How Does an Answering Service Work?

 You’re not alone if you ever wondered, how does an answering service work? That’s a great question. Thanks for asking. You know the basics, of course: an answering service answers your telephone when you can’t. That’s the easy part, but how does this happen?

 Answer Your Phone

 Contrary to an episode on the old sitcom, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, your answering service does not come to your home or business to answer your phone calls. Instead, you need to get your phone calls to them.

 There are many ways to do this, but the most common option is to use call forwarding. Whenever you want your answering service to answer, you forward your calls to them. And when you’re ready to take calls yourself, you simply cancel call forwarding.

 You can easily activate and deactivate call forwarding from your phone’s keypad. Depending on your telephone company and how they configure call forwarding, the forwarding process requires pressing 3 to 13 digits. If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry. The last 10 digits are a phone number. Just pick up your phone and enter the number. It only takes a couple of times before you’ll memorize them, but as a backup, many customers put a small instruction label on their phone so that anyone in their office can forward their calls.

 To cancel call forwarding is even simpler. It’s often just three buttons. It’s that easy.

 Whenever your calls forward to your answering service, they answer with the name of your company, just as you instructed them to. Then they’ll listen to your callers and help them, either by taking a message or giving them information.

 Take Messages

 You may know that an answering service can take a name, number, and message from your callers. This is standard. But they can also get more information, too, whatever you want. They’ll have their computer prompt their employees with exactly what to ask each caller.

 Then there’s a handy form where they’ll enter all the information you want them to get.

 Relay Information

 Once your caller’s information is in the computer, your answering service can do all sorts of helpful things with it. They can hold it for you when you check-in, read the message into your voicemail or send the information to you by email or text message. Many answering services can also produce computer files and reports for you to use.

 Give Out Information

 But not everyone who calls wants to leave a message. Sometimes they seek information. For basic, repeat questions your answering service can provide the answers your callers seek. Even if you have this on your website’s FAQ page, some people will still call. They may want your hours, address, or directions.

 Give your answering service a list of commonly asked questions, and they’ll be ready to handle these inquiry calls without any additional work on your part.

 Serve as Your 24/7 Representative

 In doing all this, your professional telephone answering service serves as your company’s representative around-the-clock. Don’t subject your after-hours callers to an aging answering machine or voicemail jail.

 Show them respect by having a real person talk to them and help them accomplish their objective. This is customer service at its finest. And your telephone answering service will do this for you 24/7.


  1. Is a bilingual answering service more expensive than a monolingual one?
    • While some bilingual services may come at a slightly higher price point, the benefits often outweigh the costs, including the potential for reaching a broader customer base.
  2. Do I need to provide my own bilingual staff for the answering service?
    • Most professional bilingual answering services have their own trained, bilingual agents who can handle customer calls in multiple languages.
  3. How can I be sure that the bilingual answering service is competent in the second language?
    • Reputable answering services will have certified bilingual operators proficient in the languages they offer, ensuring effective communication with your clients. Always inquire about the proficiency and training of the operators during your evaluation process.

 The Next Step

 Now that you understand how a telephone answering service works, don’t make your customers and prospects suffer any longer. Hire an answering service for around-the-clock phone coverage.

 Contact us today to discover how we can serve you by answering your calls 24/7.