When the U.S. economy took a significant downturn in 2008, small business owners were hit hard. Decreased revenue streams across all job sectors meant most employers could barely support their existing staff, let alone afford any extra services.
This was the case for Newington Electric Company, a family business that has been servicing commercial, industrial and residential electrical needs in Newington, Connecticut, for more than 50 years.
According to an article in the Hartford Courant, a Connecticut news source, though the Ingall family who owned the company had garnered respect in the community over the years, the recession had crippled business, forcing the company to reduce its staff from 26 electricians and eight office workers to four electricians and two office-based employees.
Interestingly though, emergency conditions and blackouts yielded from natural disasters like Tropical Storm Irene created a high demand for electrical generators, the Courant states. As such, this formerly small corner of Newington Electric's business grew exponentially, creating a demand that was actually too high for the company to accommodate with a diminished staff.
The company's answering service had to bring in additional staff members to handle the volume of calls, and even then an auto response was reportedly generated to alert potential customers of a delay in service.
The Hartford Courant article stated that 4,800 calls and 800 emails were logged between Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 and a snowstorm in October 2011.
Newington Electric's quickly increased work flow suggests the benefits that a small company can reap from outsourcing their customers' calls and electronic correspondences to a certified third-party answering service. While some businesses may still be operating on bare bones staff to recover from the recession, an answering service can ensure that all customers have their needs met efficiently, while freeing up time and funds for a company to reinvest in its personnel.