Using an answering service can help keep your business running, even after-hours or during weekends and other off-times.
Before you start picking answering services, there are some key things to look for.
Read on for a list of six tips to help you choose the right answering service for your unique small business needs.
1. 24/7 Availability
Although your small business may not operate 24/7, it’s crucial to choose an answering service that will fill in the gaps. Offering this feature is a smart way to reassure your customers and to make sure you’re getting important messages you may have missed otherwise. Look for a service that includes available staff to answer calls 24/7 so you don’t miss out on important calls.
2. Picking Answering Services Through Referrals
One of the best ways to find a reliable, trustworthy answering service is via referrals. Read customer reviews from other small businesses to help you determine which service will suit your needs the best. Companies with great reviews and comprehensive information from other businesses will make it easier for you to make a final decision.
3. Cost Considerations
When comparing answering service costs, make sure you select a service that will fit within your budget. Some companies charge by each individual message or phone call, others by the hour, and others charge a flat monthly fee. Shop around when picking answering services to make sure you find one that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
4. Hold Music
No one wants to call a business only to feel like they’re in a “black hole” while they wait for an answer. Make sure you’re choosing an answering service company that includes on hold music for business, so customers aren’t left confused and frustrated. This simple feature can make a huge difference by giving your company a more professional presence when customers make a call.
5. Accurate Messages From Customers
A high-quality answering service will take thorough, complete messages that include pertinent information. Always make sure that you’re getting the full message and not just bits and pieces. You can do an audit of your answering service to make sure that the staff is documenting all of the information they receive from callers as thoroughly as possible.
6. Get a Trial
Some answering services will offer new customers a temporary trial. This is a perfect opportunity for you to try out a few different services until you find one that suits your needs the best. Not all services offer this, but if they do, it’s a good idea to take advantage of it before you sign a contract and commit to a service.
Be Professional with an Answering Service
Keep these tips in mind when picking answering services so you can make the decision that’s right for your small business. From 24/7 availability and hold music to taking thorough messages, all of these features should be part of your consideration.
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