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Business owners have so many routine tasks to tend to that it’s often difficult to reliably answer new and existing customers over the phone in a prompt and timely manner. At the same time, large companies with a team of receptionists or call centre agents can experience extremely busy periods that cause customers to wait on the other end of the line. That’s unfortunate because customers are looking more and more for reliable and friendly service with real people with which to engage, rather than impersonal chatbots or computers.

Whether you’re a small business owner with other priorities or a large business that just doesn’t have the resources to manage your telephone lines, telephone answering services may be just what you need.

Before making the decision to hire a telephone answering service, however, it’s always helpful to know what other kinds of businesses use them and why. If you’re wondering who uses a telephone answering service, it’s likely that you’ll be surprised to find that many businesses you know use them already.

The purpose of an answering service is to handle calls on a business’ behalf, whether that be during busy times or in lieu of hiring additional staff.

For larger companies, a telephone answering service is there to handle overflow calls during busy periods or when there are staff shortages. When customers are waiting for their calls to be answered by your existing team, PAs at the answering service are ready to pick them up and deal with the enquiries quickly and professionally.

Much like a “real” receptionist employed by businesses to process incoming phone calls and to direct clients to the relevant members of your team, a virtual receptionist is able to do all of this without being directly employed by your business.

What is a virtual receptionist? A virtual receptionist is an outsourced personal assistant (PA) at a telephone answering service provider that can answer your business phone line and much more, without needing to be physically present in your office.