Businesses whose customers need after-hours access can rely on answering services to provide that access. In fact, live answering services is our business here at Apello. One of the things we hear a lot from potential customers is that they cannot afford an answering service. Here’s our take: can your company afford to NOT utilize a service?
Businesses tend to look at affordability in terms of direct financial transactions. They look at what comes in as opposed to what goes out, but only in strict transactional terms. Many do not tend to look at the indirect costs of doing what they do. Therein lies the key to truly appreciating the value of an answering service.
For purposes of illustration, imagine you own a small property management company. It is just you and your spouse. Your spouse thinks hiring a property management answering service makes good financial sense; you disagree.
First Thing’s First: The Calls
The first thing you and your spouse need to do is sit down and decide what you’re going to do with incoming calls. You only have two choices. You can either answer them or ignore them. If you choose to ignore them, be prepared to count the financial cost of doing so.
Tenants are none too happy when they need help but cannot get in touch with the property manager. Whether the heat goes out or the sink won’t drain, you can bet a tenant will remember when it comes time to renew the lease.
Heaven forbid a tenant has a genuine emergency that could significantly damage the property. Not being able to contact you could mean steep financial losses. Again, not good.
Answering the Calls
Knowing what you know about property management, it makes sense to answer the calls when they come in. Not hiring a property management answering service means you don’t have that monthly financial outlay. But that doesn’t mean you get away scott-free.
You and your spouse could handle the calls yourself. But your time is worth something. Remember that every hour you work is another hour you cannot do other things. So if you are working after hours and not getting paid anything extra, you are losing on multiple levels.
Not interested in handling the calls yourself? Then you will need to hire someone to do it for you. That means paying wages and benefits. It also means extra time handling payroll, withholding, taxes, etc. That is more time for which you are not compensated. All those hours can add up to the point of seriously depleting the value of your salary.
One Way or Another, It Costs
Here is the bottom line. One way or another, call traffic costs money to deal with. There’s no getting around it. Ignoring after-hour calls costs money by making it more expensive to deal with the issues in the morning. Answering the calls costs money in terms of the labor involved. You are going to pay regardless of how you decide to handle things.
We are admittedly biased. As a live answering service, we are always going to promote the benefits of hiring a company like ours. Be that as it may, our marketing doesn’t change the fact that calls represent customers trying to reach you for whatever reason. Being unsuccessful in that endeavor is not good for your business.
Small businesses of all types rely on customers to stay in business. To keep them happy, their calls need to be answered in a timely manner by competent people. Hiring a live answering service addresses that without having to add more staff.