The benefits of using a phone answering service
Despite the popularity of Web-based communication, many businesses still receive a number of telephone calls from both consumers and vendors. These calls can come in any time of day and, depending on the volume and duration, may divert resources from core business tasks. A phone answering service is a great way to ensure that callers' needs are addressed while also reducing the time, money and effort your employees spend addressing them.
A telephone answering service is essentially an inbound call center whose employees answer the phone on behalf of your business. They can screen calls, take messages or forward calls to a personal phone. By using a call answering service, you free your employees up to focus on core business tasks and deal only with those phone calls that are absolutely necessary, while at the same time providing your customers or vendors with personal attention.
In our increasingly automated society, people appreciate a business that can provide the personal touch, so a live answering service to receive calls after hours or when an employee is busy or away is far superior to an answering machine, electronic voice mail or, perhaps worst of all, a completely unanswered phone.
By acting as a screening service and providing basic information about your company, an answering service ensures that your employees deal only with phone calls necessary to business operations. They also make sure that callers are met with a friendly, professional voice and never feel ignored or thwarted in their efforts to reach you.
How to Choose an Answering Service
The most important thing to remember when choosing a professional answering service is that it will be representing you and your company. It is, in effect, your employee, so you will want to make sure that it acts in accordance with your company values. Operators should be friendly, professional and somewhat knowledgeable about your company and your industry.
Other things to consider are when you will use the answering service and to what extent. Do you receive a lot of calls or just a few? How long do the calls last? Do you want the service to answer calls during normal business hours or just on evenings and weekends?
Make sure to review the service's pricing model. Charges can be assessed per call, per minute, per representative, etc. You'll want to ensure that the pricing model offers you the best deal possible.
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