Answering Services

Written by Andrew Kozlov
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If your small business needs to cut costs, it might be a good move to reconsider how your company delegates secretarial work. One possibility might be to use an outside answering service to get business done on the go. Doctors and hospitals utilize answering services to expedite patient requests and keep phone queues from getting backlogged.

Of course, responding to the nuances of customer service questions often requires a more in-depth understanding of your business model. Training your answering service representatives is critical. You need to make sure that your operators have enough information about your company to relay calls and sort urgent messages from not so urgent. In addition, you should give strict parameters for when the service should interrupt you to deliver a message.

How to Manage a New Answering Service

Answering service representatives should also be trained in customer relationship management. CRM is more than just a study of politeness. It is a full philosophy of integrated management and anticipated response techniques. Your agent should also know how to catalog callers and direct them to appropriate automatic menus.

While intuition might suggest teaching your answering service agents as much as possible about your vocation, the truth is there’s a limit to how much improvement such training will generate. In fact, the simpler you keep your rules, the more effective the service will be. When you inundate agents with information to keep track of, they tend to get overwhelmed and bogged down.

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