Answering services can help your company grow by leaps and bounds!

By entrusting professional virtual receptionists to handle your incoming calls, you and your staff can concentrate on doing what you do best. In addition to freeing up your time, answering services can also help improve your customer service ratings and save you money.

But before you run off and sign up for the first answering service you find, you need to do some legwork. An answering service will be the first interaction that most people will have with your business. You need to carefully select a company that will help you achieve all of the benefits of virtual receptionists, all while making a good impression for your company.

Here are five essential questions you need to ask prospective answering services:

  1. What type of answering services can I get with your company? 

    Answering services come in several different configurations. It’s essential to inquire about the options offered through each service before you make your decision. Call recording, online access to call recordings and account information and appointment scheduling are some of the most valuable features to look for. Be sure to ask about their full

  1. What sort of training do your call center agents and virtual receptionists receive? 

    Screen potential answering services for the quality of their training programs. If there’s dead silence when you ask about them, there’s a problem. You are relying on your answering service vendor to offer a high quality experience for your callers. They need to have a process in place to train and re-train agents so they are delivering the very best for you.

  1. What does your company do to stay ahead in terms of call center technology? 

    While an answering service company’s focus should be on customer satisfaction first and foremost, the backbone of that lies in the technology. The industry has been revolutionized in the last decade due to cloud technologies and telecommunications systems. Having a reliable, streamlined and high quality system in place will enhance your experience with an answering service – and your customers’ as well. Ask about your answering service’s call technology. What are they doing to ensure quality?

  1. Where are your call center agents located? 

    Whether you need multi-lingual or English-only answering services, it’s important to know where your call center agents are based. Language barriers or cultural differences between your callers and operators can make a difference in terms of customer service experience. Ask about their sourcing process for call center agents, and where they will be working from.

  1. How long has your company been in business? 

    The changes in telecommunications technology has resulted in an influx of new companies to the market. But despite the ease of use of cloud based systems versus their analog counterparts, experience still mattes. Companies that have a long track record of success are a safer bet for your company – and you don’t want to risk your company’s reputation on a fly-by-night operation.

Answering services aren’t created equally. What other questions would you add to this list as you search for the right service for your business? Be sure to ask all of them!