The Most Valuable Answering Service Features for Small Businesses

There has been a notable spike in new business applications since 2021 and small businesses make up the majority of all businesses in the U.S. Even so, small businesses are reporting concerns about post-pandemic operational costs including payroll, human resources and retention. Partnering with an answering service can help offset those overhead costs and ensure you are successful for years to come.

When shopping around for the call answering service that’s right for your small business, it’s important to look closely at the features that they offer. Below we will answer and discuss the following questions about the most valuable answering service features for small businesses:

  • What do the best answering services do?
  • How can answering services benefit small businesses?
  • What should you look for in an answering service?

What do the best answering services do?

The best small business answering services will offer a variety of services so you can tailor them to your needs. Their top priorities should be to make your life easier while also lowering overhead and improving customer service. They do this by providing friendly, professional representatives for your business who can schedule appointments, answer general questions, transfer calls, take messages, and more. Before signing a contract, be sure to do your homework and look for an answering service provider with years (or even decades) of experience and excellent reviews.

How can answering services benefit small businesses?

Small businesses can reap huge rewards by partnering with a leading call answering service. In addition to freeing up your time to focus on more valuable tasks and growing your business, it will save you on overhead costs because you don’t have to recruit, hire, and train an in-house receptionist. Answering services can also offer many features to make your life easier and your customers happier such as bilingual operators, 24/7 coverage and text messaging answering services.

What should you look for in an answering service?

When considering which answering service is right for your small business, you’ll want to consider your needs but also the reputation and experience of who you are partnering with. A little time spent on researching the right fit now can save you a lot of time trying to undo a bad decision later.

Some factors to consider when researching answering services include:

  • Do some digging to find out how many years the answering service has been in business and whether there have been any complaints against them. If you can’t find this information online, then be sure to ask the representative you speak with. Also ask about the tenure of their employees and the ones who will be assigned to you.
  • Likewise, be sure to ask your colleagues and friends if they have heard of the company or if they can recommend an answering service they like. If you are not familiar with the company, make sure you ask about and check references before signing a contract.
  • Your business’ needs. Not all businesses will have the same needs and the best answering services should offer custom and transparent packages based on this. Things you will want to think about: Do you need to ramp up coverage during busy seasons? Will you need to reduce coverage during slow seasons? Might you need disaster recovery or a bilingual operator? Could you use additional coverage on nights, weekends, or holidays?
  • Extra features. The best answering services will offer extra features designed to make your life easier. Before taking your initial meeting, you may want to inquire whether the service offers text messaging answering services, email monitoring services or Spam Blocker capabilities. Another important thing to ask about if whether they offer seamless integrations with your existing software, such as your CRM, marketing tools, scheduling software, and more.

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