Having a social media presence and using live chat are common in today’s customer service. Although these are important for good customer experience, we shouldn’t overlook phone support

Some would argue that phone support is a dying communication channel. But this is far from the truth. Studies have shown that 80% of all business communications take place over the phone. That means one unanswered call is a missed opportunity to gain a new loyal customer!

If your retail business struggles to build long-lasting customer relationships, you need to improve the quality of communication you have with your clients. Learn more about phone answering service and how it can help level up your customer experience and grow your business!

What is a phone answering service?

A phone answering service is a type of phone customer support that handles calls from customers or clients who need to get in touch with a business. Companies outsource this service to third-party service providers to process customer inquiries during busy times or after business hours. 

A phone answering agent serves as a ‘virtual receptionist’ and is knowledgeable on the terminology of the client’s industry. There is so much variety in what phone answering agents can do. They can relay messages, transfer calls, and even resolve a customer’s issue.

In case you’re wondering how a phone answering agent can help retail businesses, here are some functions our phone agents fulfill to assist clients with their online customer service:

  • Listen to customers’ concerns and provide quick resolution
  • Receive orders, calculate charges, and process payments
  • Perform live answering service on order processing
  • Provide detailed explanations of services or products
  • Handle order cancellations and modifications
  • Process order returns and cancellations 
  • Following up on abandoned carts
  • Monitor customer satisfaction levels 

5 Benefits of Phone Answering Service to Your Retail Business

If you’re thinking of adding phone customer support to your customer service, it’s great to try the service out by hiring a reliable phone answering service instead of building yourself a team to work around the clock. 

Check out the benefits of phone answering services and see whether your business is ready to outsource phone support! 

1. After-hours customer support

Typically, traditional businesses are open for nine hours each day. They open their store at eight in the morning and close at five in the afternoon. 

However, things operate a little differently if you have an online store. Even though the typical business day ends at 5 PM, you don’t discontinue customer service and put up a virtual “we’re closed” sign after your operating hours. 

You have to remember that some of your customers are working the whole day. That means they only get to browse your online store in the evening. If you’re not accessible during their most convenient hours, then you lose a potential sale that may add to your bottom line. 

Having an order taking answering service for small businesses provides customers with after-hours customer support. Also, it gives you a competitive edge over competitors who follow traditional business hours. By offering after-hours customer support, you extend your operation and become accessible across different time zones. 

2. Improved focus on core business functions

Have you experienced missing out on your customer phone calls because you were so caught up organizing your inventory? This is common among business owners who perform their phone support in-house and have no dedicated agent to respond to their customers’ queries. 

While you try to balance many hats, your competition is able to do it all much more smoothly by outsourcing the easier task and getting a phone answering service. You shouldn’t have to switch between customer service and inventory management. When you hire a reliable phone customer support agent, you can rest assured that all of your customer concerns are handled professionally while you focus on your high-ROI activities.

3. Save on labor costs

If you’re planning to hire a full-time customer support specialist, you must consider this one carefully. Hiring in-house staff is an expensive endeavor, especially for small retailers. To maintain an in-house staff, you must provide them with a competitive salary, insurance, training, and office equipment. There are also recurring benefits such as paid leaves, allowances, and cash incentives. 

Outsourcing your phone answering service to a reliable service provider can help you save up to 70% on labor costs. This is because your service provider handles the sourcing, training, equipment, and facilities of your offshore agents while you focus on your core functions. 

When you outsource to the Philippines, not only can you save on labor costs, but you also get to work with Filipinos known for their hospitality and superior English fluency. Also, Filipinos can work in flexible time zones. While your business closes for the day, a team of Filipino agents works night shifts to ensure uninterrupted customer support. 

4. Capture all potential leads 

Some of your prospects don’t like to be put on hold or wait for your response via email or chat. Instead, they will reach out to you via the phone number you provided once they are ready to buy. Having a phone answering service ensures you’re always available whenever a lead inquires about your business.  

A live phone answering service can shorten the time it takes for your lead generation. To convert them, you don’t have to be in a back-and-forth conversation with a lead. The first phone call, when done effectively, can go a long way. By explaining who you are and what you offer, you can convert a prospect into a buying customer in just one interaction. This saves you a lot of time and makes you more efficient in generating sales for your business. 

5. Customer service with a human touch

Despite a growing number of emerging channels, phone support will always remain relevant in customer service. Wanna know why? It’s becaus it humanizes every customer interaction; and as comfortable as people become with machines and chats, people still like talking to actual persons and not AI.

Email and chat support may give you the fastest response time to customer inquiries. But they can’t replicate the human touch that phone support can offer. For example, when an angry customer reaches out, a calm and empathic voice can defuse the situation and may satisfy a customer after the call. 

Moreover, an agent is trained to detect nuances that are easily missed in chat. Hence, an agent can sense distress more clearly and can provide a much more targeted action to relieve your customers’ worries. 

Real human connection is more in demand than ever in our tech age. If you want to connect to create long and lasting relationships with your customers, then it’s best to have a phone answering service in your business. A humanized customer interaction gives your brand a personality that leaves a good impression among customers. 

Outsource Phone Answering Service to the Philippines

The Philippines has earned the title of the ‘world’s call center capital’ for many reasons. Some of the more notable reasons which attract multinational companies like Google and Microsoft are their incredible English skills, cultural fit, and lower cost. If you plan to outsource your phone answering service for your online business, consider outsourcing to a Philippine-based company like ManilaPros!

ManilaPros is a Philippine-based full-service outsourcing company that offers five-star customer care for retailers with high-volume phone inquiries. Our customer care service includes order status, processing, returns, cancellations, and abandoned cart follow-ups. Our above-industry first contact resolution (FCR) has also helped many retailers increase their customer satisfaction and lifetime value. 

Contact us today to learn more.