Many small businesses don’t really know several things that could impact their decision making process once they have decided that they are going to hire an answering service. Here are 5 things you don’t know about answering services.:
- Because of the rapid adoption of cell phones by small businesses in the early 90’s, the answering service market has shrunk almost 90%. This has had a substantial impact on the service levels of those companies that have survived.
- Most of the remaining companies have built their technology on the circuit/switch public telephone system. The US public telephone system has already been replaced by voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) in a third of the country and is slated to replace the entire US circuit/switch public network by 2018. The impact is that many companies won’t invest in upgrading their technology and they will either be acquired or go out of business.
- Fortune estimates 80% of callers that are sent to voicemail, hang up. This is due to two things, 1) when a potential customer calls, they have made an emotional decision to purchase and they want to talk with someone live and 2) due to a scheme concocted in the 90’s by the major cellular carriers, callers that are sent to voicemail have to listen to 20+ seconds of instructions. As a result 80% of your potential customers that are sent to voicemail will just hangup and move on to the next company on the search engine results page (SERP).
- Most answering services are call centers with not a lot of familiarity with the companies they answer the phones for.
- All answering service companies (except US Answer) have a “Minutes” model, trying to maximize their call minutes (US Answer actually aspires to minimize our customers call minutes).