Is it Time to Find a New Live Answering Service?

There is no doubt that an answering service can be a real benefit to businesses that might not be able to afford or that may not require a full-time receptionist. A live answering service should make your business better, save you money, and help you with your brand image. But just as in any other industry, there are live call answering providers that are better than others, and there are some that may start out great but then lose quality over time. If you’re wondering whether it is time to hang up on your current live call answering service and call on a new one, here are three signs that it may be time to switch.

Business Woman not sure which phone to choose to answer

1. You’ve Been Getting Poor Reports from Customers

If you’ve been in business any length of time, you know that some customers are hard to please. But if you’re getting several reports from your customers that they did not have a positive experience calling your business, then consider it a red flag.

Complaints such as long on-hold times, being given the wrong information, or simply being treated in a way that wasn’t courteous and respectful should be taken seriously. If you wouldn’t tolerate a certain behaviour from your employees, then you shouldn’t tolerate it from your live answering service.

2. They don’t Offer 24 Hour Answering Service

If you are not getting 24/7 service from your call answering company, then you are missing out on one of the biggest advantages of having a live answering service.

Customers today are used to getting an immediate response whether they are surfing the web or calling a local business. The fact is, that if a customer calls after hours and doesn’t get their call answered they will likely call your competition rather than waiting for your office to open the next day.

There are all kinds of ways that a call answering service can be helping your customers after hours including providing general information, taking payments, scheduling appointments, and transferring emergency calls to the appropriate person.

3. Lack of Service

Your live answering service is responsible not only for providing good customer service to your customers, but it should also be providing good customer service to you.

If you are having trouble getting through to your service, or are having technical or billing issues that are not being resolved in a prompt and efficient manner then you will end up wasting a lot of time that could have been better spent working on your business.

As a business owner, you know the importance of getting the best value for your dollar – but you won’t be getting that from a live call answering company that is providing poor service.

If you are looking to switch your live answering service, then it’s important to find a company that is going to treat your customers with respect and provide them with a high level of service. These days, working with a company that provides a 24 hour answering service is a must. And finally, you want to know that you as a customer are getting the attention and accuracy you deserve.

At TOUCH Communications, we consider ourselves an extension of your business. Providing a 24 hour answering service, our staff consisting of smart and professional individuals provide a seamless experience for your customers with the same care they have come to expect from you. So, if you’re ready to switch providers contact us today and our team of experts will help you get started.

Live Call Answering Services for Funeral Directors

As the adage goes, the only two certain things in life are death and taxes. But at least when it comes to taxes, things happen on a predictable schedule. Death, however, can be more unpredictable – which is why funeral directors can benefit from live call answering services.

Funeral Director Assisting Client
If you operate a funeral home, then you understand that you must be available to families at a moment’s notice when they lose a loved one. But being tethered to your telephone simply isn’t practical – and having staff always on call is expensive.

Fortunately, live call answering services from Touch Communications can provide many benefits to your funeral service business. Here are four reasons why using live call answering services from Touch Communications might be right for your business:

24/7 Services

As mentioned, a call to a funeral home can take place any time of day or night. In fact, many deaths occur late at night or early in the morning outside of what most people would consider normal business hours. Even if the death has occurred earlier and the body of the deceased is already with the funeral home, distraught families may still call at odd hours with questions or concerns.

Professional and Sympathetic Customer Service Representatives

Funeral directors must walk a fine line between keeping things professional and showing empathy for the families that use their services. Naturally, they don’t want to pass off their callers to just anyone. The CSRs from Touch Communications always show the highest level of professionalism and are trained to deal with a wide range of clients. Our CSRs understand the importance of treating your customers as if they were their own and representing your brand accordingly.

Call Forwarding

Obviously, there are some things that Touch’s CSRs can’t do for your funeral business – such as visit a home to pick up a body. At Touch, we offer call forwarding services so that you or a designated staff person can still get emergency calls that only you can handle.

Appointment Setting

Of course, not every call to a funeral home happens because a death has occurred. These days, more and more people are understanding the benefits of pre-paid and pre-arranged funeral arrangements. Many callers simply want to book an appointment to ensure that final arrangements are made according to their wishes and that families are spared the burden of having to arrange things themselves.

While these types of calls typically do take place during regular business hours, you don’t want to take them if you are busy with a funeral or tending to a grieving family. Allowing Touch to take the call and make the appointment using an online calendar frees you up to give your best service to those who are physically present at the funeral home.

While some funeral directors might find the idea of using a call centre to be somewhat impersonal, the truth is that it really makes a lot of sense. It helps to provide a high-quality service to your callers no matter what the time, and helps your business to run more efficiently.

