Call Handling For Professional Services Firms
Handle calls without compromising service ...
Posted on: 06/08/2015 By: Jacqui Frost
I'm often asked if there's a particular type of business, which can benefit most from a Call Handling service? The short answer is ''no''; instead, potential value is more to do with your current phone status ...
If you can't always pick up, or you're reliant on your answerphone, I can pretty much guarantee that a Call Handling service will be well worth the investment. Interestingly, even businesses with a full-time receptionist can benefit.
Let me tell you a story ...
Recently, a London-based Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) firm got in touch because its receptionist couldn't cope with the call volume.
Despite this dedicated front of house resource, with 13 Advisors/Directors and 13 Financial Planning Assistants (FPAs), too many overflow calls were landing on the FPAs' desks.
Deciding what to do with calls, which a receptionist can't handle, is a dilemma many businesses face.
On the surface, the obvious solution is to divert calls to another member of staff. This ensures the phone is answered and the customer can speak with someone who can help.
Unfortunately it's not that straightforward ... You see, in the case of the IFA firm, diverted calls were interrupting the FPAs.
You know that once you're in the zone, you don't want to be disturbed. In cases like these, the phone is an annoyance – and customers are likely to pick up on your 'displeased' tone. Not good for business!
I've found that lots of businesses underestimate the problem that the 'divert elsewhere' Call Handling solution causes.
In fact, would you be surprised to discover that in the first three days of fielding overflow calls for the IFA firm, we handled 75 calls? 75 calls! That's a lot of FPAs juggling unnecessary interruptions – especially when you understand that every overflow call rang at every FPA's desk until it was answered. Imagine the negative impact on productivity ...
How we answer your calls
I know that some business owners are nervous about delegating their Call Handing to someone else. After all, we're talking about calls with potential customers – you have to make the right impression, every time.
It's for this reason that it pays to research and find a professional company you can trust. In particular, discover how they answer your calls and check you're happy with the process and the options.
In the case of the IFA firm, here's what we provide:
Calls are answered in the firm's name. The caller feels as though they're speaking with a representative of the business they called.
Details of the caller are taken and they are asked who they wish to speak with.
The call is then transferred (patched) straight to the correct person.
The name of the caller is announced, that way the client can decide whether they wish to take the call, pass the call elsewhere, or take a message.
As a result of our intervention, callers receive quality service, whilst the client can avoid unnecessary interruptions and regain control of their phone.
A cost-effective way to increase the professionalism of your Call Handling
The Call Handling situation at the IFA firm was becoming unmanageable. Annoyed staff and frustrated callers meant additional front of house resource was required.
Now the IFA firm could have hired a second receptionist. However, there is huge cost involved in this. A London salary can range upwards from £18-£24k+. In addition, you need to cost in National Insurance, holiday cover, desk space, computer, benefits and training etc.
What's more, there are no guarantees that the person you hire will be any good or stay long-term.
In addition, a second receptionist isn't needed all of the time – only when more than one call needs to be handled simultaneously. So unless you could find other work to keep the second receptionist busy, that's a lot of wasted resources.
In comparison, a professional Call Handling service is far cheaper and a lot more flexible. There's no long-term tie in and you can adapt the resource to suit your needs.
The IFA firm is currently benefitting from our 'Tailored Genie' package. This costs them between £500-£700 per calendar month and makes three Genies available at all times. And when you consider we frequently handle two or three calls at the same time for this client, this service ensures nothing falls through the gaps.
Alleviate your Call Handling stress with a Genie
If you're frustrated with unnecessary phone disturbances, concerned about your phone professionalism, or wondering if it's time to boost your front of house resource, talk to the Genies on 01604 529170.
You'll discover a smart range of Call Handling packages. I promise you'll find one that's perfect for you, regardless of the number of calls you need someone to answer on your behalf.
Until next time ...
THE OFFICE GENIE
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!