Three Important Factors to Look for in a Phone Answering Service

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Are you looking for phone answering services? No matter what business you’re in, there are a lot of benefits to having phone answering services in your pocket for those times that you can’t cover the phones and run your company. Your phone answering services gives you the freedom to focus on projects that improve and grow your business, since you aren’t tide to your desk. It also improves customer service; when your customer has a problem with their product or service, the last thing you want them to experience is the answering machine. If you use a 24 hour answering service, it even helps you get a good night of sleep. As a small business owner, your job might never be done, but at least you can take a break for a solid eight hours at night, with peace-of-mind that someone is covering your business.

However, not all phone answering services are created equally. If you choose the wrong one, the poor customer service they offer is a reflection of your business; your customers don’t differentiate between your business and the phone answering service you work with. With that in mind, here are a few important qualities to look for in a phone answering service:

Three Important Factors to Look for in a Phone Answering Service

  1. Security is everything.

    In order to cover your business, the phone answering service you use will likely have access to at least some of the sensitive information about your customers and/or your business. They might have your client’s financial or medical information. Perhaps their personal info such as address and phone numbers, and perhaps even social security numbers. If you use a phone answering services that doesn’t properly vet out their staff, this could be a huge liability to you.

    Before you hire a phone answering service, make sure you ask about what measures they take to protect your information. You want to hear that the staff is given thorough background checks before they are hired. You want to hear that industry best practices are followed, including having locked shred bins on premises, video surveillance, and no recording devices (including phones) permitted on the call floor. You want to be left with a confident sense that your clients and your business are in hands that can be trusted.

  2. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

    One of the biggest benefits to having a call answering service to begin with is the benefit of an improved customer experience. Your customer can reach a human voice at any point in time, and if their need warrants it, can be escalated to someone who can help them right away. A voicemail isn’t able to distinguish this.

    However, the opposite is also true though. If your phone answering service provides bad customer service, your customers’ experiences are worst than if they were stuck talking to an answering machine. Before you hire a phone answering service, make sure you check what safeguards they put in place to ensure good customer experiences. You want to hear that the phone service’s staff get extensive training. You want to know that the staff is tested to ensure they have a professional-level grasp of grammar and communication. You want to know that calls are monitored to ensure quality.

  3. Give yourself room to grow.

    Your phone answering needs today might be fairly mild, but as your business expands, your needs might grow as well. If you need 24 hour coverage, or technical representation and the service you use doesn’t offer it, you’ll have to start back over from square one with a new phone service. This is more than just an inconvenience; the money and time you spent ramping up and training your phone service staff will be lost.

    Instead, make sure you look for a phone service that you’ll be able to grow into. Maybe you only need very limited “answer and take a message” phone coverage today, but as your business grows, your needs will grow alongside. You’ll be glad you partnered with a phone answering service that can expand their coverage as you need it.

Do you have any other questions about choosing a phone answering service? Please share in the comment section below!