If you're just about to open a business in which you may often receive phone calls after hours that may need to be returned the same day, or you want calls processed during your lunch hour, you should contract with a live answering service. But as this is the first time you are dealing with this type of company, here are some of the important services you can expect to receive.
Message Service -- When you hire a live answering service, any calls you receive after hours or while you are at lunch are answered by a human being. This person will answer the phone using whatever specific way you answer your regular calls and is able to take messages if the call isn't urgent, transfer the call directly to you or someone else you have designated as a responder, or take the caller's number with the promise that someone will return the call within a few minutes. You decide what type of call deserves an immediate callback and what type of call is not urgent enough for your immediate attention. However, most live answering service companies will send you a text on all non-urgent calls to inform you that a client, patient or customer called so that you can decide if you want to call them back.
Virtual Receptionist Service -- If you don't want to pay for a standard receptionist who sits at your office all day and processes incoming calls, you can hire a live answering service to do the job at a fraction of the cost. Virtual receptionists answer your phones as if they were actually sitting at your workplace,and they can direct calls to you or other staff members without callers knowing that the person they just spoke with doesn't work at your office. The way it works is that your office number is diverted to the live answering service the moment a call comes in, then everything works the same way once the phone is answered.
Call Overflow Service -- Call overflow is a service offered by live answering companies in which they will answer calls when your normal lines are tied up with incoming calls. This prevents a customer, patient or client from hearing a busy signal, and lets you handle as many calls as possible during your workday without leaving callers stranded or sending them to voicemail. The live answering service operator can take a message, transfer the call or send you a text informing you that someone is on the line.