A successful business is both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, you’ve got customers all over the place that want your products or services right now, but on the other, you’re limited to just the 24 hours in each day. Many businesses help ease this burden by hiring a virtual receptionist to take calls and answer common questions so that the principals of the business (like you!) can spend more time doing what they do best with the peace of mind that comes with knowing the phone is being taken care of properly and consistently.

Even when you have someone taking messages and helping your callers with their basic inquiries around the clock, some customers may still need immediate attention that your telephone answering service simply can’t provide. These are the situations where call patching can be a boon to your customer service efforts. By having your answering service patch selected calls through to your home phone or cell (or to any other phone number you specify), you can ensure that all your customers are getting the attention they deserve.

How Call Patching Works

Call patching is a great option that some telephone answering services offer their customers.

Instead of simply having each and every call handled solely by a skilled operator, callers that you designate by problem or name will be placed on hold while the operator dials the number you’ve given them for forwarding. If the virtual receptionist reaches you (or another company contact), they’ll explain who the caller is and how you can help them before connecting the call to you. If the answering service can’t reach you, they reconnect to the caller and take a message.

Call patching is a simple process that provides a number of very real benefits to you as a business owner, including:

Flexibility. You get to decide which callers are forwarded to you or other employees. Those callers who simply want to leave a message can do so as well. This way, your customers get the service they need, no matter what their dilemma.

Privacy. Business owners are often hesitant to give out their home phone number to customers. By having calls patched to your home phone or cell, you protect your anonymity. Callers are never given your number, nor will it show up on a caller ID.

A Personal Touch. Even if you can’t answer a call that your operator is attempting to patch through, you can rely on your virtual receptionists to give your customers personal service. Although your customers may be disappointed that they didn’t reach you directly, they will be much happier than if they were dealing with an automated system.

Whether your business relies on phone interactions with customers or the public just needs to be able to reach you in an emergency, call patching can improve your response time to serious problems. Making yourself available no matter the time or day when trouble’s brewing will win you lots of bonus points with your customers.