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Written by
Katy Ratican
25 Aug 2021
3 minutes
Why are people still using business phone answering services?
Phone answering services continue to make a lot of sense for small and medium-sized businesses. Here's why
Business answering services

Even in an age of emails, texts, instant messengers and chatbots, the age-old phone still holds its own in business. It’s one of the primary channels for customers to engage with businesses and that’s the reason enterprises still favour having a business phone answering service.

Whether you’re a tech startup, office stationery supplier, fitness centre or recording studio, you would most likely gain considerably from using a business phone answering service. The beauty of it is that it’s one of those solutions that benefit both businesses and their customers.

For customers

Gone are the days when customers would wait days – or even hours – for a resolution. Now they want answers immediately. That’s not because people are getting impatient. It’s because:

  1. More and more products and services are not bought directly from the supplier but delivered through third parties. The individual or company making the delivery may not be responsible for the quality or state of the product.

  2. There’s little in-person interaction. Consumers either buy through an app or from an online marketplace. When there’s an issue, they need to talk to a real human.

  3. Everyone’s pressed for time. Nobody really wants to wait for a business to send an email in two days’ time.

  4. Some problems may be too complicated to explain through chat support. This is especially true if it’s an ongoing issue.

If a bouquet of flowers arrives even a couple of hours late, the customer will feel rightly aggrieved. If their food is too spicy, they need to talk to someone. If the printer has been malfunctioning despite a recent service, they don’t want to send another email.

So, they would want to call the business. But if that call isn’t taken, they might get disgruntled and air their views online. A business phone answering service lets customers talk to a human being at the business and makes them feel respected and, importantly, heard.

It’s real-time customer relationship management and it’s hugely important for customer retention.

For businesses

Whether you’re leading a key investment meeting or just enjoying some time off, there are moments when you don’t want to be disturbed. Repeated phone calls kill your focus and reduce the overall quality of your work. And you can’t ignore a call because it might be a repeat customer or a potential client.

A business phone answering service is your solution. It lets you:

  1. Look professional: Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, a trained professional will answer your call, without making the mistakes people usually make when answering business calls.

  2. Give instant response: You could give specific replies to certain standard queries. If a client wants to know your rates, they can be directed to check the website or told that you will email them later.

  3. Receive every call: You won’t miss calls anymore. With an answering service, every call can be addressed to its potential.

An effective alternative

Despite its advantages, a business phone answering service may not suit everyone’s needs. It isn’t easy to set up and may take a couple of days to get up and running. Importantly, it probably won’t be cost-effective if you are a freelancer, gig economy worker, contractor or are just starting your business. In these cases, a better and smarter alternative would be a second-line app.

A second-line app like Chalkboard would give you auto-reply features that would send automated messages for calls that you would miss. So, you can focus on the task at hand and improve your productivity while the app does the job of a business assistant.

In short

A business phone answering service is still relevant and the right solution for small and medium enterprises that can afford its services. But for others, a smarter, tech-led way to respond to callers would be a second-line app.

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