Best Answering Service - Four Tips For Evaluating A Phone Service

Posted on: 13 January 2015


If you are setting up an around-the-clock answering service for a business, take a look at how you can anticipate problems and design the answering service to be more effective and more efficient.

It's in the best interest of the business to really put some design work into an answering service, to make sure it works well and operations run smoothly on off-hours. Here are some key ways to do this that will save time and effort, and lead to better customer service and customer satisfaction, by fine-tuning the processes that can be in place when in-house staffers aren't around to answer the phone.

Training Answering Service Staff on Names and Stakeholders

Having a core directory is key in any answering service. Answering service reps should be able to easily reference anyone who works in the business and has a phone line there. But a list of names is only a starting point. The more that answering service people know about the persons involved in the business and their relative roles, the more they can assist customers who call in after hours. This article from SAS mentions using test calls to evaluate these outcomes when looking for a great answering service.

Taking Obstacles Into Account

Things like heavy accents and a bad connection can lead customers to despair when they encounter an answering service. They're already disoriented, because they didn't get the usual business phone line introduction. They're sensitive to any other things that might be confusing to their ear. Make sure that what they hear from the answering service is clear and crisp, and that it offers transparent introductions that they can rely on to know they have called the right place. For more on this and other important issues, check out this guide from

Develop Off-Hours Messaging

One of the top complaints from customers who call around-the-clock answering services is that they feel they have not been sufficiently helped, and that answering service staffers just don't know enough about the core business. One good example is a medical answering service. How these representatives answer calls is extremely important because medicine is such a sensitive type of business. An answering service person can take a simple message, but if they know more about how the medical office operates, they can provide basic counsel to a customer who calls in, information that's both valuable and comforting to the caller.

Giving Customers Options

Another great way to improve an off-hours answering service is to be proactive about offering alternatives. Answering service representatives who can direct customers to a working Internet site or some other channel will satisfy more customers and resolve more calls. This will give the business more loyalty and a better reputation for customer service.