Answering service companies provide virtual receptionists who handle calls when in-house employees are busy or unavailable. These services help businesses handle a higher volume of calls during peak times or after-hours and can save companies money by freeing up the time of in-house receptionists to focus on other tasks. Depending on the type of business, answering services can field customer questions and complaints, schedule appointments, provide emergency dispatch and other call center functions.
Companies of all sizes use answering services, including sole proprietorships and small, internet-based businesses that wish to present a professional face to customers. Law firms and other professional service companies employ answering services to greet incoming calls, set appointments, and provide general customer support. Dentists and doctors’ offices use these services to ensure that after-hours calls are answered or that patients aren’t left in the dark over scheduling issues. Construction and real estate companies rely on answering services to make sure that calls don’t go unanswered when team members are working offsite or out of the office.
The best answering services are staffed by operators who are trained to respond to a variety of call types, including complaints and emergency calls. They also should have knowledge of the industry and the types of calls that may be received by a company, especially for highly specialized industries like medicine or law. Before hiring an answering service, compare prices and services from several companies and choose one with a track record of reliability. Look for a company that has years of experience and is backed by an organization such as the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI). answering service