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How a Call Service Taking Orders Can Help Your Company Grow

How a Call Service Taking Orders Can Help Your Company Grow

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

Whether you call it an answering service, a call service, or something else entirely, what we do involves more than just taking messages. We offer a variety of services that go hand-in-hand with answering calls. One of them is taking orders over the phone. For some of our clients, taking orders is invaluable.

A call service taking orders on your behalf can actually help your company grow. Think about it. When customers call with the intention of buying, somebody needs to be on the other end to make the sale. Putting the sale on hold until a company representative is available risks losing the sale altogether. That is no way to run a business.

Order Taking Equals Customer Service

Whether you are talking a brick-and-mortar store or an online operation, choosing to take orders over the phone constitutes customer service. You are serving your customers by giving them an opportunity to order from one of your representatives directly. Enter the answering service that also takes orders.

Not being able to take orders during certain hours translates into offering limited customer service. Again, that is no way to run a business. Your customers expect top-notch customer service. Their expectations include being able to place an order whenever they call.

Think of it as an all-or-nothing proposition. If you are going to utilize an answering service to take your calls after hours or when you don’t want to be disturbed, the service should also be taking orders as well. If you do not want to take orders during those periods, perhaps answering the phone should be put on ice, too.

A Dedicated Sales Team

Not answering the phone is really not an option these days. So we are back to the same issue: callers should be able to place orders at any time. Adding order-taking services to your call center package not only facilitates order taking around the clock, but it also provides your company with a dedicated sales team.

Call centers teams are made up of individuals trained to answer your calls in whatever way is best for your business. They are trained to take orders as well. Call center personnel are able to answer questions, offer basic advice, and even help guide customers in their purchase decisions. In essence, they should be able to do everything your regular sales team does – within reason, of course.

Happy Customers Tell Others

This entire discussion has been predicated on the idea of order-taking helping your business grow. How does it help? Taking orders at the moment customers are ready to place them makes those customers happy. And guess what happy customers do? They tell others about their experiences.

Imagine John lamenting that he has trouble getting through to place an order with one of his favorite companies. Susie responds by describing her experiences with your company. She never has trouble placing an order no matter when she calls. Guess who John is going to call next time he needs the products you sell?

Don’t Give Up on the Phone

As you think about everything you have read thus far, we want to leave you with one final thought: do not give up on the phone as a means of serving your customers. It’s true that a lot of business is conducted online. But people still appreciate the opportunity to speak with live representatives. They appreciate being able to order things over the phone after asking questions and having their concerns addressed. If you take orders over the phone, consider adding order taking to the call center services you already pay for.

Should You Be Recording Calls Made to Your Business

Should You Be Recording Calls Made to Your Business?

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

Modern business runs on data. The thing about data is that it comes from an unfathomable number of sources. Take your phone. Whether your company utilizes an answering service or not, the phone calls made to your business generate data. Should you be preserving that data by recording it?

Recording calls is tricky business. Companies need to be careful about how they record and what they do with the recordings after the fact. Moreover, some states have stricter laws about recording than others. For example, your state might require you to inform callers that you are recording prior to a conversation beginning. It is probably a good idea to do so even if it’s not required.

Below are some of the reasons companies record their calls. Call recording is doable whether you field your calls in-house, use a live answering service, or rely on an automated answering solution.

1. Identifying Areas of Need

One of the most important reasons for recording calls, especially in medical settings and other critical environments, is to identify areas of need. Every organization can improve. Indeed, every organization should improve. Recording calls provides critical data demonstrating where improvements can be made.

Maybe your organization needs to work on the customer service process. Perhaps the people who answer your calls aren’t as knowledgeable as they should be. Recording calls will help you identify these types of things.

2. Measuring Employee Performance

Your company undoubtedly has certain standards employees are expected to maintain. Where phone calls are concerned, you obviously want your employees to be polite, professional, and able to do as much as possible to assist customers. How will you know whether they are meeting standards if you don’t know what happens during those phone calls?

3. Resolving Customer Disputes

There are some industries in which the phone is an unusually common source of disputes. Medical billing immediately comes to mind. Property management is another one. At any rate, disputes that boil over during phone conversations can ultimately come down to the customer’s word against the employees. Who do you believe?

Recording business calls immediately ends any dispute about what was said during a phone conversation. The recordings speak for themselves. As an added bonus, employees who know they are being recorded are more likely to not allow disputes to get out of hand.

