Message Taking

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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One of the key roles of any answering service is expert message taking. While some of today's companies focus on more complex and extended services, the ability to take accurate messages and to forward them in a timely manner remains an integral component of a great answering service. For many businesses, message taking is the main reason they contract with an outside phone call answering company.

Message Taking Basics

In the past, answering services often used a message pad on which to write down what their client's callers wanted to convey. The page was then ripped off the pad and put into a slot or bin dedicated to one specific client. In the morning, the client would call in, and the operator on duty would read the messages to the client.

Now messages can be entered onto a client-specific screen. They are then forwarded either by email or fax to the client at a scheduled time each morning. If the client is an individual entrepreneur, she may choose to have the service page her or call a cell phone throughout the day to forward caller requests virtually as they come in.

Again, the most important part of message taking is the accuracy. Client customers may call in for an order, and the amount of the order must be correct. They may call in to advise that they need service. Phone numbers and addresses, as well as the specific complaint, must also be correct. If you are considering using an answering service for message-taking purposes, ask for a trial period, free or paid, before you sign a contract for any length of time. That will give you the opportunity to check back with your own customers to make sure the messages you received were accurate.

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