When you’re in the market for a virtual answering service, you’ll be facing a tough problem: how to decide which one to use. The answering service industry has ballooned in recent years. This means that it will be hard to make a choice between them.
Don’t just choose the cheapest service that you can find – price is one of the least important factors you should consider. Here’s a simple guide on what you should be looking at when determining which answering service to choose:
The first element you must consider is the training that the agents of the answering service receives. Your answering service will be the first point of contact you have with many of your clients. The first impression lasts and you’ll want to present a professional face.
This means you’ll want an answering service that has trained its people well. Ask questions on what sort of training these agents undergo. Additionally, ask whether they receive refresher training or get more training during their tenure as your virtual receptionist.
You’ll also want to look at the various features and services that an answering service can offer you. Depending on their equipment and training, these answering services often have different features available. For example, there are services that also offer e-mails, texts, and more in their answering service.
When thinking about features, remember the ones that you will most likely need. For example, if your company works in an area with a lot of immigrants, a bilingual answering service may be well-worth the extra money that you pay.
Compliance and Certifications
Another element that you must consider is whether your answering service is qualified to take your calls. This is especially important for some businesses. For example, if you’re a medical clinic, calls to your office will most likely have confidential medical information relayed in them. To protect yourself legally, you’ll need an answering service that is HIPAA-compliant. Take note of the legal regulations that your answering service must meet to take calls for your office.
In addition to compliance, you’ll also want to look at the various certifications that the answering service has. Some answering services take great pride that they’ve passed certification programs so check out what they have.
Finally, when picking a virtual answering service, you’ll need to consider your budget. Some services expect to be paid per call. This can be bad if your business takes a high volume of calls. Other answering services charge per-minute for when they are called to assist. Think about what will be more cost-effective for your purposes.