At TOUCH Communications, we consider ourselves an extension of your business and provide a 24/7 seamless live answering service. If you’re ready to improve your business’s customer service experience, contact us today and our team of experts will get you started.

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Does your local holiday charity event need the support of a telephone answering service?

Tis the season for giving! At this special time of year, local organizations of all sizes are hosting charity events in order to help those less fortunate. If your organization is hosting a holiday charity event whether it be a raffle, a winter 5k or black tie Christmas gala, enlisting the help of others can be the key to making a good event a great one.

flying red christmas gift boxes

If you’ve ever wondered whether your event could use the support of a telephone answering service, here are a few questions that may help you decide:

  1. How large is your event?

Some charitable events are pretty small – a food drive done by company employees or a bake sale put on by the “church ladies”. These can be wonderful events that help the community but you don’t necessarily need a call centre to help you take orders for Betty’s Christmas sugar cookies!

On the other hand, if you’ve got a larger event such as a charity lottery or a winter festival, then it might just make sense to enlist a call center to help you manage it.

  1. Do you need to sell tickets?

A call answering service can really come in handy if you need to sell tickets for your charitable event. Experienced CSRs can answer incoming calls, respond to general questions, and take ticket orders. This is especially useful since many people will prefer to purchase tickets outside of regular business hours when they are not at work.

Since Touch’s call centre operates 24/7 those supporting your charitable events will be able to get their tickets at the time most convenient for them.

  1. Does your event need a more professional image?

Let’s face it. With the amount of scams out there, a lot of people have become skeptical of people asking for money or support this time of year. You may have a wonderful cause and be doing everything by the book, but if your organization comes across as being less than professional, it could make people doubt your credibility.

While volunteers may do a great job at other things, they are not always the best when it comes to making sales or taking people’s personal information. If you would like to give your holiday charitable event a more professional face (or perhaps we should say a more professional voice!), then Touch’s trained CSRs may be exactly what you need.

  1. Do you need to manage volunteers?

Call answering services can do more than just sell tickets for your holiday charitable event. They can also manage volunteer schedules. If you’ve got a lot of volunteers that need to check in and schedule and re-schedule time slots, then a call answering service can use an online calendar to help with the logistics.

  1. Do you simply need more help?

Sometimes holiday charitable events can take on a life of their own. You may have employees. You may have great volunteers. But sometimes, this simply isn’t enough. Instead of letting yourself get burned out right before the holidays, let Touch Communications make the job a little easier.

 

Elevate your Business with an After Hours Call Answering Service

Maybe your business doesn’t operate 24/7. Perhaps there is no need for it to. Even if this is the case, there may still be benefits to having live call answering in the evening. Working with a call centre like TOUCH Communications allows customers to contact your business any time of day, and this can often be the difference between making the sale or giving the sale away to your competitors.

business man in the kitchen talking on the phone

The following are just a few of the ways that an after hours call answering service can help your business:

Create a Better Work-Life Balance

Many professionals like real estate agents and financial advisors work independently or are independent contractors with a larger firm. Since they are on commission, they often feel tied to their phones. This can put quite a strain on personal and family time when someone wants to reach them in the evening.

You definitely do not want to be THAT person who spends their child’s entire little league game on their phone!

Using TOUCH Communication’s night service can take away some of that burden. When someone calls, a professional customer service agent takes the call, answers basic questions and lets the caller know when they can expect to hear back from you.

Provide More Value for Your Customers

In business, ones who provide the greatest value to their customers win. Since customers want service when they want it, it makes sense to at least provide some basic services to your customers even after hours.

Services that could be provided with TOUCH’s night service include providing basic information and answering questions, scheduling and canceling appointments, as well as taking payments and registrations.

Offer Emergency Services

Perhaps you own a business that would benefit from offering emergency after-hours service. Dental offices, plumbing companies, and auto repair shops could all fit this bill. Since emergencies don’t happen every night (thank goodness!), it might not make sense to pay someone to be on-call.

But you’d still like your customers to be able to get through to someone. TOUCH Communications’ night service helps to solve that problem. A TOUCH CSR can answer the call, determine whether in fact, it is an emergency, and then transfer the call either to yourself or to the appropriate person in your company.

Project a More Professional Image

Starting a business has never been easier – sometimes all it takes is a website and a handful of business cards. But you don’t necessarily want to let your customers know how small your business is.

Whether you are a freelance website designer, a bookkeeper, or running your own e-commerce store, making use of an after hours call answering service can project a more competent and professional image to your callers.

