Small Business Answering Services

If you are a small business owner, one of your problems may be handling incoming calls inquiring about your product or services. You can resort to voicemail to manage your communication needs, but chances are you would miss some business opportunities due to hang ups that happen because many are uncomfortable talking to a machine, or are unable to articulate their inquiries because of the absence of the human interaction in your call-receiving system.

For you to promptly receive the calls and properly entertain prospective clients, you may opt to hire an answering service provider to manage the volume of your phone calls.

There are hundreds of such companies that offer the services you need. They could take your call, transfer it to your direct line or voicemail or forward your messages via fax, e-mail or SMS. These all they do using a live human voice. Their offers even go beyond call picking. There are those that offer services from live Internet chat to survey/polling.

At the top of the advantages of employing an answering service provider is the professional projection you get from having well-trained call receptionist take your calls. By employing an answering service provider, your messages are carefully entertained and managed and you won’t have to employ somebody for whom you’d be responsible for benefits, taxes and insurance or training. You also get your messages filtered, avoiding sales calls.

You would also find such service extremely helpful if you need after-hours support for clients. Answering services are offered 24/7. It could also be a big help if you are a small business owner who has a job to attend.

Further, if your small business has a need for a more complex communication system, you greatly save on cost by employing an answering service provider because you no longer need to install or maintain phone lines and other equipment. And you are saved the complexities of configuring a system. Providers of such system are able to deliver it to you cost-effectively because they operate it from a central system and share them among numerous clients. Freed up from the task of message-handling, you can now concentrate on your core business.

But how do you find the right service provider? Before embarking on a hunt, you must first clarify what your needs are, understand pricing and compare cost. Answering service providers could charge per-minute, per representative, or per call and so you better get as many quotes first before signing on to one. You can get them easily from the Internet. This feature is available from AllBusiness, QuoteCatcher and ResourceNation.

Professional advise says it is also important to make sure that your prospective provider has back-up power and so would be able to sustain operation in case of power interruptions. Also, you might have to communicate your need for confidentiality, ensuring your provider would keep information from being shared with competitors. Consider also the provider’s membership in professional trade association. The Association of Teleservices International makes sure members abide by a code of ethics.


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