Answering Service Near Me

Companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of live answering services.

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Answering Service Near Me

If there’s one thing a wide range of modern industries have in common, it’s the importance of excellent customer service. In fact, recent data shows that not only do customers prefer to work with companies that are easily accessible, around 90% “would pay more for better customer service.”

Do you want to know something even more alarming? Research shows that…

Over three-fourths of customers (76%), when underwhelmed by the level of service they receive, are willing to “go out of their way to go to a company that has better customer service.”
An even higher percentage (86%) would “switch to a competing brand or company” if they believed it would result in better service.
Nearly half of customers (48%) believe that “great customer service is more important than price.”
Well over three-fourths (82%) of customers perceive brands that provide excellent customer service as being more trustworthy than their competitors.

Even if you’re not surprised by these numbers, you have to appreciate their seriousness. Companies spend so much time and money on generating brand awareness and improving their products and services to better meet their customers’ needs, yet, they are seemingly willing to settle for “good enough” when it comes to basic customer service options. This, to put it mildly, is a turnoff, even among otherwise loyal clients.

Fortunately, there’s an answer for companies that are looking to shore up their customer service offerings: a professional answering service. Whether you have three agents in Minnesota or hundreds of agents across the country, answering services can ensure that customers are well taken care of. In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the key features, benefits, and use cases of answering services so you can find the best option for your business.

What Is a Professional Answering Service?

The phrase “professional answering service” refers to a third-party company that provides live call agents. They operate much like an in-house receptionist might, receiving calls on behalf of a company, directing them to the appropriate contact or department, taking messages, and so on.

Answering Service Messages
Live Chat Agent

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

The primary difference between an answering service is the scope of their functionality, with an answering machine offering much less in the way of versatility. Modern businesses typically don’t rely on answering machines in any capacity, preferring instead to use a more comprehensive answering service software. This enables them to not only receive and store messages, but to engage with callers, direct or transfer calls, and more. As such, virtually any answering service will vastly exceed the functionality of an answering machine.

Of course, answering and transferring calls represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the range of features provided by the best professional answering services.

With Answering Service Care, for example, additional capabilities include:

In addition to all of the above, Answering Service Care’s platform was built with versatility and scalability in mind. By providing over 5,000 integrations to extend its functionality and seamlessly connect it with other applications, we’ve built something that’s truly powerful.

Do People Still Use Answering Services?

As a matter of fact, yes they do! In fact, industry research shows that the U.S. market size for answering services has been steadily increasing each year from 2018 through 2022 (with an average increase of 6.7%). Projections indicate that this growth is expected to continue over the next several years.

By implementing a well-designed answering service, a business can provide top-tier, 24/7 phone support for its customers. This isn’t just a customer service best practice—it’s something today’s customers have come to expect.

24/7 Live Chat Support

How Does a Virtual Answering Service Work?

The basic principle behind a virtual answering service is simple: it’s meant to answer calls and take appropriate action without requiring in-house personnel. A third-party virtual answering service provides a wide range of live answering services, including taking messages, answering questions, transferring the caller to a specific individual or department, and so on.

In some cases, companies might even use a virtual phone answering service to resolve certain types of customer issues or collect customer feedback. The best virtual answering service providers deliver exceptional return on investment (ROI) for organizations by enabling users to seamlessly integrate the software with other applications, like company calendars, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, and more.

What Are the Benefits of an Answering Service?

An answering service provides compelling benefits—saving time, money, and enhancing a positive reputation—for companies. Let’s take a closer look at each of these categories of benefits and explore them further:

A small business answering service enables companies to provide better customer service—potentially discovering a powerful competitive advantage in the process. For example, the best answering service for a small business enables it to…

  • Never miss an opportunity to address customers’ inquiries and resolve their issues in an efficient and effective manner.
  • Provide reliable, 24/7 customer service availability so customers can reach you when they need you most.
  • Increase the productivity of in-house call agents and other employees by reducing the disruption associated with inbound customer calls.
  • Establish—or strengthen—their reputation as an organization that puts their customers first and builds meaningful relationships with them.
  • Reduce customer churn—and increase retention and loyalty—by making cus

Exploring the benefits of an answering service from the customer’s perspective is another good way to gauge its ROI. Understanding and then meeting (or exceeding) customers’ expectations is one of the easiest ways to optimize the customer experience, increase customer satisfaction, and develop loyalty.

Customer expectations aren’t that difficult to understand. When a customer reaches out to your company, they expect you to not only know who they are but to potentially anticipate their needs as well. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of building meaningful relationships. Whether it’s a customer’s first time or 100th time calling, and whether they’re a “big spender” or not, they shouldn’t feel like a stranger.

So how, exactly, do customers benefit when you leverage an answering service? Here are a few examples:

  • They receive convenient, 24/7 access to customer service—meaning they can get their questions answered or issues resolved quickly, no matter when they arise.
  • They can experience shorter waiting times before they’re able to speak to a live representative.
  • In cases where the answering service is connected to a CRM, they can speak with an agent or operator that knows who they’re talking to (instead of being made to feel like an account number instead of a person).

With these two categories of benefits combined, you see the real power of an answering service.

What Specific Industries Benefit Most from Professional Answering Services?

Almost every organization that serves customers can potentially benefit from modern answering services—including medical providers, contractors, and legal professionals.

