Hiring the right answering service can be tough.

After all, there are so many to choose between and they often offer a staggering array of services. If you’re in the market for an answering service company to help take the strain off your everyday operations, to make your business available around the clock or even just to handle after-hours calls or appointment setting, it’s vital that you pick a company that you’re comfortable working with and who will treat your customers right.

Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure you’ve asked your new answering service these four questions:

Where are your facilities located?

Although it’s true that we live in a global world, sometimes it’s important that we can connect intimately with the people on the other end of the phone.

When your callers are trying to express their frustrations or get a problem expedited, a native understanding of your language is crucial—and that goes for anyone in any country. If you’re running a business based in the United States and expect to have U.S.-based callers, the only way to ensure they’re truly understood is to hire an answering service that only has its operators based in the USA.

How will you handle Spanish-speaking callers?

Many parts of the country are home to significant Spanish-speaking populations that you’d like to be able to better connect with. It’s important to let them know that they’re just as valuable to you ask your English-speaking callers, and one way to do this is to hire a bilingual answering service that provides bilingual operators. Bilingual operators can smooth out any miscommunications and make it a lot easier for your Spanish-speaking neighbors to reach out for help any time of the day or night.

What is your training program like?

An answering service should be always striving to improve its performance and that includes constantly upgrading its employees’ knowledge base.

From a vigorous new hire training program to training for specific clients and ongoing training to smooth out any problems noticed during on-going monitoring, teaching should be almost as important as answering calls for an answering service. There’s a great deal more to an award-winning level of customer service than simply answering the phone and saying “Hello.”

What options will I get to choose for my service package?

Many answering services will offer pre-designed bundles to help businesses get started quickly, but if that’s the end of their level of customization, you should keep shopping.

Your options shouldn’t be limited by what an answering service is willing to offer, but by what your company truly needs. A good answering service may show you some bundles to help make these decisions less confusing, but they’ll also be willing to help you design a completely customized answering service package including any or all of their services. After all, an answering service is nothing without the successful businesses they support. Helping those businesses spend wisely is just part of the deal.

These are just four questions to consider when looking for your next answering service. You’ll probably have plenty more as you look at different options and try to figure out how to best configure an answering service to help your customers and your business.