Five Things You Should Know About an Answering Service

Answering services are like an extension of your team. Although answering services work in remote locations and may never meet your customers face to face, they can be reliable resources to extend your services. Here are five things to know about answering services.

1. Not all are 24/7 – Not all answering services provide service 24 hours per day. Some only provide answering services during traditional working hours, while others provide automated answering services overnight. It is important to confirm that your customers will be answered by a live voice 24 hours per day.

2. Answering services have many service differentiators – Reporting, message delivery options, the ability to set appointments, pricing, hours of service, quickness to answer, quality of service and many other items. Be sure you understand all the criteria when evaluating which answering service will handle your business.

3. Are they HIPAA compliant – Dealing with customers’ private medical information is very complicated. Secure information input, storage, messaging, and appointment setting are necessary. Can your answering service provide those services?

4. Redundancy matters – Does your answering service have a plan for a power outage, inclement weather or some other unplanned incident that will affect their ability to provide you service? You have a right to understand their disaster recovery strategies.

5. Dedicated on-call teams make sure the correct team members are contacted – Hiring an answering service makes it possible for customers’ calls to be patched you at any time, day or night. However, you might have a more complex schedule for on-call resources and a dedicated on-call team makes sure that that the appropriate employee is contacted via the appropriate communication channel always.

Many different types of businesses can find value in hiring an answering service; however, it is important that they understand the basics about the services they provide so they pick the right one.

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