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Choosing the Best Answering Service for Small Businesses

Small Business Answering Service
Answering Service Care

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There is no doubt about it; the past few years have been a riveting time for small businesses. Reports show that small business formation had a record-breaking year in 2021. Still, even the most seasoned business owners are quickly pivoting to keep up with the changing landscape.

As a result, companies of all sizes and types partner with phone answering services to take care of their customers. Below we will answer and explore the following questions to help you choose the best answering service for your small business.

  • What is the best virtual answering service for my business?
  • What services can an answering service provide?
  • How much does a business answering service cost?
  • Are answering services worth it?

What is the best virtual answering service for my business?

Reliable phone answering services are the foundation of many successful businesses. Typically cheaper than hiring a full-time in-house employee, they can help increase productivity, profits and customer satisfaction.

When researching an answering service here are several key things to consider:

  • Your budget. Determine your budget, your call volume, and the features that would offer the most value to your customers.
  • Your needs. Whether it’s bilingual virtual receptionists or after-hours support, make sure you match with a provider that offers what you need.
  • A solid reputation. The best answering service companies will have great online reviews and testimonials written by happy customers.

What services can an answering service provide?

Answering services exist to manage incoming phone calls on behalf of another business to increase productivity and deliver better customer experiences. There are three main different types of phone answering services:

  • Automated answering services are the most basic and noticeable type of answering service. Also referred to as interactive voice response (IVR) systems, they interact with callers using voice or keyed-in responses. An example of an automated answering service is when you call a doctor’s office and a robot tells you to “press ‘1’ to schedule an appointment, ‘2’ to speak with a nurse,” and so on.
  • Live answering services ensure that callers will be assisted by a real human. Callers first hear a custom greeting (played by a machine) and are placed in a queue. They are then greeted by a live agent who can help them with scheduling appointments, answering general questions, and transferring them to the person they’re looking for.
  • Virtual receptionist services deliver the highest level of customer service that you can get from an answering service. If your business has complex call handling needs, you can rest assured that they will be managed by an experienced virtual receptionist who has received specialized training on your business and industry.

How much does a business answering service cost?

For small businesses trying to succeed, customer service is everything. Today’s savvy consumers have high expectations, and one bad review can hurt you.

The cost of an answering service varies depending on the type of service you choose. Another factor in price is the amount of coverage that you need. The nice thing about an answering service is that you can quickly ramp up when your busy season is approaching. When things slow down, you’re able to cut back.

Every business is unique, so Answering Service Care works to tailor pricing to your specific needs.

Are answering services worth it?

Your name is only as good as your reputation. When considering an answering service as part of your business plan, think about these benefits:

  • Fewer missed calls and opportunities. Oftentimes, if customers do not get a response right away or someone doesn’t pick up the phone, they will dial the next business listed.
  • Sound more established:  Many solopreneurs and small businesses agree that when they are first ramping up, having an answering service helps them appear more established and professional.
  • Keep up with a higher call volume:  Because of COVID-19, many customers now prefer a contactless option to conduct business. If this has caused your company to receive an influx of phone calls, an answering service can help you keep up and deliver great service.
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