Don’t let unopened email messages reflect badly on your company
Although some employees are conscientious about responding to emails in a timely manner, many are not, and some cannot. In fact, some employees report having hundreds and even thousands of unread emails sitting in their inbox. Even if they eventually get to them, it won’t be quick enough.
In many cases, these unread email messages reflect poorly on the employee and damage your company. In the worst cases, these unopened emails result in lost sales, missed opportunities, and frustrated stakeholders. This has a negative effect on a business’s profitability and success.
Did you know your answering service can help you manage the deluge of email messages? First, we’ll look at handling department-wide email addresses and then we’ll consider individual email addresses.
Customer Service: Many companies have a generic email address for customer support. They may begin with service@ or support@. However, not all companies follow this convention. Some have tried and given up because they couldn’t deal with all the messages. Others have not even tried because they feared they would fail.
The solution is to have your answering service handle these email messages for you, just like they do for your phone calls. Depending on the situation, they can reply to the message to give information or ask for additional details. They can also escalate the concern for follow up from someone in your company.
This essentially becomes a help desk service handled by email. Depending on the industry, with the proper training and resources, an answering service can successfully field 50 to 90 percent of customer service calls. This frees your staff to focus on more serious concerns, respond faster, and keep customers happy.
Sales: In the same way, many companies have a generic email address for sales. Usually this starts with sales@ or info@. While a customer service email address focuses on keeping customers, a sales email address focuses on getting them. Both are important. Businesses can’t afford to overlook either one.
Sales functions your answering service can handle include inquiry response, information gathering, lead qualification, appointment setting, and basic sales.
· Inquiry Response: This is simply fielding basic questions and sending product information to the prospect.
· Information Gathering: As part of the information response phase, your answering service can also collect more details for future follow-up.
· Lead Qualification: The next option beyond information gathering is to qualify leads. This takes additional steps to make sure the lead is genuine and the prospect is a viable buyer.
· Appointment Setting: Your answering service can also set appointments for your sales staff, either by phone or in person, depending on the situation.
· Basic Sales: The final aspect is to handle and close sales.
Sometimes all this communication is handled through email and other times the communication switches to a different channel, such as the telephone or possibly text. Regardless of the channel or the degree of interaction, your answering service can handle clerical sales functions, move the prospect closer to a sale, close sales, or all three.
Personal Email: In addition to taking front end initiative on these generic email addresses, answering services can also screen the email of overwhelmed executives, who often receive hundreds of emails a day. They can delete the spam messages, respond to the basic ones, and categorize the rest. They could sort them into “information only,” “urgent,” and “routine” groups.
Then the executive can block out time and handle email in batches. This increases efficiency and provides them an opportunity for enhanced focus.
Yes, your answering service can remain as your telephone answering expert, but the best ones have also expanded to handle other forms of business communications such as email.
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