What Are The Key Factors In Customer Service?

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Customer service is a term that tends to get thrown around quite a bit and it is at times ambiguous as to what it means exactly. It seems to refer more than just the manner in which a service provider deals with their customers, but also the systems and procedures that are in place to ensure the customers’ needs are met. It is without any doubt very important and can be a deciding factor in earning a returning customer.

But what specifically makes for great customer service? This article will go into a few of the characteristics and factors that can help a company deliver great customer service to their customers.


Take Responsibility For Mistakes

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It’s important to own your mistakes and in some cases possibly admit to wrongdoing to appease the client even when you feel you aren’t at fault. There is no better way to irk a customer than to make an error of some kind and then be stubborn and shift the blame onto them or someone else – this is the best way to get a bad reputation. Even if the mistake isn’t your own, if the customer feels that it is, you’re better off making up for it, showing that you’re sorry and offering something in return to demonstrate this. It’s all about thinking long term!


Quick Response Times


This one is really a no-brainer and applies across all industries, but particularly in professional services. It’s imperative that you get back to customers as quickly as possible, whether it be in response to an email, a voice message or a call that you’ve received while in a meeting or otherwise engaged. There is nothing more frustrating for a client that has a time sensitive issue that needs attention immediately but has to wait because your provider isn’t getting back to you.

If you can get back to your customers within a few hours, you will actually put yourself ahead of the competition. According to Frost, the average response time to emails service providers is 17 hours. Make an effort to get back to your customers as soon as possible and your efforts will be appreciated.

For some types of businesses, this simply isn’t possible. You may be a sole trader or only have a few staff, making it very difficult to get back to customers if you’re busy on other jobs. In these cases, an answering service for small business, which allows you to outsource your incoming calls, can be very useful.


Foster Relationships With Customers

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Customers like to deal with people they know and feel as if they are valued. This is part of the reason account management is essentially an industry unto itself! As well as the actual service you provide, a large proportion of business is about the relationships that you create and maintain. Getting to know a little about your customers, their lives and the specifics of their businesses, and referring to them by name as often as possible will go a long way.

This can be more difficult for larger companies where you have many customers. In these cases, the least you can do is try keeping notes of previous discussions with clients and next time they call, bring up their file so that you have some reference point.

These points are part of the foundation that makes for great customer service, so no matter how small or large your business, they are well worth considering. Customer service is one of the most important aspects of your business, so make every effort to make it work in your favour!


What Are The Key Features Of A Phone Answering Service?

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Phone answering services can be a good option for sole traders and small businesses that are looking to manage their incoming calls inexpensively, while also conveying the image of being a large company. This not only enables you to deal with clients in a professional manner but ultimately frees you up to take care of business matters and focus your attention where it focused! Phone answering services provide automated responses to your clients and help direct them to the appropriate party, leave a message or get the information they are after. Let’s take a look at a few more of the main features of an answering service for a small business.

Integrated voice response

The IVR greets users that are calling in if no one is immediately available, offering information and giving options for the caller to reach various departments. The recorded message is designed to be professional and unique for your business and the content of the message can be written by you, with directions and assistance from your provider.

Call transfer

If you have an office with more than one phone line, the call transfer feature allows you to connect the caller with the other line, which may represent another department for instance.

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Call forwarding

Calls can be forwarded on to other phone numbers too, including your own or another staff member’s mobile or landline phone. This is done seamlessly and very quickly, often giving the caller the impression that the call is being forwarded to somewhere in the same office. So even if you’re offsite on a job, you’re able to receive the calls that come through to you. This can be more useful for smaller companies that don’t have a full-time office staff.

Call waiting

Not only does this feature ensure that callers don’t have to hear the engaged signal and call later when the line is busy, but it also allows you to put calls on hold while you take others or perform some other task. The recorded message will keep customers on the line and ensures that you will be able to deal with their enquiry quickly and on the spot.

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Voice Mail

If a call is forwarded to a particular line and not answered – whether it is in the office or an external number – a voice mail service can ensure that you receive it. Often sole traders will be on a job when customers call in, meaning they are unable to receive the call. The voice mail feature ensures that the details are received and you can get back to them at a later date.

