Partnering with an answering service or call center can be a great way for your pest or lawn care business to stay organized, capture more leads and maintain productivity. But what’s the difference between these two services, and how do you know which is right for you? We’ve outlined the basic differences between the two as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you make the right choice for your pest or lawn business.
Answering Services vs Call Center Services?
A call center is a company that employs, trains and manages a staff of professional agents who answer calls on behalf of other businesses. Call centers can take messages, answer questions, sell products and services, and handle concerns and complaints for clients. Call center agents are usually available to answer calls around the clock.
Answering services are similar to call centers in that they operate 24/7; however, their primary function is to take messages. Because they are not professionally trained in any specific industry, agents from telephone answering services do not sell products or services or support customers. They are strictly there to answer calls when you are unavailable and relay information back to your business.
Why They Work
Benefits of Call Centers
The main benefit of using a call center is that it extends your team. If you’re not available to answer calls during busy times, after hours or on weekends, customers will find another pest control or lawn care provider who is. A call center can provide consistent, 24/7 availability, earning you revenue from customers that you could have sent to your competitors.
Call centers can also help you manage the seasonal demands of the pest and lawn care industries. You can focus on more critical business operations when you aren’t recruiting, hiring, training, and managing additional staff during the busy season.
Another important benefit of a call center is its ability to assist customers in multiple communication channels, including live chat, text, web lead and social media. This means your customers aren’t limited to reaching you by phone.
Benefits Answering Services
The main advantage of using an answering service is that they offer personalized attention with each interaction. Most customers want to talk to a live human when calling your business instead of navigating an automated phone system.
Answering services are also cheaper than using a call center because their employees are not professional sales or customer support agents. Answering services are usually outsourced overseas and therefore charge by the minute, which can be more affordable if your call volume is lower and doesn’t justify using a call center.
Cons to Consider
Disadvantages of Call Centers
One of the primary drawbacks to using a call center is cost. Because call centers hire and train professional customer support agents, the cost for using their services is much higher than an answering service.
Another major disadvantage to call center outsourcing is the loss of quality control. Without constant oversight and quality control checks, there’s always a risk that your brand promises will not be delivered upon and that customer expectations will not be met.
Disadvantages of Answering Services
Answering services are essentially a human replacement for voicemail. Most customers expect to be able to schedule pest control and lawn care services when it’s convenient for them and want 24/7 availability. If they call after hours and are told someone will contact them the next day, chances are they’ve already found another provider by the time you can call them back.
Similar to call centers, another drawback of an answering service is that they may not be able to provide the level of professionalism and consistency you want to give your customers. Answering service operators have a high turnover rate, and quality is often an issue. Language barriers and time differences can also present challenges in communicating with an overseas answering service.
Although they sound similar, the differences between call centers and answering services are significant. Call centers have the capability to sell your pest control or lawn care services and support customers via multiple communication channels, while an answering service can only provide phone support and relay messages. Answering services are more affordable than call centers, but don’t offer as many benefits in terms of quality control or potential revenue for your company. With these differences in mind, consider the specific needs of your business and choose the option that best fits your situation.
The Best of Both
Weighing the pros and cons of both call centers and answering services can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there’s Slingshot by Workwave. Slingshot combines the benefits of an answering service and a call center for pest control and lawn care companies who want to grow their business and provide 5-star support to their customers.
Our industry-trained pest and lawn agents can qualify, sell, and schedule your customers 24/7. With our modern communication platform, we can engage with your customers via text, web chat, email, web lead and social media so you don’t miss a single lead. With Slingshot you also have full transparency into agent phone calls and messages as every interaction is recorded and easily accessed through our dashboard. We’re also integrated with the leading pest and lawn CRMs, allowing us to resolve customer support issues in the first interaction. Slingshot is not your average answering service!
Our team of professional CSRs is trained and ready to start answering calls and selling your services now. Request a demo today.