Are you considering hiring an answering service?

Whether you are considering hiring an answering service through us or any other company, here are the top 6 things to consider when hiring an answering service.

1. Do they answer the phone in a reasonable amount of time?

Call the company you are considering hiring. This allows you to confirm they not only answer their phones but do so within a reasonable amount of time. If they do not answer their phone calls, what do you think is happening with your phone calls? By also calling you can see how long it takes for them to answer the call. Some companies will answer the phone after one or two rings, others will put the call in a hold pattern. The faster the company answers the phone the better. Just remember, according to a CBS article, 80% of callers will not leave a voice message today. How many lost sales will that accumulate for you?

2. What are the company’s hours of operations?

You don’t want to consider hiring an answering service that is not open the hours you need them. Most answering services operate 24/7; however, it’s not always the case, so be sure to verify this information. Also take in consideration time zones. If you hire an answering service based in Florida, and they shut down operations at 6 PM, that means for your business in Oregon, they are going to stop answering your calls at 3 PM. However, it is best to look for a company that can accommodate your company at all hours of the day and night.

3. What is their call capacity?

Find out how many callers they can handle at the same time? Some companies will either give your callers a busy signal or send them to voicemail when they are speaking to someone else on your line. This is important because if your potential or existing  clients have to wait for a few minutes for the phone to be answered they might just hang up.

4. Do they have a quality assurance department?

Find out what kind of quality control metrics that the company has in place for your outsourced reception services. Do they monitor or record their calls? Do they work in an office building or from home? If they work from home, how do they prevent background noise? For example, your callers don’t want to hear kids screaming or dogs barking in the background? If it is in an office environment, how do they ensure that it doesn’t sound like a call center?

5. Does the company that you are considering scale with your business, or is it a one size fits all company?

Do they offer additional services to help you scale your business? For example, at AnswerAide, we scale with you as you grow. We can handle all your needs, whether it is answering the one or two occasional calls that your staff misses, or a full scale dedicated team of customer service representatives. We have all your needs covered when it comes to contact or call centers and customer service.

6. How does the company you are considering bill their customers?

Sadly, there are many hidden charges with answering services. Find out if the company has a minimum call time or round up their call times. Also, find out how frequently they bill or if they charge extra for outbound calls. To cover all your bases, ask about any other hidden fees when you are considering hiring an answering service.