Answering Service for Small Business

Is your business missing calls left and right? It might be time to hire a call answering service.

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Answering Service for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you understand that client satisfaction and brand reputation depend on your ability to interact with clients. Because of this, many small businesses benefit from an answering service. If you want customers to have confidence that they can reach you, you need to have someone available to answer calls at any time, 24/7. Many modern businesses are too busy to respond to each call or voicemail and an answering service allows them to connect with all customers, not just the ones that are able to get through during operational hours. 

The good news is that third-party companies offer solutions in the form of call answering, appointment scheduling, message taking, and live chats. If your team is overwhelmed, the answering service industry can help your customers contact your business without the distractions. Having an attentive staff available to answer calls eliminates the potential for missed calls, letting you give all of your focus on serving your customers. This form of communication is fantastic for boosting customer satisfaction and decreasing interference with business activities.

Ultimately, call answering services cost much less than full-time receptionists, and you’ll have trained operators following your script and guidelines. Companies like Answering Service Care have operators that help book appointments, answer common questions, and take messages.

What Is an Answering Service? And How Does It Help Small Businesses?

Answering services handle telephone calls and other communications for multiple companies. These third-party providers answer your phones and manage consumer inquiries, even after hours on weekends. In addition to taking and making calls, modern answering services also deal with emails, and texts which are valuable features for any business.

As a result of hiring an answering service—even with few employees and limited resources—small businesses may continue to provide outstanding customer service, generate new leads, and manage their communications efficiently. That means a better reputation among customers and more opportunities for success.

There are three different types of answering services a business can hire to manage their calls:

Even though there are a number of different choices for answering services, they are all going to share a few key qualities. When you use an answering service, a third party will answer the phone under your company’s name, greet customers, and help by addressing their needs on your behalf.

However, by using a live answering service, you’ll receive friendly and individualized services for your customers. Operators at Answering Service Care are trained to handle calls from multiple industries and—with our 50 years of providing answering services—you’ll find unbeatable personalized service specific to your business, not just a copy and paste script.

Happy Customers

Why Are Live Answering Services Important for Small Businesses In Particular?

Live phone answering services can help bridge the communication gap between your business and customers when you can’t afford a full-time receptionist or other dedicated staff. A high-quality answering service can make a good first impression on potential and current customers, which can boost your business’s reputation, customer satisfaction and retention rates. The best answering service providers also establish personal connections with each caller, making your business especially friendly and customer-oriented. Ultimately, answering services help businesses connect with their customers in a welcoming and helpful way through three crucial factors: time, money, and reputation.

Even if your business isn’t receiving a high volume of calls, small businesses can still profit from using an answering service. You can commit your time and energy to managing your business instead of fielding calls and taking messages. If you’d like a live answering service, live chat, or automated answering service for your small business, Answering Service Care offers solutions to businesses of all sizes. With our small business plan, you’ll have access to 24/7 coverage, bilingual agents, and even disaster recovery.

What Is the Difference Between an Answering Service and an Answering Machine?

An answering service uses live operators to handle calls for a business, while a traditional answering machine records and plays back messages left by callers. Both serve unique purposes depending on the needs of the business.

Customers who would rather speak with a live person find assurance knowing their calls are being answered by a professional. Live answering services also include the capability to make outbound calls in addition to fielding incoming calls, as well as the ability to capture and convert leads. Similarly to machines, answering services can be reached at any time, but instead of a frustrating computer program, you get an empathetic human.

It’s also common for many businesses to have an answering machine—or voicemail—to handle customer service calls after hours or when you’re too busy to come to the phone. But the standard answering machine has become quite outdated. Modern voicemail services, however, give you many options beyond taking a message—like caller ID and transcripts. In addition, even if you are unable to respond to calls right away, a voicemail system will always be available for your callers.

What Is the Difference Between a Call Center and an Answering Service?

Generally speaking, call centers handle a lot of calls for several different clients and frequently focus on call volume rather than call quality. On the other hand, a specialty answering service is a company that focuses on managing incoming calls for businesses, offering more individualized and targeted customer care.

Your business can partner with a third-party live answering service to receive and forward calls and messages. There are several functions of an answering service (TAS), which include:

There are several functions of an answering service (TAS), which include:

A call center serves a similar purpose, but it employs different techniques. For example, call centers:

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How Does an Answering Service Work?

An answering service is how businesses typically navigate their call management, by hiring a third-party service provider who offers live customer support. Any phone calls for a business are routed to agents who handle all calls according to their individual instructions. In addition to taking messages and providing information, these specialists are also capable of scheduling appointments and forwarding important phone calls to the business.

Here’s a breakdown of how it all works:

A live answering service agent answers calls with the company’s name and a personalized greeting. Depending on the needs of the customer, answering service representatives have a number of options for handling incoming calls. Typically, with inbound calls, they will answer the phone, take a message, transfer the call to the appropriate department, or provide the customer with general information. If they take a customer’s message, they will forward it to the appropriate departments so they can get a reply as soon as possible.

