There are several types of telephone answering services out there to help support your business. Some of the different types you will find include live services, automated services, internet answering services and call centers. Each type provides something you may be able to benefit from for your business. Here’s a look at each different type of answering service.
Live Telephone Answering Service
The live answering services come in many different formats. Some provide a staff of at-home workers taking care of your calls, while others provide receptionists in a call center. Both of these options do provide a live person, usually professionally trained, to handle your incoming calls.
Some live services provide 24/7 service, while others will cover the majority of the day. If you don’t need full 24/7 coverage, you may want a live service that works for about 12 to 13 hours per day.
The goal of a live telephone answering service is to make the caller feel as though they reached your actual office. The live person will answer the phone and act as if you have employed them.
Call centers are a bit different than a live answering service. This type of service caters more to larger businesses with a very high volume of calls. They almost always provide 24/7 service, and may even be able to provide technical or product support.
The staff at a call center is much larger and works around the clock. Some companies will actually use a call center as a part of their business, while others will outsource to a call center.
Automated Telephone Answering Services
Not every type of telephone answering service provides a live person to answer the phone. Some are automated, which is quite different than having a live person answering your calls.
Automated answering services provide an automated voice that gives callers options that they can choose with their key pad or yes or no answers. You may need to press #1 to hear directions or hours or a different number to leave a message. This is a much less expensive type of answering service, but it also takes away the personal touch. For this reason, it is very similar to a recorded voice message or voicemail.
Industry Specific Answering Service
Along with the basic types of answering services, there are some industry specific answering services. These services may help with something, such as technical support for your website or medical support for a doctor’s office. If you work in an industry that needs 24/7 service or special service, it may be best to find an answering service specializing in your industry.
Some of the live answering services will also provide a better choice for small businesses than for larger businesses. These services help you to get the best out of your business and they focus on your business to help you grow faster and easier. The services catering to small businesses can actually help replace the receptionist.
There are several types of telephone answering services out there to help you get the most out of your business. Whether you need an answering service full time or just occasionally, your business can certainly benefit from a telephone answering service.