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What Is a Phone Answering Service, and How Does It Work?

What is a Phone Answering Service?

A business phone answering service employs a group of trained customer service specialists to answer telephone calls on behalf of another business. The Phone Answering agents use a customised script to represent another business. They take a detailed message and relay this information straight back to the company they are representing.

Instead of diverting missed calls to an automated message bank, a Phone Answering Service ensures that real humans answer the call. Humans often hang up if the call diverts to an answering machine, so partnering with a Phone Answering Service means that you never missed a call or business opportunity again. It also means that your customers can contact the business and speak to someone at any time of the day. In most cases, Phone Answering Services are available 24/7, extending far beyond the traditional 9-5pm trading hours. This service can help businesses of any size manage their calls more efficiently.

It can be frustrating from the customers point of view when the company or individual you are trying to call never answers. Instead of missing these calls, a Phone Answering Service guarantees that the customers always have a point of contact. Partnering with the right provider can enhance customer satisfaction and improve an organisation’s customer service reputation.

But how does a Phone Answering Service Work?

Setting up phone answering service is super easy. Phone Answering providers consult with you to develop a personalised script for the agents to follow. That way, the phone answering agents answer, greet and communicate with your customers just like you do!

These agents function as an in-house receptionist, helping with call management across your business. They can also act as an after-hours receptionist to ensure that no call goes unanswered. Phone answering services are flexible – which means that the agents can perform an array of tasks such as dispatching urgent calls, taking bookings, or recording a simple message. A phone answering service handles calls for all business types and is more flexible than a standard call-centre. It can easily integrate into another business’ CRM. This seamless integration means that callers are unlikely to know they’re speaking to an answering service. Instead, the agent may appear has a receptionist at the company.

Follow these simple steps to set up your very own personalised phone answering service.

  1. Enquire with a service provider and discuss your needs with a specialist consultant.
  2. Create a personalised script tailored to your business. This is the script that will be used by the Phone Answering agents when they answer calls on behalf of your business. Some clients even include an FAQ list so that the agents can answer simple questions.
  3. Set up your account by automating the time of day you want your phone system to divert to the Phone Answering Service. You can manually turn this on and off depending on your service provider.
  4. Set up how you want to receive the messages (via SMS, e-mail, telephone call or your client portal).
  5. Once your account is set up and ready to go, you are provided with a local telephone number to divert your phones to!

After completing these steps, the phone answering service transitions smoothly into your business operations. The phone answering service agents answer your incoming calls using a tailored script customised to your business. The agent asks a set of questions (based on what you have designed in your script), and then relays the message to you immediately via SMS, e-mail, telephone call or your client portal.

Phone answering services, depending on your provider, can send you call reports at agreed intervals so that you can monitor who has been in touch and when. At TMC, our clients have access to their Client Portal, where they can view their entire history and Business Intelligence (BI) reports. TMC can also record the calls and make them available to you for your own quality assurance needs.

A phone answering service can increase BPO efficiency when partnered with the right outsourcing provider. The culmination of these factors can result in higher productivity and optimise cost savings. Instead of recruiting a full-time receptionist that might be fully used as all times, it is often cheaper to engage a Phone Answering Service. A Phone Answering Service can help reduce the inherent costs associated with hiring and training. Cutting and controlling these costs allows for the allocation of these funds to other areas of the business essential to success. This way companies can capitalise on usage-based pricing system offered by phone answering providers, converting their fixed costs into variable costs.

An effective BPO strategy can enhance efficiency and lower costs, creating an environment where businesses can focus on the core competencies that drive growth. By outsourcing the tedious and laborious tasks to a Phone Answering Service, businesses can improve their company focus. Employees can be more efficient when they are not consumed by the day-to-day processing and administration activities.

In addition, a phone answering service can be an important aspect to business continuity planning. A Phone Answering Service ensures that disruptions can be mitigated or handled more efficiently. For example, companies can divert their phones to the Phone Answering Provider when experiencing an outage, or in the event of a call volume surge. It also ensures that clients can contact your business when your in-house receptionists are on leave. Even if your phone answering service isn’t always utilised, having this process in place can form an important part of your business continuity planning.

TMC’s Point of Difference – Phone Answering Services

TMC’s ability to deliver measurable business outcomes is backed by over 40 years of experience. We have a proven record of working with all types of businesses, from large organisations to sole traders. TMC has the best people and technology to ensure optimal delivery and performance at affordable prices. To discuss a personalised solution for your business – Please fill out the website form or alternatively call 1300 728 268 to discuss your options with our experts.