Investing in an answering service is something that a lot of businesses are starting to do. The perks of installing an answering service outweigh any disadvantages that might come along with it (though there aren’t many cons). The real questions, though, is weather to use one that is automated or a live business answering service that utilizes a real person on the other end of the phone.
Automated Answering Services
As a customer, you’ve have probably dealt with an automated answering service many times in the past. Even when you call your voicemail, this is technically an automated program that allows you to follow certain steps to get to an end point. They work by using a cloud-based computer system to answer calls and redirect the caller to the appropriate representative.
Pros of an Automated Answering Service
The main perk of an automated service is the cost. Automated answering programs tend to be cheaper than hiring a real-life person to answer phone calls. However, always make sure you read ALL of the fine print before making the investment. It seems to be much cheaper on the service, until they slam you with hidden fees. For example, there could be a cap on the call volume each month and if you go over this, you’ll be sent a hefty bill.
Cons of an Automated Answering Service
Other than the hidden fees that often pop up, there are a few more disadvantages to an automated answering system. The first is that there is a higher chance of technological glitches. We all know that technology is not reliable 100% of the time, so there is always a chance that your answering service will go down with tech-related issues.
Another con is that there is no personal touch to an automated system. This has actually been proven to be a turn off to customers and potential customers. Data shows that more people are likely to hang up out of frustration when they don’t actually speak to a real human.
Live Answering Services
With a live answering service, your calls will be directed to a HUMAN, not a robot. There is a training period involved to get your representative up to speed on your company. You can opt for a live answering service that operates 24/7 and is always available to your customers.
Pros of a Live Answering Service
The most apparent benefit of a live answering service is that a REAL person will be available for you customers. If you choose a reputable agency, this person will be professional, well-trained, and extremely personable. With an automated system, customer service isn’t really possible. This is not the case with a live service.
As you can see, we skipped the cons category for a live service. That’s because there aren’t any! Other than the initial upfront cost, a live answering service is better in every way. In the end, a live service will cost about the same as installing an automated one. Most importantly, though, it does wonders for your business when you give your customers access to a pleasant human being rather than a cold robot.