There are two different types of answering services that both have many customization options. Some answering services are automated, while others are live.
Live answering services are often referred to as virtual receptionist services. These services tend to be the best choice for great customer service and satisfaction. However, a live answering service will be a little more expensive than an automated system.
Regardless of which one you choose, it’s important to get the right answering service for your business. Here are five tips to help you choose the right service for your needs.
Look at the Hours
Some answering services will cover you 24/7/365, while others don’t. Sometimes the full coverage option isn’t necessary and will cost you more than getting coverage for a large portion of each day.
For example, a live answering service that covers your phones 24 hours a day may cost you $300 per month for an introductory package. However, if you chose a live answering service that only covers your phones from the peak hours of 7am to 8pm, you may only pay $100 for the same package.
It’s important to consider the coverage you really need and make sure you are not over paying. If you don’t need 24/7 coverage, don’t bother choosing an answering service with this type of coverage.
How do they Handle Privacy?
An answering service should be able to handle your customer’s privacy and confidentiality with the utmost respect. In fact, privacy should be a top priority. If it’s not, you want to find a different company to handle your calls.
The best live answering services will provide virtual receptionist with a high level of training in this area. They will understand that the caller’s information is very important and must remain private.
Easy to Understand Pricing
The pricing structure should be upfront and easy to understand. You should know if a set-up fee is expected and what you will pay for any minutes you go over your plan. It’s also important to understand whether you can upgrade before you go over your plan minutes or not.
Some answering services charge an additional fee for the holidays; however, others won’t add an additional charge. Neither is right or wrong, but you should know if you will be paying the basic fee or a holiday fee for coverage during these days of the year.
Get all the Features You Need
The final thing you need to be aware of are the features within your plan. If you need a live answering service to help schedule appointments and take orders, make sure they offer these features. You won’t get as many features with an automated answering service, since it’s a machine. However, you want to make sure you get the best features for your business.
Hiring an answering service to handle your calls is very important. You want to make sure you get the right service for your needs. And like most companies, hiring a live answering service that will cover the peak hours of your work day while providing you with the best possible features will give your business just what it needs.