Answering service companies are a great way to make sure all of your customers' calls and questions are answered, but if you already have a receptionist, is this really a service that your company should invest in?

The answer depends on the needs of your company and the call volume you experience. Remember: Hiring a telephone answering service won't put your receptionist out of work. In fact, many answering services only handle your calls if you are unable to answer the phone first or it's after hours. Still, how can you be sure you'll have a valuable ROI? Here's how you can determine whether you need a phone answering service.

You Might Need an Answering Service If:

  • You have more calls coming in than your receptionist can answer alone.
  • Your receptionist needs help scheduling appointments.
  • Your receptionist needs help taking and processing orders.
  • You receive a large volume of calls past your normal business hours.
  • Your receptionist doesn't have time to greet customers in person because of phone calls.
  • Your receptionist needs help, but you want a more budget-friendly solution than hiring new employees.

You Might Not Need an Answering Service If:

  • Your receptionist has down time in between calls.
  • Your receptionist is able to answer all incoming phone calls.
  • Your in-person customers aren't ignored because of large call volumes.
  • The majority of your calls come in during business hours.

A good way to gauge whether your receptionist needs help is to talk to her or him about whether or not they feel overwhelmed or feel they need assistance. If they do, and if you can afford to hire another receptionist or assistant, this may be the best option depending on the care your customers might need.

An in-house receptionist can receive special training specific to your company, and you can track their behavior easier than you might be able to with an answering service. However, professional answering services can be a good solution for your company as far as budget is concerned, especially if you receive phone calls at odd times and need an after-hours answering service.

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