How Do I Select the Best Answering Service Company?
The question of how to select the best answering service company is a concern that many astute business owners and managers struggle with. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing this for the first time or the last, the unknown outcome is a fear that plagues many. This leads them to inaction because of analysis paralysis.
Although you can’t guarantee success when striving to select the best answering service company, you can definitely tip the balance in your favor by following these helpful tips.
Seek These Big Three Traits
When you look for an answering service provider there are three key qualifications that your choice should have. Ensure that your candidates possess all three. Proceed at your own risk if they fall short in one or more of these areas.
First, you want to hire an answering service with a long history of success under the same ownership and management. Next, look for an answering service with direct day-to-day owner involvement. An absentee owner operation or an outfit controlled by a conglomerate is a no-go. Third, seek an independent operation that isn’t part of a large network of centrally controlled services.
With these essential three characteristics confirmed, move to the next step.
Study and Understand Their Fees
Too many answering services have complicated rate plans that even they have trouble explaining. Before you move forward in your quest to select the best answering service company, make sure you understand their charges.
Although the basic elements are usually—but not always—straightforward, make sure to ask about any other charges. Be sure that you know when and why each one could apply. You don’t want an unexpected bill on your first invoice—or any invoice, for that matter.
If you are unsure of any element of their pricing, talk through different scenarios with their representative. If they become evasive or can’t answer specific questions, be concerned.
Some answering services force their clients into a contract. This works against you and limits your flexibility to make future adjustments as your business needs and call traffic changes.
When you select the best answering service company, you’re not contracting with a vendor, you’re establishing a key business collaboration, hopefully for the long-term. Do you want this critical business relationship dictated by an ominous legal document that’s too long to read and too wordy to make sense? Of course not.
Don’t sign a contract. Instead walk away.
Bonus Tip: Bilingual Answering Service Staff
Though it may not be essential for every business, it is for most that your answering service is an actual English/Spanish bilingual provider.
With Spanish being the second most common language spoken in the United States, and one projected to increase in popularity, you want an answering service that can appropriately communicate with Spanish-speaking or Spanish-preferred callers. Whether this amounts to one call a year or hundreds, you don’t want an English-only answering service to bungle them.
To select the best answering service company, go with a true, 24/7 bilingual provider.
Contact us to discover if we are the best answering service company to provide you with the professional telephone answering service that you need and your callers want.