It’s a common question many business owners ask themselves: “Doesn’t getting the cheapest price give the best value to my business?” While we all want to save as much as we can, lower price doesn’t necessarily translate to more value in the answering service/call center industry. A successful businessman put it this way:
“There are three ideals for customer service: quickest delivery, highest quality and the cheapest price — you can’t get all three, but you can usually get two.”
Whether because of a tough economy or you’re simply experiencing tighter times than usual in your businesses, moving from live answering to telephone prompts may seem like the best option, since it’s typically more affordable. But many times, it’s actually possible to reduce your answering service rates by adding one or more automated services rather than decreasing your live operator rate.
Other times, you may be approached by any number of competing answering service bureaus or call centers that are trying to win your business. Usually, these competitors offer a cheaper rate initially as an attractive reason to change. But will it last? The better decision, the value decision, would be to incorporate these factors:
- Call handling accuracy
- Call handling response time
- Customer care and courtesy
- Latest answering service technology
You don’t want to regret your call center decision after it’s too late. As astronaut John Glenn said, when asked what was going through his mind while awaiting liftoff, “I was thinking that the rocket had twenty thousand components, and each was made by the lowest bidder!” Our astronauts deserve better, and so does your company.
In the end, when the final decision has been made, it’s high answering service quality, not low pricing, that wins the day and makes customers happy. An answering service is just that… a service, not a commodity. Not all call centers are created equal.
To choose the right one for your business, determine whether price or value is your biggest priority.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2011 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.