A live answering service is like a remote receptionist service; this is a company that has individuals who answer phone calls to your business that are routed to their switchboard after being unanswered. A live answering service has an actual person answer lines and take messages; they may then report them to a voicemail system or you might call in and retrieve the messages personally.
If you've never thought about hiring a live answering service for your company, note when it may be necessary and the best choice for your company:
1. When calls go unanswered in the office
Having a live answering service may make sense for after hours when there is no one in your office, but if your company gets so busy or is so shorthanded that calls go unanswered during business hours, you need to consider a live answering service. This is because customers may expect to leave a message if they call late at night or during early morning hours, but if they call when they know your office is open and continuously get nothing but recordings, this can be very bothersome to them.
Rather than wait for a callback, they may easily take their business to a competitor who does answer their phones during business hours.
2. When your business often gets emergency calls
If you clean people's houses for a living, you may expect customers to only call you during normal business hours. However, if you're a plumber, locksmith, tow truck driver, or otherwise have some type of business where you can expect emergency calls, you want to consider a live answering service. When someone has an emergency, they usually won't wait for a callback from a voicemail message.
However, if they're reassured by a live person that you will be immediately contacted, then they are more likely to wait and not call a competitor. Hiring a live answering service means you won't miss a call because you didn't hear your own phone, were driving and couldn't answer, and so on.
3. When you don't need an office staff
While you may know the benefits of having a live person answer your business phone, if you're self-employed or have just a small company, you may not need or be able to afford an office staff. Rather than pay someone a salary, benefits, sick time, vacation time, and the like, just to answer the few calls you do get while on the road or when you're busy, a live answering service can be ready all day, every day, for a fraction of the cost of even fulltime staff.
To learn more, contact a company such as The Message Centre with any questions or concerns you have.