If you call a doctor’s office, plumbing company, or property management firm after hours and reach a live person (instead of a machine or automated system), chances are you will be speaking with an answering service. Utilized by these businesses and countless others, answering services are companies that handle telephone calls on behalf of other organizations.
Companies that utilize an answering service are typically looking for a live telephone presence without the cost of hiring additional staff. Take the plumbing company for example. If they were to hire someone to take calls after hours, they would be paying an hourly wage to someone who may only work a few minutes per night. By using an answering service instead, they could ensure there is always someone available to pick up the phone but only pay them when they’re used.
Most answering services customize their services to meet the needs of their customers, which is why you often don’t know you are speaking to one. Their objective is to sound as though they are part of the business you’re calling. They have information about the company’s products and services, office hours, pricing, and other details that callers are looking for.
Curious whether a business uses an answering service? Call them late at night and see if someone picks up!
About the author:
Melanie Cartwell is a business blogger currently working for CMS, a nationwide provider of telephone answering services and call center solutions. Learn more at http://www.continentalmessage.com.