The Pros and Cons of a Free Automated Phone Answering System

Woman with headset working on a laptop.

As a business owner, you understand the importance of never missing a phone call. Whether you run a medical practice, a contracting service, a building management office, or any other type of operation that deals with people, maintaining communication is key, and a phone answering system helps tremendously.

But a phone answering system for small businesses is not the only key to your customer service. Of course, having strong customer support is necessary for any business to thrive, because strong customer service means happy customers. But a business phone answering system also helps with day-to-day operations.

If you are considering implementing an automated business phone answering system into your practice, we applaud the decision. However, it is not a decision to be made lightly, and implementing any ole automated phone answering system might not do the trick. Like anything in this world, some phone answering systems are better than others.

Let’s break down a bit more about how an automated phone answering system for your business can benefit you, your customers, and your business as a whole.

Woman wearing a headset while working.

Be Wary of Free Automated Phone Answering Services

Of course, everybody loves things when they are free! However, saying yes to something too quickly can wind up being problematic. And let’s face it, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

However, when it comes to free phone automated answering systems, there are both pros and cons to explore. While the choice might seem clear in the end, it is worth considering some of the finer points of this type of phone answering service for your business.

Pro: Free

This one is kind of a no-brainer, since you won’t have to pay for the service. However, it is important to note that not all business phone services are the same, and free could mean everything from a virtual receptionist to a single answering machine. You likely already have a voice messaging service set up on your mobile device, so simply adding another won’t be that impactful.

Pro: No Commitment

Since your automated phone answering system is free, you won’t feel pressured to keep it if it doesn’t turn out to be everything you hoped. Since that is the case, you might be thinking that trying it out for a while might be worth it. While this thinking makes sense, there are other aspects to consider as well.

For example, shifting your business phone systems down the road might create a scenario where you (or your staff) have to reorganize some office flow. This might not be a huge lift, but it is a consideration nonetheless. But what is a bigger consideration is the fact that your customers or clients might get used to the phone answering system you had in place.

Again, adjusting your own workflow is one thing, but changing things up on the client is another. And if your old system worked a certain way, or required you to use a particular phone number that is now going to change, then this free automated phone answering system might not be worth the trouble because it is adjusting the relationship you have with your clients. On the other hand, they might be welcome to the change if their calls aren’t currently being routed to you accordingly.

Con: Reliability

As mentioned, things that are free, especially when it comes to doing business, usually are free for a purpose. If someone is giving something away, then they aren’t putting ongoing work into it. This can make things less than reliable.

Your phone calls and customer service efforts are your direct link with your customers. These things are not worth sacrificing. By implementing strong customer service and an automated phone answering system that does everything from routing calls to taking messages (regardless of business hours) your customers will appreciate the effort. Simply, they will feel like they are being taken care of and heard, which is the most important thing for any business.

Con: Uniform

A free automated phone answering system is likely not able to be tailored to your business practice, or to your way of doing things. If you were to hire a business phone answering service, on the other hand, it would be more like an extension of your own operations.

When you partner with a business phone service, you get personalized service, which is what you and your customers expect. This type of personalized service means that phone calls, messaging, call routing, or any other type of communication can be handled to your specific preferences.

For example, if you are looking for a small business phone answering system for your medical practice, you need to make sure that certain standards are maintained, such as HIPAA compliance. After all, people who are calling medical practices are calling about sensitive things.

This is the case for other industries as well, where private information might be routed or passed through the system. This information needs to be protected and kept safe, and only when a business phone service is tailored to your needs and workflow can this be the case. You are not likely to find this type of security with a free automated phone answering service.

Get the Service That’s Right for You

While free automated phone service answering systems can be tempting, try to look past the lack of dollar signs. Additionally, a professional answering service doesn’t have to break your bank. Just like any business, you have your own needs when it comes to the business phone services that work for you. At Answering Service Care, we can provide those services.

We partner with all kinds of businesses across a variety of industries to make sure that no phone call is missed, no message slips through the cracks, and, most importantly, no customer feels like they weren’t heard.

Call or schedule an appointment today, and let’s set you up with a business phone system that works for you, your customers, and your business!

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