You might not actually be aware, but there are lots of different types of phone answering services available for businesses. The service you receive varies significantly between each one, which is why it is important to make the right decision. Let’s have a look at all of the different types, to help you when it comes to choosing a phone answering service.
What Is A Phone Answering Service?
Phone answering services have increased in popularity in recent years and are a great alternative to bringing a full or part-time receptionist into the business. Helping to save costs, which is very important when you are starting up a business. Here are some examples of how phone answering services can work:
- You can have all of your calls answered, which allows you to crack on with your work without any interruptions. Every caller receives support though, rather than just being ignored if you didn’t pick up the phone!
- You can choose to have overflow calls answered. What this means is that the provider will only answer if your phone line is busy (i.e. you are talking to someone and it is engaged).
- You can have out-of-hours support which means you are providing a 24-hour service to your customers, without having to be online for all of those 24 hours.
- You can use a phone answering service on an as-needed basis, only using the service during particularly busy times.
Now you know all about what a phone answering service is, and how it can help your business, let’s look at some of the different types.
Automated Answering Services
If you are running a business that doesn’t always require a human response, an automated answering service might be the right choice for you. They are affordable and easy to get started with straight away as there is no training needed at all.
This method works by pre-recording a list of options so that when someone calls they press certain numbers to find out more. For example, pressing number 1 to leave a voicemail, or number 2 to hear the business operating hours.
Virtual Receptionist Answering Services
Virtual receptionists don’t just answer and transfer calls. They will have had real-life training in customer service, and are capable of handling any task that an in-person receptionist would be required to carry out.
A virtual receptionist would need some training from you just so that they understand your business in more detail, to allow them to answer your calls correctly. In time, they would then develop an understanding of the best way to handle the concerns and questions from your customers. The great thing about this option is that your customers won’t even know the virtual receptionist isn’t on your payroll, so it can make your business look bigger and more successful.
Call Centre Answering Services
Call centres are regularly used by large companies who have a steady influx of customer calls on a regular basis. Again, this type of service can be used as an extension of your business. The only difficulty with call centres is that they often carry a bad reputation. Calls are often cold and impersonal, and may not give off the best impression for your business.
Never Miss Important Calls
So as you can see, there are three main types of phone answering service which all have their own advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day it depends on the size of your business, and the type of relationship you have with your customers. Virtual receptionists are included as part of our virtual office packages (depending on which one you opt for). If you would like any further information on this, please feel free to call us on 01205 809222.