Why switch to live call answering? (My answering machine has worked well in the past…)

live call answering operator

Why in the world would I pay a call centre to take my calls when I have an answering machine or voicemail that works just fine? That’s a question that we get asked a lot.

And sometimes, even if it isn’t asked out loud, we know people think about it.

In this article, we cover a few of the reasons that switching to a live call answering system just might make sense for your business:

Reason #1: Missed calls cost more than you think

If you compare the price of Touch Communication’s service to a $30 answering machine, then we really can’t compete. But what is harder to calculate is the cost of all those missed calls – from the potential clients that simply didn’t leave a message.

In today’s age of Internet and instant access to just about everything, consumers have become a rather impatient bunch. MANY callers won’t bother to leave a message and wait for you to return your call. They will simply hang up and call your competition instead.

For many businesses, when you calculate the cost of missed calls, a live call answering service can actually be a revenue generator.

Reason #2: Be there for your customers during an emergency

In certain types of business, it is common to offer 24/7 emergency service. Plumbers, electricians, tow truck operators, etc. might even gain more business in non-emergency situations if the client knows ahead of time that they’ll be able to call on them any day or the week, day or night.

But of course, an answering machine is woefully inadequate to handle an emergency! And since emergencies don’t happen every day, it can be expensive to pay an employee to sit by the phone all night.

Live call answering from Touch Communications provides the ideal solution.  When an emergency call comes into our centre, we can ensure that the caller gets transferred to you or another designated person within your business.

Reason #3: Be there for your customers on a whim

Ok, so maybe your business doesn’t help clients with flooded basements – maybe it sells unique jewellery online. Now, no one NEEDS to order to a pink glass pendant at 3:00 AM, but what if they WANT to?

If you have a wonderful e-commerce site, sometimes online shoppers have questions and would prefer to speak to a real live person before making a purchase. Live call answering service makes that possible.

Reason #4: Always look professional

No matter what type of business you operate, you always want to give a good impression. And in the business world, voicemail and answering machines are quickly becoming considered “old technology.” It can give the impression that your business is small potatoes.

When one of your callers is greeted by a friendly and professional Touch CSR, it is a positive experience for them. The caller will feel that you have someone “on the job” who is ready to take care of them.

Live call answering CSRs can perform a number of tasks for your business including answering basic questions, scheduling appointments, and transferring calls to specified personnel within your organization – all things that an answering machine can’t do!

Tips for dealing with difficult customers on the phone (from the pros)

When an angry or difficult customer calls your place of business, it can be a frustrating ordeal for everyone. The customer is already frustrated, but it can be extremely unnerving for yourself or an employee to answer the phone only to be met with scolding, yelling or cursing on the other end of the line. But how you are able to deal with these calls says a lot about your customer service. Fortunately, there are some proven ways to help resolve such problems and help you maintain a loyal customer.

understanding operator

Here are a few tips from the pros at Touch Communications:

  1. Work quickly and efficiently

No one likes be wait for very long on hold. For this reason it is important never to keep your customers waiting too long. If they are already angry, then a long wait can make the situation worse. If they are calling to order a product or to book an appointment, a long wait might cause them to hang up and call your competition.

  1. Listen first

You may have heard the story before, but you haven’t heard it from THIS customer. So when someone calls in with a problem, listen to them without interrupted. Jot down notes as they talk, so you can ask for clarification later.

Remember, your customer’s goal is not really to yell or complain, but to get a solution to their problem. When you let them tell you their story without interrupting, it is the first step to making them feel that you are on their side and not against them.

  1. Empathize and Apologize

Even if the problem is not your fault, saying sorry that something happened, didn’t happen etc. can go a long way toward calming a disgruntled caller. Let the caller know that you will do your best toward helping them find a solution.

  1. Repeat their story back to them

Now that you’ve taken the time to listen to their story, make sure that you understand it – and that the customer knows you understand. Rephrase the issue back to them, and ask for more details about anything that is unclear.

This allows you and the customer to work together as members of the same team rather than as adversaries.

  1. Try to solve the problem

If you know how to solve the problem – such as sending them a replacement part, or scheduling a service call then do it.  If you’re unsure how to solve the problem, you may need to (briefly) put them on hold to consult with someone else on your team. Just be sure that you never promise something that you can’t deliver.

  1. Compensate the customer for the inconvenience

If all else fails, it never hurts to provide the customer with a freebie or discount. This is typically a last resort for most companies but it is worth doing if it is going to keep a loyal customer and stop negative word of mouth.

Remember that despite your best efforts, there will be occasions when you’ll get a call from an upset customer. How you handle that call however is up to you.


Let us help with your big event!

As the weather starts to warm up, it is hard not to get excited about the upcoming summer festival season. Most of us love to enjoy festivals and other events but only a select few really understand all the hard work and people hours that go in to making one of these events a success. Experienced event planners discover “hacks” along the way – tools and strategies that help to make the job easier. One of these hacks is to use a call answering service such as Touch Communications.

festival crowd

Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that Touch Communications can help make your festival or event run more smoothly.

Volunteer Coordination

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many festivals and other big events – and the bigger the event, the more volunteers that are needed. Touch Communications can help you manage this festival army by helping coordinate schedules. Volunteers can call in to our centre with their availability and our CSRs can input them into an online schedule.

They can also call in for information or with any questions they may have.

24/7 Information Line for Vendors and Performers

If your festival includes vendors and/or performers – especially from out of province, it’s important they can have a number they can call at any time in the weeks and days leading up to the festival. They may need to inform the organizers of special needs or request information.

