Table of Contents
- Free 14 Day Trial To PatLive’s Answering Service For Clever Leverage Readers (coupon code link below)
- Benefits of a Live Phone Answering Service
Great customer service is what defines the growth of a business. If you are a business owner, it becomes imperative to be on your toes continuously, alert and responsive to customer needs.
In industries like insurance, where there is a large amount of information that needs to be exchanged, there is a huge scope for miscommunication. This is because the turnaround time for responding to client queries needs to be quick. In these cases, it is crucial to implement as many facilities as possible to make the business consumer-centric.
PatLive has offered us a free trial now for Clever Leverage readers. When I first started looking in to live answering services for my business phone lines, I was hesitant to sign up for anything expensive because I feared what I’d be getting myself into. It’s nice to be able to test everything out for two weeks before committing… and then if it is a good fit, everything is set to go.
Whenever a customer calls your office for the first time, the way they are treated will largely decide whether you’ll gain a new client or lose a prospective one. Therefore, as an insurance agency that feeds on client satisfaction, you need to ensure that the calls are answered promptly and with a professional demeanor.
Until recently, insurance agencies employed multiple staff members to cater to inbound calls. This meant higher employee overhead costs, not to mention the inconsistency in the quality of calls. After all, the behavior of the staff can be difficult. To avoid this fickleness in the quality of customer service, insurance agencies need to detach themselves from the in-house team of receivers and employ a live phone answering service – or a virtual receptionist as it is commonly called.
A live phone answering service means outsourcing the inbound calls to a remote receptionist. This remote receptionist is available even after business hours to answer all incoming calls and cater to client queries professionally. This ensures better customer service and fewer administrative hassles for the insurance company, leading to faster growth and higher revenue.
If you are in the insurance business, a major part of the day involves talking to clients, transmitting relevant information, filing claims and pitching to prospective clients. If you are a small-scale business or a single-agent insurance firm, chances are you don’t have too many staff members who are free to answer inbound calls. In this case, you have two options. One, your staff answers calls while also performing day-to-day tasks, thus falling prey to lost business. Two, you employ a secretary and spend a minimum of about $2000-$3000 on a monthly salary, along with employment perks and benefits.
You can employ a third option – a live phone answering service. It lets you focus on your business while it takes care of the random influx of calls, sorts them out and deals with clients professionally. This takes your customer service to a new level while lowering your costs since you don’t need an in-house team dedicated to answering calls. The live phone answering service is essentially an out-of-office receptionist that is trained to serve clients during all hours of the day.
There are multiple benefits of using a live call answering service for an insurance firm. Let’s explore them and see how it will help in making your insurance business more money.
The biggest benefit of using a live call answering service is that you will have no further need to appoint a secretary just to receive calls. Employing a dedicated secretary for this purpose means spending a considerable amount of money on base salary, overheads and employee benefits like health insurance, paid leaves, etc.
With a live phone answering service, you do not need to worry about installing any hardware in your office. This helps save equipment cost and overall effort. You’ll also save on any extra expenditure you might incur to cover shifts, in case your secretary or agent takes an unexpected holiday. The live phone answering service enables you to be available round-the-clock without worrying about administrative hassles like overtime and unpaid or sick leaves. You can pay as per the volume of calls you receive or according to a specific time-based plan, depending on the service provider.
As a business, you officially work for 8-10 hours a day. However, your clients may not want to adhere to these timings and might want to interact with your representatives at any hour. This often means receiving calls from existing and prospective clients after regular office hours.
In such situations, if you are dependent on an in-house agent to answer the phone, your callers will hear an unanswered ringtone or a robotic voice asking them to leave a message.
You Can Even Outsource A Portion Of Your Customer Service Inquiries
If you have a live phone answering service in place, anyone who calls you (even 6 hours after closing time) will be answered by a professional and knowledgeable receptionist, representing your business from a remote location. The client does not know whether the person answering the call is sitting in your office in San Francisco or speaking from some office in Miami. All he gets to experience is a friendly and agreeable person on the other end.
Acting as a virtual, round-the-clock receptionist, a live phone answering service significantly improves the customer service your insurance business offers, helping in retaining existing clients and convincing prospective ones.
Insurance as a domain can be highly chaotic, even if the business involves just a few employees and clients. It is a sensitive service in which you must carefully process data and give each client undivided attention.
In a small insurance business, a handful of people usually don multiple hats and juggle many roles. In addition to this, if you also ask the employees to answer incoming calls, overall productivity will take a hit. They will lose focus if they are constantly distracted by the phone. However, you cannot ignore incoming calls either, since they are all potential clients.
A live phone answering service will not only reduce the burden of handling calls, it will also directly increase employees’ focus on more business-oriented tasks. This contributes to an overall increase in productivity of your insurance business and hence, the revenue. Since the job of dealing with client calls is outsourced, your employees can work on tasks that generate revenue and grow your business.
Customers do not want to hear an automated message when they call your business phone line. They like to talk to a live human who can respond quickly and has enough knowledge to help them out. Talking to a real person on the other end helps them develop trust and faith in your business; it gives them the impression that you care about their needs.
This holds true for new clients specifically – the ones who are generally skeptical of your firm. A live person answering customer queries at 2 in the morning (if you have taken the 24-hour plan) helps your business build reliability. This first impression is crucial in converting prospective customers into long-term clients.
A live phone answering service also means that there is no delay in responding to calls; so, clients are not asked to hold the line or leave a voice message. When compared to a regular, in-house call center or an automated answering service, you have a better chance of impressing the customer and making them feel like they are taken care of.
An insurance business spends most of its time collecting information about claims and then filing and processing them. The time spent by agents on collecting the claim information can be significantly reduced by installing a live answering service.
Your virtual receptionist is trained to handle such daily routine calls and record all the data and collect the claim information. This can later be transmitted to you via multiple modes of communication. Your claim process does not need to stop after your shut shop for the day. The live phone answering service can capture the information which you can later process.
You can also allow the live service to filter leads for you by giving them a set of evaluative criteria. This way, you save a lot of time usually spent in segregating potential leads. This gives you more time to run your business and focus on more important tasks.
Insurance businesses stand to gain immensely by onboarding a live phone answering service. It eliminates the wastage of time on screening unwanted or random calls along with saving on costs.
A live phone answering service will boost the revenue of your insurance firm by helping you increase your productivity and customer service, building better relationships and thus, stronger brand value. A robust customer service is in itself a solid marketing campaign which will directly lead to increased revenue.
If you are still shelling out too much money on dealing with inbound calls or spending the better part of your day answering the phone, it is time to make a switch. It is definitely a good idea to try a live phone answering service to change the face of your insurance brand!