call center photoHow Do I Set Up a Telephone Answering Service?

 Are you ready to start using an answering service? Or has your current answering service let you down too often, and it’s time to switch. Whether you’re hiring an answering service or switching providers, it can be scary—almost overwhelming.

 But don’t let that stop you. We make it as painless as possible to set up a telephone answering service. It’s easy with our handy and simple online sign-up form.

 Here’s an overview of what to expect.

 Pick Your Rate Plan

 Knowing which service package to select is the hardest step. Seriously. Let’s get that decision out of the way first. We offer five pricing options to fit most any business. Pick the one that’s best for you.

 You probably already know which one it is, but in case you’re not sure, we cover answering service cost in another post.

 Here’s the condensed version: Estimate the number of calls you expect your answering service to take in four weeks. Multiply that times the average length of your calls. Then look at our pricing chart to find which plan is the closest match. Easy-peasy.

 You’ve just finished the hardest part. You’ll need this information as you complete the online sign-up form.

 Billing Information

 Our handy online form begins with the billing information section. Enter your company name, billing contact, and billing address. We also need the email and phone number of your contact.

 The last section is where you check the box for your service package. Since you already know the answer, clicking the box is easy.

 It takes less than one minute to finish the billing information section of our form to set up a telephone answering service.

 Operator Screen Info

 The next section asks about your business. First is which time zone you’re in. We need this so we don’t answer with a “good afternoon” when it’s really morning. To make it easy, we also need to know how you want us to answer your phone. We even provide our recommended wording.

 We also need basic information such as your office telephone number, hours, website, and type of business.

 This section should also take less than one minute.

 Optional Services Addons

 The third section is optional services. There are five possibilities, and each one includes a brief explanation. If you need additional clarification, just click the chat button in the lower right-hand corner of the form or call the phone number in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

 If you’re not sure, you can skip this for now. You can always change your mind later. Figure one minute for this section.

 Employee Directory

 In this section, don’t enter every employee, just those who will receive messages from us. We need their name, phone number, and email address. Adding a backup person is a wise idea too.

 You have this information in your own internal employee directory. Just copy and paste, so it should only take a couple minutes for this part as well.

 Call Types & Instructions

 This section allows you to define the types of calls you expect to get, along with how you want us to handle each one. A common scenario is two call types: emergency and non-emergency calls. Yes, it’s that simple.

 Again, you can add additional call types later as you gain a better understanding of the reasons why people call you after hours.

 Unless you have a complicated set of call types, plan on five minutes for this section.

 Daily Email Call Summary (optional)

 The last section of our sign-up form is to let us know if you want a daily email log of your messages. Plan on less than one minute to complete.

 Terms and Conditions

 We conclude with a simple, seven-item agreement about our services. Read it and check the “accept” box.

 Following it is an even shorter section on call forwarding. Read it and click “acknowledge.”

 Both sections will take less than ten minutes to read. This is the last step of how to set up a telephone answering service.

 Are You Ready to Set Up a Telephone Answering Service?

 You now know what to expect and that it will take you less than twenty minutes to complete, half of which is reading. Why wait any longer?

 To set up a telephone answering service, open our sign-up form and start typing.

 (Though we made your part easy, our part takes longer. To set your expectations, it normally takes us two business days to program your account, test it, and train our staff. Then we’re good to go.)