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What is an Answering Service?

An answering service is a replacement for the classic receptionist at the front desk. In most situations, an answering service manages a business’ incoming phone calls including booking or managing appointments or providing business information such as hours or services. In some situations, an answering service could handle customer service calls and even product sales by phone.

Common Answering Service Types

  • Live answering service – A live answering service is exactly what it sounds like - a person to person conversation with a live phone representative at the moment the customer calls in. A live answering service can answer questions, provide information, and manage customer needs.
  • Automated answering service – This type of answering service will route your calls to what is called an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) instead of routing the call to a human being. Although it is efficient, some callers find the process daunting and abandon calls out of frustration.

 What is an answering service and what features does it offer?

There are many features and services that are often provided by a quality answering service. Most answering services provide appointment booking, after-hours answering services, overflow call management, and customer service or sales.

 What industry uses answering services?

Almost every industry can benefit from an answering service. Legal offices can use answering services to manage client calls after hours or during peak business times. A medical facility or doctor’s office can have an answering service handling their appointment bookings or reminder calls. A plumber or handyman can use an answering service to handle calls while they’re on the job unable to answer the phone or after hours when an emergency may come in. Customer phone calls exist, regardless of your industry or company size, and it’s important they are handled professionally.