If your business is looking for a solution to manage inbound and outbound calls, you have two options: you can hire an in-house receptionist or outsource to an automated answering service. Before we discuss the benefits of an automated answering service, let’s explain exactly what it is.
What is an Automated Answering Service?
An automated answering service is a phone system that interacts with callers through the use of a virtual receptionist. Easily customizable, automated answering services ensure that all your business’ inbound and outbound calls begin with a professional greeting, before efficiently routing your customer to the person who can best serve them. Automated answering services make it easy for your customers to reach the right department or employee, even if they are out of the office at the time of the call.
Answering Service Care is proud to offer our clients automated answering services, as well as a variety of add-on services including the following:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which interacts with callers using voice or keyed-in responses. This system has the capability to then route your callers to the best person for them to speak with.
- Follow Me (also referred to as Find Me, Follow Me) enables callers to be routed to your employees in a way that they set up, and these preferences can be updated based on time of day, day of the week, their location or more.
- Fax to email, which is self-explanatory. This feature eliminates the need to own a fax machine, as your faxes will go straight to your email inbox.
- Voicemail, which allows professionals to access their messages at any time, from wherever they are.
Why should I choose an automated answering service over an in-house receptionist?
In-house receptionists and automated answering services each have their own advantages, but there are some unique benefits that outsourcing offers businesses:
- No missed, or sick days. In-house employees will sometimes need to take a day off because they are sick, they have a doctor’s appointment, their child is sick. While some of these days may be requested off in advance, some may come without warning. As the business owner or manager, it is your job to pick up the pieces and make sure that your phones are still covered on these days. An automated answering service ensures that your phones are managed whenever you need them to be. This includes nights, weekends, holidays and temporary busy periods, and the best part is that you don’t have to pay someone overtime!
- You save money and time on recruitment, training, salary, benefits, equipment, and more. For some small businesses, outsourcing to an automated answering service even eliminates the need to rent office space!
- Every caller receives a professional greeting. They will appreciate the ability to be routed to the person who can best serve them, rather than being forced to leave a voicemail and then wait for a callback.
- An automated answering service can make your business appear to be larger than it is. Even if you only have a few employees, you can create the appearance of a big company with multiple departments by creating extensions that route to the same place.