Music/Information on hold

Often a client will have a question or query that is fairly straightforward. We always recommend that while on hold, information is given to clients about how to make bookings, who to get in touch with about certain things and other company-specific information that you commonly need to provide clients.
Music is also a great way to keep the client on hold without losing their patience; generally, a combination of music and info are the best option.

Phone answering services have helped a lot of Australian small businesses cope with incoming calls in an efficient, easy and convenient way that benefit customers and staff alike. For more information about this and other virtual office and call services, get in touch with Call Service today or send us an email.

The Most Frustrating Things About Automated Phone Systems

We all know the feeling of calling up a customer service number, hoping to be able to speak to someone about an issue you might be having, only to have to deal with an automated system.While some of these can be quite efficient, there are certainly just as many that frustrate and annoy people, often due to the fact that they are poorly designed, but also just because we’d rather speak to a human being that can understand the problem more clearly.

frustated client with an automated phone system

Call Service’s virtual receptionist services can provide a cost-effective means of limiting the needs of these computer-automated systems. This article talks about some of the main reasons people get annoyed when speaking to a machine on the phone and why a human alternative is always preferable.


They Can Feel Like a Waste of Time

Chances are if you’ve been through the process of talking to a computer system over the phone, you’ve had to enter your details, provide information and maybe even explain why you’re calling. A lot of the time, this ends in you being transferred to a customer service representative that will ask you the exact same questions again, making the first part of the call a complete waste of time.

This can be very frustrating to the caller and can feel like the company is using the call system to keep you busy while they take over calls – a substitute for keeping you on hold. It also just wastes your time which is never a good thing!


You’re Probably Already Feeling Slightly Stressed Prior

If you’re resorting to calling up a company’s customer support line, a lot of the time it’s because something has gone wrong, you might be wanting to make a complaint, or you might genuinely need help. Examples might include issues with a credit card or bank account or phone account inquiries, both of which can be frustrating to deal with in and of themselves.

With you’re feeling a bit stressed and possibly upset, having to deal with an automated phone system can push you over the edge, especially when you aren’t getting anywhere with them. It’s during these moments it helps to speak to a real person that understands your issue and takes steps to help you deal with it.


They Often Don’t ‘Understand’ What You’re Saying

There is probably nothing more infuriating than having to repeat yourself more than a few times to an automated system. Some will ask you to describe, in a few words, why it is you’re calling – which can be difficult to do to a machine. Others will have you go through long menus, listing items for you to repeat depending on the reason for your call. Often, you’ll say what you’re after very clearly, only for the system to fail to understand you. If you’ve been in this situation you’ll understand that it isn’t ideal and can be quite annoying.


They Go Through The Same Loops

The thing about talking to an automated phone system is that once they getting talking, it can be tricky to get a word in edgewise. Particularly when you’re dealing with multiple levels of menus to get the information you want, you might find that you end up getting information, you’re not after. To go back to go through to the correct menu, you’ll likely have to start the entire process again and hear the system mention the same menu items once more. Speaking of a humane alternative would just require that you tell them the info you’re after and it’s done.


The alternative, of course, is to ensure you have enough reception staff on hand, to cater for the calls that come in on a day to day basis. Although it takes a little extra money for that, it’s worth the money. A virtual receptionist service or live answering service enables your customers to speak with real people, without you necessarily needing to imply them. Learn more about virtual receptionist services.

Now all you require is to find a professional and trustworthy phone answering service provider with longtime experience in the telecommunication industry. In this case, you can speak to the team at Call Service today for more information.

VoIP And How It Can Help Hour Business


In Australia’s hyper-competitive market across just about every industry, businesses are forever looking at ways to find a competitive advantage. Cutting costs and increasing efficiency is always a good starting point and there are many ways to improve the phone communication side of a business – message answering services are one such option where another company looks after incoming calls when you’re not available to take them.

VoIP is a related service that can work in conjunction with or without a phone answering service. There are a great many features and advantages that come from installing this kind of system, some of which many businesses may not even be aware of. In essence, VoIP allows you to use the internet to access your phone system, overcoming many of the common problems that you are faced with when using a traditional analogue system. Let’s take a look at some of the main advantages.