After all, if it’s just you, you can’t possibly answer the phone every time it rings!

These are just a few of the benefits to having an after hours call answering service. Just because you are not working at night doesn’t mean that your business can’t be accessible to potential customers and project a professional brand image. Ready to elevate your business? Contact us today and our team of experts at TOUCH Communications will help set you up with an after hours call answering service right away.

Using a Live Call Answering Service to Manage your Busy Pet Clinic

If your pet clinic seems like an animal farm sometimes, a call answering service can bring back the calm and restore your animal loving soul.

A cat having a check-up at a pet clinic

If you own or work at a pet clinic, you no doubt love all furry friends. When you opened up shop to help maintain and restore health to a plethora of pets, you never thought you’d spend half your time on the phone. While a phone that rings off the hook is a good sign that your business is thriving, caring for animals shouldn’t mean spending the better part of your day on the phone. A live call answering service will get you off the phone while keeping you in touch with all the animals that come through your doors for help.

When a present or prospective customer contacts your business through your phone, they will be delighted with the answering service that will answer their questions, book their appointment, and put them in touch with the help they are searching for. There’s no need for that call to go to a busy signal, answering machine, or worse, go unanswered.

No Calls Left Unanswered

24/7 live answering services will ensure that not only will valued customers be cared for while you are serving others, but the service will expand the hours that you’re able to service all your customers. Whether you decide to let your customers know they are dealing with answering service or want them to believe they have reached your storefront, is your call. Both have their advantages. Rest assured, though, customers that reach your call answer service will be greeted with polite, knowledgeable and helpful service.

A live call answering service will fill in any customer service gaps you may have. If you are on holidays, your call answer service can take care of communications while you’re away.  Simply away from your desk? A call answer service will ensure that no calls are missed.  Call transfer is available for those days when you’re on the golf course. Yes, good pet clinic care can be given, even while improving your long game.

TOUCH Communications Provides your Clients with a Unique Experience

A great call answer service will treat your business with unique care, setting it aside from the competition. There is no generic answering of your phone and all greetings will reflect the tone of your pet clinic. Aside from the obvious choice of having a dog answer your phone, any answering service you choose should come close to this unique experience when they dial your number.

Don’t let chaos dictate the atmosphere in your pet clinic. A call answer service will take some of the busy out of your busy clinic, ensuring that customers are receiving a calm, and relaxed service as they have their pet cared for. A live call answering service for your pet clinic will restore your delight in helping animals and give you more time to do what you do best. If you still have further questions regarding a live call answering service for your pet clinic, or simply ready to sign up, contact us today and our team of experts at TOUCH Communications will be ready to help.

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Live Call Answering Service for Towing Companies

If you own or manage a towing company, then you know that when the phone rings, there is a caller on the other end of the line that needs help immediately. They are either on the side of the road somewhere with a broken down vehicle or they are an angry property owner who needs to get a vehicle removed from their premises.

Man on Phone by Broken Down Car

The problem is that it’s not always easy to answer a call. You may be short staffed or you may be on the road yourself driving one of your tow trucks. A live call answering service is an excellent solution for tow truck companies looking to provide better service to their customers.

A live call answering service such as that offered by Touch Communications can make the process of operating a towing service much smoother. Professional customer service representatives are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – so when that distraught or angry caller gets on the line, there is always someone available to take their call.

Here are a few more benefits that tow truck companies get from using live call answering services:

1.      24/7 Service at a fraction of the cost

Most tow truck companies want to be available 24/7 – after all, a breakdown can happen at any time of day or night. The problem is – unless you have a very large company, you’re probably not going to get a call EVERY night. And paying a staff member to sit in an office – or even to be on call – 24/7 can be quite costly.

Using a call centre, on the other hand, is generally much more affordable and TOUCH’s CSRs are always ready to provide professional and friendly service.

2.      Call forwarding and dispatching

Of course answering the call and taking the customer’s information is only step one for towing services. The next step comes in actually contacting a driver and relaying the information so that they can go the aid of the caller.

Depending on how your company works, a TOUCH CSR can either forward the call on to someone else in your company, or they can take down the information and then contact one of your drivers. An online database can be created for CSRs to check drivers’ schedules, assigned area, etc.

3.      Unsurpassed customer service

Dealing with people is not just a job for us – it’s our passion. And we are really good at it. When someone requires a tow truck they may be panicked, upset, excited, frightened, or angry. Also, the manner in which they are dealt with on the phone is going to matter. For most, it will be the first impression they get of your company.

