Best Answering Service For Small Business

Phone Answering Services For Small Businesses
Introduction

There are plenty of answering services that help businesses of all shapes and sizes present themselves to their customer and clients bases in a polished and professional manner. Handling the distribution of basic information such as office hours and location is just one way these services assist businesses with their daily tasks. Moreover, answering services do other things than simply acting as an audio door sign. They can manage a queue of incoming calls and connect people through a system based on pertinent questions. However, two very important aspects have to be in place to give an answering service real value. First of all, the service’s structure has to be tiered and branched out enough to separate the different types of calls coming in. And secondly, the professionals on the other end need to have real troubleshooting skills. The more complicated the field or industry in which a business does commerce the more expertise an answering service has to use in order to maintain a working relationship with them.

Just a Little Background Information

In order to keep up with ever evolving fields of trade and commerce from healthcare to retail, answering services employ new technologies all the time. These developments focus on finding new ways to interact with current and potential customers and clients using more engaging techniques. These methods of routing connections and sharing information between departments go far beyond the old days of playing soft-rock music in the background of a call while someone waits on hold. Live chat and quick answers are now the bread and butter of answering services that act as informed and capable liaisons between enterprises and the people they do business with. Even though the technology that runs companies and communities always progresses into something more complicated, people like to hear a voice when they get an answer to their questions. To this end, live chat is here to stay as evidenced on many different online platforms. These sites and applications are where people go to get toll free numbers, call-in codes, or live help with the click of a mouse or keypad.

PATLive

As a service to provide everything that a business might need from being on call around the clock to having decades of experience, PATLive is a good example to look over. This service does a lot for the businesses it serves as clients. It handles things like order processing, message taking, appointment scheduling, and lead collection. Actually, those activities are major pillars of the PATLive model of service. However, these four areas of performance are not the only things that make this service so popular with many companies. The facts is that people within this organization make it their business to know as much as they can about the industries in which a company performs. All this know how is delivered in different plans to fit commercial needs on a case by case basis. Even though it may sound like a simple thing to do, staying vigilant and informed can take away from overall production if it involves training new staff to handle calls. PATLive does that training on their end so making sure that someone answers the phone doesn’t interrupt more significant business decisions. The best part about this particular answering service is that it integrates itself in to company’s way of getting things done. This means that there is no discernable difference between companies from the customer point of view. Calls are answered with a live voice using a name instead of letting some machine pick up the line with a generic pre-recorded message. It’s not just the answering of calls and message taking that makes this service so good. PATLive does an equally impressive job of delivering the messages they receive, because it doesn’t make sense for businesses to have to hunt down the content of the questions that customers and clients call them for.

Professional Communications Message Service Incorporated

Certainly, reliable service is always a plus when it comes to business to business service. However, there are also other aspects to an answering service that can add value to it’s purpose. Professional Communications Message Service Incorporated (PCMSI) is a operation that functions from a convenience point of view. This convenience first starts with fees that are competitive with its competition throughout the answering service industry. As a matter of fact, this company all but guarantees low prices through customizable plans and a cadre features that make it a worthwhile option for businesses to look into. This low price guarantee is not just a selling point of a sales pitch. It’s a promise made true through active monitoring of a company’s usage. After analysis of how much service a company needs, bills are adjusted accordingly every month. So when customer inquiries experience and ebb and flow, there is no wasted finances on catering to their needs from the call center point of view. It’s not about just taking the heavy lifting of answering the phone off of companies hands. PCSMI does everything it can to save money along the way. This convenience and value is delivered from a staff that is both knowledgeable and courteous. They should have things down packed because the company has evolved in grown in their field since 1962. Talking on a delicate subject, there are just some things that cannot be taught and have to be learned through culture. Of course, this is not always a necessity for providing good answering service. However when questions become really complex or complicated, native speakers are best for certain situations. On top of these standards, PCSMI also has the knowledge to track activity online and handles inquiries that come to a company through their websites.

