“A well delivered Live Answering Service will generally mean that callers will assume they are speaking to the business.”

  • Relevant Industry Experience
  • Operational Hours
  • Empathy & Phone Manner
  • Multi-Channel Capability
  • Service Model Options

There are many Live Answering Services out there. So how do you know which one to choose, or how do you know if you have selected the right one? They all spruik just about the same thing; but are they all on par? Here we offer some pointers to consider how you can make the best choice for your business by asking the right questions.

Relevant Industry Experience

Ask your Live Answering Service provider to identify what other clients (like you) that they serve. This will identify a fit for you within their existing portfolio of customers as well as proven capability. Do they have customers that are willing to act as a referral to their experience? If so, make sure that the testimonial is coming from a relevant source and that you ask as many questions as you feel relevant to your needs. There is no point hearing about how well the Live Answering Service manages a Medical Centre Bookings if you require After Sales & Technical Support with Triage.

Operational Hours

Establish your requirements from the onset. Do you have business hour’s needs, or does your business require extended 24/7 support? How does your Live Answering Service provider resource skill set After Hours? Do they outsource this to another provider or an offshore centre to reduce costs? If you require a Complex Live Answering Service, how does you provider retain the required knowledge base across all hours of demand?

Empathy & Phone Manner

A well delivered Live Answering Service will generally mean that callers will assume they are speaking to the business. Ensure that your Live Answering Service values the Customer Experience and that employees of the Live Answering Service are not discouraged from being able to manage a professional conversation to resolve a caller’s reason for the call. There is nothing wrong with your Live Answering Service advising a caller that you will need to get someone to call them back if this is conveyed as a solution and in a professional manner.

Multi-Channel Capability

A good way of determining the best provider is to analyse the types of services that are offered. They may not all be relevant to immediate needs, but useful tools that may assist you in the future. A Live Answering Service that has a broad range of tools indicates insight into remaining relevant in the changing landscape of communication and consumer choice. These days contact centres don’t just operate over the phone. Having a provider that has multi-channel capabilities, such as, phone, email, live chat and social media, can boost your customer service options.

Service Model Options

Does your provider offer flexibility around scripting options, scope and integration to CRM?  Avoid services that only offer limited choice around information to obtain or provide to your callers.  This can often lead to an unresolved conversation and can function to create a lack of direction.  Too much flexibility can also be dangerous.  Although scope is necessary, being too broad can result in inefficient processes to achieve the same outcomes.

There are obviously many questions included in this article.  Hopefully, some arouse relevance to your scope of needs that may act to reaffirm your chosen provider or prompt a review for alternatives.