Understanding How an Answering Service Can Work for You

Being an entrepreneur and having your own small business is a lot of work. You put in extra hours, you work harder, and a lot of business owners really never get a break from it. You are on the job day in and day out. Your ultimate goal is to get busy, get more business, and make a lot of money. But you could be in the position where your business is growing, but you are not in a position to add an assistant or your type of business doesn’t warrant an assistant-type employee.

What are your options to get the help you need to stay productive and keep growing? An answering service may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But a small business answering service has many more options than you might think that can allow you to be more efficient and get more done in your day. An answering service can do more than just answer your phone and take a message. It can change how you do business and even take it to the next level.

Reasons To Use an Answering Service

Once you start researching the various answering service companies out there, you can select which works best for you and your business by comparing their various options and monthly rates. Below is a list that most services provide that you will be able to utilize daily to make you more efficient:

  1. You can forward your calls to the service when it is convenient for you. If you are on another call, video conference, or just away from your desk periodically, the service can take over to make sure your call is not lost. Most services provide 24/7 answering, so at the end of the day, on weekends, or when you are traveling, you can step away from work and let the service take over.
  2. A personalized touch that they can offer is how they answer your calls based on a script that you have provided. This gives an image of professionalism and that you are a larger business with employees.
  3. Once the answering service starts taking your calls, they will relay the message to you by text, email, voicemail, or online so you can take care of them when possible. You can also have your calls sent to another employee. This is especially beneficial if you plan on being gone for long periods of time and someone else can take care of business in your absence.
  4. You may also get the option of monitoring your service online. This will allow you to see how many minutes have been used and how many calls have been taken. You can then analyze your usage of the service and make any changes to your account if needed. Having this online availability will let you update your script as well.
  5. There is also the feature of a mobile app. If you are working from home and want to keep your personal phone number private, you can answer your calls through a mobile app from your cell phone. 

Other Useful Benefits

There are some small businesses that can utilize an answering service in a way the keeps their business going even when not working. A couple of those special features include:

  1. Appointment setting. If your business relies on appointments with clients, then this could be crucial to you not losing future business. 
  2. Order processing. Your service may have the feature of taking orders for you. As well, if they are a 24/7 service, customers can place orders even after hours. Your answering service will provide professional customer service and process your orders just like an employee would.
  3. Bilingual representatives. Most services can provide bilingual representatives to assist your customers.

With all these benefits, researching how a live answering service can work for you is a must. Depending on what options you need and how many minutes or calls your service will take for you, it could still be more cost-effective than hiring an employee. You may not even have the space for another person if you are building your small business from home. 

It could take up to 48 hours to get your service up and running. Once you are officially set up with a company, generally an account manager is assigned to you. Your account manager will work with you to personalize your account and your calls to make sure you are represented correctly. Once you get going with your service, you can learn how to more efficiently use your time and be more productive.

Now that you know how an answering service can work for you, check out your options and evaluate the benefit for your long-term goals and growth. Having a live person assisting you in the background can work to your advantage throughout the day, after hours, and even while you are on vacation.