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Not all call answering services are the same.

07 March 2016 5624 Views
Not all call answering services are the same.

If you’re considering using a telephone answering service, what are the types of questions you need to ask, before you commit to a company who will effectively be representing you, day in day out? Let Face for Business guide you…

Do they offer you a Lead PA?
Do you have a Lead PA or a pool of PA’s who know your business inside and out, and have a briefing process in place, which ensures that whomever answers your calls, knows your business?  What happens if your so called ‘lead PA’ goes on lunch or is on holiday?  Is there a pool of PA’s who are kept up to speed with your company details and movements?

How do you know that their PA’s are experienced and have the necessary interpersonal skills?
Do you look for quality of staff when choosing a call handler? Are the PA’s of your chosen call answering service put through a rigorous training process?  Are they IQ and psychometrically tested, ensuring that their PA’s are of a high standard, can thrive under pressure and are good at obtaining information and value customer service?

Accessing the Service
Most phone answering services offer email/sms for your messages but can you access your own client portal, for you to update your status yourself, to let your PA know your whereabouts, and to give call handling instructions?  Can you view your pricing package information, see how many units you’ve used, and can you optimise your own bill?

Are their calls recorded?
Many say that all their calls are recorded, but are you offered the ability to listen to your calls? Can you log in to your own portal, from your desktop, in your own time, and listen to your PA in action, interacting with your caller/potential client?

Can you monitor the service levels your callers get and give feedback? 
Is the service honest and open? Can you give your virtual PA’s feedback? Are you encouraged to leave positive and constructive feedback for each and every call?  Why does this matter?  Because it shows that the telephone answering service wants to improve its service for you.

How do you know you’re dealing with a quality company?
Does the phone answering service that you’re looking at have an external quality standard? Can they prove that they’re dedicated to providing you with a first-class telephone answering service?  Look for testimonials, client feedback or have they achieved a quality standard with a recognised external organisation? For example, the ISO 9001 : 2015 certification, proving that they have a recognised benchmark of best practice.

In summary…
There are many telephone answering services touting for your business, each one offering similar services, but when you look closer each one is different, and you have to filter out what’s most important to you and your business.

So whilst one may have a contemporary website, with wistful looking PA’s, are they personable and can the company offer you value for money?  Maybe you’re browsing industry leaders' websites or have heard a name?  Do they actually let you listen to your calls? Appearances are not always what they seem.

Ask yourself all the above questions when looking for someone to represent you and your business and choose the best possible service you can get, with excellent value for money.  You would want to know how an employed member of staff is doing, and it’s no different when outsourcing to a telephone answering service.  Open and honest are qualities to demand.

What does Face for Business offer you?

  • Your Lead PA will show you around your portal via a screen sharing process, and will be your contact when you want to inform us of any changes. They will get to know your business inside and out, and ensure that your pool of PA’s are updated.

  • All of our PA’s undergo a stringent training regime, and we only take on those that have life experience and have worked across a wide variety of business sectors.  We have a six-week training programme and all our staff undergo IQ and psychometric testing. We only want the BEST PA’s for you.

  • You can log in to your very own secure online portal to change your call handling status, review your pricing package, optimise your own bills, re-read your messages (after having them text or emailed to you) and listen to your calls in your own time.

  • You can listen to ALL your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • You are encouraged to leave your PA feedback on every call – positive or constructive, letting us know that we’re providing you with the best service, and helping us to improve.

  • We have the widely recognised ISO 9001: 2015 certification demonstrating that we are dedicated to providing the best possible service we can.


Like what you are hearing?
We want to prove to you, the reader of Estate Agent Today, that we can offer you the best call handling service for your estate agency.  We take calls for a large amount of estate agents and our PA’s are experienced in taking calls from your clients and callers.  Read our testimonials to see what our clients are saying about our service and how we’re helping them save time, money and upholding their reputation.

Call us today on 0333 323 1007, email hello@ffb.co.uk or complete our 7-day free trial form here.


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