The most successful businesses have top-tier customer service. But when budgets are tight and trained staff is hard to come by, you can give your customers the attention and care they deserve with a well-managed, reputable answering service.
An answering service can provide more benefits than simply having specialists on phones. With a good answering service working for your brand, you’ll maximize customer retention, improve customer service across the board, and bolster your business’s overall capabilities.
Today, let’s take a look at how you can improve your e-commerce business with a reliable answering service like A Better Answer.
Understanding Answering Services
In a nutshell, an answering service is a professional third-party service that receives, manages, and responds to incoming telephone calls for e-commerce brands just like yours.
Say that you have a customer service hotline for current and future customers. But you don’t have enough people to operate those phones 24/7. Instead of hiring more full-time staff members, you can rely on an e-commerce answering service to get the job done.
Answering services provide a wide variety of tasks depending on your needs, such as:
- Answering incoming telephone calls
- Taking messages from current or future customers, including questions and feedback
- Scheduling appointments for future customers and giving that information to your daytime or primary staff
- Answering customer inquiries (with accurate information you provide to the answering service)
In short, an e-commerce answering service can do everything a fully staffed customer service department can do, but for a fraction of the cost.
The Role of Answering Services in E-commerce
These days, professional answering services play important roles in e-commerce around the world. That’s because of one key reason: consistent customer query responses.
For your e-commerce brand to be maximally competitive and successful, your customers must feel like they'll get instantaneous responses to questions or concerns. Sometimes, that’s impossible with a traditional customer service department setup. Answering services can help you meet that demand, however.
Even better, top-tier customer service is more than possible with an answering service at your beck and call. That’s more important now than it ever has been.
For example, 65% of people have much greater customer service expectations today than five years ago. More importantly, 62% of brand customers will recommend a brand to a friend if the brand provides them with great service.
It's no stretch to say that high-quality customer service and rapid response times can make or break your business and brand loyalty among your target customers.
Benefits of an Answering Service for E-commerce
When you contract with a phenomenal e-commerce answering service, you can see major improvements and benefits to your e-commerce brand in no time. Just what are those advantages? Here are a few:
- For starters, answering services can handle those stressful time frames when you have a high volume of customer inquiries. When many of your customers have questions or concerns, answering services can take some of the load off your primary customer service team members. This outcome means your customers will experience better service quality and reduced wait times – always good things to have!
- Answering services offer 24/7 customer service and support. In this way, customers who have to call your business in the middle of the night or from different time frames can still rest assured that they’ll get the support they need even if your main customer service department members are unavailable.
- Many excellent answering services offer multilingual customer service responses. If your e-commerce brand is looking to expand globally, this is an invaluable benefit. You’ll need to pursue and maintain excellent customer satisfaction and care for all, including those customers who don’t speak English as a primary language
These advantages make picking an answering service for your e-commerce business a smart choice.
Choosing the Right Answering Service for E-commerce Business
To make sure your e-commerce brand sees the above benefits, you’ll need to choose the right answering service for your unique needs. There are several factors to think about when hiring an answering service, including:
- Cost: More affordable answering services might be better for budget-strapped businesses
- Capabilities: Naturally, you’ll want an answering service that has the right tools and technology to get the job done
- Reputation: You should only go with an answering service that has a fantastic reputation from previous or current clients
- Contractual terms: Never sign a contract with an answering service that locks you into an extended partnership
Before you hire an answering service, you should ask about that company's experience level and technological capabilities. For example, does the company have automated answering machines? Can the answering service research your company's databases to satisfy customer questions? And how does the company handle peak call times?
The answers you receive could very well help you determine whether one answering service is right for your e-commerce brand compared to another.
The Future of Answering Services in E-commerce
Currently, answering services provide important assistance to e-commerce brands of all sizes. It’s likely that the answering services industry will change, as will the offerings from many answering service companies.
For example, AI and machine learning are sure to shake up this industry just as they will many others. AI chatbots and automated responses might replace some of the primary tasks offered by e-commerce answering service companies. Instead, those companies may oversee AI bots, with human employees ready to leap in if an AI tool is found unable to answer a customer request.
Furthermore, despite advancements in AI and machine learning, a human element will always be required for e-commerce businesses. Answering services employees have the skills, know-how, and professionalism to provide phenomenal customer service, whereas bots may not be able to provide a personal touch.
Grow Your E-commerce Business with an Answering Service
Answering services could help to shore up current weaknesses in your e-commerce brand and operations. By enhancing your customer service and fostering greater customer loyalty, e-commerce answering services can help your company grow faster and bigger than ever. Learn how A Better Answer can boost your E-commerce business and provide exceptional customer service.