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Old 02-09-2012, 06:33 AM
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Default Call taking and booking in jobs

Hi everybody

I have done a quick search through the forums and can't seem to find anything related to the following topic:

How do people manage their incoming calls?
Who in your organisation is responsible for booking people in?

These questions are probably aimed more at businesses that have 2 or more employees are at least moderately busy.

The challenge I am facing currently is that business is booming (what a horrible problem to have right!), and calls are coming in constantly. It is made up both of new jobs and also callbacks from customers we have previously seen.

Currently I have an answering service contracted which takes the calls if I can't answer the phone personally. They simply take a name and number. They aren't there to book people in (there are too many people in their callcenter to train on the specifics of our business). This service is in place mainly to give people the 'human touch' instead of going to voicemail.

Having to call all these people back is becoming extremely time consuming. Sometimes I will ring and they won't be home, so I have to ring them again later on. More time again.

And the longer it takes to get through to them, the more likely they have found somebody else in the meantime.

I am on the verge of hiring a 'bookings admin' person to field the calls and answer them promptly (if not immediately). Has anyone else done this? If so how did you find it? Any problems? Suggestions? Hints etc?

My biggest concern about delegating this important responsibility is that it can make or break the success of our business. We get a lot of 'how much do you charge' calls and there is a way to answer this that gets a good conversion (we are the premium price in the market).

If the calls aren't converted we lose a lot of work and that's not good obviously.

Would love to hear everyone's feedback on this.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:58 AM
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Personally, I started as a one man clan and couldn't even have thought about affording a call service like you have now. I don't know how feasible this would be for you, but what I did starting out was to take advantage of the telephone company's call forwarding service, which only costs a buck a month. When I would leave my shop to run a service call or to go out on the road for a few days (I drive a semi part time), I would set the forwarding to my cell phone. If someone called my shop they never knew I wasn't actually there and got to speak to me personally, which is what most people want anyways. If I was in the middle of something, I'd ask them if I could call back within the hour, to avoid being unprofessional during a service call.


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Old 02-09-2012, 10:07 AM
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4 of us....3 techs, 1 office manager girl/book keeper.
Out of the 3 techs...we try to have our clients talk to us for scheduling. As we know our schedules, what we're working on, how long it might take, and when our freed up time will be. Hard to forecast, but that's the best we can do.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:59 PM
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There's just me. But I pay a company about 1 ($1.50) per call to take a message and email it to me. They filter out obvious sales calls so I don't have to pay for them.

I've only been using them for about 3 months and wish I'd used them before. I used to get back from onsite jobs and find that only about 25% of missed calls left a voicemail, whereas with this call service most people will leave a message with them.

If you're in the the UK and interested they do a 2 week free trial and are http://www.receptionbureau.co.uk/
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
I use a telephone answering service for the amount of calls I get (not a huge amount) it really isn't a big expense
How much do they cost, if you don't mind me asking? Are they 24/7?
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