Interested in starting your own business but do not have a lot of capital to invest in your new venture? An answering service business may be the ideal home based business idea for you, since you can do this in demand customer service work while located anywhere in Australia. An answering service provides service based businesses like doctors’ offices and emergency repair companies with 24 hour coverage to assist customers outside of their normal business hours. Although this work can be demanding, it also has the potential to be very financially rewarding.
How To Get The Calls From Your Clients’ Offices To You
When your clients close their medical practices or law firms for the day they will want to press a button to have their clients’ calls automatically routed to you. Thanks to the Internet, there are a number of different low cost options available which you can use.
- Internet Services: There are a number of different services which will reliably route your clients’ calls to your home office. Often, they will also provide you with a toll free phone number for each client as well. These providers provide software which can be used to assist you with identifying where each incoming phone call is coming from on your computer before it is forwarded to your phone. This means that you can work for several different clients simultaneously from anywhere in Australia or even abroad.
- Separate Land Lines: Before the Internet made it possible to use wireless technology to route phone calls using separate land phone lines was the preferred method of choice for answering services. It is still a cost effective option, since the bulk of the cost is contained in the initial installation and set up charges. You can then pass those charges on to your client as part of your service fee.
- Switchboard System: Using a switchboard system goes along with having separate land lines for each of your clients, since doing so will allow you to route phone calls correctly and answer them appropriately. As the number of land lines that your answering service business uses grows, especially if you plan to hire additional call operators, this will become an essential component of your business.
Plan To Grow From The Very Beginning
Even though you will probably be starting your new answering service business with just one or two clients, the most efficient way to set up your space is to plan for growth in the future. A good target to set your space up for is 10 clients. When your business grows beyond that you can re-evaluate your needs, but planning for the software, equipment, wireless cards, computer hardware and other supplies that you will need for an answering service with 10 clients should get you started nicely.
Whether you have only one client or a dozen clients, you will need to make sure that your work environment is a professional one. Although your clients’ callers cannot see you when you answer the phone they will be able to hear any noise in the background. When you are on the phone with a client or answering a call on a client’s behalf, make sure that you are in a quiet room. This means no crying babies, televisions, barking dogs or other noises should be audible.
Doctors and therapists are among the biggest niche clients for answering services because their clients’ calls often cannot wait to be answered until the next day. Worries parents calling for their children’s paediatrician and stressed therapy patients looking for their psychologist need to feel confident in the professionalism and competency of the person answering the phone. If you sound frazzled, unreliable or if it is hard to understand you when you speak because of noise in the background then your callers are unlikely to feel confidence in you. The result will inevitably be complaints to your clients.
Growing Your Answering Service Business
While word of mouth recommendations are always an excellent way to snag new clients you may want to step up your efforts to market your answering service business. Consider networking with local business owners who are likely to need your services, such as doctors, plumbers, electricians and others who offer essential services. Joining a local business networking group is an easy way to find out who the potential clients are in your area, as is subscribing to local publications aimed at business owners located in your area.
When sending out marketing materials to potential leads make sure to highlight the different services that you offer as well as the quality of service that you can provide. Customer service is a key part of success in this area!