3 Top Myths & Misperceptions About Answering Services

As our Daytime Supervisor Andrea Convey pointed out in the last blog post, we are changing the way people think about answering services. Long gone are the days of operators sitting by switchboards, manually patching calls and taking notes with pen and paper. And long gone are the days when those operators scrambled from call to call, answering with terse or robotic responses.

Whether you refer to answering services as just that, or call centers or virtual receptionists, the fact is that just as the names have grown to encompass more capabilities, so has the technology. Unfortunately, for those who haven’t yet worked with an answering service, myths and misperceptions are still around. But misperceptions keep you—not to mention your business practices—in the dark. Here are a few myths and misperceptions about answering services to behind you:

My Business Doesn’t Need One

As Andrea Convey pointed out, some people still think that answering services are only for businesses that must respond to 24/7 emergencies, such as doctors, home healthcare workers, property managers, or technicians in HVAC or air. Others think only big businesses or corporations use answering services. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Transportation companies, hair salons, craft breweries—you name it, any business can benefit from an answering service.

The beauty is that each business owner determines how the services best suit their needs — for emergency after-hours calls only, for roll over calls during busy times when the staff can’t keep up, or as a full-time front desk virtual receptionist. There are options, plans, and customized services to meet each business where they are. The main factor is that when a businesses’ phones are answered, courteously and promptly, customers are happier. And happy customers turn into loyal customers who spread the word.

My Customers Will Think I’m Cheating

Oh my, this is perhaps the biggest misperception of all. It likely stems from the belief that call centers are located in a foreign country, such as India, and that customers will feel they are being “sourced out.” While it’s true that some call centers outsource their work overseas, it’s far from the truth that all answering services do. For example, at Towne we only employ U.S. based virtual receptionists who speak English clearly and professionally, and who operate locally from our facility in Souderton, Pennsylvania. We’re able to serve clients nationwide, but we also know each one of our operators who comes through our doors each morning—and night—to deliver 24/7 coverage for our clients.

In fact, a live telephone answering service gives any business a big advantage when it comes to personalized customer service, tailored to each unique business. Friendly, professionally trained receptionists act as an extension of each business, and customers don’t even realize they’re not talking with an in-house staff member. The right answering service shows that a business cares about its customers or clients, and has taken the steps to make sure they are attended to 24/7, 365 days a week.

It’s Beyond My Budget

Pricing is a common misperception on two fronts. First, business owners assume an answering service will cost more than an in-house receptionist, which is false. Answering services offer prompt 24//7 coverage at typically a fraction of the cost employing a staff member—who also requires benefits and holidays and sick days, which answering services don’t.

Second, business owners often think there’s one cookie-cutter option and price, but there are so many! And each plan is tailored to serve a businesses greatest needs, and to fit within their budget. At Towne, we’re all about listening to what a client really needs and is comfortable with, and that is what builds their unique plan.

To learn how Towne Answering Service can serve your needs, call us at 800-660-4316 for a free consultation. You can also visit our website to learn more about our various business solutions and service commitment, and how we can partner with your business to provide personalized, exceptional customer care that meets your specific challenges and goals.

Deb Crown

About Deb Crown

Towne Answering Service was established in 1968 to provide answering services for medical and commercial clients in the southeastern Pennsylvania area. Utilizing the best technology available at the time (the time was 1968 and the technology was a switchboard), Towne was able to establish a very faithful clientele, the majority of whom are still with us today. As time passed and technology advanced, so did the equipment. The answering service equipment evolved from switchboards to a basic computerized system with handwritten messages. From that, we were able to move to a fully computerized, paperless, state-of-the-art messaging system with digital lines and switching and were able to partner with our clients and provide a higher level of service.