AnswerConnect

Even though it may sound counter-intuitive, having too much to do interaction wise with a answering service actually hurts a business clients operations. AnswerConnect understands this fact life and supplies solutions for inbound call needs day and night. Unlike many of its competitors, this service does not exactly offer outbound capabilities. Where it lacks these functions it makes up for this with its commitment to customer service through top-notch support. To be perfectly honest about things, this answering service is more about scheduling appointments and touching bases than it is about answering questions or making voice based connections. This system is all about its ease of use. Signing up and starting an account happens quite quickly, and it can happen in less than a day for some businesses. Like other services, there is more than one tier of service available through AnswerConnect. Depending on the number of minutes that a company anticipates using within a month, AnswerConnect offers pricing options that are quite competitive with other organizations. Just because this service does not necessarily make outbound connections through phone calls it doesn’t mean that calling in to make appointments is the only option available to a customers. In truth, this service has its own software named Setmore that allows for online appointments to be made. So in theory, a person can use AnswerConnect from there handheld device to go online and make an appointment with any given business or simply dial the right numbers and press the green button to make contact. Either way, the task is certainly handled in a timely fashion. It should be noted that this type of appointment setting abilities works across many different genres. From scheduling personal care for a loved one to simply shopping for the new home, this answering service does the same thing that a game of phone tag without all the stress involved.

Stericycle Communication Solutions

Sometimes, having a passion for what you do and a most serious and focused mindset on the task at hand is simply not enough to satisfy the needs of a business client. A really good example of this fact is anyone who has to provide answering services for a hospital or organization that specializes in the medical field. The bottom line is there are so many specialized terms and terminology to use while attending to people and their medical needs that only certification or strict compliance will do for Stericycle Communication Solutions. Of course, handling this level of knowledge and expertise while also providing live answering services is no small feat. That is why Stericycle Communications Solutions is something of a class act in a class all by itself. This establishment makes no mistakes about it; the services they offer are particularly geared for the medical community and really not suited for other types of businesses. And although this may seem like a strange business model, it actually works. This functionality comes from a marriage of automated protocols within the system that are specifically designed to aid live agents. With all this premium service added to the fact that the answering service stays on top of it security and confidentiality protocols, there’s really no other choice to go with. Stericycle Communications Solutions does more than manage calls, answer questions with expertise, and connect colors with the right expert on the other line. It also has online portals for patients to get involved with and take a more informed and hands-on approach to managing their health. This happens through the careful management of appointment scheduling and referrals to make sure that every person’s question is not just getting the right answer but the right and appropriate set of actions as a follow-up.

A bit of Advice to Make Things Nice

Even though an answering service is sure to bring smooth sailing to a business operations, there are a few things that have to be done before the ball gets rolling. As with any service, it does not make sense to pay for something that you’re not going to use or stressed out over. This is where careful negotiation is important when contacting a reputable answering service. The first question a business should ask need to be about the upfront and recurring fees that a service charges. Keep in mind that it’s all about the call volume as well as the features that come with a service. If your business anticipates a peek or sudden spike in volume, going with a service that can adjust itself accordingly is only prudent. A good answering service is just as fluid, functioning, and growing as the business it attempts to serve. In other words, the service a company goes with has to be able to learn its infrastructure inside out. On top of all that, there has to be a integration between systems play and services ready for action. This is the only way to know for sure weather a answering services right for any given company.

Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind

When it comes to picking the right answering service for a business, it is good strategy to never underestimate the value that it can bring. The simple fact is that failing to have a problem professionally managed can prove more expensive and time-consuming than just outsourcing it. Think mowing a 1-acre lawn as opposed to having to maintain a 10-acre garden. No matter how good you landscape the fact is that you’re going to need a helping hand for the 10 acres. Also, having staff members with years of experience and a walls full plaques from institutions constantly answer the phone is a gross under use of their talents. So, give them a break and let a reputable call center screen out the important questions that come in to the office throughout the year. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Final Thoughts FYI

There are about a half dozen criteria to keep in mind when a business is ready to pick the right answering service to fit their needs. Even though it is always in the background, the price of an answering services needs to be fair and proportion to the number of minutes uses by a company as needed. No matter the price of the services rendered, the ability to handle calls should be a service’s highest priority. Really good answering services have can handle calls even at unusual hours of the day no matter how many callers are waiting. Even though a live advisor is almost always best, having an automated system in play proves very useful every now and then. While employing a service to handle calls and answer questions across different mediums, it is important that the information presented to callers and clients represents a company exactly. The whole point of having a professional organization handle questions from incoming calls is to make things smoother all around, so ease of use can not be understated. Because nothing is fool proof, customer support from a business-client point of view comes in handy for things like technical issues or frequently asked questions. Checking on all these aspects of an answering service’s performance is the best way for a company to ensure that it fulfills their commercial needs.