How to Choose the Right Answering Service
What type of answering service do you need?
The most common (and least expensive) type of answering service is a messaging service. An operator answers calls in your business name, and tells the caller that you are not available. The caller then leaves a message, which is forwarded to you immediately by email and SMS. This type of service starts at around $39 a month.
With a call connection or concierge service, an operator answers calls in your business name and then transfers the call to you if you’re available to take it. If you choose not to take the call (or if the operator is unable to reach you), a message is taken and forwarded to you immediately by email and SMS. This type of service starts at around $70 a month.
A virtual receptionist service, meanwhile, can be set up to do more than just take messages and transfer calls. They can handle simple questions or book appointments for you, leaving you free to focus on other tasks. You’re charged only for time they spend on your account, so it’s cheaper than hiring a full-time receptionist.
Where is the service based?
We’ve all had bad experiences with overseas call centres that have poor quality phone lines and operators who don’t speak English as a first language. That’s not the impression you want to give to your customers!
An Australian-based service will provide good quality phone lines, and operators who speak English and are familiar with the local customs and culture. And make sure that ALL calls are answered in Australia. There are some services that answer calls here during local business hours, and then ship the answering off-shore after hours.