Medical Providers

Medical providers, including healthcare, dental, and veterinarian practices, use answering services to assist patients whenever they have questions or need assistance. Leveraging an answering service helps these providers to manage inbound communications, especially during times with high call volumes or off-hours. Answering Service Care offers virtual medical answering service operators trained to handle inbound calls from patients. Whether patients have a simple need (like confirming an appointment) or are experiencing an emergency, you can rest assured that their calls will be answered promptly and professionally.


Answering services enable various types of contractors to provide more timely and thorough customer service. For example, when customers work with service contractors for their construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or similar needs, they don’t want to feel like “just another job.” When it’s difficult for them to reach their contractors with questions or updates, they quickly lose trust and grow frustrated. An answering service can improve these relationships by ensuring timely, knowledgeable responses when they do reach out.

Legal Professionals

Clients often work with legal professionals when they’re in the midst of a stressful situation, one that can feel unpredictable, with high stakes. While they certainly understand that lawyers work for multiple clients, they also expect their counsel to be accessible and responsive. Law firm answering services help to ensure that clients’ calls don’t go unanswered, even during periods with higher call volume. Clients might be reaching out with a routine-type question or meeting request, or they may have a complex, urgent issue to discuss. Either way, an answering service can receive their call, greet them professionally, and take the appropriate action based on the client and context.

Who Else Uses Answering Services?

Select Your Industries to Learn More

There are countless industries that benefit from professional answering services. Others include:

Real estate companies can use answering services to answer clients’ questions, schedule showings, discuss strategies, and more.

Answering services can help consulting firms establish a reputation for being knowledgeable, professional, and proactive.

Help clients feel great about themselves—as well as your business—with answering services for beauty salons, massage therapists, and more.

Clients expect accounting firms, banks, and financial advisors to be accessible, responsive, knowledgeable, and trustworthy—an answering service can help you meet or exceed these expectations and grow your reputation.

Dealing with insurance providers can be stressful, and clients often want informative answers in a timely manner—an ideal use for a professional answering service.

The point is that virtually any organization that deals with customers or clients is likely to benefit from an answering service. Professional answering services can also benefit funeral homes, construction companies, veterinary offices, business services, and more.

Explore our industries to learn more about the companies we work with regularly!

How Do I Choose an Answering Service for My Business?

Like any impactful business decision, choosing the best answering service starts with determining your needs and priorities. Only then can you truly weigh the pros and cons of different services to zero in on the perfect system for your organization.

At Answering Service Care, you’ll find it easy to get started. Read on to learn more about selecting a service!

First, Evaluate Your Needs…

To evaluate and prioritize your needs, consider the following questions:

If you simply type something like “answering services near me” into Google, you may find a few niche providers that are linked to a specific geographic area. You’re more likely to get results for third-party answering services, however. These services provide increased versatility through a comprehensive approach. The best—like Answering Service Care—offering specialized, live answering services for specific industries (like we covered above).

For example, do they call in to confirm appointment details? Ask technical questions? Request (or provide) project updates? Receive emergency or after-hours services? To get started, create a list of the types of inbound calls you receive. Then, prioritize them according to call volume or urgency. This will leave you with an ordered list of “must-haves” for any answering service you might work with.

Whether you already pride yourself on the type of support and service you offer, there’s always room to improve. Customers’ expectations are ever-increasing, so a professional answering service that is versatile and scalable—like Answering Service Care—can help ensure consistently high levels of customer satisfaction. You might consider soliciting feedback from existing customers in order to identify other areas for improvement.

Are there specific requests you receive on a regular basis from customers or clients who call in that you’re not currently able to deliver on? Don’t underestimate a virtual answering service’s potential to expand your offerings, especially through add-on features and integrations.

…And Then, Compare Solutions

It can be difficult to compare different answering services, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you’ve figured out your primary needs, priorities, and must-have features, use that information to evaluate solutions. In terms of comparing the benefits and potential value of these solutions, then, here are the top five things you should consider:

Answering Service Provider Evaluation Checklist

What are the included features?

The last thing you want to do is invest in a solution only to find that it’s missing at least one key feature that you really need. As you evaluate potential answering service providers, be sure to ask specific questions about any features that you’re not sure whether they provide.

How flexible and scalable is the application?

As customer expectations continue to evolve over time, the best answering services will be flexible enough to adapt to changing needs. They will also make it easy to fine-tune how you use their services—making quick tweaks to IVR menus, for example, or introducing new features.

What level of support is offered?

Just like your customers or clients expect you to be available, professional, and responsive, you should expect the same from any answering service provider you rely on.

What’s the reputation?

Companies rely on professional answering services to strengthen their reputation as an organization that truly cares about its customers or clients. Similarly, you should seek out an answering service provider that has an excellent reputation for working with companies to deliver effective and impactful solutions. You can learn more about how Answering Service Care can enhance your company’s reputation as an accessible and professional organization here.

How much does the phone answering service cost?

Of course, answering service pricing is important to any business that’s exploring its options. This is another area where it’s not always easy to compare providers, but the best providers will make their pricing easy to understand. For example, Answering Service Care offers a few different plan types, and makes it easy to compare their monthly cost, included features, and other details. You can review and compare our plan types here.

Unlock Better Customer Relationships with Answering Service Care

You probably came to this blog wondering, “What is the best virtual assistant phone answering service?” Hopefully, by this point we’ve made it clear that Answering Service Care is a unique virtual answering service that’s designed to become an extension of your business—one that streamlines operations and elevates the customer experience. Schedule a meeting to discuss your needs and learn more about how Answering Service Care can take your organization to the next level, or get started today for as little as $25 a month!