Finding the right call answering service starts with knowing which features and options are the most important and beneficial.
Every call answering service is different and offers a unique mix of some or all of the features you’ll see below, so be sure that you’ve fully reviewed each provider’s website and terms before starting with any call answering service.
These are the top 10 call answering service features for small companies with less than 500 employees – take a look and make note of the features that are most important to you. These will be helpful during your search.
Top 10 Call Answering Service Features
1. Customizable phone coverage times
Calls from your customers and potential customers can’t go unanswered, but it’s not possible to be around your phone or in your office at all times. That’s why a call answering service that offers customizable phone coverage times is essential. You should be able to choose the times, days, and/or dates your answering service will be in effect to get the most value from it.
2. Appointment management
Appointment management is one of the top 10 call answering service features because it’s a serious time-saver. If your business takes appointments from clients or regularly schedules meetings and calls, having a call answering service that handles your appointment management will be a welcome reprieve from the chaos.
3. Appointment reminder calls
If you take appointments, you understand that cancellations are inevitable and no-shows are just a fact of life. However, company-wide studies have found that our appointment reminder call service can reduce the number of no-shows by up to 88%.
Our call answering specialists simply place a call to clients with an upcoming appointment and ask them to confirm if they’ll be attending. This gives them the unique opportunity to reschedule the client in case of a change or confirm that the appointment will continue as planned.
4. Capture leads
Another of the top call answering service features is the ability to capture leads. While every call answering service will take incoming calls for your business, only a few will proactively capture leads for your company. A call answering service that is willing to qualify and capture leads on your behalf will be majorly beneficial to your company.
5. Merge with your software and tools
If you’re already using an online appointment or scheduling service, a good call answering service will agree to merge with what you’re already using instead of asking you to learn an entirely new program or tool.
6. Basic customer service
Some answering services will only transfer calls without offering additional information. Steer clear of this type of answering service! One of the top call answering features to look for is one that offers basic customer service to your callers. Some people will call looking for simple information, such as your address or the price of a plan you offer.
If your call answering service can provide that information to the caller without having to transfer the call to you or someone else, it saves time!
7. Consistent phone answering
With a professional call answering service, you should expect that every call will be answered consistently with a friendly tone, professional greeting, and any requests or requirements you’ve given to your provider. Calls should be answered before the third ring and every call should be answered with the same greeting.
8. Local and toll-free number options
If a call answering service doesn’t offer both local and toll-free number options, it’s a sign that they’re not a full answering service. Look for a provider that can set you up with a both a local and toll-free number at a reasonable cost. Conversational offers local numbers free with every plan and toll-free numbers for just $9.95/month.
9. Ability to cancel any time
If an answering service tries to get you to sign a lengthy contract, run! Some clients use call answering services for a short-term period or just want to try them out without being roped into a contract right away. A trustworthy call answering service will never ask you to sign a contract to use their services. Conversational doesn’t make you sign any contracts or agreements – you renew month to month.
10. Full 30 day free trial
Some call answering providers don’t offer any type of trial period. Some offer limited free trial periods of 2 weeks. Your best bet is looking for a provider that offers a full 30 day free trial to give you a chance to get fully acquainted with the service before making a decision to move forward or not.
Conversational offers a free 30 day call answering trial for all new clients – click here to get started!
Who uses call answering services?
Call answering services are used by solopreneurs, home business owners, full-time entrepreneurs, startup founders, small business owners, small firm attorneys, medical offices and more. Businesses that use call answering services are usually:
- Companies that take a lot of phone orders
- Businesses that manage daily, weekly, or monthly appointments
- Entrepreneurs, speakers, solopreneurs with busy calendars
- Businesses that receive low, medium, or high call volume
- Growing companies that can’t afford to hire full-time yet
- Entrepreneurs who work from home and don’t have an office