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The Importance of Answering Services for Small Businesses
Answering services play a crucial role in the success of small businesses. They offer numerous benefits, such as enhancing customer service, ensuring no calls go unanswered, saving on costs, and improving efficiency. By employing call center services like answering services, small businesses can outcompete their rivals and provide top-notch customer support while reducing staffing costs and turnover rates. Live answering services offer a wide range of services, including call handling, scheduling, lead intake, website chat, and more, with 24/7 availability and flexible plans tailored to your needs.
However, not all small business answering services are created equal. Automated answering services may be more cost-effective, but they often lack the personal touch that can be crucial for creating a memorable customer experience. This is why it’s essential to carefully consider the type of answering service your small business requires: live or automated.
Types of Answering Services: Live vs. Automated
Telephone answering services can be divided into two main categories: live and automated. Live call answering services offer human interaction and an enhanced customer experience, ensuring that phone calls are handled professionally and efficiently. On the other hand, automated services provide an economical solution for handling business calls, but may lack personalization. When selecting a call answering service, consider features like 24/7 availability, appointment scheduling, lead capture, customizable call scripts, and multilingual support.
Ultimately, the best choice for your small business depends on your specific needs and budget. If providing a superior customer experience through human interaction is a top priority, a live answering service may be the best option. However, if cost is a primary concern, an automated answering service could be a more suitable choice.
Remember that it’s essential to strike a balance between cost and quality to ensure your small business thrives.
Key Features to Look for in a Phone Answering Service
When searching for the best phone answering service for your small business, it’s important to review reputable companies with favorable reviews, customizable plans, and a range of features. A professional telephone answering service should offer key features such as 24/7 availability, appointment scheduling, lead capture, customizable call scripts, and multilingual support.
A dedicated account manager can be a valuable asset for your small business, ensuring all calls and inquiries are handled efficiently and professionally. Customizable call scripts allow the answering service to address customer inquiries in a way that aligns with your brand and messaging. Multilingual support is essential for businesses catering to diverse customer bases, as it helps bridge language barriers and expands your potential market.
By carefully considering these key features, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect answering service for your small business.
Top Answering Service Companies for Small Business Success
With so many answering service companies available, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your small business. Some of the top answering service companies that contribute to small business success include Go Answer, MAP Communications, and Davinci.
Go Answer provides a friendly virtual receptionist service that can process client orders, ensuring your business never misses a sale. AnswerConnect’s Answering Service Care has a long history – it was established in 1974. It is a renowned and well-established company, offering live answering and chat services. Go Answer specializes in providing support to small businesses in various industries, including education, finance, realtors, healthcare, and legal firms. Its services include an answering service, live web chat, and virtual receptionist, with a 30-day risk-free trial and various plans to choose from.
Each of these companies has its unique features and offerings, so it’s essential to carefully consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting the best answering service for your small business. By choosing a reputable and reliable answering service provider, you’ll be better positioned to succeed in today’s competitive market.
Cost Comparison: In-House Receptionist vs. Virtual Receptionist
Cost is always a significant factor for small businesses, and it’s important to consider the cost comparison between in-house receptionists and virtual receptionists. In-house receptionists can be expensive, whereas virtual receptionists offer cost-effective solutions with adjustable pricing plans, potentially saving businesses up to $33,000 per year. VoiceNation, for example, offers cost-effective plans without contracts and charges in 6-second increments, ensuring customers only pay for what they need.
The cost savings of virtual receptionists, combined with their flexible pricing plans, make them an attractive option for small businesses looking to improve their customer service without breaking the bank. By carefully considering the costs associated with both in-house and virtual receptionists, you can make an informed decision that best suits your small business needs and budget.
How to Choose the Right Answering Service for Your Small Business
Choosing the right answering service for your small business can be a daunting task, but with a clear understanding of your call volume and needs, thorough research and comparison of the best answering service providers around, and taking advantage of free trials, you can find the perfect solution for your business.
In the following subsections, we’ll delve deeper into each of these steps to help you make an informed decision.
Assess Your Call Volume and Needs
Before selecting an answering service, it’s crucial to determine the level of support your small business requires. This includes assessing the types of calls your business receives and the specific services you need, such as: call center service, handling, appointment scheduling, and lead capture. By understanding your call volume and needs, you can ensure the answering service you choose aligns with your business requirements and helps drive growth.
It’s also important to consider the scalability of your business and its call volume. As your business grows, so will your call volume, and you’ll want an answering service that can adapt to these changes. By carefully evaluating your call volume and needs, you can select an answering service that not only meets your current requirements but also supports your future growth.
Research and Compare Providers
Once you have a clear understanding of your call volume and needs, it’s time to research and compare answering service providers. Look for reputable companies with positive reviews, customizable plans, and a range of features that align with your specific needs. Additionally, consider the level of customer support each provider offers, such as email, phone, and live chat support, as well as their hours of operation.
