3 Questions Your Answering Service Should Ask Every Caller

Posted on January 3, 2017

Multiple options exist when it comes to the type of answering service you can use for fielding phone calls from interested shoppers, customers, or clients. The most affordable option is to pay a monthly fee to have live, English-speaking agents answer calls and take messages for you. This does not leave too much opportunity to improve your business even though the customer service assistance is quite helpful.

Another option is to hire an answering service to read a certain script that your company writes for a particular purpose, such as building brand loyalty or announcing a special offer or sale. If you opt for this method, you need to come up with a compelling script to improve customer relations and satisfaction.

Since many callers will want to leave a message to get more information, there are three important questions the person working with the answering service should ask each one. Of course, an answering service should phrase these questions in a highly polite and professional manner.

Question #1 – Who Are You and How Can You Be Contacted?

If a customer wants any follow-up information or has additional questions of his or her own, the answering service agent must find out his or her full name and contact information so your company can get ahold of them. Asking for a telephone number and email address are the most common, but some may prefer to give a fax number or even a snail mail address. This would be more common if they require some paperwork or a printed catalog mailed to their house or office.

Question #2 – What Do You Want?

Although the person who answers the phone only has general information and a script to go off of, and therefore will not be able to answer every question, it is necessary to find out what the caller wants. The agent must be able to take a clear and detailed message to pass on to you or another company employee for further handling. If the answering service determines that the caller’s inquiry falls within the bounds of the provided scripts, they should immediately take that path toward customer satisfaction.

Question #3 – Have I Done Everything Possible to Satisfy You?

In many cases, this question will be implied rather than spoken outright. This is especially true of answering services that are hired to simply take messages for a company. These agents cannot do much other than pass information or a question on in a friendly and professional manner.

In order for the answering service to positively augment their experience with your company, however, the agent must make every reasonable effort to satisfy all the caller’s needs. After all, this is why you hired them. Combined with in-office attention and follow-up on all messages and contacts, a professional answering service can help you provide the type of customer service that puts your small business ahead of the competition.

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