Having out of hours phone lines can be hugely beneficial for businesses, for a number of different reasons, yet so many companies aren’t exploring the option. In this article we identify some of the key businesses that should consider extending their operating hours in this way. Alongside this advice, it is crucial that we introduce you to the concept of outsourcing, which enables you to invest in this tool which will help to boost your reputation, without sacrificing your financial stability.

Outsourcing means handing over responsibility for certain aspects of your business to a third party, as and when you need some extra help. It’s a great way of bridging the gap during busy periods or if you have a skill shortage in your workforce, without having to hire full-time, in-house members of staff. This, in turn, helps you to avoid the many knock-on responsibilities that that would involve, such as invoking the correct HR procedures and providing premises and resources for them. It also means a huge cost saving, as when it comes to outsourcing you only pay for what you need, rather than paying a full time salary regardless of demand. 54% of companies use third party support teams to connect with customers, showing just how popular outsourcing is becoming.

Outsourcing providers such as Cymphony offer their services 24/7, making outsourcing the ideal option if you’re looking to establish out of hours phone lines.

Businesses in General

Before we delve into the specific fields of business what would benefit the most from out of hours phone lines, it is important to note that almost every business would benefit in one way or another. The key reason why so many should consider this option, is that it makes contacting your company extremely convenient for your customers. This, in turn, helps to boost your customer service ratings and, therefore, your overall reputation. After all, 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Having out of hours phone lines also helps to make your business operations more efficient by spreading out the number of customer enquiries over a longer period of time; making sure that each call be handled with care and no call will go unanswered. However, these benefits are most important to businesses that have an emergency aspect to their function.

Lettings Offices

If you own a lettings office, outsourcing to a 24/7 call handling service is an absolute must. As a property manager, Landlords hand over responsibility for their tenants to you and this includes responsibility for their welfare in terms of what the property should, but sometimes does not, provide. For example, you will be in charge of ensuring that no tenant goes without heating and hot water, meaning that any issues that arise concerning their gas and electricity supplies need to be handled immediately.

If there is no way of contacting you between 5pm and 9am, how could you achieve this? Similarly, if a tenant is locked out of their home and cannot get access to it, they will need permission from the Landlord, via you, to organise a locksmith to attend the property. Not being able to get in touch with you could have disastrous consequences for them. For these reasons and many more, it is essential that lettings offices offer an out of hours phone line for tenant emergencies. Not doing so could result in legal action against your business.

Clinics

Next, we consider clinics and the importance of them having out of hours phone lines. If you have chosen to open a private healthcare clinic, you will be the ‘go to’ establishment when your customers are in need, and when it comes to the healthcare field, this need could be considerable. For medical emergencies the first reaction is often to call 999, however, there may conditions where their severity is to difficult to identify from initial symptoms.

This calls for the help of a healthcare professional who will be able to direct them in a way that could potentially save their lives, in turn, creating considerable demand for an out of hours phone line. Not supplying this could have fatal consequences for your customers and considering the minimal cost of such, doesn’t leave much to ponder. To give you an idea of the demand for this kind of service, the NHS’s 111 service received nearly 1.5 million calls in June 2020 alone.

Dental Practices

While dental issues may not be as life threatening as those encountered by more general healthcare practices, they can still cause your customers to be in considerable amounts of pain. For this reason, it is crucial that you provide an out of hours phone line, if only to offer pain relief advice and reassurance to distressed patients.

Veterinary Practices

Similarly, many people consider the health of their pets as equal to their own, causing high demand for an emergency out of hours phone line that they can rely on, from their vet. This is important to consider if you run a veterinary practice as it can set you apart from your competitors as well as helping to ease your conscience.

Appliances and Contractors

The health of our household appliances can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. We rely on them for all of our essential needs, such as food, water and heating, so when something goes wrong it is so important that we are able to find a solution quickly. In many cases, this could be as simple as contacting the manufacturer. Unfortunately, appliance emergencies don’t always manifest themselves at the most convenient times, so it’s vital that appliance manufactures offer an out of hours help line.

Alternatively, it may be contractors such as plumbers or electricians who are needed in times of emergency. These specialists often work alone and may feel reluctant to invest in help when it comes to establishing an out of hours phone line, however, when you choose a provider like Cymphony, you pay on a per minute basis, meaning that there is always return on your investment. Outsourcing in this way also means that you don’t have to sacrifice your work/life balance, and providing such a high level service will ensure that your reputation and, therefore, customer base, grow.

Educational Establishments

Educational establishments such as school, colleges and universities have a responsibility over the wellbeing of their students, and often have to work alongside parents and other care providers when it comes to ensuring this. Most of these parties are often tied to opposing schedules, and setting up an out of hours phone lines ensures that there are no barriers to communication when it comes to crucial information sharing. For example, a parent may need to inform their child’s school about an issue of confidential nature before normal school hours resume, in order to protect that child from harm.

Legal Firms

Lastly, legal firms should consider an out of hours service. This field of work is another which is deemed essential and, therefore, often handles emergency situations. The birth of issues with legal weight and ramifications is not confined to the convenient hours between 9am and 5pm when legal offices are open, so providing this service can offer huge reassurance to your existing clients and be a huge pull for potential new clients.

All in all, while there are obvious businesses that would benefit the most from providing an out of hours phone line, such as those that handle emergency situations and have responsibility for the wellbeing of their customers, offering this service enables any business to excel. Pip your competitors to the post by establishing this feature and profit from the demand that hasn’t yet been tapped into by the majority of your field. Outsourcing in order to achieve this, also enables you to do so without sacrificing your financial stability.

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