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CPA Customer service from an accounting answering service

CPA Customer Service – How To Keep Your Accounting Customers Coming Back Year After Year

Accounting firms get busy during tax season, and that is when most of the interaction between a CPA and the customer take place. However, just like in any other business, the key to keeping a client long-term is in building a relationship with that customer. How does your accounting firm build that kind of a relationship with your customers in the limited interaction that you get with them?

Here are 3 CPA Customer Service Tips To Help You Build That Relationship.

1. Be an Excellent CPA
The best and most important step, one that no other relationship will cover over, is doing your job and doing it well. File taxes on time. Be honest and upfront with clients. Keep all promises that you make. In short, treat your customers like you like to be treated and treat their tax returns like they are your own.

Most importantly, don’t make a major mistake that costs your client money. This is the foundation that all of the other tips are built on, and none of them will do you any good if you do not do a good job for them as their CPA.

2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
In real estate, they say the three most important things are location, location, location. Based on what I hear from people about their tax professionals is, the most important thing is communication, communication, communication.

The most common complaint that I hear from people about their accountants is that they cannot get a call back. Especially during tax season, it can be days before they hear back from their CPA. You have to remember that taxes are scary to people. If they have a question, they are probably a bit freaked out. Answer their question within 24 hours and you will stand out in the industry and they will love you for it!

3. Be Available When Your Customers Need You
Of course, no one can truly be available 24/7. But your clients may come up with a question after you close for the day (or after your receptionist leaves for the day). A voicemail message is not what they are hoping for. Again, you can truly stand out by having someone answer the phone whenever it rings. How can you do that? An easy and not all that expensive way is by hiring an accounting answering service (we have many CPAs that love our service!) to answer your calls when you cannot get them.

Whether you are a lone CPA or have a large office staff, there will always be calls that go unanswered. Don’t let that happen. With an answering service, you can make sure that every call is answered by a friendly and professional voice that will follow the instructions that you have laid out for any callers. They can take a message, connect the caller to the on-call person, or even answer from a list of frequently asked questions that you provide. This is another opportunity to stand out in your industry and offer the kind of service that your customers want.

lead capture

The Missing Ingredient To Your Advertising Campaign

How Can an Answering Service Help You Get More Out Of Your Advertising?

Customers are the lifeblood of any business, no matter how big or how small so taking care of them is very important. For some businesses that means being available from 9-5 Monday through Friday to answer questions and provide service. For others, it means being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year whenever an emergency comes up. So, what is a business owner to do? Be on call always? Delegate that out to the staff? Staff your phones 24 hours a day?

This is even more important when you are running an advertising campaign. You still need to service your existing customers, but now you have a new influx of callers that are interested in your product or service. How do you handle all of those calls (which usually last longer than an existing customer’s call because they generally have more questions) so that you are not wasting your advertising budget. The last thing that you want is for your advertising to work beautifully, generating lots of calls, only for none of them to be converted into customers. If this is a worry, you need to talk to us about our lead capture service.

If You Aren’t Answering Calls, You Are Wasting Your Advertising Budget

I know this is a strong statement, but there are statistics to back it up. If you run an ad and it is successful, you are going to get calls from it. Hopefully a lot of calls. Now, what happens if you do not have the manpower to answer all of those calls? I know what you’re thinking – I’ll just let voicemail get it. That simply doesn’t work very well any more. Forbes magazine did a recent study that showed 80 percent of callers that are sent to voicemail will not leave a message. 80%! That means that 4 out of 5 calls that your ad generates that goes to voicemail will come to nothing – meaning a lot of wasted money. Think about how much an average client is worth to you, and think of all of the missed calls that you get that don’t leave a message. How much lost revenue is that?

In the social media obsessed culture that we live in, customers expect immediate help with their problems. If you don’t answer the phone immediately, they will call around until they find someone that will. The reason that the Forbes study gave that the majority of people did not leave voice mail messages was that they felt that they would never be heard. And while you may think that it would be impossible for you (or your staff) to answer every call that came in promptly, there is a pretty simple and inexpensive way that it can be done – with an answering service.

Our friendly and professional operators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to answer every call that comes in. Some of our clients have us answer all of their calls. Others have us answer after hours so that they still have coverage even after their staff has gone home for the day. Some have us answer during their lunch breaks. And some only have us answer when their staff is unable to answer the phones. We are flexible, and we can work to meet your individual needs and we can make sure that you are not wasting adverting money missing calls from people that want to hire you.

Give us a call at 888-528-5678 for a risk-free trial. You will be glad that you did!

answering services for home health care

Home Health Care Answering Service – What You Need To Know Before You Hire One

People are living longer, which is a great thing… but it also makes a home health care service a necessity. As parents need more and more medical care, they need the help that your company can provide. However, many of the children of your patients work during the day, meaning that they cannot always call during office hours. How do you take care of your patients and man the phones 24/7? We’d suggest that you do it with our home health care answering service.

Why Do You Need a 24 Hour Answering Service?