4. Recording for Training Purposes

We normally think of recording calls in terms of inbound phone traffic. That is why call recording is often discussed in the context of a live answering service. But there are companies that choose to record outbound calls as well. They do so for training purposes.

A typical scenario would involve a company whose sales are based largely on cold calls. Sales reps use the phone to contact potential customers in hopes of generating new leads or getting in-person appointments. By recording and analyzing calls, future sales associates can be trained in how to use the phone to their advantage.

5. Recording for Marketing Purposes

With a customer’s permission, it is sometimes possible to use a recorded phone conversation for promotional purposes. A customer calling to heap praise on your team would likely give you a lot of positive stuff to work with. On the other hand, those types of phone calls are easily forgotten when they are not recorded.

We have given you five reasons companies choose to record their phone calls. There are just as many reasons for not doing so. Ultimately, every company needs to decide for itself whether or not phone call recording is a good idea.

Startup Distractions Phone Calls and a Million Other Things

Startup Distractions: Phone Calls and a Million Other Things

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

It takes a special kind of person to launch a startup and see it through to profitability. Few startups succeed on the efforts of just one person. More often than not, success is built around teams. But even the best teams can be distracted. Between phone calls and a million other things, startups demand a lot of attention.

Our company was once a startup. Our founders know firsthand of all the little things entrepreneurs have to pay attention to in those early days. Phone calls immediately come to mind for the simple fact that they can be terribly distracting. Pile on a million other things and it is enough to drive any entrepreneur crazy.

Handle the Phone with an Answering Service

A single entrepreneur with a brand-new startup has a lot on their plate. There is no better time to sign up with an answering service to handle the phone. If dozens of daily phone calls will distract an entrepreneur from doing other things, an answering service can save the day.

Answering services are ideal for property management companies, HVAC providers, medical offices, home contractors, and on and on. Even tech startups are better served when answering services handle their calls.

Moving on to the Team

Once an entrepreneur is no longer distracted by so many phone calls, they can move on to hiring the rest of the team. The entrepreneur is going to have to look at marketing people, HR experts, customer service reps, product or service development people, etc. The eventual team could be pretty large depending on how quickly the company grows. Nonetheless, great care needs to be put into vetting and hiring.

Bringing on the Staff

It is not unusual for startups to have to begin bringing in staff almost immediately after the management team is assembled. Without staff the company cannot grow. So now, in addition to everything else that goes into developing a business, team members need to post job openings, look at resumes, conduct interviews, and actually hire.

Having to answer an endless number of calls only makes the hiring process more difficult. Thank goodness the startup has an answering service in place. Otherwise, things could get hairy.

Managing the Finances

If you think that bringing on staff is the last thing that needs to be done for a brand-new startup, you have probably never launched one yourself. There is still plenty more to do, including the extremely critical task of managing the organization’s finances.

Startups tend to be debt heavy. They rely on investor cash and their own limited resources to keep things going. Whatever financial resources they have must be put into generating revenue. Otherwise, how are they going to pay staff and cover all their other day-to-day expenses?

Going Out and Getting Customers

Let’s not forget the customers in all of this. Without customers, a startup will not survive. Some of the management team will have to dedicate themselves to customer engagement and retention to the exclusion of everything else. They will not have room for any other distractions.

We have only scratched the surface of what it takes to launch a startup and see it through to profitability. Saying there are a million things to do may be an exaggeration, but not by much. Running a startup consumes an entrepreneur’s time, resources, and energy like nothing else.

If you are an entrepreneur with a new startup, you have a lot on your plate. We might be able to help with a live answering service. Let us handle your calls so that you can limit your distractions.

4 Key Components of a Value-Adding Medical Answering Service

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

We hear an awful lot about value propositions in modern business. Business experts encourage companies to add value in order to grow. We couldn’t agree more. In our industry, there is one particular area that we believe needs to have a lot of value added: medical answering services.

The medical answering service is a staple of American healthcare. Private practices, group practices, individual GPs, and family doctors have relied on answering services for decades. But over the years, little has changed in the medical answering service environment. Perhaps it is time to update service standards to add more value.

With all of that in mind, here are four key components of a value-adding medical answering service:

1. The Clinician’s Representative

The basic premise of a medical answering service is to act as the clinician’s representative on first contact. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants rarely have the time to field phone calls and visit with patients in the office. The phone never stops ringing in most offices anyway, so doctors couldn’t keep up even if they wanted to.

As the clinician’s representative, the person answering the phone is also their voice. This is where the first value proposition comes into play. If phone representatives can provide the same compassion and patient interest as the clinicians they represent, patient satisfaction will be positively impacted.

