Answering service: Types and benefits

Running a business is challenging; between focusing on product development, marketing campaigns, and curating a capable team, you last need dissatisfied customers. After all, you would want to make sure you get customer calls while stepping away for some work. The easy solution to this problem is an answering service!

What is an answering service?

An answering service provider answers calls on your or your company’s behalf. However, there is a lot of nuance in the types of service providers, their skills, and their expertise. Therefore, businesses should do thorough research before choosing an answering service.

What are the types of answering services?

There are three major types of answering services, namely-

  1. Interactive Voice Response System

These robots or autoresponders provide basic self-service or transfer services such as pressing 1 for language, 2 for type of response, and 3 for voicemail. Interactive voice response systems have the benefit of being easily accessible and scalable.

An automated answering service is a suitable substitute for human answering agent for businesses who-

  • Need 24*7 voice support
  • Receive calls from customers 24*7
  • Receive calls more than what can be handled by a human agent

IVRs pose the challenge of sometimes not understanding a customer’s problem, context, and tone or responding to a situation they have not been pre-programmed for.

2. Call centres

These are large organisations specialising in sales and customer support. Unlike Interactive voice response systems, these employ humans who can adapt to any number of situations and swiftly resolve customer queries.

Call centres are an excellent choice for-

  • Large B2C (Brand to Customer) companies
  • Businesses involved in high-scale industries
  • Businesses that receive a very high amount of customer calls

The challenge with call centres is that they usually work on pre-written scripts and don’t provide a personalised experience to a business. Moreover, most call centres specialise in making outbound calls and not answering calls.

3. Virtual Receptionists

As the name suggests, they perform all receptionist responsibilities with the exemption that they don’t work on-site. Virtual receptionists specialise in giving your clients a personalised experience, and they are indistinguishable from those working on-site.

A virtual receptionist is a good option for almost all business-like-

  • MSMEs( Micro, small and medium enterprises)
  • Small B2C companies
  • Any business looking to provide superior customer service

The only challenge with a virtual receptionist is that it can be difficult to choose between many options to find one appropriate for your requirements and preferences.

What are the benefits of an answering service?

Bilingual answering service or multilingual answering services have quite a few benefits for businesses; let’s take a look:

  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Answering services can help improve customer satisfaction by providing 24/7 access to support, fast response times, and friendly, professional communication, which can help build trust and loyalty with customers.
  • Improved Efficiency: By outsourcing your company’s answering needs, you can free up your staff to focus on more critical tasks. This can increase efficiency and productivity, allowing your business to grow.
  • Cost-Effective: Outsourcing your answering needs to a third-party service can be more cost-effective than hiring and training additional staff. Additionally, an answering service can often provide more advanced technology and tools than a small business could afford independently.
  • Increased Availability: With an answering service, your business can be available to customers 24/7, even outside regular business hours. This can help attract and retain more customers.
  • Improved reputation: By utilising a professional answering service, your business can project a more professional image to customers, which can help establish credibility with potential customers leading to increased opportunities for growth.

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