Telephone answering services are a relatively new service for businesses, and use of them is somewhat controversial. Are they worth the money you will spend? Here you can see the pros and cons of the service and whether it is a worthy investment for your business.
Telephone answering services for businesses can be cost effective when compared to hiring a full-time receptionist. The difference in cost is mainly based on how you are paying. With a receptionist, you are paying by the hour. Whether or not you receive any calls, you will still need to pay this worker. With a telephone answering service, you pay by the call. If you are not receiving many calls per hour, a service can be more cost effective than a receptionist.
An answering service can be useful in saving you money if you are comparing using the service with hiring a receptionist. What if you are answering the calls yourself? This service will save you time and interruption. You will not have to step out and answer a call, or be unable to answer calls and feel aggravated as a result. You will be able to turn off your phone while in important meetings and know that you are not missing anything. Because you will not be interrupted as often, you will be more productive.
Telephone services can be available twenty-four hours a day. A receptionist will only be available during normal working hours. This can be especially helpful if your business works with other companies around the world. Because other countries have different business hours, a telephone answering service can still allow you to maintain good relationships with them.
By choosing to hire a service in the place of a receptionist, you will not need to pay things such as leave time, sick days, or insurance. The service works as if you hired a contract worker. If you hire a receptionist, you will need to pay these costs.
You may not be sure if an answering service is for you, but you normally need to sign a contract. Usually the shortest contract offered is six months in length. You will also need to keep paying based on the contract, whether or not you really end up needing the service.
You may have different people answering your calls. Because you are paying by the call, not by the hour, one person working at the call centre will not always answer your calls. You will have different people answering your calls. This can be frustrating to your customers, that if they have already explained something one time, they will need to explain it again. You can almost eliminate this problem by choosing a small call centre. There will be fewer workers, but you may pay a higher price.
In the end, you really need to evaluate your need for a service based on the number of calls you are receiving and the kind of business you do.