How Do Answering Services Work?

Many businesses regularly receive calls after hours. This often makes them wonder whether or not they should hire an answering service to handle these after-hours calls. The answer is almost always a yes, especially in industries where 24/7 service may be required.

However, a lot of people shy away from these services because they are unclear about how they work or what all hiring one entails. In truth, though, most professional answering services are fairly simple, convenient, and affordable. Furthermore, they typically offer many great advantages to businesses of all types.

No Onsite Employees

Sometimes, people think that hiring an answering service means hiring an onsite or in-person employee who will sit in the office at all hours and take calls. However, this is not the case at all. Typically, a person working for an answering service works remotely, often at home or in a call center, and handles calls for a business. Since this person usually answers multiple calls for multiple businesses, the business in question is not required to pay a full salary or benefits to the person.

Instead, this person works directly for the answering service and is paid by them. Thus, businesses using the service only have to worry about paying a regular fee to the service instead of bringing on a full-time or part-time new employee and all that doing so entails.

Tailored Service

Contrary to popular belief, answering services don't just take calls, jot down messages, and forward on urgent matters. Instead, they can actually do just about anything you need. When you hire an answering service, you're in charge, and you can determine the level and type of service you receive.

Some people, for example, do have their answering services just take messages. Then, they can have their regular receptionists call the callers back. Others, though, will allow their answering service access to their scheduling books and other information so that they can take payments or make appointments. The choice is really yours when it comes to what you want and demand from an answering service.


Finally, many people worry that an answering service may not be competent enough to handle their calls, especially if they work in a sensitive industry, such as health care or mental health care. However, you can easily choose a service that specializes in your field. Or, if you prefer, you can leave detailed enough information so that any service will be competent enough to handle your calls.

Ultimately, as long as you put real research and effort into choosing and training your call service to meet your needs, you should have a great experience.