2. Improving Call Management

A second value proposition is offering a medical answering service as a way to improve call management. Calls from patients, vendors, and colleagues all need to be filtered and responded to accordingly. Calls also need to be prioritized. And when all is said and done, clinicians must get the information they need from those calls to do what they do.

Call management also involves HIPAA compliance. Remember that federal law dictates what types of information can be shared over the phone. A professional medical answering service should not have any trouble with compliance, making for better call management where privacy and security are concerned.

3. Answering Calls with Virtual Reception

A medical answering service can do just the bare minimum by taking names, phone numbers, and messages, then forwarding information so clinicians can respond. Most answering services do at least that much. But a value added service goes further. Rather than just answering calls, they provide virtual reception services.

Virtual reception mimics what staff receptionists do during normal office hours. Virtual reception schedules appointments, handles prescription refills, forwards questions to doctors, handles records requests, and so forth.

It stands to reason that there may be limits on what virtual reception can do. But as far as an answering service is willing to take it, virtual reception can be a game changer.

4. Giving Time Back to the Clinician

Perhaps the most important value proposition for medical answering service is its ability to give time back to the clinician. Like any other industry, a certain amount of time clinicians spend on the phone is wasted. Proper call management can change that.

Some of the calls fielded by an answering service do not actually have to be forwarded to clinicians. In the case of setting appointments with patients and vendors, trained answering service personnel can handle that. In essence, the more phone-related tasks an answering service can take on, the more time a clinician has to devote to more important things.

A value-adding medical answering service does not merely take messages and forward them. It provides a selection of additional services that ultimately prove invaluable to the clinician. Do it right and both clinicians and patients enjoy better outcomes.

Customer Expectations Have Changed Customer Service Should, Too

Customer Expectations Have Changed – Customer Service Should, Too

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

Our entire business model here at Apello is built on the concept of customer service. We offer a variety of service options including medical answering services, property management answering services, and even HVAC answering services. They all have one thing in common: taking care of customers in a way that meets their expectations.

It is no secret that customer expectations have changed significantly over the last two decades. Common sense dictates that customer service should change, too. But for some businesses, it just hasn’t happened. They are still stuck in the old ways of doing things. They have failed to adapt to the modern business department. That is definitely not a good thing.

Customer Service Wins the Day

The most important thing we have learned in the years we’ve been providing answering services is that customer service wins the day. When all other things are equal, a customer will choose to do business with the company that provides the best customer service.

Even when all other things are not equal, customer service tends to win the day. For example, there is a well-known travel and entertainment company that does a huge business in Central Florida. Their rates on everything from hotel rooms to cruises are substantially higher than the competition. Yet they never fail to fill up their bookings. Why? Because their customer service is incomparable.

People are willing to pay more to get top-of-the-line customer service. They are willing to be slightly inconvenienced if it means being treated like royalty. Here’s the bottom line: never underestimate the power of top-notch customer service – even when it comes to something as routine as answering phone calls.

How Customer Expectations Have Changed

Providing top-notch customer service in the 2020s starts with understanding how customer expectations have changed since the turn-of-the-century. One could argue that the biggest change has been the rise in digital communications.

Before the public internet became a thing, customer service was provided either in-person or over the phone. Once in a while, issues were addressed via personal letters from customers to businesses. These days, everything is different.

Digital tech has opened the door to SMS, email, social media, live chat, and other customer service channels. Companies wanting to offer the best possible customer service need to avail themselves of every opportunity. That means maintaining multiple lines of communication.

Here are a few more significant changes:

  • On Demand Service – The digital age also ushered in the on-demand economy. People expect fast results. They expect quick answers and immediate solutions to their problems. Customer service has essentially become an on-demand service.
  • Personalization – Digital technologies have gotten people used to the idea of personalization. They can have things their own way just by making a few adjustments to a mobile app or their website preferences. Top-notch customer service now requires at least some level of personalization.
  • Proactive Service – The modern marketplace has come to expect proactive customer service. Customers expect the companies they do business with to reach out to them, rather than waiting until customers contact them with a problem.
  • Customer Feedback – Modern customers expect to be able to give feedback at any time. They also expect that feedback to be seriously considered. Top-notch customer service demands no less.

Providing the best customer service possible is part of our business model. Whether you are looking for a live answering service or one of our automated options, we strive to impress your customers with every interaction. We hope you do as well. Customer expectations have changed over the last 20 years. Here’s hoping your customer service has changed along with them.

