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A Better Answer Blog

Answering Services for Small Businesses

Today I just happened to stumble on this article by Business Insider: Small Business Owners More Stressed Than Ever: 3 Tech Tips That Can Help. It made me chuckle because while we've known that hiring an answering service will help a small business owner save time by delegating tasks they'd normally be doing themselves, we just wrote a blog post on how helpful it is to your productivity to do so.

Here's an excerpt from Business Insider's article:

The survey of 1,000 small business owners found three-fourths of the respondents report physical symptoms of work-related stress. Those symptoms include headaches, back pain, and anxious thoughts. Most cited a fear of losing their business and losing clients as a cause of their stress. The economy has taken its toll on many small business owners, who are feeling more pressure than ever to keep things going.

With all of this pressure, it’s more important than ever for small business owners to use technology to automate processes. By automating mundane tasks, small business owners can continue to operate with limited staff, while freeing up their time to focus on more important things. Here are three tech-related solutions that can help your day run more smoothly.

  • Take it online. Whether it’s appointment scheduling or information about your operations, you’ll save time and money in the long run by putting as much information as possible on your company website. Tally up the number of calls and e-mails you field on a daily basis with basic questions and consider how much time could be changed if just a fraction of those calls could be resolved via a visit to your company website
  • Employ an answering service. If you’re still answering your own calls, how much could you save by paying a fee to an answering service to take care of your calls. If you have someone in-house who takes calls and even makes appointments, again think of the website option. Could time be saved by allowing customers to make appointments through your website? Unless you can somehow link your appointment book to your website, this might require copying and pasting the information into your software, but it will save time with answering phone calls, as well as making appointment scheduling more convenient for the customer.
  • Automate your inventory. No more counting and writing numbers on a clipboard. By using inventory automation software, you can always stay in touch with the items in your inventory. Not only will this speed up inventory, but you’ll be able to have instant access to what is in stock, which makes reordering easier.
If you're trying to further your business, you need to be able to spend your time on the things that are most important. When you're answering your phone every few minutes, it not only interrupts your workflow but can also impede your creativity and definitely harm your focus. Order taking, phone answering, and appointment and meeting setting can all easily and skillfully be handled by an answering service while still being cost effective and much cheaper than hiring an in house secretary. What price would you pay to have a day free of answering the phones? What if every day were like that?

what to look for in an answering service

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