What Does an Outsourced Answering Service Do?
Are you wondering what an outsourced answering service does? Here’s your guide to answering services 101.
There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States. While 58.9 million Americans are employed by small businesses, not every business is large enough to need a full-time receptionist.
Some businesses are just a handful of people and in some cases, just one person running the whole show. But small businesses don’t want to give the impression of being tiny for fear of losing out on potential business.
Nor do they want to miss out on important phone calls. Which is why many small businesses turn to an outsourced answering service to help them.
But if you don’t understand what a phone answering service does, it’s hard to determine their myriad benefits. Which is why we’re sharing with you what a virtual answering service does. Keep reading to learn why you might benefit from someone else answering your phone.
What an Outsourced Answering Service Does
While it’s possible for a business to just let their own phone answer their calls and let clients leave a message, it’s not always the best solution. There are certain industries where leaving a message isn’t an option.
A call answering service is best because there’s always a live person answering the phone, no matter what time it is. And, the person answering your business phone is specifically trained in answering calls from your business.
A phone answering service is more personal than an answering machine or even an automated service. This makes it more responsive to your customer’s needs.
Who Benefits From a Virtual Answering Service
Any business who doesn’t want to employ a full-time or even part-time employee to answer the phones can benefit. Outsourcing this task to a virtual answering service can save a business owner a lot of time and money.
But there are certain businesses who will benefit greatly from having someone always answering their phones. Those in medical fields will find a medical answering service is highly beneficial during off-hours.
Whether you’re a veterinarian, internist, or cardiologist, your patients may call at odd hours. And it’s not always for an emergency.
Rather than giving out your cell number and risk being woken up multiple times a night from panicked patients, a medical answering service can determine if the call really is an emergency and direct the caller to the appropriate person.
Benefits of a Phone Answering Service
There are myriad benefits to having an outsourced company answering your phones. Let’s go over them now.
Rather than you spending time searching for the perfect person(s) to answer your phone, you can just work with a virtual answering service. They’ve already done the hiring for you.
And rather than spending time training your new employee, they already have a system put in place. All you need to do is supply some information to the outsourced answering service so they have the answers to commonly asked questions by customers in your industry.
Also, it’s not always easy to find someone willing to answer your phone at 3 AM. You’ll find that’s not a problem when you work with a call answering company.
Hiring a new employee is expensive. If they don’t work out, that’s another added expense.
And paying someone hourly to answer your phones can get expensive. Especially during those off-hours from 11 pm to 7 am.
Many answering service companies let you choose exactly what services you need. You can add on services as your company grows, which helps you save on costs until you’re ready to use them.
Best in Emergency Situations
A medical answering service works best when dealing with emergency situations. But even if your business isn’t medically-based, there still may be times when there’s an emergency.
And at that crucial moment, you don’t want someone to reach an answering machine which asks them to leave a message. You also don’t want someone in a crisis trying to deal with an automated service.
Instead, you want your customers to know that they will always reach a live human being who can help them determine what to do next. Reaching a live human can help a panicked person calm down so that the appropriate action is taken.
One in five Americans speaks a language other than English in their own homes. And not everyone speaks English well.
As a business owner, making sure every customer has the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers in a language they understand should be highly important to you.
And some businesses just naturally deal with customers who speak more than one language. Especially those in the medical business.
A virtual answering service usually offers bi-lingual services.
Access to Better Technology
A phone answering service is always going to have access to the latest technology. And their technology can greatly improve the way you do business.
But if you purchased that technology for your business it would be expensive. Instead, you enjoy great prices while having access to their technology.
Productivity is Increased
Waiting around for a phone call wastes time. And every time you need to take your focus off your work to answer a call, it takes about 20 minutes for you to re-focus again.
That’s a lot of time wasted. Instead, when you let others answer your phone, you get to focus on completing your tasks. That means higher efficiency and more productivity to help your business become even more successful.
When you rely on an outsourced answering service to handle your calls, you’re happier because that’s one less task you need to focus on dealing with. But you’re not the only person whose personal satisfaction is increased.
Your employees will also find work a lot easier when they can focus on their respective tasks without having to stop and answer the phone every ten minutes.
Your customers will love it, too, because they know they’ll always find someone live on the other end to help them, no matter what time it is.
Compare and Save
Not all outsourced answering service companies are the same. Make sure the one you choose offers all the types of services you need to run your business.
Check to see what their reputation is before you invest time and money with a specific service. To help you find the very best answering service for your needs, click here to do a comparison.