Voicemail to email


One of the things that have frustrated phone owners for years has been the difficulty of scribbling down names and numbers when listening to a voicemail – often it takes a few listens before you get it right! With VoIP, you can have your voicemail messages transcribed and sent to your email in text and/or audio form. This is very handy especially when things are busy. Plus when you’re in the office the best way of being notified of a missed call is via email.

Call forwarding

call forwarding

In an office environment where people are coming and going, moving to different departments and potentially to different offices, you need to be able to have control over the flow of incoming phone calls, where and to whom they are directed, and so forth. VoIP allows you to do this quite easily in-house.




Nowadays many conferences of this nature are conducted via Skype, but with VoIP, you can do so with a bunch of added features. When we’re talking about many different people contributing to the meeting, things can get messy. But with features such as hand raising, muting certain participants and invitation management, the power is in your hands.


Data tracking



As mentioned above, one of the biggest advantages of VoIP is that the power is in your hands, it just takes a bit of time to learn the setup and you can manage it from your computer. It also means that everything is recorded for you included incoming calls, where they are directed, how long the calls are for and so on. This can help you make important business decisions, improve efficiency and reduce costs.





This is one of the biggest advantages of VoIP. In the modern world, people are always moving around, even while they work. Travel is becoming very common for workers in a range of industries, between different offices within the same company for example. Some people even work from home in some cases.


Hoteling’ is a feature that allows you to essentially duplicate the characteristics of the phone in your office to any other phone system anywhere in the world. When the phone rings in once place, it also rings in the other and connects you to the person calling. Effectively, this means that as long as you have an internet connection, you can answer a call to your Melbourne office while you’re beachside in Mexico. A very handy feature indeed.


Call answering services often utilise VoIP systems and can direct you in setting up such a system in some cases. Find out more by contacting Call Service today!

5 Ways to Ensure You’re Providing Good Customer Service


There are so many things that determine why customers choose certain service providers over others. Maybe the prices are agreeable, maybe it’s more convenient, maybe it’s just a better product they are offering.  But good customer service goes a long way as well. Satisfying clients is about dealing with them in a professional and friendly manner.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review called “The Truth about Customer Experience” defines the relationship between you and your customer and the end-to-end journey. We have collected a list of some of the ways that are suggested to improve your business in this area:

1.Give Priority to your Customer

You need to listen to each and every customer and try to understand their needs as much as possible. Showing a customer that you are genuinely interested in helping them rather than interested in getting their business is a must. It will re-define your relationship with your customer and give you an opportunity to improve your service.

2.Create a Bond with your Customer

Emotional attachment is another way to create loyalty among a customer group. If your customer is satisfied with your service, they will tell others about your business. How you create a bond or connection is the million dollar question. Often it comes down to delivering in terms of your product, being reliable and treating customers as friends. This is a very efficient way to get more clients.


3.Remain Professional, but Hold your Ground

It’s a fact that you will come across clients that are difficult to deal with. Perhaps they are upset about something else, they had a bad day or maybe you made a genuine mistake. In these situations, it’s important to take responsibility when you’re in the wrong and show the customer that you understand their position. If it’s appropriate, offer something extra to show them that they’re important to you. But keep in mind that there are times when the customer needs to be dealt with firmly and fairly, if you hold your ground and keep it professional it will be better for the long-term nature of the relationship.

 4.Reward Loyalty

Long standing customers need to feel loved, and throwing in something extra just because is a good way to show that they are important to your business. This is true among basically all service areas and is a great way of retaining your customers.

5.Be Available and Reliable

No matter what kind of business it is, you should do your very best to make yourself as available when a customer tries to contact you. In many cases, however, this is simply unrealistic and it’s advisable to have a receptionist or other staff member to look after incoming calls on your behalf. This at least means you can show how important their call is to you even though you’re not there to receive it.

For smaller companies or sole traders that don’t have the budget, there are call answering services that essentially act as a receptionist on behalf of your business, answering inquiries in the proper tone and providing the right advice if needed. This is a very effective way of retaining customers.