is focus. Focusing your time on what makes you money. Let me explain…
Communication is critical to a successful business relationship. You have to be available to your new AND existing prospects when they call you. However, being available means interruptions. Interruptions that distract you from providing service and bringing in revenue.
So, an answering service can give you the best of both worlds. They can ensure all of your calls are answered and handled properly, while letting you focus your efforts on delivering service and bringing in the money!”
Me: “Wow, that’s a good point. There’s nothing worse than trying to work on a customer’s network and having 20 phone calls distract your thinking.”
Damion: “exactly. Or, look at it this way. If you’re billing by time, your customer won’t be happy watching you talk on the phone instead of fixing their stuff!”
Me: “Very good point Damion!”
Damion: “OK, let’s keep going. Reason number three – call screening. Obviously, certain calls in your business are more important than others. A new client calling for emergency repair service likely is more valuable to you than Joe Salesman trying to sell you new accounting software.”
Me: “Ha ha. Very true.”
Damion: ”With an answering service, you can establish what are “important” calls, versus “non-important” calls. The important ones can have a separate process. For example, when a sales person calls your company… answering service may simply take a message and email it to you… so you can review it when time permits. An “important” call might have a different process. Perhaps texting the details to you immediately, or even putting the caller through to your cell phone to talk to them right then.”
Me: “So, you’re saying an answering service can be your gate keeper basically?”
Damion: “Exactly. Use the service to block low value calls from distracting you. Again, this helps to eliminate distractions and keep your focus on the work that brings in revenue.”
Me: “This is really good stuff Damion. Two more to go!”
Damion: “OK. Reason number four. Reliability.
Ever have an employee get sick? Take a vacation? Or just flat out quit?”
Me: “Of course not (laughing). We all face these issues when we have employees. So how does an answering service help with this problem?”
Damion: “Simple. When you have an answering service available to you, these problems go away for good. If an employee calls off, is sick, or any other reason that keep calls from being answered – you can simply forward them to your answering service.
Whether it’s after hours, during a lunch break, or if someone leaves early for the day… the answering service will be there for you.”
Me: “Very true. That is a nice benefit. It’s almost like having employees waiting for you, but not paying for them unless you need them.”
Damion: “That’s exactly right. And… that leads into reason number five. Reducing your costs.
Think about this Steve. How much does one, minimum wage employee cost your business to sit there and answer the phone? The salary, benefits, taxes, and so on – it quickly adds up!”
Me: “True. Plus, who can find a quality employee at the minimum wage level?”
Damion: “That’s right. Then… on top of that… who wants to pay them a salary to sit around and file their fingernails because calls aren’t coming in?”
Me: “Ouch. That does happen!”
Damion: “Plus, it’s only one employee. If you have two calls come in at the same time, it’s the same thing as not answering the phone. Again, missed opportunities.
This is a big one. Instead of an employee, an answering service can provide you with MULTIPLE employees, 24 hours a day, whenever you need them. If one call comes in, you’ve got one employee working for you. If 10 calls come in at the same time, voila! 10 instant employees working for you!
Best of all – an answering service will cost your computer repair company a fraction of what an employee does. Typically, around 10-20% of that cost.”
Damion: “I know, that’s the big one really. I’m not saying anyone should fire their office staff and use an answering service completely. Of course it is an option. However, you can use the answering service as a back-up during business hours, and answer all of the calls after hours. Newer features such as busy call forwarding and no answer forwarding again ensure every call is answered that comes into your business!”
Me: “What are those?”
Damion: “Great question. Busy call forwarding let’s the phone call be routed to your answering service, if a call comes in and the line is busy. Instead of the caller getting a busy signal or voicemail, they’ll get a live person to answer the phone!
The same concept applies for no-answer forwarding. If, during business hours, a call is not answered within X rings… it can then be directed to the answering service to be answered.
Again, ensuring every opportunity is captured… and turning the answering service into a profit center for your business!”
Me: “Wow, thanks so much for this Damion. Very eye opening information. Any that has a computer repair company, and markets their business to bring in new clients… certainly should use an answering service. It’s almost common sense!”
Damion: “That’s right. Glad I could help out!”
Thanks again to Damion Rutherford with Antietam Call Center for this great information. Anyone interested in an answering service to handle calls… I recommend them! Check them out online at www.AntietamCallCenter.com. Or, you can call Damion directly at 1-888-395-5600.