How to Make Business Calls Memorable in a Good Way

How to Make Business Calls Memorable – in a Good Way

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

One of the main reasons for signing up with a live answering service is to make sure all your business calls are answered in a timely and professional manner. It is better when live people answer calls compared to callers being sent to automated voicemail systems.

Ideally, you want customers to have a pleasant experience when they call your business. But why not do better? Why not make sure they have a memorable experience as well? Of course, customers should remember the experience in a good way.

We have experienced bad business calls. We’ve all dealt with discourteous representatives, call center personnel without sufficient knowledge, and even being left on hold long enough to be disconnected. That is no way to make business calls memorable in a good way. Here’s how you can do better by your customers:

1. Answer Calls Quickly

It is common sense that customers don’t like to be put on hold. Likewise, they do not like to sit on the line while it rings incessantly. A memorable call experience starts with a quick answer. How quick? The general rule of thumb for live answering services dictates answering in three rings or fewer. Letting a call go four or five rings greatly increases the chances that the customer will hang up.

2. Keep the Noise Down

Background noise is a big problem for call centers. It can prevent operators from clearly hearing the customers on the other end. It can interfere with the customer’s ability to understand what the operator is saying. A noisy call center is bad news all the way around.

Not only that, but excessive background noise can also give customers the wrong idea about your business. It can give them the impression that chaos and disorganization reign among your staff. That is not an impression likely to boost your company’s reputation.

3. Smile When You Speak

Sales reps are trained to smile when speaking face-to-face with customers. Smiling evokes a positive response. It also encourages the speaker to be more articulate. Smiling even affects vocal tone and enunciation.

It turns out that smiling while you are on the phone accomplishes many of the same things. If you make a point of smiling while you’re talking to customers, you will also be more well-spoken. Your tone will be more pleasant, and you will be easier to understand.

4. Always Give Your Name

Names are a big deal when communicating with strangers. Providing your name to a customer creates a more personal connection. The customer on the other end of the line can now think of you as a person rather than just a paid employee. So, always give your name. If possible, ask the customer’s name as well. Just don’t push it if the customer ignores or refuses your request.

5. Always End with an Appropriate Closing

Finally, make sure to end every business call with an appropriate closing. A simple ‘goodbye’ will suffice in most cases. But you might also try something like ‘enjoy the rest of your day’ or ‘thank you for calling’. A proper closing acknowledges that the call has concluded and that you and the customer are still on good terms.

A lot of business calls are memorable in a bad way. We trust that you want yours to be memorable in a good way. Hopefully, the five suggestions offered in this post will help you and your team improve the quality of your phone communications with customers. If you contract with a live answering service, these five things should already be incorporated into the way they do business.

Property Management 101 How to Safely Manage Angry Callers

Property Management 101: How to Safely Manage Angry Callers

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

Apello acts as a property management answering service for a number of different commercial and residential management companies. We can tell you from experience that property management companies get their share of angry calls. Justified or not, angry callers expect results. For the company representative on the other side of the line, proceeding is a delicate matter.

We take the position that customer service reps should not just deal with angry callers. They should safely manage both the callers and their situations. By ‘safely’, we mean in a way that leads to an acceptable resolution and a happy customer. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

We provide property management answering services with an emphasis on managing potentially unpleasant call scenarios. To keep conversations manageable, we employ some proven strategies:

1. Remaining Calm and Professional

There is always the temptation to answer an angry person in kind. No one likes to be barked at; no one likes to be accused of things; no one likes to be the recipient of complaints over things outside of one’s control. So when an angry caller makes it through, it’s easy to allow emotions to run high.

We encourage call center personnel to always remain calm and professional. Maintaining a calm attitude keeps emotions in check. Maintaining professionalism keeps the conversation from descending into an argument.

2. Listening for As Long As It Takes

It has been our experience that some angry callers just need time and space to vent. They are not necessarily lashing out at call center personnel or even the property management company itself. They are just upset by a particular problem and need to blow off some steam. Let them.

Giving angry callers the time and space to talk can go a long way toward a successful resolution. Let callers talk for as long as it takes them to get it all out. Once they do, they will feel better. Then you can have a productive discussion about how to resolve the problem at hand.

3. Answering Their Concerns Directly

The previous point about letting angry callers talk includes actually listening to what they have to say. Be attentive to every word. Pay attention to every point. When it is your turn to talk, answer their concerns directly. Be upfront, honest, and transparent. And above all, never assume anything. If you are ever unsure about a particular point, ask questions. Make the effort to understand the caller’s position before you try to offer a resolution.