Don’t forget to take pricing into account when comparing providers. Look for providers that offer cost-effective plans, discounts, and free trials, allowing you to test their services before committing to a long-term contract. By thoroughly researching and comparing providers, you can find the perfect answering service for your small business.
Test Drive with a Free Trial
A free trial is an excellent way to evaluate an answering service before committing to a long-term contract. During the trial period, use the service as if it were a paid service, testing out all features and gaining an understanding of how the service operates. Additionally, take the time to ask questions and receive feedback from the customer service team, as this can provide valuable insights into the quality of support offered by the provider.
By taking advantage of a free trial, you can assess the quality of professional answering service, and ensure it meets your business needs. This not only gives you peace of mind, but also helps you make a more informed decision when selecting the right answering service for your small business.
Implementing a Virtual Receptionist Service in Your Small Business
Once you’ve chosen the right answering service for your small business, it’s time to implement the virtual receptionist service. Start by determining the essential services you need, such as call handling, appointment scheduling, and lead capture. To make the most of your virtual receptionist, ensure they can also schedule appointments for your business.
Next, consider how the virtual receptionist service can adapt to your small business’s activity level; providers like Smith.ai can tailor their services to suit your needs, whether you receive fifty calls a month or five.
Finally, sign up for a customized plan that aligns with your call volume and needs. By carefully considering these factors and implementing a virtual receptionist service, you’ll be well on your way to improving customer service, increasing leads, and growing your small business.
The Benefits of Bilingual Receptionists for Small Businesses
Bilingual receptionists can provide significant advantages for small businesses, allowing them to reach new customers, eliminate language barriers, and improve customer retention rates. By offering multilingual support, answering services like MAP Communications can help small businesses cater to diverse customer bases and expand their potential market.
In an increasingly globalized world, having bilingual receptionists can set your small business apart from the competition and create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all customers. By embracing bilingual receptionists, your small business can tap into new markets, build stronger relationships with customers, and ultimately drive growth.
Overcoming Common Challenges with Answering Services
Small businesses face various challenges when using answering services, such as limited staff, high costs, missed calls, competition, and delivering quality customer service. By choosing the right answering service for small businesses, they can overcome these challenges and reap the benefits offered by these services.
For example, by employing a virtual receptionist service, small businesses can save on costs associated with hiring an in-house receptionist while still providing exceptional customer service. Furthermore, virtual receptionists can help manage incoming calls, ensuring no calls go unanswered and improving customer satisfaction.
By addressing these common challenges, small businesses can thrive and succeed in today’s competitive market.
Why Choose Go Answer as Your Small Business Answering Service?
Go Answer is a top choice for small businesses seeking an answering service due to its comprehensive, tailored solutions, performance analytics, and round-the-clock live answering services. With its multichannel platform, Go Answer integrates calls, emails, texts, and live chat messages, providing a seamless and efficient customer service experience.
By choosing Go Answer as your small business answering service, you can benefit from flexible and customizable options that cater to your specific needs and requirements. With their performance data metrics, you can continuously monitor and improve your customer service, ensuring your small business stays competitive and successful in today’s market.
In conclusion, choosing the right answering service for your small business is essential for enhancing customer service, increasing leads, and driving growth. By understanding the importance of answering services, comparing live and automated options, evaluating key features, assessing top providers, and implementing the right virtual receptionist service, your small business can overcome common challenges and thrive in today’s competitive market. Don’t let missed calls and limited resources hold your business back – invest in an answering service and watch your small business reach new heights.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an answering service and an answering machine?
An answering service provides direct contact with a real person to answer calls, while an answering machine is an automated system which records messages.
An answering service offers greater flexibility for businesses, allowing them to set up personalized messages, provide after hours coverage and gain valuable feedback from customers.
How much does an automated phone service cost?
On average, automated phone services cost between $50 and $149 monthly, with per-minute rates ranging from $0.93 to $3.09. Some providers offer unlimited usage without additional fees for messages or users.
Therefore, businesses can tailor their automated phone service needs to their budgets.
Do people still use answering services?
Yes, many people still use answering services, particularly businesses that want to provide a personalized customer experience. Answering services help keep customers happy and ensure any calls are answered in a timely manner.
These services can be used to provide customer service, take orders, and even provide technical support. They can also be used to provide after-hours customer support services, allowing customers to get help when they need it.
How do I set up call answering for my business?
Setting up call answering for your business can be done in just a few steps. First, do your research on your target market. Then, decide on the location, pick a telephone provider and create a business plan.
Additionally, register your business, open a bank account and purchase necessary equipment. Finally, make sure to use virtual phone numbers for the best experience.
What are the main benefits of using an answering service for my small business?
For small businesses, an answering service can provide a wealth of benefits such as improved customer service, 24/7 call coverage, cost savings, and increased efficiency.
These benefits can help small businesses stay competitive in the marketplace and provide customers with the best possible service. An answering service can also help reduce overhead costs by eliminating the need for additional staff and providing a more efficient way to manage incoming customer calls.