How Do I Set Up a Business Answering Service?

When any business wants to start using the best answering service, it’s important to find a service that meets all of their requirements and then pick a package that offers all of the features they need to satisfy their customers. 

Step One: Find a Service

Researching different local and online options for a call answering service for small businesses is the first step for any small business looking to outsource their incoming calls, emails, and live chats. It’s important for business owners to consider reading customer reviews and testimonials to gauge their reputation and reliability—no one wants to hire a business that doesn’t excel at customer service. In order to make an informed decision that fits their particular needs and budget, small business owners should get in touch with possible service providers to discuss their individual requirements.

Step Two: Pick Your Package and Get Started!

Once a small business owner has identified potential providers, they need to evaluate a service’s packages by considering factors such as call volume, hours of operation, customization options, and pricing to choose the one that best aligns with their business’s needs and budget. After they complete their due diligence, they should contact the chosen provider, discuss any requirements, and complete the necessary paperwork to initiate the service setup.

You can get started with Answering Service Care today for as little as $25 a month—see more about how we can help small businesses with their answering service, live chat, appointment schedulings, and so much more. 

Phone answering service agent.

Do People Still Use Answering Services for Small Business?

Yes, many small businesses still use answering service companies to help with taking calls—whether it’s for answering questions or taking messages. The capabilities of answering services have grown significantly as a result of advances in technology. This can be really attractive as a business owner, because these services offer more efficiency and cost-effectiveness than investing in more technology. In today’s world of connectivity and easily accessible information, small businesses need to keep up with modern technology and provide customers with the solutions they expect.

A few reasons why many businesses still use live answering services include…

These advantages can help your small business put energy toward operations, rather than picking up the phone and setting up appointments—which can be rather distracting for you and your employees. With a call answering service like those offered at Answering Service Care, you can trust the quality of your customer service and leave tedious phone work to highly qualified professionals.

What Are 7 Advantages of an Answering Service?

An answering service will provide a professional representative who will learn your company’s policies and provide excellent customer service. Implementing this service can enhance the professionalism and consistency of your business for anyone who calls in. It’s also a cost-effective and quick way to give your customers the best experience with your brand, without worrying about how a call is handled. Not only that, but if you’re searching for “answering service for small business near me,” many of them are available to you no matter where you’re located. 

These services have seven main advantages for small businesses:

Despite all of this, one of the main reasons small businesses use answering services is because customers get to talk with real people who can sympathize, share information, and relay messages. Not only that, but having a phone number on your website increases credibility and trust, as well as conversion rates, because customers know they are able to call if necessary. Answering Service Care gives you all of these benefits, plus a 24/7 live chat solution, two-way SMS, and appointment scheduling to help you reach more people and grow your business.

What Are the Disadvantages of Answering Services?

Partnering with an answering services provider increases the level of cooperation needed to encourage and maintain the connection between your company and its customers. However, there are a few challenges to watch out for when shopping around for an answering service.

One disadvantage of answering services is that you might feel less in control of how your business looks, despite the fact that the provider should be following your established guidelines and script. Most answering services are dependable, but misunderstandings between your business and the service are always a possibility.

Even if the answering service you use is staffed by highly trained professionals, some cannot guarantee that every single one of your calls will be handled immediately. This can happen when timely and correct replies are necessary, but sometimes call volume is higher than answering services can handle.

Some answering services don’t offer essential services like bilingual support for non-English speaking customers. When operators aren’t proficient in the caller’s language, communicating can be a challenge. That often leads to miscommunication and misunderstanding—which can limit or hurt the business you get from customers of all backgrounds.

However, you don’t have to worry about these disadvantages with Answering Service Care. Rather than worry about whether or not your calls are being answered or if you can help Spanish-speaking customers, you can rest assured that Answering Service Care will provide the best experience for your customers. We treat all customers with a genuine human touch and our operators are professional, flexible, responsive, and always friendly.

How Do I Choose an Answering Service?

If you’re looking for the best answering service for small business, you should be asking these questions:

Answering Service Provider Evaluation Checklist

Are they professional?

Do they provide high-quality service?

How proficient are the operators in dealing with customers?

Do they understand the nature of the business you own?

However, the most important factor in choosing a service is the people. Believe it or not, customers, clients, and partners still like it when a real person answers the phone when they call with questions or to schedule an appointment. And while there are options for automated services—and other technologies—a live answering service will go a long way with your customers. A real person can empathize, ask clarifying questions, provide further information, and relay messages when they answer the phone. Whether they do this through a phone call or a live chat, it’s always helpful to have a person at the other end of the line.

So what is the best virtual assistant phone answering service? With Answering Service Care, you will receive supportive and compassionate service for your business and your customers. We know that people matter and we make sure all of our operators are highly trained to answer your business’s calls. We offer live call answering, live chat, and automated services—with IVR, call forwarding, and voicemail. All of these options are available for your small business to choose the best service that meets your needs. Take the guesswork out of finding the best answering service: visit our website today, call us at (800) 430-6511 for more information, or get started for as little as $25 per-month.

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