Anyone who is familiar with answering services knows that they can have a huge impact on your business. From live answering and dispatch to message taking and 24/7 availability – an answering service can help small businesses even the playing field with large multinational corporations. But that’s not all an answering service can do for you.
A professional, high quality answering service can be a key part of your business continuity plan as well as your back to work plan. In this blog, we will review five “other” services that your answering service can provide to make your company more efficient, save money, and save time.
Lone worker monitoring
Many organizations have employees that must work alone, and that carries risk. To mitigate the risk of employees working alone, employers often outfit their workers with “lone worker devices” (a lone worker device allows for two-way communication in any circumstance so that a distressed employee to signal for help). The issue with lone worker devices is that they must be monitored 24/7 - otherwise it may never serve its purpose.
Imagine being the team member tasked with monitoring lone workers, and in the middle of the night a distressed employ signals for help but you’re fast asleep – that's a problem. An answering service is a great solution here. Answering services are open 24/7 so they are perfectly suitable for 24/7 monitoring. They are also trained communication experts, if an emergency occurs, they can alert the appropriate authority with great speed. To learn more about lone worker monitoring you can read our article breaking down in-house monitoring vs third party monitoring.
Harassment reporting lines
If you operate your business in Newfoundland and Labrador, a third-party harassment reporting line has been mandatory since Jan 1, 2020. A third-party harassment reporting line allows for anonymous information delivery via telephone or email. Many employees fear retribution for reporting harassment, or worse, must report the harassment to their harasser. Utilizing a third party can increase the adoption of the reporting line and lead to a healthier workplace where employees feel that their voices are heard.
A 3rd party harassment reporting script includes a confidentiality statement, anonymity option, material facts, a statement on the nature of the issue, the name of the supervisor, and a place to indicate whether the issue has been resolved. As mentioned above, Newfoundland and Labrador updated their OHS regulations on this matter on January 1st of 2020, and many organizations have already become compliant, but for those who have not, it’s not too late.
That’s right, your answering service can help with lead capture too. Imagine scratching and clawing to acquire a lead, the lead finally notices your company enough to call in... and then you miss the call. Customers these days aren’t waiting around – they will call your competitor if you miss that call. At the end of the day, a missed call equals a missed opportunity.
Sick & vacation lines for employees
There has been a rise in popularity for sick lines and vacation lines to be run by a third party for similar reasons to the harassment reporting; employees feel more comfortable calling in sick to a neutral third party. The answering service that operates your sick line can then provide your company with valuable information about frequency of sick calls, and the types of sick calls so that your organization can react and make scheduling decisions accordingly. Better still, some answering services will not only report but also replace shifts for you.
When your answering service takes over this chunk of the administrative duties that burden your organization, it frees up talent to focus on their core competency
COVID-19 safety reporting lines
You’ve seen trucks sporting “how’s my driving” stickers with a number to call for reporting reckless drivers – how about a “how’s my safety” poster at your favourite places to do business? Just as employers want to know when their drivers are doing things that reflect poorly on the company, employers want to ensure they and their employees are doing everything possible to gain the trust of their patrons, and earn the trust of their employees, so they are confident in coming to work or doing business with them again.
A 1-800 # for reporting COVID-19 safety breaches or even accolades is just another way your answering service can provide incredible value to your company, and increase trust amongst employees and the public as we move to re-open and function in this new environment.
What else do you want from your answering service?
Our customer success team have been reaching out regularly in the past four months, asking our customers “what else can we do?” These are just a couple of the new ways they are telling us we can help. Let us know what else your answering service could do to provide more value to your company. We can’t wait to hear from you – you can reach us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today!