The two main benefits of an answering service are as follows:
- More consistent, high-quality customer experiences
- Less time, money, and resources spent on customer service
Answering services help businesses operate more efficiently and give customers a better experience. They do this by offering a wide range of services—not just dealing with incoming phone calls but live troubleshooting, administrative roles, outbound marketing, and far more. Any business who relies on a good customer experience could gain a lot from working with an answering service—especially in high-stress industries like law, healthcare, and small business.
If you’re still wondering “what’s the point of an answering service?” keep reading as we share what answering services do, why they’re helpful to businesses, and how much it’ll cost to hire one (spoiler alert: it’s not a lot!).
Do People Still Use Answering Services?
They do—and for good reason. Answering services are often vital to a business that must balance customer service with company growth. Doing so is challenging for any business, but it’s especially difficult in industries where there is a high volume of demand and specialized skills, such as law, accounting, real estate, or healthcare. In these cases, it’s not good enough to simply have someone answering the phone; that someone has to have enough industry knowledge to competently field customer requests and understand which needs are most pressing.
Hiring an answering service helps businesses maintain that level of knowledge and service when working with customers. Providers like Answering Service Care give businesses access to a team of operators who are trained in their specific industry and will answer any customer contacts as if they work for that business. Customers get the experience they want, and the business has more time and resources to dedicate to critical functions; attorneys at a law firm, for example, have more time to focus more on their caseload.
Who Needs an Answering Service?
Several industries benefit from working with answering services, including real estate, finance, insurance, healthcare, and education. But truthfully, most organizations could use an answering service to great effect, including those who:
- Deal with a large volume of inbound or outbound requests
- Require a high level of industry knowledge to work with customers
- Have demanding, stressful roles where availability is scarce
- Work with a limited amount of time, resources, or revenue
Medical offices illustrate many of the benefits answering services provide. The healthcare industry is a demanding work environment that requires its staff to be highly educated, specialized, and knowledgeable of medical regulations. Additionally, medical personnel have to handle a wide range of requests that vary in urgency, meaning they need to be able to quickly (and accurately) process confidential patient information. A medical practice needs organization, good customer service, and the ability to accurately prioritize customer needs—all of which is done by an answering service if one is used by the medical office.
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Why Is an Answering Service More Efficient Than an Answering Machine?
Answering services are more efficient because, unlike answering machines, they understand urgency and priority when dealing with customers; this means they can take a stream of inbound requests and organize it in a way that’s more efficient for a business’s operations. They also can respond to customers more quickly, meaning there’s less of a delay when handling incoming requests. An answering machine can only take messages, but an answering service makes sure every message is answered by a real person. This applies to not just phone calls, but emails, chat messages, and more.
When a business promptly cares for every inbound request, much less time is spent playing catch-up or losing information through translation. Far less time is spent deciphering voicemails and organizing requests, and as a result, the business can better serve its customers. Where an answering machine simply takes messages in the order they are received, answering services can prioritize messages based upon their urgency.
Ultimately, answering services help improve a business’s customer service as a whole. Through consistency and high-touch request handling, an answering service both speeds up and improves the customer experience. Saving customers time is just as important as saving the business time, if not more important—after all, customers are what keep the business going.
Want To Learn More About Answering Services?
If you’d like to learn more about how answering services can benefit your business, reach out to us at Answering Service Care. We provide services tailored to a wide variety of industries and offer multiple plans at affordable prices—some as low as $25/month (at the time of this article’s publication). Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or even get started today with one of our plan offerings.