Telephone answering

Why use a phone answering service during the crisis

20 May 2020

Why should I use a phone answering service during the COVID-19 crisis?

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt across the world by all businesses in all industries. The pandemic has introduced varying levels of problems for business of all sizes. This unexpected shift in the way organisations run, and how consumers respond to change, has had a significant impact on telephony systems and customer service teams. While some industries have experienced business plummeting and phone lines running dead, others are being swamped by sales and customer service calls. As people’s lives are impacted by the changing lock-down restrictions, calls surge as individuals seek information and adapt their purchasing habits.

Whether your organisation is being swamped with calls, or things have dried up and you’re trying to cut costs, integrating a phone answering service into your business can help you reduce the impact of the global crisis, improve your efficiency and help you with reemerge in a position of strength. Here are some of the benefits of using a phone answering service during the COVID-19 crisis.

Staff Shortages 

According to the British Chamber Of Commerce Weekly Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker, 70% of firms have furloughed some or all of their staff. Although some businesses are quieter and can cope with a reduction of staff, others are struggling as more work falls on smaller teams, stretching capacity to the limit. With a call answering service in place, you can ensure that all your calls will be answered, even if nobody in your company is able to get to the phone.

Managing demand 

We’re currently living in an unpredictable world and with this comes unpredictable demand. The impact of coronavirus on consumers is ever changing, and without a clear understanding of how and when the lock-down restrictions will be lifted, it’s impossible to predict and plan effectively. Whether it be an increase in sales calls, customer enquiries, or even complaints, unpredictable spikes in demand make it difficult to meet customer requirements. Having extra man-power and support from an external call handling organisation means you can have your calls routed through to the right person, with the right skills and experience, giving you the flexibility to manage and deal with the unpredictable changes in demand. 

Spend more time on what matters 

Whether it’s spending time looking after loved ones, recovering from illness, focusing on the running of your business or simply getting that much deserved down-time, implementing a phone answering service means all your calls get answered, filtered and resolved without any interruption to your day to day, so you can keep focusing on the things that really matter. 

Never miss a call

Studies show that around 74% of consumers claim they will stop dealing with an organisation whose customer service is poor. Missing calls from customers seeking information, especially during these unprecedented times, can impact your businesses ability to deliver excellent customer service. This, along with the risk of missing potential new business enquiries, at a time where customer service and new business revenue is so important could be critical for some businesses. Ensuring your phone gets answered every time, either by your in-house team or by a company who can effectively manage your calls for you, helps eliminate these risks.

Reduce costs 

With economic activity dropping more sharply than any of us could have guessed, identifying areas where costs can be reduced has never been so important. With packages starting at just £35 per month, just a fraction of the cost you’ll pay an in-house receptionist or call handler, you can expect the same professional, efficient level of work from third-party phone handling service.

Working from home 

The challenges COVID-19 has presented us with, prove that having the ability to work remotely is fundamental. Some organisations have found that they do not have the tools in place to effectively work from home. Although we have platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to help with internal communications and meetings, many businesses have not got the ability to manage in-bound customer calls from home. Our phone answering service can be set up remotely in a matter of hours, meaning we are able to begin managing your calls almost immediately – with no need to visit your premises.

What’s next?

The crisis is presenting many difficulties for all businesses. Focusing on staying afloat, closing sales, and maintaining customer services levels is imperative to reduce the impact of the pandemic and help businesses appear in a strong position once a new ‘normal’ is presented. Beyond the crisis, there will likely be a build up in demand putting further pressure on customer service teams and businesses. Having the support of a flexible third-party organisation who can efficiently manage your calls will not only help you survive but also ensure you thrive in the long-term. 

For organisations struggling to operate with office closures, staff shortages and remote working, we can help by managing phone calls while your own staff focus on other important work and taking care of their families. Solid8 has set up a new low-cost call handling initiative to help firms deal with these new challenges. For more information on how we can help please contact us on 01256 597 888.

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