We know how important customer service is to small businesses. But time spent call answering adds up. Suddenly there aren’t enough hours in the day to focus on anything else, let alone grow your business.
Missing the occasional phone call is common enough, but if you’re constantly finding yourself diverting calls to voicemail, you could be giving off the wrong first impression.
Thankfully, help is at hand with a variety of call answering services.
These solutions will receive your calls and relay the messages back to you or your Virtual Assistant. They eliminate the need for voicemail and give customers a more personal touch. So, no matter where you are and what you’re doing, your customers have constant access to your business. Services can range from simple call answering to virtual receptionists and outsourced call centres.
And the benefits? They’re much more affordable than hiring a full-time receptionist and your calls are answered by real people, ensuring customers get the very best experience of your brand. Professionally trained call handlers provide round-the-clock coverage for your business without even stepping foot inside your office.
However, not all call answering services are created equal! So, we’ve pulled together our favourite companies to help you revolutionise the way you deal with phone calls.
Moneypenny is an award-winning telephone answering service, trusted by over 13,000 businesses across the UK. The team there takes the time to match you with one of their dedicated Moneypenny PAs, who quickly becomes a seamless extension of your in-house team. With access to a full online call and message log, you and your Virtalent VA will remain informed at all times. Your Moneypenny PA can also book appointments directly into your calendar, and their handy app is packed full of useful features – allowing you to keep in touch on the move.
Pricing is based on call volume and, most importantly, all PAs work in small teams of four to ensure continuity of service. Best of all, you’re welcome to experience their full service completely free for a week, with no obligation to continue.
alldayPA offers businesses everything from a simple answering service to an outsourced Call Centre. Their 400 highly trained and dedicated staff members handle calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
While other services charge extra for 24-hour cover, alldayPA covers 24/7 as standard so your calls are always answered. There are no voicemail machines and calls are answered within 3 rings, so customers aren’t kept waiting.
Their Virtual Office software puts you in complete control of your messages, call data and how your calls are handled. From setting your availability to telling them who your VIPs are, you can do it all with the touch of a button.
Take My Calls
If you’re a sole trader or small business who keeps missing telephone calls from potential new clients and customers, Take My Calls provides a straightforward telephone answering service that can help.
They have two simple payment options: pay monthly or pay as you go. If your business grows and you receive more calls, their flexible packages let you switch whenever you like.
Message Direct offers services for as little as 60p a day, offering round-the-clock virtual reception coverage seven days a week. They specialise in a dedicated message taking service. These can be delivered to you or your Virtalent VA via email, SMS or call patching. You can also use their overflow call handling service to help you cope with fluctuating demand.
In addition, you’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager who will be on hand to ensure a professional and smooth service.
JAM is the UK’s longest established call answering service, having started out in the 1970s to deal with the needs of musicians who were losing bookings due to missed calls.
Their business has evolved to offer three services: simple message taking (answer), a virtual reception service (pureJAM) and bespoke call handling (JAM). Once you’ve set yourself up, your account is managed entirely online on their portal, meaning you can access your data or make changes whenever you want.
Virtual reception service Simply 66 is part of Pebbletree. They provide cost-effective solutions to small and medium-sized businesses across the UK during business hours.
Using their simple web interface, you can easily decide when you want their receptionists to answer your calls. They supply you with a full recording of each call. This allows you or your Virtalent VA to listen to entire interactions and monitor the conversations between your clients and their call handling team.
While most services charge for every call, Connect Communications takes a different approach. Their unique pricing is based on messages and transfers rather than calls ensuring you don’t pay for wrong numbers or sales calls.
Their operators can take messages, act as an outsourced reception transferring calls to the relevant department or become your sales line, taking payments and processing orders for your business.
Once they receive your profile, they can have you up and running in under 30 minutes. Prices start from £14.99 a month and they offer a 30 day free trial.
Verbatim’s Virtual Receptionist service allows free call transfers as standard and is the only service to allow you to roll over any unused calls, so if you’re having a quiet month, you won’t be penalised.
You can effortlessly switch between their virtual receptionist and overflow call answering services anytime. Plus there are some great add-ons like lead qualification and order taking services.
Verbatim strives to become part of your business by getting to know your values, ethos and image. Besides this, your clients won’t feel like they’re being received by a call centre. Each office space has noise cancelling measures and each staff member wears a noise-cancelling headset.
With no lock-in contracts and a range of phone answering services and virtual receptionist solutions to choose from, ReceptionHQ will give your customers a warm, personable experience on every call.
Their clients range from small businesses and sole traders to large enterprises. They cater for professionals including real estate agents, lawyers and accountants as well as a variety of start-up businesses, contractors and franchises.
You can conveniently manage your call, greeting, transfer and message preferences using their client portal or through their dedicated app.
Whether you’re a one-man-band that receives a few calls a day or a multi-national receiving hundreds of calls, Pocket Receptionist has packages to suit every business and budget.
Choose to forward all your calls or only your unanswered ones to their team of receptionists. You have complete control over your inbound calls and their dedicated notification system allows you to be in constant communication via your mobile. Update your status with a single click, informing your receptionist when you enter a meeting or are in the car.
Face for Business
If you use Google to drive leads to your website and you want a live chat function but don’t have the capacity to run it yourself, Face for Business can help capture online leads for you.
Along with all the traditional call answering services they offer; their expert team can handle these live chats in a friendly and professional manner. You will receive a copy of the chat transcript, along with the contact details of your visitor, turning website views into new customers. What’s not to love?
With so many great options available, it’s a no brainer to outsource this time-consuming task to professionally trained experts, allowing you to focus on the aspects of your business that need your attention. Hopefully, this rundown will help shape your decision and carve back some precious time.
If you’re looking for more information covering productivity and outsourcing, take a look at the Virtalent blog to discover our top tips.