Is your business ready to operate 24/7, no matter what happens? With today's advanced phone automation and answering services, you can set up a system that's far more that a "leave a message" service – an automated response solution that can take down customer information, provide answers and even make orders for those who call in – no matter when they do it. This is particularly effective in the business world of 2016, where factors like these are becoming more important than ever before:

1. Decision-Making Timeframes

When do most customers make a buying decision? It tends to be either immediate – or during the off hours. With a 24/7 business answering and ordering system, there are no off hours. If a customer decides that they want a product in the evening, they can call up and get their questions answered or make their order, no matter what time it is. If they finally get around to talking to bosses or family members over the weekend and make a decision, they can place their order then, too. This sort of automation can increase revenue streams by allowing customers to order when and where they want.

2. Global Customers

Time is only one factor when it comes to 24/7 availability – a related factor is location. Global customers may be making important supply chain or purchasing decisions during the day while it's in the middle of the night at your business location. Having an answering and ordering service allows these customers to get the information they need and place orders even if your business isn't open. "Sure, but my business isn't global," you may be thinking. Consider that 1) this makes a difference even to customers that are a few hours away in another time zone and 2) just because you aren't going global now doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.

3. Down the Sales Funnel from Web Page to Phone

An always-on business phone and automation system also makes a great bridge in the sales funnel as people move from your website to calling your business directly. This is particularly common for residential contractors: Customers will look up their website, make a decision, and then call the number on the website, often all on the same digital phones. As we mentioned in our first point, this can happen at any time, so you need to be ready to usher them through the sales funnel to a final appointment and purchase. The easiest way to guarantee this happens is with an automated, 24/7 system.

4. Emergency Notification

Other types of business may need 24/7 services to receive emergency calls that could occur at any time. These range from plumbing emergencies to server errors, depending on the industry. Businesses need some way to register these calls and, if possible, provide key information or answers ASAP.