Exploring the Advantages of Outsourcing to an Answering Service

by zoya

In an increasingly competitive landscape, businesses need to optimize both efficiency and customer experience to gain an edge. The experts over at Apello explain that handling all core functions in-house can stretch teams thin, especially when it comes to supporting customer inquiries across channels. Many organizations find that outsourcing phone support to an answering service alleviates pressure on internal staff while enhancing service levels at the same time. 

Understanding Answering Services 

An answering service refers to a company that specializes in answering and routing calls for other businesses. Serving as an outsourced call center, they provide live receptionist services. This way, no call goes unanswered. Custom-trained representatives handle customer and prospect inquiries, questions, complaints, and purchases as an extension of the brand. Support can adjust to match call volumes at whatever time of day or night.

With the latest technology and dedicated specialists, answering services offer wide-ranging advantages over relying just on in-house teams.

Key Reasons to Outsource to an Answering Service

There are obvious reasons for leveraging an answering service to complement – or supplement – internal departments:

Cost Efficiency  

Handling all calls internally can mean things like payroll, benefits, technology, and other overhead expenses outpace ROI. Answering services increase efficiency and reduce average call costs up to 50% with greater scale.

Expanded Customer Service Hours   

It may be unrealistic for limited company staff to offer 24/7 support. To that end, outsourcing bridges gaps in evenings, weekends and holidays so that customers always reach assistance irrespective of time zones and availability.

Improved Response Time and Support

In-house teams balancing inquiries across channels risk long phone queues frustrating callers. Live receptionists immediately answer, improving response rates. They also resolve most inquiries without transfers through specialization.

Protect Staff Bandwidth

Freeing staff to focus on high-value activities without constant interruptions improves individual productivity. Answering services field calls while teams manage complex tasks.  

Increased Sales and Revenue  

Capturing sales opportunities often requires acting fast with comprehensive product knowledge readily available to answer questions and close deals. Dedicated receptionists convert interested prospects into customers.  

Valuable Customer Insights  

From call analytics to post-call surveys, answering services provide data-driven insights on inquiry types, resolutions, and caller demographics. This intelligence informs better products, services, and experiences.

Scalability and Agility 

Call volumes can wildly fluctuate with promotions or seasonal demands. While infeasible to rapidly hire/train more internal staff, answering services scale representatives to match needs. They also adapt call flows for new product launches and initiatives with ease.

Reasons Some Avoid Outsourcing Phone Support 

While most see clear benefits, some organizations hesitate to outsource phone reception. Top concerns include:

  • Perceived higher costs – Careful analysis often reveals competitive pricing compared to in-house.
  • Security fears – Reputable providers invest heavily in protection and operate under strict legal privacy standards.
  • Brand consistency doubts – Robust training and ongoing monitoring ensures proper messaging.
  • Quality issues – Top-tier services average 20+ years agents with rigorous ongoing performance management.
  • Lack of control – Define workflows, listen to calls, provide feedback and metrics offer control.
  • Staff impact concerns – Increased productivity and reduced burden is empowering for teams. 
  • Integration hurdles – Modern systems make connecting CRMs, analytics, and dashboards turnkey.

When tailored to needs, measurable benefits overwhelmingly outweigh perceived drawbacks of outsourcing phone reception.

Conclusion

Using answering services ultimately means better customer experiences. Infinite hold times, confusing menus, and constant transfers all work to damage satisfaction. Live support delivers individual attention and first-call resolution that helps drive loyalty and referrals. Though some functions do require internal handling, the advantages of augmenting teams with specialized answering service personnel are undeniable from both customer experience and operational efficiency standpoints. The right partner is almost like an extension of the organization while providing flexibility and insights that are difficult to achieve alone. Ultimately, with pressure on staff lifted, everyone wins – employee, customer, and business.

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