4. Avoiding Putting Callers on Hold

Providing property management answering services has given us plenty of opportunity to learn what angry callers dislike the most. Among their biggest dislikes is being put on hold. To an angry caller, being put on hold is the equivalent of being told that their concerns do not matter. Callers find it insulting and degrading. Therefore, avoid putting angry callers on hold whenever possible.

It is better for call center personnel to continue engaging with angry callers while they look things up in their computer systems. It’s better for supervisors to come to their operators to resolve problems, rather than requiring operators to go to them. Granted, sometimes putting a caller on hold is unavoidable. When it can be avoided, it should be.

Safely managing angry callers leads to better results. It is something we know from personal experience. If you are interested in learning more about how we do it with our property management answering service, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to answer all your questions and provide a no-obligation quote.

That Moment You Realize Your Company Needs a Call Center

That Moment You Realize Your Company Needs a Call Center

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

Your business has been growing steadily for some time now. You have been able to keep up with phone calls, between your own efforts and your dedicated team. Yet you have come to the realization that you’re on the verge of falling behind. You realize your company needs an actual call center. A few employees with cell phones no longer cut it.

Customers Still Call On The Phone

Despite the rise of so many digital communication channels, the telephone still rules the day. Consumers still expect to be able to find active phone numbers they can call when they have a problem. In addition, they expect their calls to be answered by competent and helpful representatives. Enter the call center.

A call center is the destination for all inbound calls. It also represents the first opportunity a company has to provide memorable customer service. Get it right and you boost customer loyalty, drive repeat business, and increase revenues.

More Than Just Answering Calls

A big thing to remember about the call center concept is that it is about more than just answering calls and taking messages. A call center is a vital business hub built to handle a variety of tasks quickly and in a professional way. Here are some of those tasks:

  • Inbound Customer Service – Call centers should be staffed with representatives capable of answering questions, fielding queries, resolving complaints, and providing general assistance to customers regarding products and services.
  • Product or Technical Support – Call center personnel should be fully trained to provide at least a basic level of product or technical support. Incidentally, Apello offers tier 1 tech support as a stand-alone service or part of a call center package.
  • Outbound Sales – Call centers also act as hubs for outbound sales. Some customer service reps are trained to sell while they solve problems. Others are tasked exclusively with outbound sales.
  • Reception Services – A well-designed call center can act as a virtual reception area. Call center reps take messages, make appointments, schedule future work, etc.

There is plenty more a call center can handle. Everything from market research to order processing is on the table. The key when setting up a call center for the first time is to tailor it specifically to the needs of your business. Everything you and your limited team currently do over the phone should be included in the new call center.

Outsourcing Your Call Center Needs

Setting up a call center can be a daunting task. If the idea is to keep it in-house, you are looking at finding space, hiring staff, and investing in enterprise-grade telephone and computer equipment. If you have the time and money, go for it. But if not, consider outsourcing instead.

Call center needs can be outsourced just like basic answering services. A company like ours is more than capable of providing 24/7 call center service in a remote and secure location. A hybrid arrangement is possible, too. Your team staffs the call center during regular business hours while letting us handle after-hours and holiday staffing.

That moment you realize your company needs a dedicated call center is bittersweet. It is bitter in the sense that getting a call center up and running could take time and require considerable investment. But it’s sweet in that the need demonstrates your company is growing and expanding.

Would you like to learn more about our call center services? If so, contact us at your earliest convenience. From the basic live answering service to a fully functioning call center, we can help make your business better.

Communication Is the Fuel on Which Customer Service Runs

Communication Is the Fuel on Which Customer Service Runs

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Contractor Answering Services

We consider ourselves as much a customer service provider as a live answering service. With that said, we are always looking for ways to illustrate how fielding calls contributes to the customer service experience. We have come up with the perfect analogy: communication is the fuel on which customer service runs.

We might have a client relying on us for HVAC or plumbing answering service. Another client might be a property management company utilizing our answering service after hours. Regardless of the details, an answering service’s main priority is communicating with customers on behalf of their clients.

Similarly, both answering services and in-house customer service personnel may interact with customers via online chat or a ticketed support system. Just as with phone calls, chat and support systems have their foundation in communication. That communication is the fuel that drives the customer service experience.

Good Fuel Equals a Good Experience

If you are old enough to remember the transition from leaded gasoline to unleaded, you might also remember that poor quality fuel was a problem back then. If you put lousy fuel in the gas tank, your car wouldn’t run properly. Some people would pay extra to guarantee they were getting the best fuel.

