For decades, answering services have been a staple of business models. They provide the means for a business to handle incoming calls 24/7 and ensure callers are responded to rather than going to voicemail. But you might be wondering, is an answering service the best option for my business, or are there other options to explore? Here are three reasons why a basic answering service might not be a fit for your business.

You Don’t Need 24/7 Availability

With 24/7 pick-ups, you guarantee that the phones are always answered. In theory, this sounds great. However, if there are hundreds of employees working shifts around the clock throughout the year, they are unlikely to be truly knowledgeable about your business.

Most answering services will be able to answer the phone, but can’t really provide answers to prospect questions when pressed. When an answering representative picks up the phone for your business, they will often only be able to take note of the caller’s inquiry and pass it along to a team at your company.  While better than the call going to voicemail, it’s often falls short in creating a solid first impression of your business when the caller wants to find out of you are a fit for their needs. 

An answering service might be the right solution for some businesses where messages are mainly taken in, like a plumber or doctor’s office. But for many other businesses, having a high-level sales assistant picking up the phone will provide their customers with a better experience, even if it isn’t available 24/7.

Sales Inquiries Need More Than Message Takers

When a caller contacts your business for information, that’s what they’re looking for, not simply looking to have a message taken down. However, with a typical answering service call center, that’s the result your callers will likely receive.

Those calling to get in touch with your company will benefit much more a more knowledgeable person on your business, who can answer questions quickly, and provide callers with the level of information they are seeking. If this sounds like it might benefit your company, then a traditional answering service might not be the best fit for your organization.

They Are Loud And Rushed

Call centers are designed to take as many calls as possible. They do this using a round-robin approach where phone representatives answer calls for many different businesses. As you can imagine, the level of service your callers receive from this approach might not be as personal as you’d like.

Because answering services agents handle calls for multiple businesses, they are often unable to address specific concerns. Furthermore, spending so much time on the phone with various parties makes it hard for an agent to have in-depth knowledge about your business. This is an especially important point if your company relies on sales, where personal relationships and impressions matter.

A Better Solution

An sales answering service can provide your business with the means to take messages and guarantee the phones are answered. However, there may be better levels of service that your company can provide. When it comes to handling inbound calls from potential clients, hiring a virtual assistant to manage them may be the perfect solution for you.

Hiring a virtual assistant offers several advantages of answering services, including a more intimate knowledge of your business and operations, as well as a dedicated focus on your company. It also ensures that whoever is answering the phone on behalf of your company knows your business, can properly engage with your callers, and knows your customers well. If that’s the case, then a basic answering service might not be the best fit for you.