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 $1 a day.
A call connection service, often also called a virtual receptionist service, is the closest thing to having your own receptionist. An operator answers calls in your business name, and then phones you with details of the caller to ask whether you want to have the call connected through to you. If you choose not to take the call (or if the operator is unable to reach you), a message is taken, which is forwarded to you immediately by email and SMS. This type of service starts at around $50 a month, which is significantly cheaper than hiring your own 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.