A mobile phone answering service is a company that answers the phones on behalf of other businesses. They are especially suited to small businesses who cannot afford the extra overhead of renting bigger office space, furnishing it, and hiring a receptionist. It is also called a virtual or cell phone answering service
As such, using a mobile phone answering service saves your business costs and helps improve customer relations. If you run a freelance operation, sometimes you are on the road or busy with technical details that make it inexpedient to take an incoming call. By using a mobile phone answering service, your business does not have to miss any calls. A live person is always available, round the clock, to respond to your clients and customers.
It is much more than just getting your calls answers, though. A professional mobile phone answering service goes over and beyond to serve as a solid PR tool for your business.
How does a mobile phone answering service work?
You are likely already familiar with the term, call forwarding. When you sign up with a mobile phone answering service, your business mobile number is set up to forward your calls to the answering service when you are not available or after a number of rings.
Virtual answering services work seamlessly with not just your existing cell phone, but can also work with your landline or VoIP phone.
A dedicated business representative answers incoming calls on your behalf, responds to the customer or prospect, takes down notes of important messages and appointments, and then forwards them to you for action when you are available.
Because the service works via call forwarding, you can switch providers without your business number changing. In summary, a mobile phone answering service is like a call centre, but customized to represent different businesses. The representatives are briefed about what your business does and how it operates, so they can respond as accurately as possible to enquiries.
Depending on the scale of operations, different mobile phone answering services offer different levels of specialized operations. Most are suitable for enquiries and complaints, which will be forwarded to you, the professional to take care of and follow up on. A few, larger ones have more specialized teams that can handle more specialized operations.
What are the benefits of using a mobile phone answering service?
One, your business never has to miss a call again, whether you are not reachable or whether it is outside office hours.
Two, you are able to run light and keep your overheads down, and save on hiring a receptionist, and renting and furnishing or equipping a reception. No electronic boxes or cabling to be done.
Three, you are able to concentrate on the core operations of the business, rather than get bogged down with calls. This improves your productivity and will boost your bottom line. Telephone calls are often distracting, whether you are a doctor, a graphics designer, software developer, or a web developer. Outsourcing that aspect of your business operations will boost your productivity immensely.
Who can use a cell phone answering service?
Mobile phone answering services are perfect for small businesses where the key staff are technical people and need someone to take care of customer enquiries and complaints, without the business incurring huge cost outlays.
But larger businesses also use mobile phone answering services to outsource these departments for similar reasons. So, pretty much any kind of business can use an answering service.
How much do cell phone answering services cost?
Many such services provide a free trial period, so you can experience their service at no cost for a limited time to see if it fits your requirements.
After that, you can take up a pasy-as-you-go subscription. This is good for your business cash flow, as it means you do not have to pay a huge amount upfront for a year’s service.
The specific pricing system and figures differ from one company to another. Some charge as much as $30 per month flat rate. Others bill per call, between $0.50 to $1.75 per call. It all depends on the scale of service they provide and how basic or specialized your needs are. So, shop around a little.