10 Business Types That Need a 24/7 Answering Service: Is Yours One That Could Benefit?


How much time in the day does your business spend taking calls, making calls, returning messages, and otherwise trying to deal with the day-to-day logistics of scheduling, client communication, and running a business? It can be exhausting, overwhelming, and extremely inefficient for those who want to keep up with the competition and continue to grow their business. No two businesses are the same, but there are several that could benefit from the addition of a 24/7 answering service. 

This service can handle everything from after-hours calls to online scheduling, lead intake, and even SMS and Facebook messaging for your business, no matter what industry you’re in. Even with the available online tools available today, including social media, some people still need to pick up the phone and make a call. Every single one of them expects a person to answer the phone and provide the solution or service desired. 

Few companies can afford to invest in a fully staffed in-house team to handle all of their calls, messages, appointment scheduling, lead intake, and so forth. That often leaves responsibilities split between the available employees or customers who are left out in the cold to wait for business hours to resume and hope for a return call or email. 

But, there is a better way. With the help of a 24/7 answering service, you can provide everything that your customers, clients, vendors, and others need without having to lose any of your own valuable resources. Plus, when you outsource, you’ll save a small fortune compared to hiring your own people to handle communication. 

What about that “personal touch”? 

There’s an interesting balance taking place in the modern world of business—consumers want instant, on-demand solutions and rely on smartphones and other devices in their lives to deliver. However, they still expect custom, curated communications and relationships with the businesses with which they interact. It sounds like a paradox to some, but it’s really just a matter of utilizing your resources. 

When you choose the right professional answering service, you’ll be able to put them on the front lines, acting as the face of your business and integrating with all of your existing software, tools, and resources so they’re essentially just an extension of your company. It usually ends up that this becomes even more of a personal connection than some companies can provide otherwise. 

Do you have the hours in the day to spend that kind of time nurturing your calls, emails, and messages? It’d be nice to think that you do, but there is a hierarchy here and it’s something that you need to think about—when your team is only faced with handling the most important calls and reaching out to the most qualified leads, you will be able to provide a better level of service to those people. And, you won’t feel like you’re drowning doing it all on your own. 

There are several benefits to enlisting the assistance of a 24/7 answering service, and it can actually serve a great purpose for almost any business. Plus, you can even have your people trained to handle calls and messages for your specific industry and customize the service to be the face of your business, providing more personal connection than you might even be able to on your own. 

So, as you can see, just about anyone can benefit from this option. However, some will benefit more than most. Read on to learn all about the top 10 companies that could use the services of virtual receptionists that offer 24-hour phone and online contact. 

1. Small businesses

Small businesses and startups are working with a limited budget and limited resources. Sole proprietors and small brands often can’t afford to hire someone to handle calls and messages as an employee, but they don’t have the time to take care of everything themselves. This leaves them in quite a unique position where they have to reconsider how to do business. Fortunately, 24/7 answering services and virtual receptionists can provide the perfect solution, no matter what the business needs. 

Small businesses also benefit because these plans are scalable and will grow with the company, allowing you to change things, adopt new services, scale up or back on existing services, and more. It’s all about creating the ideal solution even when you can’t afford much, and that’s where outsourcing to these types of services always wins. The small business can utilize resources like lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even customer service follow-up. The chance to provide an enterprise level of service even on a new business budget is a big perk here. 

2. Service businesses

Service businesses can always benefit from the assistance of an answering service. These professionals are often in the field, out on jobs, and nowhere near a computer or phone where they can take calls, make appointments, or respond to emails and other messages. Thus, having someone to do the job is key. For those who can’t afford to hire someone in-house or who just want a more dynamic solution, working with an answering service that provides 24/7 solutions and support could be the answer. 

In the service industry, you’re always working. When you’re not, you’re working to find the next job. No one has time to sit behind a desk taking calls and answering emails all day. That’s what assistants, receptionists, and administrative professionals are for. Of course, that’s another paycheck and another expense to account for. With a 24/7 answering service, you can spend a fraction of the cost for a dedicated solution to all of your customer, client, and vendor contact needs. 

3. Growing and transitioning businesses

Scalability is one of the biggest assets of working with outsourced answering services. The growing business, or the one that is going through some major transition, could benefit greatly. Not only does it take the necessary resources off your plate, but it also allows you to find new tools and resources (and people) that can grow and scale with your business as time goes on. Plus, when you’re in between stages of growth or you just haven’t quite found your fit, it can be difficult for you to choose just one solution. 

