Whether you are a doctor with a hectic schedule or a business owner, choosing the right answering service can make or break your business. It isn’t usually possible to take all of your own phone calls and focus on doing your job, so the prospect of hiring help comes up. You may find that you do not need a full-time secretary and that your calls come in at all different times of the day so hiring a part-time person doesn’t solve the problem either. That is when finding an excellent answering service makes a big difference.
Your answering service should be able to make your callers feel as though they have reached your office. They need to be extremely professional and know exactly what to do with your calls in order for you to provide excellent customer, or patient, service. When an answering service does their job properly, they become a real asset to your business and you will see your business grow.
There is a big difference between having an answering machine taking messages and having your callers reach a live person they can leave a message with. The answering service should be able to answer basic questions callers have about your business and even set up appointments for you.
You will want to look for an answering service that has been in business for at least a few years. This way you will know that they are knowledgeable about the industry and how to best handle your phone calls for you. You might also check to see if they have won any awards and ask for a list of referrals. Find out if there are other satisfied customers who would recommend the answering service. The future growth of your business and the satisfaction of your current customers may well depend on the choice you make, so be sure to choose the best answering service you can find.
You will also want to choose an answering service that has the latest technology. They should be able to deliver your messages however and whenever you would like them. You can have them emailed, faxed or dictated to you over the phone (they can even record them to your voice mail, if you would like). The answering service should also be able to patch the calls straight through to you should the situation require it.
I would also check with the Better Business Bureau and make sure there are no unresolved complaints against the company. They may not have any record of them at all and that is fine, just be sure they do not have a list of complaints filed against them.
One way to tell if your answering service is good is by the questions they ask you when you inquire about service. They should be interested in exactly how you want your calls handled and should be able to assure you about the quality of the service they provide. If you feel cared about and respected by your answering service personnel, there is a good chance your callers will, too and that is exactly what you are looking for.