Best Answering Services For Small Businesses

Answering services have revolutionized the way businesses, especially small enterprises, manage their communication requirements. They are an efficient solution that ensures businesses never miss important calls, providing a professional and high-quality service to their customers. This article will delve into the features of answering services, their benefits, the different types available, some popular options for small businesses, and the average costs associated with them.

Features of Answering Services

Answering services are equipped with a multitude of features designed to streamline communication and enhance customer service. These services typically include 24/7 live answering, ensuring that no call goes unanswered regardless of the time of day. Other features often include message taking and delivery, call forwarding, appointment scheduling, and emergency dispatch. Some advanced services also offer bilingual support, order entry, and customer support. These features can be customized depending on the specific needs and requirements of the business.

Benefits of Using Answering Services

There are several benefits of using answering services. Firstly, they help businesses deliver exceptional customer service. With around-the-clock service, businesses can respond to customer inquiries promptly, thereby improving customer satisfaction rates. Secondly, they save businesses from the cost and hassle of hiring and training additional staff. Thirdly, they ensure business continuity during emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. Lastly, they provide businesses with the flexibility to focus on their core operations while ensuring that their communication requirements are efficiently managed.

Types of Answering Services

There are several types of answering services available. Live answering services provide human operators who answer calls on behalf of the business. Automated answering services use technology to respond to calls with pre-recorded messages and prompts. Virtual receptionist services provide a more comprehensive solution, handling not only calls but also tasks such as scheduling appointments and managing emails. Finally, specialized industry-specific answering services cater to particular sectors such as healthcare, legal, and real estate, ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations.

Popular Answering Services For Small Businesses

There are several renowned answering services that are popular among small businesses due to their cost-effectiveness and high-quality service. Some of these include RingCentral, which provides a comprehensive solution including virtual receptionist and VoIP services. AnswerConnect offers 24/7 live answering services and also includes features like online appointment scheduling. Ruby Receptionists, meanwhile, provides specialized virtual receptionist services tailored for small businesses. Finally, Specialty Answering Service offers a wide range of services, including live answering, automated answering, and industry-specific services.

Average Costs

The cost of answering services can vary widely based on the type of service, the features included, and the volume of calls. On average, live answering services may cost anywhere between $0.70 to $1.20 per minute. Automated services are typically cheaper, ranging from $0.45 to $0.70 per minute. Virtual receptionist services, given their comprehensive nature, are usually priced on a monthly basis and can range from $100 to $500 per month. It's important for businesses to compare different providers and choose a service that offers the best value for their specific needs and budget.

Answering services are a valuable tool for small businesses, providing a range of features designed to enhance customer service and streamline communication. They offer several benefits, including cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, and business continuity. There are various types of services available, and multiple well-regarded providers cater specifically to the needs of small businesses. While costs can vary, the investment in an answering service often pays for itself through improved efficiency and customer retention. Therefore, small businesses should consider integrating an answering service into their operations to help drive their growth and success.