Forget outgrowing software and constantly replacing tools and services. With the right answering service, you’ll have a team that can scale with you as you grow to meet all of your needs. Whether you decide you want a full-service receptionist team at your disposal or you just need some help with overflow until you get settled in your new size, this is a great option. 

4. Real estate professionals

In the world of real estate, phone calls and communications are always coming and going. If you’ve ever seen a busy real estate agent, you’ve likely seen them calling, emailing, texting, and doing whatever else they can to reach their clients and run their business, all while showing homes, arranging other deals, and trying to be a dedicated agent that can deliver the type of experience that every client expects. 

Instead of fighting the never-ending communication struggle, consider enlisting the assistance of 24-hour virtual receptionists and answering services that can field calls, check leads, schedule showings, and even just forward messages to you from after-hours calls and emails. 

5. Medical and dental offices and providers

Did you know that the majority of professional answering services offer HIPAA-compliant data storage and communication services? Some providers will say their only reason for not using this service is because of concerns related to privacy and HIPAA laws. Anyone can outsource to virtual receptionists for online messaging, phone support, and all kinds of other solutions. 

Most commonly, healthcare providers use this type of service to assist with intake and appointment scheduling or after-hours calls and messages. However, it can be used for whatever you need. 

6. Insurance agents and agencies

This is another industry where leads, phone calls, and follow-up communications can eat up a lot of valuable time and resources. It’s hard to create the balance between staying connected and getting swallowed up by the mass of emails that need to be returned, leads that need vetted, and sales that need to be made for the month. Then you add your existing customers and their needs, and it is no wonder you feel overwhelmed by everyone that you have to reach out to. 

You don’t have to do it alone, though. A 24/7 answering service can be customized to take care of any and all of your messaging, live chat and chatbot, and phone call needs, no matter how large or small those might be. 

7. Spas, salons, and personal wellness brands

Like many service businesses, the personal wellness industry is one that’s always got its hands full—quite literally. Spas, salons, fitness centers, and other wellness brands will find value in outsourced answering services to handle the complex issues of scheduling and appointment booking, lead follow-up, online inquiries, and so much more. Client communications are big in this industry and the personal touch is important, but it’s even more important to have a streamlined process in place and offer availability to people when they want it, not just when it works for you. 

8. Computer/software/IT companies

We all know that IT people aren’t necessarily the greatest communicators when it comes to being the “face” of a company. For all of the genius and skill in managing complex computer systems, collecting and analyzing data, and other tasks, the ability to interact with customers and meet their expectations may not always translate as effectively. 

There's nothing wrong with that, either. When it comes to giving your company the best chances, you need to take advantage of the resources you’re given, including those of 24/7 virtual receptionists. These people might very well be the best choice to represent your tech brand so that your team can focus on the tech stuff—which is what they should be doing. 

9. Legal offices

Lawyers and law firms are another industry that could benefit from answering services. Law firms and attorneys need all of the time that they have to focus on their cases and the legal issues being presented to them. They don’t need to be interrupted by phone calls or bogged down with endless emails that need a response. By outsourcing with professional answering services, legal professionals can focus on their job and let the receptionists handle the rest. 

Dedicated receptionists are available with legal expertise and they can even be trained on specific topics or how to best represent your practice so that clients think that these people are an extension of the firm, not an outsourced service. It's a win-win for everyone involved. 

10. Hiring and staffing firms

When it comes to the types of businesses that need all the help with communication and lead intake that they can get, hiring and staffing agencies are clearly on the list. If you’re in this field, you know how critical it is to have the right resources for your clients, candidates, and others who may be trying to reach out to you. People might not be able to get to you during “normal” business hours, which is where a 24/7 answering service can come into play to provide the support that you need. 

What about overflow calls during peak hiring times? Let an answering service weed out all of the bad leads for you so that you can focus on the best ones and the candidates that you’re already placing. 

Any business can benefit with a customized answering service solution from Smith.ai

Whether your company made the top 10 list or not, you’re sure to find benefits to be had from outsourcing your needs to a 24/7 answering service like the dedicated team at Smith.ai. Our receptionists can handle everything from standard call intake to outbound calling, appointment booking, Facebook and online messaging, live chat, SMS, and so much more. If you need someone to help manage your communication while you manage your business, a partnership with Smith.ai should be on your radar. 

If you’re ready to learn just what a custom answering service can do for you, schedule a Live Chat consultation. From overflow and after-hours service to a full-service communication solution, we’ll help you find your fit in no time.

Business Education
24/7 Call Answering
Written by Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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