Customer service works the same way. If your customer service personnel are poor communicators, the overall experience is going to be unpleasant for your customers. But if your staff communicates professionally and thoroughly, the customer service experience will be as good as it can be.

This is one of the most important points to consider if you are thinking about signing up with a live answering service. You need a service that prides itself on professionalism. You need a service that treats your customers the way you expect them to be treated.

Good Customer Service Is Timely

Good customer service is timely customer service. In other words, customers don’t want to make a phone call and be put on hold for 30 minutes. They do not want to send an email or support ticket and need to wait 24-36 hours for an answer. They expect customer service representatives to be available at all times.

Once again, communication is key. How quickly a company communicates with customers impacts the overall experience. When communication isn’t timely, customer service isn’t timely. Customers are turned off and the company’s brand suffers. On the other hand, customers enjoy a much better experience when their phone calls, emails, or support tickets are addressed promptly.

Don’t Follow the Bouncing Ball

Customer inquiries can be addressed promptly yet still lead to a bad customer experience. How? By continually passing customers off to someone else. This can happen when call-center personnel are not equipped to handle problems or answer questions.

Customers expect that their questions or problems will be addressed by knowledgeable representatives. They expect that a call center is staffed by people who know what they are doing. When that isn’t the case, they may feel like bouncing balls being passed from one department to another without ever getting satisfaction. That’s no way to take care of customers.

Whether a company utilizes in-house staff or outsources to a live call answering service, the people who answer the calls should possess the knowledge and authority to get things taken care of right then and there.

Answering phone calls and responding to digital communications is where customer service starts. Customer service is fueled by communication. Therefore, the customer service experience is better when communications are professional, timely, and productive. Communication is what drives customer service. Without it, customer service is dead in the water.

Live vs. Automated Answering Service Which Is Better

Live vs. Automated Answering Service: Which Is Better?

Written by Editorial Team on . Posted in Answering Services

By and large, our customers prefer the benefits of a live answering service. From doctors to contractors and property management companies, they value what live services have to offer. But Apello does offer some automated options as well. Which is better?

As with most business decisions, there is no black-and-white answer. There are both pros and cons to live and automated answering services. The real question is what your company needs. Do you need a plumbing answering service that doesn’t field too many calls, or a medical answering service capable of handling dozens of calls per hour?

A Live Answering Service

A live answering service is just as its name implies. It utilizes live operators to answer calls, take messages, document the calls, and more. Customers always speak with live personnel rather than relying on voicemail or other digital technologies. There are a number of benefits to this arrangement:

  • More Personal Service – A live answering service can provide more personal service to customers. For many customers, being able to speak with a live person is a much more pleasant experience than leaving a voicemail message.
  • More Information – Answering personnel can be instructed to gather certain types of information on every call they take. It is information that callers may not leave on a voicemail yet is nonetheless important to the client.
  • Additional Services – Live answering services tend to offer options that go above and beyond merely taking messages. For example, Apello can use your existing calendaring and appointment technology to schedule appointments for you.

A live answering service brings a lot to the table. However, it does tend to cost more than automated solutions. How much more depends on the company you choose to work with.

An Automated Answering Service

An automated answering service is similar to voicemail with some additional features included. One of the key features is the ability to filter calls and direct them to individual voicemail boxes based on need.

The ability to filter is a big plus for companies that feel an exceptionally large number of calls that don’t necessarily require an immediate response. Screening large numbers of calls through filtering can save quite a bit of money when it’s done automatically.

An automated system can generally produce transcriptions and message notifications for clients, too. Some providers, including Apello, will even generate WAV files clients can play right through their email. Clients can listen to their messages on a computer, even if they don’t have direct access to their voicemail through a phone line.

The big downside to automated answering services is the lack of personalization. Some people don’t mind calling and leaving a message. Others do. Trying to decide between the two requires knowing your customers well.

Needs Will Dictate Your Choice

Is one type of answering service better than the other? No, not really. If you are looking for an answering service for your company, your needs will dictate your best choice. We would never try to make that choice for you.

If you are looking for a more personalized service capable of answering and handling your calls in real time, live service is likely going to be your best bet. On the other hand, if you need a cost-effective way to handle a large volume of incoming calls via filtering, you might consider an automated solution.

The best way to know for sure is to contact us and let us know what you hope to accomplish with an answering service. We will walk you through both automated and live answering services to help you figure out what works best.

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