A business answering service can be enormously helpful for both your employees and your customers, but that doesn’t mean that you should choose just any one. How can you choose the best answering service? Here are five questions you should ask before you sign any contracts:
- Do You White Label All Your Services?
The best answering services will act as a part of your team, meaning that when customers call in to your dedicated number, the operators will answer as if they work in-house at your business. This will allow you to offer your customers the best possible experience while keeping your own labor costs low.
- What Kind of Scheduling Do You Offer?
Not all businesses need 24 hour answering services. See if the company will let you schedule service only when you need it — lunch, after-hours, overflow, etc. — and bill accordingly.
- Where Are Your Operators Located?
No customer likes to pick up the phone and reach someone they can’t understand. If you can find an answering service that’s located in your region, that’s the best choice. But at minimum, you should be working with a company that bases its operations somewhere in the United States.
- Can You Meet Privacy Obligations?
Many of the businesses that use live telephone answering services (medical offices, legal firms, property management companies, etc.) have complicated privacy regulations to follow. If you’re among them, or if you handle any sensitive client information, then you’ll want to make sure the answering service you choose has protocols in place to protect data and keep employees from discussing anything they learn on calls.
- How Do You Oversee Service Quality?
Ultimately, of course, having the best answering service possible is about the experience your customers receive. That customer service, after all, will reflect back on your company. Ideally, the company will have a comprehensive answer for how they train their call operators and do quality assurance checks on a regular basis.
What else goes into choosing a great answering service for a business? Share your experience, as well as any advice you might have, in the comments.