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What Business Leaders Need to Know About Answering Services

Business Phone Answering Service
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One thing that business leaders have in common, regardless of the industry they’re in, is that they work extremely hard to make their companies a success. They focus on offering quality products or services, creating clever marketing campaigns, having the most innovative technology— you name it.

So it seems a shame when their phone often goes unanswered. After all the hard work devoted to generating leads and building their client roster, too many companies fail to keep up with the high volume of customers and prospects who wish to contact them.

So much of a company’s profit potential is connected to its approach to customer service. That’s why many of the most successful businesses partner with call answering services. Below we will answer and discuss the following questions to give you a better idea of how an answering service can benefit your business.

  • What is a call answering service?
  • What types of answering services exist?
  • What are the benefits of answering services?
  • What should I look for in a call answering service?

What is a call answering service?

Before we go any further, let’s start by explaining what an answering service is.

An answering service is a company that is outsourced by a business to manage incoming communications. Although they’re frequently referred to as “call” or “phone” answering services, the live agents who represent your business can also respond to SMS text messages and live website chats. A popular alternative to hiring an in-house receptionist, answering services are used by businesses of all sizes, across a variety of industries.

What types of answering services exist?

Now that we’ve explained what an answering service is, we’ll go over the different types that exist.

  • 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.

What are the benefits of answering services?

Just about any type of business– from medical offices, to legal firms, to insurances agencies– can benefit from working with an answering service. There’s a long list of ways that an answering service can help your business grow, most of which fall into several categories:

  • Answering services ensure that more calls get answered. This leads to happier customers, more leads captured, and increased profits.
  • Answering services free up your and your staff, which leads to increased productivity, fewer distractions, and more time to recharge.
  • Answering services offer 24/7 coverage, which leads to fewer opportunities slipping through the cracks.
  • Answering services deliver exceptional customer service, which helps your business seem more established and makes your customers feel valued.
  • Answering services are typically cheaper than an in-house receptionist, helping you save on things like hiring, training, equipment, technology, salary, benefits, and more.

What should I look for in a call answering service?

Ultimately, when choosing a call answering service, the most important things to consider are whether it will be a good fit for your business and worth the cost. Below are some things to consider that will help you choose the right company. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, be sure to find an answering service company that provides these features.

  • Do you need coverage during non-business hours?
  • Do you need bilingual virtual receptionists to assist Spanish-speaking customers?
  • Do you need a HIPAA-compliant answering service?
  • Would your business benefit more from an automated or live answering service?
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