Working for an answering service can be a great career opportunity.

Unlike on-site receptionists who are employees of a particular company or practice, answering service professionals customer service specialists work remotely at the answering service or even from home to route and handle incoming calls for a variety of different businesses.

Which skills are necessary for Answering Service Careers?

With an answering service career, you’ll be in charge of making sure that incoming callers are treated with a friendly attitude and get exactly the help that they need. Callers are unaware that the answering service they are calling isn’t a part of the company they are calling. There’s a seamless transition between the answering service and the main company. Answering service professionals give incoming callers the chance to speak to someone live – rather than a recorded message. This increases the chances that the customer will get the help they needs.

Working as a customer service representative, virtual receptionist or other answering service team member means that you’re the first impression that people get of the company. It’s essential that you have several key qualities in order to do a good job for the company you’re working for, as well as the business its serving.

Who uses answering services?

  • Doctors and other healthcare professionals that have regular office hours but are often called in for emergencies.
  • Home repair experts who handle emergencies or are often away from the office.
  • Sales professionals who need to capture every incoming lead, but need to focus on the client in front of them at the time.
  • Entrepreneurs who want to spend their precious time building their business instead of answering their phone.
  • Companies with a large volume of routine customer service calls or incoming product orders.

Answering service receptionists and customer service agents should have:

  • Good listening skills – Active, polite listening is an essential skill. You’re going to need to understand what the callers need so you can help them best. Listen, ask questions and repeat back what customers say so you can be sure you heard them correctly. This shows you care and want to help with the situation.
  • Compassion – This is particularly important if you’re answering phones for a business that has emergency situations. You’ll need to be compassionate to the needs of the caller so you can respond with the right words and tone of voice. You want them to feel taken care of and comforted.
  • Ability to work well under pressure – Incoming callers want answers right away, which can be quite a bit of pressure on you. If you’ve worked in high pressure situations before and are able to maintain your composure, answering service careers may be right for you.

Working with an answering service as a career choice is a great option if you like to help others, if you want to work hard to advance and if you possess great customer service skills.