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How should I choose an Answering Service?

 

Choosing an answering service may become tedious and time-consuming; shopping around, comparing prices and services, then determining which company impressed you the most can take time and other resources. While it is important to pick a company that you like, it is more important to pick a company that your customers will love. The primary function of an answering service will be to interact with your callers, so it is necessary that the answering service you choose is able to relate to them professionally, as well as personally.

Here are a few tips that will help you choose the BEST answering service for your company:

  • Go with an answering service that speaks your language! Ensure that the answering service representatives sound similar to you and your customers or prospects. Every so often, some answer services will “off-shore” its staff, leading to a disconnect as each culture acts and speaks differently. Imagine how a potential customer would feel when they call to speak to your office and then find themselves speaking to someone in India or another international location totally unrelated to your company and its business. In addition to the language issue, you will wan to confirm that the answering service serves your industry; this way they will be familiar with industry-specific terms, questions and types of customers. This knowledge can go a long way in building your callers’ and customers’ confidence.
  • Go 24/7! If you are going to hire an answering service, why not expand your office hours to 24/7? This does not mean you will need to be in the office at 3am nor does it mean you will have to call the customer back at 4am (that is, of course, unless you want to and/or you are able to). What it means is that if, at any time of the day (or night) someone calls your business, there will be representatives waiting to answer your call. Also, keep in mind that an answering service’s main purpose is to answer your calls when you cannot, so it will benefit your company even more when the answering service is open when you are closed.
  • Find care! It is easy to find uncaring workers and individuals who do not pride themselves in a job well done. When looking for the answering service that best meets your needs, you will want to make sure that the company and its professionals will represent your business just as you and your internal team would.
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