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February 18, 2020

Choosing a Live Answering Service [5 Questions to Ask]

Live Answering Service on a cell phone for a business

A simple Google search will net you thousands of call centers, live answering services, and virtual receptionists. This is great for shopping around, but not so great for finding the perfect fit at the right price point. Now, we think it’s safe to assume that you are looking for a live answering service or call center because you are too busy as it is and need a little extra help with the phones. But then spending hours, days, or weeks dredging through all the potential options online isn’t really a solution, is it?

We want to save you time, money, and stress, which is why we compiled this short, sweet, five-question list that you should ask every potential live answering service center in order to weed out the bad (or those who simply don’t fit your needs) and find the perfect company for the long haul! Because if a company doesn’t match all five of the questions below, then they won’t actually match you or your businesses’ needs in the end – and then you have a whole other headache to deal with!

Let’s skip all that run around and the wasted time and choose the best live answering service for you the very first take.

What Features Do You Offer?

This is a point that everyone needs to start at, because ‘call centers’ offer a huge range of services and often have dozens of features. So, if you are looking for an after hours answering service, then talking with a call center that only operates from 9-5 really won’t help you much. If you need a bilingual answering service feature, then interviewing a company that doesn’t offer that will, once again, leave you disappointed.

We recommend thinking of your ideal company and the services and special features you will want, and then making sure that’s your first question to each and every live answering service provider you speak with. Get this question out of the way at the very beginning, because everything else hinges on it.

Do they have great prices, history, experience, and guarantees? That’s all fine and good, but if the call center doesn’t have the services or features you want and need, then all the other benefits in the world still won’t make them a good fit for you.

Let’s Talk Money! (Pricing)

If ‘what are your services’ is your first question, then your second should be ‘and what is your pricing’. This follows the same thought process as our first point, or rather, even if the call center you are interviewing has the perfect services, credentials, guarantees, and resources for your needs – but have a terrible price or pricing system, then what’s the point? In order to be happy with your call center or live answering service provider long term, then you need the correct services and the correct price for your business. After all, the bottom line is often the final line.

Now, let’s be clear, when we say you need to ask about pricing, we aren’t just talking about how much, we also recommend you ask about ease of payment, automatic withdrawal, additional fees, taxes, and how clear their pricing is. You don’t want a company that makes it difficult to pay, or try to shroud their pricing and systems to confuse you. Choose a transparent company you can trust and work with long term.

Show Me Some Credentials (Reviews, Testimonials, Etc.)

If their services and pricing match your business’s needs, then next up is their credibility. Check for reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, or even on their webpage. Do they have testimonials? Awards? If they do, ask to see or read them. And if they don’t, ask why?

Sometimes they will have a good answer, like if they are a relatively new company and do not yet have a wealth of reviews (though this could still be a red flag if they are young enough to still be working out their services and business operations). However, if their answer is simply ‘we just don’t have any because we don’t focus on that’ or if they have negative reviews, that’s a good sign you should walk right back out the door (or end the call and move on to the next company).

Why Should I Choose You? (Guarantees?)

This is a great question because it lets them tell you their value and what makes them better or different from all the other call centers and live answering service providers out there. Of course, if they can’t answer or don’t know why you should choose them, then you probably shouldn’t.

This is the equivalent to the common interview question ‘why should I hire you’, but whereas usually this question is directed to an individual, now you can use it to see why a certain company is better, or what they can offer you that makes them unique. Questions like this are also a great segue into asking about trials, guarantees, or other incentives.

What Do You Know? (Resources, Blogs, Experience)

Sometimes this question is overlooked, but it’s a good idea to ask any company that makes it through the first four questions this end-all. This is another value-giving question because you would hope that the company you would be working with is an industry leader and therefore shares their knowledge with the rest of the community.

Take Always Answer for example – we regularly post blogs with resources, information, and news because we want to keep our current clients and potential future clients in the loop and educated in our field. If the call center or live answering service you are considering going with doesn’t do the same, then do they really know their industry? Or are they really keeping up with it? They might know the industry now, but if they aren’t staying on top of technology and cultural changes, then they (and your service) might get left in the dust.

Ready to Find Your New Live Answering Service Provider?

If the questions above cover your needs, then consider working with Always Answer! We have a huge plethora of services and features, great and simple pricing, testimonials and reviews, a 7-day free trial, industry knowledge, and a long history in call centers and business communications.

Call Always Answer today to start your live answering service today!

Avoid Costly Mistakes When Hiring An Answering Service!

Don’t let your business suffer due to common misconceptions. Make informed decisions for your business by downloading our FREE guide: “3 Mistakes Companies Make When Hiring an Answering Service…and How to Avoid Them!”