You have a single question about a product. But when you dial the business's number expecting a quick exchange of information, instead you hear the cool, detached voice of a computer: "Please wait while we transfer you to the next available representative."

The hold music that follows is a cacophonous explosion of nails on a chalkboard and a series of notes that sound like a child just found a brand new piano.

It's a customer's worst nightmare, and it's exactly why your business needs a telephone answering service.

You might think you have these services pegged but guess again. There are more benefits to these handy companies than meets the eye.

It could be just what your business needs, but don't take our word for it. Read for yourself and decide if the benefits are right for you.

What Is an Answering Service?

An answering service can be a lifeline to business people.

These corporations do more than they get credit for:

  • Take and screen calls
  • Provide helpful customer support
  • Take and place orders
  • Relay missed calls
  • Answer basic business questions
  • Aid in client scheduling

Almost every company will offer several convenient packages with a combination of these accommodations for your business.

As you can see, these services act as a representative and receptionist all tied neatly into one package.

Answering services fall into four main categories:

  1. Automated - These provide prompts to the consumer and offer the ability to leave messages. It's a less costly option, but it can leave sour tastes in mouths if customers need to speak to a human.
  2. Live - This category gives callers the option of talking to a live representative, but automatic recordings are also available for basic needs.
  3. Internet - Similar to live answers, internet answer services provide online chat messaging with customers.
  4. Call centers - Used mostly for businesses with large-volume calls, these centers are typically adept at taking orders.

Depending on the type of business you own, one or a combination of these may be ideal. In this article, we will focus on live answering services.

The Many Benefits of a Telephone Answering Service

Sure, they offer the basic conveniences any entrepreneur or supervisor can identify, but you may be surprised at just how helpful an answering service telephone line really can be.

1. Save on Hiring Expenses and Labor :

The average information clerk makes $29,640 a year. Then there's the typical $4,000 to replace an employee.

Add sick leave, vacation, and missed days on top of that, and the numbers grow exponentially larger.

Sure, when you hire an answering business, you'll have monthly prices or initial costs. But compared to the thousands invested in a single employee, you'll be saving your company loads of cash.

We can't forget about labor, either. Labor alone accounts for 15 to 30% of a company's total revenue, and that's only if it's in the safe zone.

For anyone who has worked in a managerial position, how many times did you hear your boss ask if you could reduce labor?

You can wave bye-bye to those worries.

2. More Revenue :

So you'll be saving lots of money on labor and hiring expenses. What about your revenue in general?

With a call answering service, your company can sell and market 24/7.

That means you're able to get more orders throughout the day and reach more people than ever before.

3. Opportunity for Growth :

No more phone calls that interrupt you or crazed last-minute appointments.

The work that used to be put on your shoulders is removed; instead, you can focus on what you are supposed to be doing: taking care of your company.

For those of you convinced you're an ace multi-tasker, research will reveal that you are actually spending 40% more time jumping from task to task than those who complete their first assignment before moving to the second.

And while you might think you're killing it, you're actually doing a worse job than those who are more focused.

That's a lot of time and effort wasted that could and should be spent on expanding your company.

Oh, and did we mention the focus will increase revenue? Time, after all, is money.

If the organization, relief, attention, and revenue aren't enough to convince you, consider the mass target audiences you can reach with an inclusive service.

Youth can ask questions on the internet. People who seek basic data can get it quickly from an automated message. And anyone with pressing concerns or those who prefer good, old-fashioned calling can speak to a human being.

Customer sentiment scores are also fantastic ways to better your business, and many call answering services now keep records of this so you can grow and adapt according to data.

It's a win-win. You're reaching more potential clients, which can only lead to further growth.

4. Show Your Muscles :

Even if you're a small startup company, the 24/7 availability and human connection on the phone or internet will make you appear to be massive.

This quickly increases customer faith and brand recall.

The answering service's personnel are trained to be professional, and if you choose to incorporate it, many can also be provided with the knowledge necessary to do everything a customer would expect in person.

That consistency is necessary for establishing a customer's faith in your products or services, and it stems from your image.

Furthermore, if you provide a confident, consistent, and positive image (all of which are accomplished through even a small business call answering service), you are increasing your reputation.

With telephone answering services, you can even use a 1-800 number or landline number, whether your office has one or not.

5. Increase Customer Loyalty :

And what does this all lead to?

More customers who trust you and your business.

Furthermore, you'll have knowledgeable representatives on hand at all times, meaning you'll have stellar customer service experiences. And that means climbing customer retention.

Which leads to brand loyalty and more revenue.

Hm. Now how did that happen?

Considerations :

To determine if a telephone answering service is right for your business, be sure to consider your present workload.

Are you overwhelmed? Swamped with calls?

Are you having trouble scheduling and staying organized?

What about your personal productivity? Has it slowed?

All of these are indicators that this service would be ideal for you.

Get the 411

Want some more tips about increasing revenue, growth, and customer loyalty? Take a look at our article about empathy. And while you're at it, get rid of the daily scheduling battles and barrage of interruptions. It's time to grow.

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Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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