STOP. If you’re thinking of hiring a telephone answering service, don’t take another step until you’ve read this blog in its entirety. Yes, even the modest plug at the end. Put down that phone (but just for a few minutes – we promise.)
The very first step any business owner must take before hiring an answering service is determining their exact coverage needs. Like, what are the pain points that have you looking for some extra help, and how do they translate into hours, minutes, and seconds?
If you are uncertain of the kind of assistance you’re looking for, it’s best to drop back and reassess. Otherwise, you may find yourself lacking the solutions you truly need to excel or, worse, paying for amenities you simply don’t need and will never-ever use.
Although fielding calls knowledgeably and compassionately is the primary function of any self-respecting answering service, it is far from the only service we provide.
Typically, professional phone coverage can be broken down into the following brackets:
- Traditional: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday hours
- After-hours: Coverage for emergency service and dispatch to on-call team members
- Around-the-clock: 24/7 coverage that delivers optimum convenience for your customers and a much-needed respite for you and your team.
Keep in mind, when you hire a telephone answering service, you will be charged an upfront base rate for your vendor’s availability (i.e., your agent’s time). Afterwards, charges typically accrue for services exceeding the base package rate. This tends to vary from answering service to answering service and can fluctuate based on a la carte services you tack on to your package.
- Custom dispatching
- Custom scripting
- Email processing
- Report generation
- Secure text messaging
- Scheduling solutions
- Telephone orders
- Ticket entry
Portal access allowing you to make account changes on a whim, and account maintenance solutions, and future software upgrades, may also ultimately add to or impact your monthly invoice.
Again, determining your baseline needs is imperative before hiring a telephone answering service. But another important consideration – one of the most important – is collaborating with a vendor who has experience in your particular industry, whether commercial, medical, contracting, or something else entirely. The best answering service partners employ agents who are cross-trained, and able to answer confidently for any business and its needs.
Focus Answering Service answers for your industry and has been doing so for more than 30 years. We understand that hiring a telephone answering service is a big step, and when brought on board we become a fully-fledged part of your business; a partner in all endeavors and the best first impression for your first-time callers. Best of all, we are only compensated when we are actively working on your behalf. Call us today at 800-886-6696 to learn more.