Is a Business Answering Service Better Than a Receptionist?
Unless your business requires a receptionist, you probably don’t understand the cost of having this person on the payroll, the training involved, and the resources that are required to keep this employee happy. Sure, a receptionist is a vital part of the team, but having one on staff could be doing your company more harm than good.
There is an alternative to a receptionist that you might not have considered: a professional
business answering service. A business answering service works basically the same way that a receptionist does, only that nobody is actually need in-house. There are pros and cons of not having a receptionist in the building, but the many benefits of an answering service make up for this.
In our honest opinion, yes, a business answering service is a better option than having a receptionist on staff. But no matter what we say, it is still up to you to make your own decision on this, so here’s what you need to know.
How does a professional answering service work?
When you invest in a professional answering service, you will still have someone answering your phones just as you would with a receptionist. However, this person will be in a remote location not actually within the confines of your office. But don’t worry, you’ll have complete access to this person and the ability to communicate via several channels.
Who will be the one answering the phone?
You will technically be considered a client of the answering agency and typically have a team of several individuals assigned to your specific case. These individuals have undergone an extensive training period from the agency, usually one that takes 12 weeks from start to finish.
They’ll also receive training about your personal company, how everything operates, and how to offer the best customer service for your customer base. Another perk is that you won’t ever have to worry about your receptionist needing vacation time. The agency will handle all of that, so you’ll always have someone to man the phones no matter what.
How much will this service cost?
We can’t give you an exact number since every answering service varies in cost. We can, however, tell you that a business answering service will cost a great deal less than having a receptionist staff member on the payroll. Think about it, how much would you be paying your receptionist each year? Probably somewhere around $28,000 depending on your location. On top of that, the company has to provide health benefits and other necessary compensation.
We haven’t even covered the other costs relating to keeping a receptionist on staff. You need to have an office space for this person, a desk, phones, office supplies, and anything else for this person to do the job effectively. With a professional answering service, you don’t have to worry about providing any of these things. Your call representative will receive everything from their own employer, who technically is not you but instead the answering service agency.