About a year ago, I came home from work to an absolute disaster. The hose on my washing machine had cracked and sprung a leak. In case you are not aware of this, there is a hose that attaches directly to the machine from a water source that is turned on full stream. This means that if it leaks, it is the equivalent of grabbing your garden hose and letting it run on full blast right there in your laundry room.

What happened next is something every business owner should take note of. I walked into my home saturated with water; I turned off the water source and immediately searched on Google for a disaster restoration company. The first company that I called had a phone tree to “help direct the caller.” I finally got to the point where I could leave a message and the company representative would call me back. Do you know what I did? I hung up and called the next listing on Google.

Texting and cell phones have changed the way we live, behave and do business. We have become a society accustomed to being in constant contact with one another, where phone trees and voice mail simply frustrate us. In a world of instant messaging and immediate responsiveness to callers that need answers now, voice mail is obsolete. Studies show that 82% of callers will hang up when greeted by a phone tree or voice mail, and what do they do next? They call your competition, just like I did.

Like most businesses, you probably spend a lot of money making sure that your phones are ringing. Your business depends on people calling to request your services. Ultimately, though, what’s the point of spending all that money on advertising if you can’t even get the calls answered? But how can a small business possibly answer every call that comes in without hiring at least a dozen people? I’ll tell you: an answering service.

A telephone answering service is the most cost-effective way to ensure that your calls don’t go to voicemail and that you don’t miss out on new business. Answering services typically offer 24/7 availability of operators trained to take your calls when you are unable to do so yourself. It is what is known as “call capture,” and it is a surefire way to guarantee that your caller doesn’t move down the list and call your competitor.

Of course, not all answering services are created equal. Some provide very good service with well-trained, courteous and professional operators taking your calls—and some don’t. The answering service you choose should be an extension of your office, representing your business while they are answering your calls after hours, on weekends, during holidays and at any other time that you can’t. When you choose the right answering service, your calls will be answered with the same expectations you would have from your own staff.

Over the past 33 years in business, Centratel has consistently been the highest quality answering service in America. With customer reported error rates lower than any other telephone answering service in the industry, Centratel is trusted by its clients to represent their businesses and make sure that every call is answered live. Are you losing out on new business by not using an answering service? Don’t let another call go to voicemail. Call Centratel today.

Note: Centratel Telephone Answering Service focuses on a select number of vertical markets, including Medical, Veterinary, HVAC, Home Health and Hospice, Property Management. Centratel answering service serves approximately 1,400 clients. Located in Bend, Oregon, we provide services to clients in every one of the 50 states. There is simple pricing with no hidden fees and no long-term contracts. Is your business or profession one of our answering service specialties?

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