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How do I Choose the Best Online Answering Service?

Article Details
  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Sole-proprietors, small businesses, and other organizations are often so busy that there is not a live personal available to answer calls at all times. When this is the case, an online answering service is a convenient way to manage multiple telephone calls that come around the clock. To Choose the best online answering service, a business should consider cost, the manner in which calls are handled, the types of services available, and the overall reliability of the service.

When choosing an online answering service, it’s important to consider the cost of this service. While this may vary from agency to agency, costs should be reasonable enough to justify using a virtual answering service instead of paying an hourly employee to do the same job. Costs should be balanced with the revenues generated by the business related to the incoming calls. In addition, the answering service company should offer varying payment plans to suit the needs of the company, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.

Another way to choose the best service is by evaluating how calls are handled by agents. If an online answering service is going to provide a good service, it should provide responsive customer service to callers by always having a live person answer each call within three rings. In addition, calls should be carefully screened according to company guidelines and routed to the proper departments. Emergency calls need to be handled promptly.

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The best online answering services will offer a wide range of complementary customer management services. These services may include voice mail and fax support, call forwarding, email monitoring, and warm call forwarding. Services like these can be included as part of a package of services that may help keep costs down and save time.

When searching for the best online answering service for business or personal needs, it’s important to use a company that has a reputation for reliability in the industry. This involves checking for business association ratings, asking for references, and reviewing current client testimonials. Use an answering service that can back up its offerings with concrete evidence that the services will be available at all times and there will be live support and a backup system available if a problem arises.

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