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How does a telephone answering service work?
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How does a telephone answering service work?

As a busy business owner you have a lot on your plate with finding customers, servicing clients or making sales and all the other administration and costs that can be involved with growing a business.

With all that going on, “who will answer my phone” can be a problem easily overlooked.

But when missing a call can mean missing a new business opportunity or disappointing your customers, it helps to have extra help.

This is when an outsourced answering service like ours can help.

One common question we get is, how does a telephone answering service work?

A simple answer to a business problem

An answering service essentially works just like answering a phone in your office. Our professionally trained PAs answer calls, take messages and forward callers to the right person.

But there are some things to consider and some steps you’ll take in the early stages of setting up your account that determine how your answering service will work.

How we’ll set up your account

This setup process ensures we get your answering service working correctly from day one. During this initial step we’ll gain some information about your company:

Basic company details

  • Company name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Opening hours
  • Website URL

This is all the information we can use to answer basic enquiries that your callers might have without transferring them to your team unnecessarily.

Once we’ve got this information, we’ll move on to how you want the PAs to answer your calls.

How we answer your calls…

This is a simple step but each business usually has some variation on this opening line. Typically this is a basic welcome for the caller:

“Hello you’re through to Acme company, how can I help.”

You might not think this is such a big deal to think about but it’s this human interaction that makes a big difference to your call management.

How we’ll manage your calls

Once we’ve got the basic information we need about your company, the next detail is how you want us to handle certain types of enquiries.

  • Take a message (and who to deliver the message to)
  • Forward the call (and the routing options)
  • How to handle calls when your team is unavailable

What information do you need us to collect?

What information you need/want us to collect from callers when we take a message.

This will usually be information like:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Reason for the call
  • Order references and numbers
  • Any other relevant information you need

How do you want us to deliver your messages?

By default we deliver your messages and full call recordings to your mobile app and online client portal that you’ll get logins for when you sign up.

However, you also have the option to have messages delivered in different formats if that works best for you.

For example this could be sending messages and recordings by email or text.

Setting up your call forwarding

This is when we’ll set up your call routing.

While you can retain your business number so customers have one number to call, we can set up your routing and additional lines for our team to use.

When a call comes in, the options will be displayed on our PAs screen so they can direct the caller to the right person when confirming a transfer.

It’s important we work closely with you on this so we have all the available options and know who on your team should be dealing with certain types of calls.

Customise your telephone answering service

For added convenience and flexibility, look for an call answering service that allows you to customise which calls should be answered by them and which calls you’d rather answer yourself.

Furthermore, you may wish to consider the time of day as well. Perhaps after hours you’d rather take calls personally.

Most answering service providers can grant you this flexibility for greater control over your phone calls.

Who will answer my calls?

After you’ve gone through the process of setting up call forwarding to the answering service, your incoming phone calls will be handled and processed by a team of knowledgeable PAs acting on behalf of you and your business.

A good call answering service employs PAs that aren’t simply human answering machines, but rather as a sort of secretary or receptionist that to most clients will come across as a member of your team.

What will happen afterwards?

Your calls will be handled professionally and confidentially. The PA, depending on which features of the telephone answering service you’d like, is able to relay messages to you, re-route urgent calls directly to you or your staff and address industry- and business-related enquiries.

How does this benefit my business?

More than ever before, customers and clients are tiring of templated email responses and automated voice messages. The desire for a personal, human voice that understands the needs of both your business as well as the customer is highly sought after, but you can’t be expected to be at the phone at all times.

Telephone answering services work by enabling you to spend more time engaging in value creation at your business and less time on the phone.

Others will handle it for you!

For any business looking to improve their reputation and reliability, having a human being answer the phone and addressing the customer’s enquiry is a worthy investment into the company’s competitiveness and image.

If you want to know more, complete the Request a Call form on the right or click here.

19th September, 2019

Posted by Face For Business

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