There are only a few free answering service providers out there, and when you see an answering service advertising their service as free, you should be critical of the claim and do some research to find out if it’s truly a free answering service.
The voice that greets your callers and answers your phone sets the tone for the way your customers will see and perceive your business. When you select a free answering service to represent your business over the phone, you’re taking a risk that could harm your business and reputation.
How can a free answering service hurt your business?
Directing your callers to a machine
One way free answering services can harm your business and reputation is by the method used to handle your calls. Free answering services often use IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology instead of live receptionists to handle phone calls, and that’s problematic because numerous studies have shown that customers routinely get frustrated and hang up when they encounter an IVR menu. An answering service should be used to help you service, help, and connect with customers, not repel them. Free or not, an answering service that doesn’t staff quality agents in a central office and relies on automated menus to sort and handle callers just won’t offer the same value that a better quality answering service does.
Generic service that doesn’t fit your brand
Another way a free answering service can be harmful to your business is by not offering a customized service. When you pay for an answering service, you’re paying for someone to take care of your callers in the same manner you would.
When you choose a free answering service, there is no quality control and you can’t give specific call handling instructions. If the answering company has multiple plans available, chances are that their free plan won’t include any of the essential features you need.
Hidden fees and fine print
If you’re skeptical of a free answering service, don’t ignore your instincts. Look for online reviews about the answering service. How have other customers described the service? Get in touch with customer service and ask some questions about the specifics that matter most to you.
Will you owe money if you go over a certain amount of minutes? Is it a live answering service or just an automated menu callers will have to deal with? Is there a contract? What fees or charges will be included with your monthly plan? Think about the way the person who answered the phone treated you. Is it consistent with the way you’d like your own callers to be treated? If it’s not, you should look elsewhere for an answering service.
Answering service prices
Answering service prices vary wildly, with some companies offering (or at least advertising) a free answering service and a few charging upwards of $500/month for the most basic answering plan. This is why it’s a good idea to do your research before settling on an answering service provider. You want to be sure the pricing is acceptable in the industry and that the company offers all the features you’re looking for at the price advertised.
Free answering service 1 month trial
Conversational offers a low-cost, quality live answering service free for one month and starting at just $129/month after that. We don’t charge a setup fee (average setup fee is $125) like many other answering service providers do. The total cost of your first month with Conversational, no matter the plan you choose, is $0.00.
Compared to the cost of hiring a receptionist, choosing any answering service will save you a considerable sum. But choosing an answering service like Conversational, rated A+ by the BBB and given 5 stars by reviewers on Consumer Affairs and TrustPilot, will save you money and help you retain more customers by delivering a great customer experience over the phone.
Every small business should have an answering service to handle phone calls and messages, and the best way to see if an answering service is right for your business is to try it out. By signing up below, you will get access to our answering service in full for the next 30 days, absolutely free. We include 1,000 minutes in your free trial so you can give our service a test drive and find out how many minutes you think you’ll use in the future if you decide to sign on for another month. There are no contracts or termination fees – you can use our live answering service month-to-month.