In 2016, over 2.7 million Americans worked in some form of customer service. It’s a booming industry that is expected to grow by over 5% from now to 2026.

This is because providing quality customer service to clients is an absolute must if you run a business. It’s a prerequisite these days to provide answering services along with the other products and services you offer.

If you’re a business owner and you’re confused about what an answering service is, and how it works, read on. We’ll explain everything you need to know.

Group of busy young businesswomen working as call center operators

What are Answering Services?

An answering service is simply a service to which you can outsource your customer service needs. An answering service comes in many forms, but they can take calls for your business 24/7.

If you want to open a channel through which customers can ask questions, file complaints or troubleshoot issues with your product or service around the clock, an answering service may be for you. After all, 74% of customerscontact businesses via phone, so an answering service may prove useful.

Of course, there are also different types of answering services you can take advantage of.

Automated Services

Automated services give customers the opportunity to leave messages for your business. They can also get information from specified prompts from an automated customer service agent. These types of answering services are very common.

They’re the types of services that have you “press 1 to reach the company directory,” for example. They’re not entirely adequate for many customer service needs, but they get the job done in a pinch.

Live Services

With a live service, customers will be interacting with actual human beings. Occasionally, customers will be filtered through an automated directory first. With human interaction added on, however, customers’ needs can be met more adequately.

Live customer service agents can provide technical support answer questions. They can also make sales, and generate leads for your business. Large providers of products and services, like Comcast, rely on live customer support.

Live answering services can also serve as a “virtual receptionist” for smaller offices. If you run the sort of business that isn’t open 24 hours a day, but you have customers that expect that level of support, you can use a virtual receptionist.

In this case, you don’t have to have a receptionist work through your standard office hours. Instead, you would use a team of receptionists at a call center to handle your client queries, screen calls, and make appointments for you.

This way, you can be reached around the clock, without actually have to be working around the clock.

Want to Improve Your Customer Service?

The bottom line here is that answering services can be a great, cost-effective way to handle your customers’ needs 24 hours a day. From providing technical support to making sales, an answering service staffed with qualified representatives can do it all.

If you’re thinking about outsourcing your customer service needs to an answering service, consider checking out the pricing information on the services we provide.