A business owner can expect phone calls at any time of day or night, regarding just about any question or topic imaginable. Who has the time or energy to answer every single call immediately? Fortunately, a professional phone answering service for your business can take the burden off you and still help you keep up with customer requests.
Depending on your business’s needs and typical call volume, you can choose between a few basic services: a live answering service, a live on-demand service, and a virtual answering service. Each has its own pros and cons depending on what your business requires. Before you make a decision, consider your options and see what program will best serve your needs.
Live Answering Service
A live answering service can either replace a typical receptionist role or just take care of the overflow calls. Additionally, a live answering service doesn’t close its doors when you do. Your on-call receptionists can answer urgent calls 24/7 to provide help to customers and pass on information to you as needed. This service also comes with automated applications at no additional charge, including text message delivery, message recording, and more.
Virtual Answering Service
A fully automated answering service provides most of the benefits of a live answering service, at a fraction of the cost and with far less manpower. Through a fully virtual system, callers are directed to the information they need or instructed to leave a message for later. Emergency calls are immediately routed straight to you, and a paging system keeps you informed of any messages to take care of. Without sacrificing any functionality or professionalism, you’ll get the same services for a fraction of the cost of a live service.
On-Demand Answering Services
A live on-demand answering service combines the best of both a live and a virtual system. An automated voice answers the call on the first ring and directs the caller through a menu to find the information they need. Callers who need to speak to an operator can press 0 to be connected to a live secretary on standby. As with the other services, urgent matters are referred directly to you. This service is an excellent choice for the budget-conscious business owner who still prefers a live operator to take calls 24 hours a day.
Pro Tip: An on-demand answering service provides the best of both virtual and live answering systems to produce a customer-friendly, low-cost call solution.
Properly Handling Customer Calls
Depending on the size and scope of your business, one of these service types may appear like a better choice than another. Ultimately, the choice should depend on how heavily your business relies on direct personal communication. For a more personal touch, a live receptionist is the best choice. For a larger business with a high volume of calls, a virtual service could be more efficient.
Join the conversation to see what services other business owners chose.