Business hours are not always applicable to people or companies that deal with emergencies. If you operate a business or work in a field that requires you to be reachable at any time of day or night, you might want to consider a business answering service.
Why an Answering Service?
With cell phones and coverage being so good, the idea of having an answering service might seem odd, but there are some excellent reasons to have someone answering your business line when you are away from the phone. For most businesses, if someone needs to determine if the call is an emergency or not, an answering service provides a person to filter the calls for you.
With an answering service, the call gets answered, but if the caller has an emergency, the service can call someone to help. If the situation is not an emergency, the service will take a message and deliver the messages to you during business hours.
While you could give out your cell number instead, most people do not want people to have their number and call at inappropriate times. If you get a call from the service in the middle of the night, you can be sure that the situation warrants some direct attention and cannot wait.
Hiring an Answering Service
If you are considering an answering service for your business, talk to several services and find out what they can offer. For doctors or emergency response companies, you may want to hire an answering service that is specific to your industry. The best service for you is going to be one that has employees with experience determining when to call you and when things can wait.
Discuss the situations with the company you are considering and find out when they would call you and when they wouldn't. If you are not happy with their answers, they might not be the right answering service for you.
Customer Service and Personal Attention
When you have someone answering your phones after hours, people that call feel like they are getting better service. In today's world of automated message systems, a voice at the other end of the phone that can discuss the problem and help resolve it is very appealing.
For some potential customers or clients, the person answering the phone could make the difference between a hang-up and lost client or someone that feels your company values them enough to be there any time of day or night.