There are a lot of answering services out there. How do you pick the right one for your business? After all, the employees of the answering service that you choose will be the first impression that many of your customers get when they call you. Of course, all of the answering services will bill themselves as “customer-focused” or “excellent” or “the best.” But when they all claim these attributes, how are you to know which one to choose for your business? Here are some tips to help you to make the right choice.

1 – Industry Experience

It is always best to work with an answering service that has worked in your industry before. That way they will be familiar with how your business works and with the best practices for your industry. Make sure to ask for references from within your industry as you are talking to the sales team.

2 – Don’t Be Impatient

Would you let a brand new receptionist start answering the phone right away, or would you spend some time training him or her first? I would imagine that you would want that receptionist to be well trained before you turned him/her loose on your customers. It is the same with a good answering service. Of course, the answering service can get you into the system so that they could start answering for you. However, a good answering service will want to spend at least some time making sure that their operators are trained and prepared to provide excellent service to your callers.

3 – Check Into Their Technology

This one is not what you think. Most of the call center technology is plenty good to give an operator all of the information that they need to handle any call. What you want to ensure is that they have the proper technology to handle any downtime with the utilities. You don’t want a simple power outage to shut down your answering service. Ask about their backup solution and what their experience with it has been.

4 – Are Their Operators Friendly and Professional?

We pride ourselves in our operators. We always refer to them as our friendly and professional operators because that is what your callers want and that is how we train our operators. Ask about any call center’s training program. Try to figure out what their priorities are for their operators – is it to get through calls as quickly as possible or is it to be a friendly and professional extension of your business?

5 – Stay Away From The Big Corporations

You have a choice when it comes to the answering service that you choose. Do you want a big, impersonal corporation that reports to its stockholders, or do you want a family-owned business that treats its customers like family? Of course, some of the big corporations may end up being cheaper, but from what our customers have told us, this comes at the cost of personal service.

You want to make sure that you choose the right answering service for your business. These quick tips were meant to help you think through some of the issues that will come up when you are deciding on an answering service.