Pros and cons of using a call answering service for your small business

Work phone ringing off the hook? That’s a great thing! One of the most important aspects of any small business is receiving incoming calls. But not every business has the luxury of a dedicated team member monitoring the phones during the workday—not to mention all the calls that come in after-hours.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of call answering services out there to assist. The key is finding the right service—one that provides all of the “pros” with few (or none) of the “cons.” So, with that in mind, let’s review a few of those potential pros and cons to help you choose the right service provider for your unique needs!

The pros of using a call answering service

Adds a ton of time back to your day

If your team is relatively small, odds are some of your staff are pulling double duty, trying to do their primary tasks while answering calls, too.

Over time, that adds up to plenty of lost productivity. However, it’s not always cost-effective to hire a full-time receptionist or customer service rep. That’s where call answering services can help!

An integrated call answering service—or virtual receptionist—is usually the perfect solution, handling calls so you don’t have to. This allows your team to focus on their main tasks without distractions.

Saves money in the short term—and even more in the long run

Distractions cost your business more than you might think. A five-minute chat with a caller could derail your team member’s previous focus for up to 23 minutes, research finds.

By that math, a few calls a day equates to hours of lost focus. Meanwhile, many of those calls don’t even lead to any business. Thus, the time invested ends up being wasted.

A savvy answering service screens calls, answers basic questions, takes messages, and routes calls appropriately, as needed. Ultimately, this can add up to thousands—or even tens of thousands—of dollars in cumulative savings for your business.

Ensures consistent customer experiences

The art of customer service requires certain skills that most workers simply don’t possess. If you currently have random team members answering calls, there’s no telling what sort of customer experience the callers are getting on their end.

With a dedicated call answering service, your business can offer an elevated experience, provided by experts trained in customer service. This generally boosts a brand’s professional image significantly. Plus, depending on the flexibility of service you opt for, you could offer bilingual and round-the-clock call support, enhancing customer satisfaction even more!

Potential cons of call answering services

Delegating can be tricky

When you spend months or years putting your blood, sweat, and tears into a business venture, it’s hard to delegate tasks to an outsourced third party. But as business magnate Sir Richard Branson insists, “The art of delegation is one of the key skills any entrepreneur must master.”

For a call answering service to integrate smoothly and respond effectively to incoming calls, you’ll have to share some information and potential Q&As. That’s a minor investment of time many owners don’t want to make. But if you delegate to the right service, that investment pays off quickly.

Call answering services can be costly

Using a call answering service is a business expense. Costs vary based on the service and plan you select. Whether the cost is worth it or not depends on a few factors.

Are you getting so many calls that it’s disrupting your team from doing their job? Are you missing out on business due to after-hour calls? Only you can determine the answer to those questions.

Other factors include whether the service itself provides good value for the money. To assess that, it’s wise to review the reputations and reviews of the providers you’re considering.

At a minimum, if you’re considering using a call answering service, we suggest giving it a try! It’s easier to sign up for a month of service than to hire and train a full-time worker. And if things don’t meet your expectations, it’s much simpler to end a third-party service than fire an employee!

Room for human error

Perhaps the biggest potential “con” is selecting the wrong call answering service provider for your needs. Not all services are created equally.

Some, like Ruby, have been in business for decades and have a well-established track record of excellence.

Others may be “fly by night” operations without the resources (or desire) to invest in high-tech tools or properly train their agents. As a result, their clients end up in a worse spot than if they’d never used a call service in the first place, due to errors, poor service, billing issues, etc.

Get all the pros of an answering service—by partnering with the pros at Ruby

Finding an established service provider—one with a rock-solid infrastructure, modern capabilities, and a high-quality reputation you can trust—just might be the solution to all your phone call needs.

At Ruby, we’re more than an answering service; we’re a team of communication experts dedicated to helping your business make the most of every customer interaction. Using our proprietary technology, our virtual receptionists integrate seamlessly with your business to answer customer questions, qualify leads, screen out spam callers, take messages, route calls—and make a great impression on behalf of your business.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to get started!