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Call Answering

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Call answering is a changing field with many misconceptions. The following are some call answering FAQs:

Q. What is meant by call answering?

A. We’ll start with one of the most basic call answering FAQs. Call answering refers to the practice of using an automated system, usually an interactive voice response system, (IVRS) or another third party, to answer calls. Call answering encompasses everything from a basic voicemail system to the latest in voice response technology. In some cases, the term call answering is used to mean only that a third party will answer calls. These are commonly known as call answering services. For our purposes, we’re going to define call answering is any service more complex than a simple voicemail system that answers, forwards or otherwise handles incoming calls.

Q. Who uses call answering?

A. Many people don’t understand the breadth of call answering, so this is among the most common call answering FAQs. Call answering is usually utilized by businesses of all types, from small to large. Some small businesses do not have the call volume to make this service worthwhile, but many employ basic voice response systems to direct calls. Some only take advantage of the ability to forward calls to another number. In particular, medical organizations, equipment repair technicians, financial traders, lawyers and executives use call answering services. Many of these entities prefer a 24 hour call answering service to ensure they don’t miss any calls and that people can always get hold of them in an emergency. These services also work to keep low priority callers from getting through to the person in question, saving a lot of time throughout a typical work week.

Q. How much do call answering services cost?

A. The question of money is always among the top call answering FAQs. Unfortunately, it has no easy answer. The cost of call answering services varies widely, from as little as $10 a month for a basic IVRS that allows for a few extensions to as much as several thousand dollars a month for the most state of the art system. Typically, however, a small business can expect to pay around $20 for an automated system with all the most common features. If you want a human to answer your calls, you’re going to pay considerably more. Shared packages, in which your business shares the service with several other businesses, start as low as $30 a month for 100 calls or 300 minutes. Dedicated services cost upwards of $100 per month and are generally customized to suit the needs of each client.

Q. How do call answering services work?

A. Many people want to know exactly how call answering services do what they do, which is why this is among the call answering FAQs. These services typically break down into two categories: automated and manual. Automated services are usually software programs running on a computer system somewhere which answer your calls and can then either take messages, route the call to another number or provide information to the caller. Manual services route your call to a person who can be located anywhere in the world. This person will then answer your call and either transfer it to your phone or take a message. These messages are then delivered to you in a manner of your choosing, which may include over-the-phone delivery, transcribed fax or transcribed email.

There are many call answering FAQs, but the above questions cover the basics of call answering. If the above call answering FAQs did not answer your questions, you can find more advanced information on a myriad of sites around the web.

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