Many of your patients will need emergency assistance available 24 hours a day and their children can call at any time. This leaves a home health care service with two options – man the phones 24 hours a day (with multiple people just in case two emergency calls come in at once) or hire an answering service to take any calls that you cannot answer. Many of our clients only have us answer calls after hours or when they are busy while others have us answer all of their incoming calls. We are flexible and our friendly and professional operators will provide excellent service to your callers.

3 Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Home Health Care Answering Service

1. Where Are Your Operators Based?
The last thing that you want is to trust your patients and their health and safety to a call center based overseas. The language barrier that comes with that is not worth the risk, even if it is less expensive. At PCNAnswers, our operators are all based in Riverside, CA and are native English speakers. If you need bilingual service, we can offer that as well. But our priority is making sure that your patients feel cared for, that their messages are delivered promptly and accurately, and that you always look good!

Are They HIPAA Compliant?
You now how much of a pain HIPAA compliance is – the last thing that you want to worry about is whether your answering service is treating your patients’ medical information the right way. At PCNAnswers, we answer for many hospitals, medical centers, and home health services so we understand HIPAA compliance and so do all of our operators. We also have partnered with MiSecure Messaging to provide you a HIPAA Compliant way to send text messages among your staff, giving you the ease of use of text messaging without the HIPAA risks.

How Do They Handle Your Calls?
You do not want a cookie cutter answering service to be taking your calls. There are many out there that will not change their scripts or their call handling instructions to meet the needs of their clients. As a home health provider, you will have very specific needs for how the phone is answered, who the on-call messages are sent to, how emergencies are handled, etc. We allow you to completely tailor the way we answer and handle your calls to meet your unique needs. You will speak to our welcome team and they will ask you questions to make sure the we are answering the phone in a way that helps meet your needs and makes you look great to your patients.

smal business answering service lets you compete with the big boys

5 Small Business Tips To Help You Compete With The Big Boys

The economy is getting slowly better, and with it, the fortunes of small businesses are improving as well. Many think that it will keep improving and that new jobs will be created and that small businesses will expand. Since we help many small businesses with their communications needs, we sincerely hope that this is the case. However, whether the economy keeps improving or not, as a small business owner you want to be able to compete with the big companies – of course at a fraction of the cost. Here are 3 ways that you can do just that.

Invest In Your Team

I know, I know, you are a small business. You may even run a one man show. But whatever size you are, you will never get anywhere if you do not have a team to help you out. If you hire employees, take the time to train them to do their jobs right. The worst thing that can happen is for your employees to damage relationships with your customers because they were not trained properly. If you do not have employees, you need to do two things. First, find people that you can outsource some of your more menial tasks to. And second, get a network of professionals that can help you out with advice, send referrals your way, and be a resources to your clients.

Don’t Let Your Prospects Know You’re Small

Just because you are a small business doesn’t mean you have to let your prospects (or even your customers!) know that you are small. Run your business professionally. Offer great service, make sure everything looks professional, and mind the details. Often, by having a professional logo, website, packaging and marketing materials, you can appear much bigger than your are and give a great first impression to any prospects.

Make Sure That You’re Reachable, Even When You’re Not

Do you like leaving voicemail? Of course not, no one does – and that includes all of your customers. But, sometimes you are on the phone or in a meeting when the phone rings. What can you do to make sure that your prospects and customers always talk to a live voice? It is usually cost prohibitive to hire a receptionist to handle those calls for you (and even with a receptionist, sometimes they are on a break, call in sick or are on the other line). Often, the simplest solution is to hire a small business answering service to handle the calls that you can’t (perhaps someone like PCNAnswers!), They will have a friendly and professional operator answer your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year so you’ll never miss an important call again and your customers will never have to talk to a voicemail box!

Of course you know your business best. You know what your customers need and how you can best meet their needs. And if being more reachable and making a great first impression is something that would help your small business, we would love the opportunity to talk to you about your customer service needs!

HVAC answering service

Why An HVAC Company Needs An Answering Service

No matter what business you are in, profit margins matter. As an HVAC contractor, you know that you need to provide excellent service to all of your customers, but you also know that you have to do it inexpensively. You can’t afford a big staff to answer all of your calls for you so you have been answering all of your calls on your own… or at least trying to. If you are like most HVAC contractors that we talk to, there are times when it is no problem to answer all of your calls, and there are times when there is no way that you can keep up.

Tell me if this sounds familiar… you climb up into the attic… and your phone rings. Do you answer it in the attic? Do you climb down and answer it? Do you hope that they leave a voicemail (hint – no one leaves a voicemail any more)? Any way around it, would it be nice to have someone available to answer your phone for you whenever you were on a job? That is exactly what an answering service can do for you. We can answer for you 24/7, after hours, or only when you are busy so that your customers are always cared for and you don’t pay for calls that you can answer yourself.

So How Does an Answering Service Work?

When we set up your account, we will talk with you and come up with a script that we will use to answer your phone. You can give us answers to simple questions that come up frequently, and we can also set appointments for you if you would like. When one of our friendly and professional operators answers the phone for your business, they will instantly have all of your company information in front of them on a computer screen. They will use the script to answer the phone and they will follow your instructions to assist your caller. When appropriate they will forward a caller to you, but otherwise, they will take a message and text or email it to you immediately.

