When small businesses sign up with an answering service company, one of the first benefits they notice is that they suddenly don’t have to screen all of their own calls.

There’s a quiet that they haven’t heard in months, or maybe even years, and more things are getting done. It’s like they suddenly got a lot of time back, and all it took was asking someone else to answer their phone.

Even if your company wants to continue to handle most of your own calls, having a telephone answering service screen your calls before they pass callers to the appropriate department can save a remarkable amount of money, time and energy.

Call screening alone is a valuable tool, here are a few ways it can help you work smarter:

  • Avoiding interrupting important work. When you’re not constantly interrupted, it’s easier for your thoughts to flow, your ideas to take shape and for you to move all the way through a process.If you start a project, then have to answer the phone and come back to it, you waste a lot of effort trying to remember where you were so you can get back on track. Your phone support team can be directed to answer all your phone calls until a certain time, then deliver a call log of messages, or simply answer all your calls all the time and give you messages for call back later at set intervals.
  • Saving time and energy (and money!). Telemarketers are the worst, even when they’re calling to sell you something related to your business. They never take “no” for an answer and they rarely respect your time enough to let you off the phone when you say you’re not interested.Short of being rude and having to behave poorly to them, it’s hard to shake a really committed telemarketer. Instead of having to commit to the emotional exertion and mental anguish, let your answering service partner weed these callers out so you simply don’t have to waste your time with them.
  • Talking only to the customers who are really motivated. Your answering service company can call screen your negative types of calls to prevent them from harassing you, but they can also help to screen positive callers and make them an even better type of prospect if you work the conversation right.For example, if you primarily sell your products over the phone, your answering service can answer background questions and then pre-qualify your inbound leads before they’re ever sent to your desk. This way you know you’re only getting callers who are ready to buy what your company sells, making your time spent on the phone with customers more valuable.
  • Giving you truly free time. Most business owners are used to getting some kinds of business-related calls after hours, but the truth is that you need time to recover just like the rest of your team. If you’re always waiting by the phone for the next emergency, you’re going to develop symptoms of burn-out and staying at your work may become impossible.Your answering service can screen all your after-hours callers and sort them by urgency. Very urgent callers might go to a designated “on call” person, then less urgent callers will be added to the call log with a priority designation for follow-up in the morning. You can rest easy and your customers still get the service they need.

Call screening can be a valuable tool for your business if it’s implemented correctly. By letting your answering service partner act as the first line of defense against callers who would otherwise waste your precious and limited time, you can increase your bottom line and make every call you do take worth so much more.