Answering services have a wide range of incredibly useful functions for business clients. By outsourcing customer service, in-house staff have more time to focus on other critical duties without worrying about missing important customer inquiries or orders.
Moreover, with the potential for a strong virtual presence, an answering service could enhance a business' virtual offerings by providing a staff of service representatives to address customer issues online through an easy-to-use chat window.
While these functions are slightly more obvious, business owners may not necessarily recognize the utility of an answering service with regard to disaster recovery. When natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes or floods hit a particular community, the damage wrought by the emergency conditions may render a primary work site unusable.
But, even if a company has made provisions to deal with the disaster, essential business functions could still be disrupted. For example, many businesses have prepared for a case where the primary site is out of commission by facilitating a functional alternative site, but may not have the full scope of the primary site's communications abilities.
While a legacy phone system may have been installed at the alternate site, business officials may not be able to interact with customers with the same sophistication, potentially driving them to competitors while the business recovers. Even worse, the site may need to operate under a different phone number depending on the service provider, causing confusion and frustration for customers who cannot get the information they're looking for.
However, by utilizing a remote answering service, regardless of the state of the primary site, customer service can continue uninterrupted. Consequently, important messages filtered in through a business line can be instantly forwarded to the proper person who can keep customers in the loop using a mobile device, allowing operations to stay on track even when primary sites experience an outage.