How to Choose a Live Answering Service

Live answering services offer virtual receptionists that are capable of taking your business calls and providing information to customers. Most of these services are run from call centres that work 24 hours per day, every day. The virtual receptionist that you choose will be able to greet callers with your business name whenever you can't answer the phone and then send you an SMS or email to inform you of the missed call. In some cases, the operator can even transfer the calls directly to you. Here are some questions designed to help you choose the right service.

Where is the call centre located?

This is important, as the location of the call centre will have a great impact on your possible customers. You should always select a call centre that's based in the country where you operate your business. By doing so, you will ensure that the potential customers will be greeted by a receptionist who's familiar with the local sensitivities and customs.

What are the operation hours of the call centre?

In order to get the best results, you should seek a call centre that can help you catch the out of hour callers. By hiring a live answering service that only operates during office hours, you won't be able to do that. This is why it's essential that you get a service that operates 24 hours per day, every day.

What plans are available?

This is another question that should determine whether a call centre is good for you. You need to know if the call centre can take messages or calls for more than a team member, as well as whether or not they can forward the messages to other phone numbers as well. It's also possible for call centres to connect the calls directly to your phone number, if you're available, but this service is generally considered a premium feature and may cost more.

What is included in the monthly subscription?

Most call centres will take a fixed amount of calls for your business as a result of the monthly subscription. Anything above that may subject you to extra charges, which you have to agree upon beforehand. You should negotiate how many calls the centre will take for you per month and find a good balance between the price paid and amount of calls.

It's also a good idea to ask if excess calls will be charged on a per call basis, or per minute, as this can quickly add up and cause you to go over budget. Finally, you should also ask if you will need to pay additional fees for the required virtual phone number that the centre will assign to you.

Keep these questions and considerations in mind when contacting companies, like The Message Centre, that specialize in live answering services.