Deciding the best answering service for your business will depend on what you want the service to do for you and what information you want it to pass to the customers. Different telephone answering services range from taking calls and text messages, book appointments and general customer service. Let’s look at a few of the common types of answering services.
Automated answering services
Automated answering services work best for companies that get round the clock customers calling in looking for and enquiring about essential information. It would work best for companies that operate twenty-four hours a day, like hospitals and some hotels. For effective use of the automated services, it would be adequate to have it in a business where customers may not need to speak to a representative directly but may need guidance. The service is set up so that it guides the customer through ways in which they can use their phone to get the information they need by either extra pressing keys on their cell phone or saying something back. If the answering service does not give the information the customer might need, there is an option to leave a voice note for the company to get back to them.
For a small business, the automated service may not be ideal as it is mainly combined with a live answering service, which might need you to have both the service and someone answering the phone. The combination works when what information the service is set to give is not enough for the customer hence the need to speak directly to a representative. Having both services in a small or an established small business might be a liability rather than an asset.
Live answering services
The most common answering service in most businesses has a company representative who is trained to pick and receive calls and messages as well as book appointments. Some companies offer training and representatives for the companies with the information from the company. Live answering services are used mainly by travel agencies, real estate, restaurants and hotels, health centres, among other fields requiring booking and receiving constant orders on a twenty-four-hour basis. Most businesses combine automated and live answering services due to the vast array of customers.
Internet answering services
As the World has become an internet-based one, some companies and businesses run online most of the time, like the e-commerce field and other web-only companies. There is a rise in the use of internet answering services which allow customers to have automated web chats with company representatives where they answer inquiries and process orders made online. A combination of internet and live answering service is ideal where the information relayed on the web is not enough for the customer.
Call centres answering services
Some businesses receive many calls that might require a company representative to take the call directly. There are call centres that offer the professional services of answering calls. They have well-trained personnel who provide customer service on behalf of the company and prevent the missing of important calls and prevent customers from waiting for a long while on hold.