When customers call your business, they expect to talk to a real person and be handled professionally and promptly. When they don’t, it can cost you in the long run. That’s why many businesses opt for a phone answering service.
You can find a variety of answering service providers to help meet your specific needs, including companies that offer customized services for businesses in the medical, financial, insurance, energy, and home improvement industries, among others. To find a provider that meets your needs, check out the membership list of the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI).
Answering services are often utilized by companies that receive high volumes of calls with low complexity or for those who want to improve their customer service while not spending extra money on an in-house receptionist. A virtual receptionist can answer your business calls for you when your staff is busy or out of the office, taking messages and contacting customers back as necessary.
In addition to taking messages, a virtual receptionist can field other types of calls such as a request for an appointment, class or seminar registration, or technical support. Some answering service companies also offer 24/7 live support for emergency situations, which can be important for customers with urgent issues such as a power outage or a natural disaster.
A live answering service is more expensive than an automated one but provides a more personal touch, with operators who speak clearly and provide customers with detailed information. You can customize your answering service by nominating a script that you want your operator to follow, such as a timed greeting like “Good afternoon, good morning or good evening.” phone answering service