What Do Answering Services Do?
What does an answering service do? At a basic level, answering services answer telephone calls for their clients. But good answering services do much more than that.
A professional telephone answering service facilitates critical communication between the client and their client’s stakeholders. These stakeholders include customers and prospects, as well as vendors and the public at large.
To better understand this, let’s look at some specific things answering services do to fulfill this critical role of facilitating communication.
Answering Services Do Answer the Telephone
Everyone who calls a business expects someone to answer their call. It’s that simple.
They get irritated if the phone just rings. And it’s only slightly better if a computer answers. They expect to talk to a person. It doesn’t matter when they call—day or evening, weekday or weekend—they want to interact with a living, breathing human being.
Since most businesses aren’t open 24/7 to answer their ringing phone calls, they hire an accomplished answering service to handle this critical job for them. Answering services will answer their clients’ phones whenever needed. Often this is on evenings, weekends, and holidays.
They can also answer during the day. This may be because their client had to step out of the office. Or because the client was meeting with a customer and couldn’t answer the phone. Another possibility occurs when they’re already on the telephone. And last are times of being short-staffed.
Regardless of when or why it occurs, answering services answer their clients’ phone calls.
Answering Services Do Take Messages
Once the answering service answers, what’s the next step? Often, it’s to take a message for the office.
But let’s expand our thinking beyond a message. It’s more helpful to realize that an answering service gathers information for their clients. Yes, maybe it’s a message. But it can also be in order. Or it may be to leave critical information the client needs.
The idea is to obtain actionable information from the caller for the client to use. In the case of leaving a message, the client may need to call the customer back at a time that’s convenient for them both. If it’s an order, they fulfill it. If it’s information they’re waiting to receive, they act upon it.
Whatever the caller wants to communicate, the answering service captures the information for their client.
Answering Services Do Give Out Information
Sometimes callers don’t call to leave a message. They’re calling because they have a question.
Answering services can give out basic information to callers. Think of it as a verbal FAQ (frequently asked questions). Yes, some of this information may reside on their website, but many people would rather call than search for it. Other times they look for it but can’t find it, so they call out of necessity.
All a client needs to do is provide the answers to these standard questions to their answering service, and their service will relay this information to callers as needed.
Answering Services Represent Their Client
These are three common activities that answering services do for their clients. In doing so, they represent their clients to callers. Their goal is to make a great impression on everyone who calls. This positive first interaction, prepares for more positive interactions to follow.
That’s why we say an answering service facilitates critical communication between clients and their clients’ callers. That’s what an answering service does.
The Next Step
With this expanded understanding of what an answering service does, don’t delay. Contact us today to discover how we can facilitate critical communication between you and your callers.