Therefore, it is important that when a call is answered, the caller is dealt with in a calm and professional way. By employing the services of a company such as TOUCH – you know that your customers’ calls will be handled by experts.

Are you ready to take your towing company’s customer service to the next level? Then contact TOUCH Communications today and learn how we can help your business.

How Should your Live Call Answering Service Identify Itself

Using a live call answering service such as TOUCH Communications offers business owners a number of advantages, yet there always seems to be that touchy question as to whether or not they should have TOUCH’s CSRs identify themselves as working for an answering service. There is no one right answer to this question – there are good reasons for an answering service to say they are an answering service as well as many good reasons for them not to.

In the following article, we will discuss the advantages of each.

Phone extended

Reasons NOT to let your customers know that they are dealing with an answering service

Many business owners do not want their customers to know that they are dealing with a live call answering service provider because they feel doing so makes service seem less personal. They may also wish to give the impression that they are a larger business than they actually are. Believing that a business is open and available to take calls 24/7 can give many customers a sense of security and trust in the company that they are dealing with.

In general, if a CSR needs to collect personal information from a client, they will have an easier time doing so, if the customer feels that they have reached the business rather than a live call answering service.

Reasons TO let your customers know that they are dealing with an answering service

The professional CSRs at TOUCH Communications can do an amazing job at representing any company, but they are never going to be as knowledgeable about your business and your staff as your own employees.

Your clients would have a lot higher expectations knowing they are dealing with your staff, which would lead to higher levels of frustration if your staff can’t deliver the level of expertise that was expected. However, with a live call answering service, your clients would be more understanding and wouldn’t question the reliability of your company.

Is there a middle ground?

There are a few – but no really great ones.

You may have CSRs answer the call with a script such as “Hello, you’ve reached the after-hours receptionist of Acme Corp, do you require urgent service … “. The advantage of this is that it lets the caller know your business is prepared to handle after-hours emergencies. The disadvantage is that they will probably be able to figure out that they’ve reached an answering service.

Another approach could be to have the CSR answer with a script like, “Thank you for calling Acme Corp. You’ve reached the off-site receptionist, how may I help you.” The advantage here is that the caller feels more like they’ve reached someone at the company. The disadvantage is that they may still expect more expertise or knowledge to be offered than a call centre CSR is able to give.

Nope, I still want my callers to think they’ve reached my office

Should you decide you still want your callers to believe they are speaking with your staff when they reach as TOUCH CSR, there are a number of things that you can do to help make the caller experience better:

  • Provide complete information when you set up your account through well-written FAQs
  • Only have CSRs collect basic information from callers
  • Have stock answers such as, “sorry, I don’t have access to that information but I’ll have Alan give you a call and answer all of your questions when he gets back to the office.”
  • For more complex calls, have the option for CSRs to transfer the call to someone in your organization.
  • Try to cover all likely scenarios by providing a complete list of employees and explaining which types of calls go to whom.

If you’ve never worked with a live call answering service before, it can take some getting used to, but with a little planning, it can take your business to new heights of efficiency. If you’re still unsure as to how best to set up your account, contact the professionals at TOUCH today. We can help you come up with the plan that is right for your business.

The Critical Components of Live Call Answering for Your Dental Practice

Owners of dental practices understand how hectic and busy thing can get around the office. In addition to your regular patients and emergency appointments, people are constantly calling in to schedule, reschedule and cancel appointments. While patients who are physically present in your office are clearly priority, you also can’t afford to ignore those who are calling your office. Every missed call can mean lost revenue and potentially losing a patient.

receptionist at dental office answers the phone

A call answering service can help free up time from your office’s own staff so they can be of greater assistance to your in-person patients, answering questions, helping with insurance forms, etc. A service such as that offered by TOUCH Communications can help ensure that your dental practice never misses another call.

So what qualities should you be looking for in a live call answering service for your dental practice? Let’s review:

24/7 Service

Having 24/7 answering is a great way to give additional value to your patients – especially those with busy lives or those with erratic work schedules. It is also a way that your practice can offer help in the case of a dental emergency – by forwarding patients’ calls to a number that you assign.

Secure Networks to Protect Privacy

As a medical professional, protecting your patients’ health information is of utmost importance. For most, this means being able to call in and check voicemails through the normal means. When selecting an answering service for your dental practice, you need to look for a service that can either provide a secure web portal or encrypted text messaging.

Appointment Scheduling Services

In any medical practice, by far the largest volume of calls come from those who are scheduling or changing their appointments. For this reason, it is critical to work with a call answering service that can manage a calendar for you. At TOUCH Communications, our professional CSRs use a cloud-based computer program that allows them to see your availability and input, cancel or change client appointments as necessary. Again, this frees up a considerable amount of time for your own staff to assist patients who are in your office.