Since they may work at odd hours or reside in a different time zone, having access to a call centre that is open round the clock will be a huge bonus for them – so don’t be too surprised when they want to come back to your festival next year!

Emergency Access to Event Organizers

If you’re busy with all the logistics of running your big event, the last thing that you want is anybody and everybody calling you with matters that they can either handle themselves or delegate to someone else. You do however want to be reachable if there is a legitimate emergency.

You can arrange with Touch Communications exactly want kind of calls you want to be put through to your personal cell phone and who you’d like to take calls from. Our professional and friendly CSRs will put through the calls you want – and for the calls you don’t want, we can professionally answer any questions or direct the call to someone else on your team.

Organizing a large event such as a festival takes a lot of coordination, but a call centre such as Touch Communications can make that coordination easier. And since we don’t require you to sign long term contracts, we are the ideal solution whether you need to use our services for several weeks or only a few days. Yes, the weather is getting warmer and all of us are looking forward to festival season – and here at Touch Communications we are looking forward to helping you make your event a success.



What Live Call Transfer Can Do for Your Business

Are there days when you and your employees resemble bees – buzzing in an out of the office – going to meetings, appointments, service calls and so forth? This may be necessary for you to effectively run your business but it can make it difficult for customers, suppliers and other business contacts to get in touch with you. Live Call Transfer with Touch Communications can help you solve this problem.

businessman takes a call on the coast

What is Live Call Transfer?

Glad you asked! Essentially, Live Call Transfer is a way that you can make yourself, or a designated employee, available to take certain calls regardless of where you are. The way it works is simple – the caller dials your number and the phone is answered by one of our CSRs. The CSR will find out who’s calling and the reason for their call and then put them briefly on hold while they contact you and ask if you’d like to take the call.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re travelling with your cell phone, at home, or on vacation – as long as we have a number where we can reach you – the CSR can then transfer the call.

Convenience and usability through Touch Communication’s web portal

One question that we get a lot when we are discussing the benefits of Live Call Transfer is how we are able to manage when some types of calls should go to certain people, or how we manage businesses in which employees work various shifts being “on-call”.

Our easy to use web portal helps you to manage it all. When one of our CSRs takes a call, they quickly reference the data that you have inputted into our online system. Whether a certain employee is on vacation and not reachable or whether your staff is on a rotating schedule, our CSRs are able to determine who should receive certain calls at any given time.

Touch’s Buddy system is also available to allow you and your employees to manage their own call preferences.

Why use Live Call Transfer when I have a voicemail system?

Many businesses these days have voicemail systems which are easy enough to check from an offsite location. The problem with these, however, is that many callers do not like leaving messages – in fact, some would even prefer just to hang up and call your competitor instead.

Another problem is that you must REMEMBER to check your voicemail messages. Especially if you are hard at work on a project, or enjoying some much deserved R&R, it can be easy to forget that someone might be trying to get in touch with you. The last thing you want to do is ignore a call that may be urgent.

Of course, if you do remember to check your voicemail on a regular basis, you will only be wasting your time, if there are no messages when you call in.

Live Call Transfer from Touch Communications accomplishes two very important tasks. First, it gives your caller a personal touch since they can speak with a real live person rather than a voicemail. Second, it directs important calls right to you so you can determine immediately how to handle them.

Don’t let another call to your business go unanswered. Contact Touch Communications today and learn what Live Call Transfer can do for you.

24/7 Service AND 24/7 Support

Regular business hours are quickly becoming a thing of the past. With more and more businesses offering the ability to purchase products over the internet and call centres with 24/7 service, the modern customer is coming to expect service on demand. Companies that don’t offer this immediate service are likely to lose business to their competition.

24 hours

With the world being as connected as it is, we have simply come to expect instantaneous service.

At Touch Communications, we offer 24/7 Service AND 24/7 Support in order to keep your clients happy – and to keep YOU happy.

24/7 Service

There are many reasons why you might want to have someone answering your business line every day of the week, around the clock. Perhaps your business is one that offers emergency services – such as a plumber or electrician. Or perhaps, you have customers calling in from different time zones and you simply want to make sure your business is available.

But even if these descriptions don’t match your business, there is one simply reason why every business owner should want that line answered every single time – and that reason is that if a potential customer calls and ends up getting your voicemail instead of a real live person, there is a very good chance that rather than leave a message, they will simply call your competition. And if your competition offers 24/7 service, then you cannot afford not to.

At Touch Communications, we realize that most small businesses don’t have the manpower or resources to constantly be manning the phone. That’s why we offer 24/7 service that is both professional and affordable.

24/7 Support

If you are a business owner who wants your customers to be able to get 24/7 service, then it stands to reason that you yourself would probably appreciate 24/7 service as well. And that’s why we offer 24/7 support to our customers.  After all, some of your best business ideas probably occur outside of regular business hours.

Whether inspiration strikes you at 3:00 am and you want to change how your customers are greeted, or you suddenly realize after you’ve already left for vacation that you need to change your company’s emergency contact, our customer service representatives are always available and willing to help.

Support and Service ANYTIME you need it!

There are many benefits to working with a company like Touch Communications and offers 24/7 Service and Support. Here are just a few of the reasons that 24/7 is the way to go:

  • Lowers your risk of losing business to your competition
  • Ideal for businesses that offer emergency services
  • Provides for flexibility for customers calling in from different time zones
  • More affordable that hiring additional staff to be “on-call” 24/7.
  • Greater flexibility for you as a call centre client
  • Access reports or make changes to your service whenever you need it

So what are you waiting for? Nine to five is so yesterday. Give your customers the service they desire and give yourself the support you deserve with 24/7 service and support from Touch Communications.