Running a business or occupying an executive position at a bigger company usually means you’re getting inundated with phone calls, and only a small fraction of those are calls from people you actually need to speak with.
Call screening is the natural solution when calls from telemarketers, salespeople, and even well-meaning friends begin to slow you down and disrupt you too many times each day.
Having your calls screened isn’t evasive or selfish. Instead, it allows you to be in better control of your time and schedule, only interrupting your work to take calls that are truly essential. Our answering service provides a great call screening feature that makes it easy to say yes to the calls you want to take and no to the ones you don’t.
Before we explore the call screening options we offer, let’s talk about what call screening is and how busy professionals make use of it.
Call screening 101
Answering the phone yourself can be a noble cause, but after a while, you’ll be more than ready to delegate that responsibility to other capable hands. With more than enough tasks and stress to keep you busy, running to grab the phone only to learn that an automated recording is on the other line can be the ultimate frustration.
You don’t need a full-time receptionist to take care of these annoying calls – you just need a call screening service.
Call screening refers to the act of getting identifying information about a caller before allowing the caller to speak with the person they reached out to. If you’re answering your business line yourself, anyone at all could be on the other line when you pick up. But if you’re delegating your phone calls to a professional answering service like Conversational, you can make sure every call is screened thoroughly before it comes your way.
Call screening saves you a considerable amount of time and money by keeping your time efficiently focused on the calls that matter, not interruptions from solicitors.
Planning to use a call screening service
Before you start having your calls screened professionally, you may want to do a little homework of your own. To begin, it’s helpful make three lists: Your Always, Maybe, and Never list.
Include the names and phone numbers of those people that you always want to speak to.
Include the names and phone numbers of those people that you sometimes need to speak with.
Include the names and phone numbers of those that you never want to speak to.
By making these lists ahead of time, you’ll ensure the person responsible for screening your calls will be able to easily and quickly identify these essential names and numbers.
Once you’re working with a professional answering service like Conversational, you can simply pass these lists along to the ladies in charge of handling your calls so they’ll know exactly who to patch over to you and who to have leave a message instead.
For callers not on any of your lists, the agent answering your phone and screening your calls can simply check with you before transferring a caller to you. That will ensure you’re not left to deal with telemarketers or salespeople just because they’ve never called before and aren’t “on the list.”
When you want to take the call
Some answering services, ours included, will attempt to perform what is called a warm transfer each time a caller asks to speak to you (unless you provide different call handling instructions) and you want to take the call. Here’s how a complete warm transfer works:
- The caller asks to speak to you. The agent handling the call asks the caller for name, number, and nature of call, then asks caller to hold for a moment.
- The agent handling the call rings you up, delivers the caller’s information, and asks if you’re able to take the call.
- If you are able, the agent returns to the caller, lets them know they’re patching you over, and exits the line.
- If you are not able to take the call, the agent returns to the caller and informs them that you are unavailable. The agent asks to take a message or directs the caller to your voicemail.
If you’re still answering your own business phone calls, you’re wasting hours of productive time every week. It’s not expensive to start having your business calls screened by the professionals – with Conversational, your first month is always free and you can keep the service after that for just $129/month. You can get all the benefits of having a receptionist – knowing your calls are answered, calls are screened, and messages will be delivered directly to your text or email inbox – for a tiny fraction of the cost.
For some clients, our call screening feature is the biggest benefit. Others love our appointment booking and reminder feature. Start your free month today with no obligation and see which free feature becomes your favorite! Your free trial includes call screening, messages, a local phone number, 1,000 minutes, and free appointment booking and reminders, and it starts the moment you sign up!