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Before You Hire The Answering Service Next Door

May 31, 2008
Every business needs someone to answer their phones, and they often hire a front desk or telephone receptionist to answer, screen and route calls. Great receptionists are gatekeepers to your organization, and when they go on vacation or on personal leave, businesses feel their loss. Turning to temporary receptionist help can be a frustrating, expensive experience. But there's another route that your business can take when you need you need professional telephone coverage. When you partner with a local answering service, you don't need to hire a temporary receptionist. With a local Answering Service your calls are professionally and accurately covered. Your callers will always hear a professional and articulate operator. Local Answering Services, particularly in major metropolitan areas, are well aware that first impressions count and the voice callers hear first, is vitally important to maintaining your company's professional image.

A local answering service should make sure that their operators are well trained, thoroughly screened, all based in the US, and are carefully supervised on a full-time basis. Most nationwide answering services provide an array of useful services that can assist any business. Basic office services can include appointment setting and reminder calls, order taking, 100% HIPAA compliant medical messaging, provide customer service and more. Your local answering service, particularly if you're located in a major city, may or may not be able to provide you with virtual office service options.

Don't bother hiring a temporary receptionist and spending wasted time training him or her on your systems, additionally attempting to fill them in on all the particular details about individual staff members. A local answering service's professional operator will act as your receptionist without the attitude or paperwork. A local answering service that truly offers outstanding value will program your protocols and preferences into their systems so that their operators instantly know how to handle your incoming phone lines.

Professional local answering service staff should understand the important role they play for your business, and should be focused on delivering reliable call coverage, whenever you need it; on an overflow or after hours basis, even 24/7 complete telephone answering. You should receive call details and seamless coverage of all your calls. You should never miss a single telephone call. Your local answering service should be able to notify you of all your important phone calls in many ways, on your schedule: via a text message, by phone, cell or PDA.

Can your staffing agency provide you with perfect temporary receptionists who can hit the ground running and perform their tasks perfectly the moment they walk in your office door? Local answering services' best practices should include anticipating almost your every need, and quickly accommodating your last minute changes to your account. You should have access to professional office staff whenever you need them. All the equipment and support services such as customer service and IT services that you need should all be provided by your local Answering Service. Now, does a temporary receptionist come with that kind of support and backing?
About the Author
Rob Porter is president of 212 Answering Service, a local New York City provider of virtual office services including Answering Services, Mail Forwarding Services, Voicemail Services, and Fax Services. Our local service can go anywhere for you, across the country or across the globe.
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