Whether you are an entrepreneur or work for a large corporation, at some point you have likely found yourself wishing you had an extra pair of hands. With millions of employees leaving their jobs during the “Great Resignation,” many businesses are finding that they need to do more with less staff. A call answering service can mitigate that need by ensuring that someone manages your calls and appointments so you are covered.
Below we will answer and discuss the following questions so you can better understand exactly what an answering service does.
- What does a telephone answering service do?
- What is the difference between a call center and an answering service?
- What are the advantages of an answering service?
What does a telephone answering service do?
A telephone answering service uses technology to forward your incoming calls to another destination where a trained live professional will warmly greet your customers.
The agent will ask the caller questions to determine their needs. If the caller has a general question, is looking to schedule an appointment, or would like to be routed to a specific department, then they will assist them.
It is also possible for you to customize when you want your calls to be answered by a live agent, and when you wish to answer them yourself. For example, if you only want the answering service to handle your calls during non-business hours and on weekends, you can forward your phone line at a particular time.
What is the difference between a call center and an answering service?
Though many people use the terms interchangeably, there are differences between call centers and answering services and what they offer. We’ll outline the key differences below to help you decide which is right for your business.
Like an answering service, a call center handles incoming calls and deals directly with customers. There are some key differences though:
- Call center interactions with customers often need additional research, resulting in longer call times.
- Call center employees are responsible for multiple clients, while others are responsible for only one.
- Call centers are often staffed by large teams of employees that use scripts geared for certain markets and for sales.
- Calls answered by a call center are often transferred from the original point of contact to a specialist.
When you partner with a call answering service, here’s what you can expect:
- Issues are usually solved in a fast, efficient manner because the live receptionist is specially trained in the industry. Not only will your customers appreciate having a better experience, but time and efficiency matters when you’re paying by the minute!
- An answering service fulfills a broader spectrum of customer needs, such as booking appointments, sending follow up emails, and transferring calls to a specific person.
- An answering service’s goal is to assist clients so that other employees can concentrate on running the business.
What are the advantages of an answering service?
Despite its name, a live answering service can help your business with much more than just answering phone calls. It is essentially a virtual office at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Additional tasks an answering service can help with include:
- Managing and streamlining your appointment booking in real-time
- Lead intake services
- Following up on phone conversations with emails
- Services you may not be able to on your own (at least not cheaply and easily), such as bilingual live agents, disaster recovery, and SMS text messaging answering services.
- Filtering out spam calls. With an answering service handling your incoming calls, you and your staff will never have to waste time dealing with telemarketers and robocalls again. We’ve even developed a Spam Blocker feature that filters out automated spam calls before they are answered by our live agents. So not only are you saving time by not having to deal with spam calls, but we also won’t charge you for our live agents to handle them! It’s a win-win!