Working for an answering service can be a smart, easy way to make money. Many people prefer answering services to call centers because most answering service companies handle inbound calls as opposed to outbound, and typically, depending on the client, representatives don't have to upsell. You can even find at-home answering service jobs. Some, though not all, answering services allow its employees to answer calls from home, saving you the time and effort of going into an office.
If you're considering working at an answering service, you should know that there are different types of answering services. You can work for medical answering services or perform various tasks for small business answering services. Both options provide distinct benefits versus standard call center service jobs.
Here's what you can expect.
Medical Answering Service Jobs
Don't worry, working for a medical answering service doesn't require you to know any medical facts or jargon. Since you're not a nurse or doctor, you won't be expected to answer medical questions – nor should you.
Instead, you'll take messages, dispatch important calls to doctors or other medical personnel, schedule appointments, and answer common, non-medical questions for the medical practice for which you are taking calls.
You will be expected to treat each patients' information securely and comply with HIPAA guidelines. The best medical answering services will train you on how to do this.
Small Business Answering Service Jobs
Most answering services are geared toward small businesses. Depending on the answering service you apply to and work for, you could be performing a variety of tasks. In all of them, you'll be answering the phones. You might be asked to work unusual or difficult hours, since many answering services offer their help 24/7.
Small business answering service jobs often require you to have some technological experience so you can process orders or set up appointments. Depending on the service you work for, you might have to adjust to each company's scheduling software, or you might need to process orders by entering information into a website. If you feel uncomfortable with these functions, be sure to find a company that provides ample training so you feel confident when you begin taking calls.