Geography is an important factor to think about when outsourcing services for your business. For example, if your business is in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex or surrounding area and you’re considering hiring an answering service, the company’s location may help determine if they’re the best fit. High touch is still highly valued, after all.
But is location the most important thing to think about? The fact an answering service is in Dallas doesn’t mean they can deliver the reliable customer service experience you need and exceed your expectations. So how do you know if an answering service is right for you? Here are some questions to ask when searching for the best answering service in DFW:
How do you train your employees?
One of the most important factors when hiring a Dallas answering service is the way the service seamlessly represents your company. You’ll want to ask about the training of the call handlers that will be taking your customer calls. You may also want to think about what scripts they’ll need and what information they should be able to give to callers.
What is your turnover rate?
If the Dallas answering service treats its employees well, there’s a higher possibility that they will treat your customers well too. An answering service with a low turnover rate means you may have a few particular agents who will get the opportunity to know your customers well and become more familiar with your business. This is yet another way that the right answering service becomes a part of your company.
What are your call performance standards?
This question can be broken down into the following sub-questions:
- What is the average number of rings before a call is answered?
- How long are hold times?
- What is the approximate length of a call?
You want to know that your calls are being handled efficiently and that your Dallas customers aren’t sitting on hold. You’ll also want to have some idea of how many calls the service will be able to handle if you have fluctuating call volume.
How do you address my business’ specific needs?
Many industries have specific needs that not all answering services can handle. For instance, medical practices need a medical answering service that is HIPAA compliant. If you have a large Hispanic clientele, find out if bilingual agents will answer your calls. Voice your expectations, such as:
- How many calls you believe you’ll receive
- How long each call will be
- Whether you’ll need 24/7 availability
- If there are times of the day that your call volume is higher or lower
Make sure to ask the tough questions that are unique to your industry in advance to ensure there are no surprises.
What kind of contract or billing cycle can I expect?
Some answering services in Dallas will attempt to lock you into a long contract period on a plan that may not fit your needs. Also, you could be billed by the call or by the minute. An understanding of your needs will greatly assist an answering service sales manager when constructing your contract.
An answering service with quality training, happy employees and flexibility to meet your needs is an answering service worth investigating further. The right service will become a helpful extension to your business so you can focus on other aspects. The best Dallas answering service will also help you retain current customers and offer a helpful tone to new prospects.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.