FAQ

Why should I use a telephone answering service?

What should I be looking for in a telephone answering service?

Is there anything I should be careful of when choosing a telephone answering service?

How much will it cost?

How long does it take to get started?

 

Q: Why should I use a telephone answering service?

A: Basically, a telephone answering service gives you the benefit of a full time receptionist without the expense.

A live operator, answering with your business name, makes a much better impression on your customers than a machine, and is much less irritating (who wants irritated customers?). Our call screening means you get the messages you want, when you want them, and you won’t have to spend time sifting through “junk” messages to get to the ones you need. Moreover, you won’t be bothered with unwanted calls like those from telemarketers.

At just a few dollars a day for 24-hour coverage, telephone answering service is a tiny fraction of what you would have to pay your own receptionist, setting aside benefits, unemployment insurance, and the other headaches of hiring nowadays.

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Q: What should I be looking for in a telephone answering service?

A: The most important thing to remember when choosing a telephone answering service is that you will be trusting them with the critical point of contact between you and your customer. When your customer calls you, they will get your telephone answering service and in most cases will think they are talking to your employee. Therefore, investigate a prospective service thoroughly to be SURE you are choosing a service with professional staff and reliable service. Once you have chosen a service, call and leave a message for yourself from time to time as a check on their quality.

Remember, a rude operator, a missed call, a long hold time, or a garbled message can cost you many times what you will pay for the service itself.

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Q: Is there anything I should be careful of when choosing a telephone answering service?

A: Unfortunately, there are quite a few fly-by-night operations in our industry, making promises they can’t keep. Worse still, if you choose a bad service, changing to a good one can be quite difficult, and by the time you switch to a better one a lot of damage can be done with your customers. Above all, avoid the “fixed rate scam,” and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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Q: How much will it cost?

A: As you would guess, cost depends on which services you are using and how much you use. The typical small business usually pays two or three dollars a day, but larger users with more elaborate service will pay more than that.

Note that these costs are always much less than hiring your own operators, let alone covering the phone yourself. Also, the cost pales in comparison to an irritated customer.

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Q: How long does it take to get started?

A: Setting up with one of our “off the shelf” services can be done in a few hours, while more elaborate, custom-designed solutions can take a few days or even a few weeks. The longest lead-time is usually in getting the information we need to design the best solution for your needs.

The first step is to contact one of our customer service staff, who can give you a sense of what your needs will probably be and how long setting up should take.

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Have a question you don’t see here? Give us a call at 503-228-4080, and one of our knowledgeable customer service staff will be happy to help.