An answering service is the more efficient choice because it helps businesses coordinate incoming requests—and respond to them at a much quicker pace. Where an answering machine simply takes messages on the phone, answering services ensure that each call is promptly answered by a real person—as well as emails, chat messages, and more. When every inbound request is answered immediately, it eliminates playing “phone tag” with your callers and takes away much of the time spent deciphering voicemails. Answering services also can prioritize messages based upon their urgency, whereas an answering machine simply files them in the order they were recorded.
The benefits of an answering service go far beyond picking up every phone call. Answering services help improve the customer experience as a whole, providing consistent, high-quality service. But before signing a contract with an answering service, it is important to ask for their record of service and available features. Read on to learn more about answering services and the efficiency they provide organizations.
What Is the Purpose of an Answering Service?
Answering services provide organizations with a team of operators solely dedicated to improving customer experience. These operators are not only well-trained in proper phone etiquette but also take time to learn the operational structure of the organizations they answer for; this means they can both process and prioritize requests in a way that works best for the business. They also work with modern communication features such as spam blockers, software integrations, and more. All of these factors are why answering services can help organizations operate efficiently, smoothly, and with less resources spent towards customer service—without sacrificing quality of service.
Answering services are known for handling phone calls, but they can do far more, including live chat messaging, administrative roles, and outbound marketing. The best answering services even provide industry-specific operators, such as operators who are trained in legal intake or healthcare practices.
What Are the Benefits of Phone Answering Services?
Hiring an answering service benefits a business in many ways, including:
- A more consistent customer experience overall
- Improved brand image through higher-quality customer service
- Expanded reach and availability with 24/7 live service (including holidays and weekends)
- Less resources spent on hiring, training, and paying a full-time receptionist
- More time to focus on business functions and growth opportunities
When a business responds to requests in a timely, friendly, professional manner, it helps improve client retention and customer loyalty. And when a business hires an answering service, they’re able to provide this experience with less time, money, and resources spent overall. Compare the average cost of a full-time receptionist—roughly $3,000 a month, according to ZipRecruiter—to the price of hiring a provider Answering Service Care, whose Pro Plan costs just $289/month (at the time of this article’s publication).
At roughly 10% of the cost, a business can provide a quality customer experience—while also spending less time hiring, training, and maintaining the receptionist role. Keep in mind that this isn’t even the cheapest option; Answering Service Care’s Starter Plan is just $25/month, or less than 1% of the average receptionist’s salary.
It’s worth noting that answering services are particularly helpful for organizations that need to provide high-touch customer service, such as law firms or medical offices. Companies like these are often stretched thin due to their demanding roles and low availability. Attorneys typically have to balance a full caseload, and the healthcare industry is a notoriously demanding environment that requires a high attention to detail. In both of these scenarios, an answering service offloads the stress of inbound requests—not just by answering them, but organizing them and sending information to the appropriate staff as well. Medical personnel don’t have to sort through messages to know which ones apply to their patients, and attorneys get the requests that pertain to their caseload.
What Is the Point of an Answering Service? Let Us Show You—at Answering Service Care
At Answering Service Care, we get it. We understand the value of customer service, but more importantly, we know how to provide it—and at a price even the smallest businesses can afford. We employ specialized operators for a variety of industries, including healthcare, real estate, funeral homes, accounting, and too many others to list. Our services include 24/7 coverage, which means that no customer attempts to contact you will go unanswered, be they through phone, email, or live chat. And if you’re somehow unsatisfied with the results, we offer a 21-day money-back guarantee.
No matter what your industry is or where you’re located, we can bring quality customer service to your organization. We have decades of experience in a multitude of industries and are equipped to serve your customer base. If you’d like to learn more about answering services, please feel free to contact us with any questions. You can also take a look at our monthly plan offerings and get started today.