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.