Hiring a professional answering service? There are a lot of options out there. A quick Google search yields approximately 154… million. So, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Honestly, hiring an answering service – while nuanced – is similar to seeking the help of any professional service company, be it a builder, a baker, or a candlestick maker. The trick is making certain, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that your ultimate choice’s expertise aligns with your company’s needs – and that they go out of their way to make it easy for you to say yes.
Add these five tips to your checklist when hiring a professional answering service:
- Search for answering services that have experience with your industry. Find an organization that has worked with your peers. The needs of a medical practice are drastically different than the needs of a property manager. Some if not most answering services are ambidextrous and have teams that are cross trained to adapt to any place of business. Check their credentials and give them a call.
- Determine what services you require. The best professional answering services offer a laundry list of applicable services for your industry. Do you require SMS solutions for easy and efficient text messaging? How about data entry? Are you considering a 24-hour answering service? Make your list and check it twice, and then cross-reference with the companies you’ve discovered through research and referrals. Start checking off vendors who don’t meet your needs and whittle your list down to a manageable group of prospects.
- Know what you’re paying for. Pricing and packages can vary from company to company depending on your needs and coverage. Some businesses only want phones answered during daytime hours, while others require around the clock assistance. When hiring a professional answering service, be sure to select a vendor that has taken the time to clearly and precisely delineate the costs of every service rendered. Read the fine print. Remember: cost-effectiveness almost always outweighs outright cost. In other words, a little more spent upfront may reap multiple benefits in the long run.
- Will you be working with winners? Don’t be too quick to brush off the page of accolades and awards a prospect proudly displays on their website. Just as you should pay keen attention to any red flags – you should stand up and take notice of companies with a long list of honors. This signifies their products and services are not only exceptional, but also competitive – and diligent. One of the many reasons a telephone answering service takes part in awards programs is because they care enough to have their performance continuously evaluated by impartial professionals who know the industry.
- Is it safe? Understanding how a local answering service handles your data is imperative, particularly if it involves the personal information of a customer or patient. As the company hiring a professional answering service, you are ultimately the responsible party for this information, and mishandling it can levy severe penalties. Doggedly review your answering service’s cybersecurity policies and precautions and contingency plans and choose only a company that showcases an earnest commitment to security in all of its forms.
Family-owned and operated, Focus Answering Service has maintained its high level of service since 1987. Talk to us today about how we can help you build your business, while meeting every expectation.