Make Your Advertising Count

Of course you run ads and leave a phone number in your ad. Sometimes an ad will run and not much happens – no phone calls, no new business. However, there are times when you get your ad just right and your phone starts ringing and you get an influx of new business. You don’t want to waste a single call because you know that you have a much better chance of converting the caller to a customer if they talk to a real, live human being. Our answering service will make sure that every caller is greeted with a friendly voice that will represent your company well.

Try Us Risk Free

We know that we can help your HVAC company and we would love the opportunity to prove it. Give us a try, risk free. You can call and talk to one of our operators at 888.528.5678 or you can fill out the form here to get started!

answering service sets you apart from the competition

Get A Competitive Advantage Over Your Competition

Do you want an easy way to get some new business ideas? Take a look at what your competitors are doing and compare it with what you are doing. I know it sounds obvious, and I know it sounds simple, but when was the last time that you took a comprehensive look at your main competitors to see how you stack up with them? If you are like most business owners, it has probably been a little while.

And that makes sense. You are busy dealing with customers. You are busy dealing with employees. You are busy with your sales team. You are busy with accounting. And payroll. And… There are so many things to deal with and oversee as a small business owner that we often do not take the time to really evaluate where our company fits in the market as a whole. There are always opportunities available if you know your market and you differentiate yourselves from your competitors.

We Can Give You A Competitive Advantage

One of the things that we hear from our clients is that they appreciate that we give them a competitive advantage over their competition. There are a few common themes as to how, which we will get into below.

1. Your Customers Never Get Voicemail
This one is bigger than you think. Imagine if you never had any missed calls without a voicemail left. Any one of those could be a potential client that decided to call one of your competitors because you were not available. In today’s instant gratification society, no one wants to leave a voice mail any more. With our live answering service, your clients will get a friendly and professional voice any time they call.

2. You Are Always Available
How great would your customers feel if they could call you any time, day or night? While that doesn’t sound appealing for most business owners – having to be available all the time – but your customers will appreciate it. With our 24 hour answering service, we can answer your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our operators will follow your script, so they are able to answer frequently asked questions (that you provide the answer to), give directions, give hours of operation, schedule appointments, or simply take a message. Whatever you and your customers need, we will figure out a way to help.

3. We Are a Lot Less Expensive Than A Receptionist
Of course, you could hire another receptionist to take some of the load off of you and you would get many of the benefits that we offer. However, that would be a lot more expensive and a lot more hassle. First you have to advertise for a job opening, then interview, then train the new employee, pay their salary, the payroll taxes, benefits… According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a receptionist will cost (on average throughout the country, so a lot more in California) over $27,000 for salary alone. This doesn’t take into account all of the other expenses that you will incur. Or, you could hire us for a low monthly rate and know that we will handle everything for you.

Benefits of Over Flow Phone Answering

The Long, Sad Decline of Voice Mail

Voice mail used to be an absolute business essential. A decade ago it would have been hard to imagine any business without a voice mail box (though Shawn Hakl the Verizon business division’s head of new products estimates that 80% of business phones had voice mail before the digital age). Now however, usage of voice mail have dropped to the point that many business (even large businesses) are dropping voice mail for the vast majority of their employees. Coca Cola recently gave employees the option to keep or get rid of their voice mail. The results were stunning with only 6% opting to keep their coverage. And while it was a bit of a cost savings measure, their Chief Information Officer Ed Steinike said that the change was “to simplify the way we work and increase productivity.

Of course you could think that we are being melodramatic. That voice mail is still a big part of the communications landscape and will continue to be. That the companies ditching voice mail altogether are not trail blazers, but outliers, simply looking for a way to cut costs. It would be a valid criticism if this hadn’t been predicted by the techies for years, and if this did not mirror the consumer usage of voice mail.

People Actually Hate Voice Mail

Of course this isn’t everybody, but a lot of people, and especially millennials, hate voicemail and refuse to listen to it. With the rise of text messages, they figure if it is important enough to need a reply, then the person will text. I have actually heard people get angry at a caller for leaving a voicemail. It’s strange, and it is a lot different than only a few years ago, but voicemail is something that has the capacity to bring scorn rather than goodwill.

People Get Anxious When They Have To Leave A Message on Voicemail

I have to admit that I giggled a little bit when I first read this. But then I thought about it and it made sense. I have always hated leaving voicemail messages. It always made me nervous and I would usually stammer something out and regret what I said instantly. For people that view voicemail with contempt, they simply won’t leave a message at the beep. Think that won’t cost you business? Imagine that you are unavailable and your voicemail kicked on. How many millennials do you think are going to brave their fear of public speaking to leave you a message. Every single one of them is a missed opportunity (which coincidentally is why we offer our live answering service so that you never have to miss another call again…).

Voicemail is a Waste of Time

This is the one that hits home for me. I hate when I get a voicemail because it simply seems like a waste of time to listen to it. If the person had texted me, I could read it instantly and reply. But with a voicemail, I have to click and swipe a few times, actually listen to the message, then call back to reply. That takes a lot longer than a simple text.

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