Personalized Scripting

Especially when it comes to any kind of medical information, you want your callers to feel that they can trust the person on the other end of the phone. By using personalized scripting that is specific to your practice, TOUCH’s CSRs can help your patients to feel more at ease and comfortable sharing the necessary information. Be wary of any service that uses stock scripts as these can feel cold and impersonal to the caller and negatively affect their perception of your practice. With a personalized script designed just for your practice, you can be confident that our professional CSRs are accurately representing you and your brand.

If you are ready to take your dental practice’s customer service to the next level, then live call answering from TOUCH Communications can help.  Give Us a Call today to learn more.

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Live call answering for mental health and addiction services

When people think of live call answering services such as those provided by Touch Communications, they likely think of it being used for commercial purposes. And while our service is commonly used that way, it can also prove to be a huge benefit to social services organizations, such as mental health and addiction services.

woman on phone headset

The following are a few of the ways in which live call answering can help assist with these types of organizations.

Stop missing calls

When a person is in crisis, it is imperative that they are able to speak with a real person. If your organization’s crisis response staff are all busy on other calls, having the assistance of a call centre such as one operated by TOUCH could make the difference between a client staying clean, sober and safe or not.

When your staff is busy, a customer service representative from TOUCH can offer a human voice that can redirect the call to an appropriate extension or department.

Around the clock service

As a mental health or addiction services organization, you know that crises don’t just happen during normal business hours. The TOUCH communication call centre is open 24/7, so your clients will always be able to get through to a real person.

For emergency calls, you can arrange to have calls forwarded to a designated person or people in your organization. This can be done through a set schedule – i.e. different people depending on the day and time, or it can be changed via a simple communication to our office.

Professional representation of your brand

One reason why some organizations may be hesitant to hire a live call answering service for their social services organization is that they wonder how CSRs will interact with their clients. With a company like TOUCH Communications, however, those concerns can be put to rest.

At TOUCH we understand that the way we treat your clients reflects on your reputation and brand – and when those clients are vulnerable persons, professionalism and courtesy are of utmost importance. That’s why we take the time to learn about your organization and train our CSRs to answer and handle calls to your exact specifications.

When a client calls through to a TOUCH CSR, they never feel that they are dealing with a call centre. Instead, they feel that they have reached one of your representatives who is on their side and working to ensure that they get the best service possible.

Enjoy the Golf Course by Using a Call Answering Service

The summer is upon us and there is so much to do that doesn’t involve work. Most of us will be taking advantage of the warm weather with increased activities throughout the province, but closing down shop when you hit the fairways isn’t an option. Missing a call is unfortunate and with the right help, doesn’t have to ever happen. Unwinding on the golf course can be a reality when knowing your calls are taken care of in your absence. Don’t just let all your business calls go to the machine or even worse, remain unanswered. A missed call can mean a missed sale.

Answering E-mails While Golfing

Choosing a Call Answering Provider

What you need as a business owner who also has a life outside of the office is an answering service. Not just any answering service, though. It’s imperative that your call answer provider knows your business. Every time they answer one of your customer calls, they are representing you and your business. Whoever is representing your company while you get in 18 holes should be providing a personal touch. Anyone can get an answering machine. You will be able to relax this summer knowing that someone is caring for your clients while you’re taking care of you.

Call Forwarding

One service you may consider is call forwarding. Consider having your calls forward to an answering service that can provide that personal touch. A customized greeting is an option and can be tailored to suit your business. You may choose to have all web calls transferred as well. This keeps them all in one place and with consistent attention. Caller ID is important as well, this service will identify where people are calling from, which is valuable information for any business.

Personalized Greetings

A great communications company will provide a plethora of services, making time away from the office less scary. When shopping for an answering service ensure that your calls are not be answered generically. An answering machine can do that. The company you choose to manage your calls when you’re unavailable should be an extension of your business. Your customers are important to you. Allowing anyone who communicates with these customers must be trustworthy. Also, a great answering service provider should operate 24/7 so you don’t have to.

Whether you choose to transfer calls, live transfer, page or utilize message dispatch, your answering service should provide a seamless representation of your company. This will allow you to make the most of what limited time you have away from your business. Creating a line-up at the golf course because you are trying to take calls when you should be putting isn’t an option.

Here at Touch Communications, we take pride in being a trusted and experienced company that will treat your business with the same care you do. Contact us today and our team of experts will help you manage your business calls so you can make the most out of your personal time.

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