5 Criteria to Find the Right Answering Service for Your Bakery

Samir Sampat
|
2023-02-14

You might not think that your bakery could benefit from an answering service, but you might want to think again. Think about how many things you have to do in a day. From the actual baking and preparing the foods and menus to running the business itself, it can be a lot. Today, however, there are a host of resources that can help small businesses of all kinds, including bakeries, restaurants, and others that need a little bit of support. 

What is an answering service? You’re probably thinking of those outdated services of decades past—they answer calls, take messages, and that’s about it. Well, today, this partner can provide a lot more than just basic call answering and message taking. Dynamic answering services and virtual receptionists can handle everything from picking up the phone to making appointments, taking payments, and more. 

The benefits of an answering service

When you partner with a reputable answering service, you will stand to gain several different benefits. For starters, you will never have to worry about being available when the phone rings. You could be elbow-deep in kneading dough and getting your best treats ready for the day, and if someone calls and needs to speak to a person, they will still be able to do that. 

Modern answering services have live receptionists on the other end, ready to answer questions and handle other needs. These providers also improve your availability since most of them offer 24/7 service. That means even on weekends, evenings, and holidays, there is always someone there to take the call and it doesn’t have to be you. 

Answering services can handle all kinds of communication and admin tasks. They can provide you with a plan that can be customized to scale with your business and deliver the exact solutions that you need. Plus, they do it all with a level of professionalism that is unmatched. 

That is, of course, provided you choose the right people for the job. Here are five criteria to help. 

1. 24/7 availability 

We mentioned this briefly in the benefits, and it’s as much an important feature as it is a perk. Think about all the times when your bakery isn’t open or when you’re busy with other things. Calls are still coming in. people still have questions. Orders need to be placed. A client might have a last-minute allergy concern about their order. There are so many things that could come up. You can’t be there to answer all of those calls, questions, and concerns if you are going to effectively run your bakery. That’s where having an answering service on your side comes in handy. 

Make sure that you choose a provider with flexible availability so that even if you can’t get to the phone, your customers and potential leads never miss a chance to get their questions answered or place their orders. 

2. Professional experience 

Answering services are not all created equally. You will want to check out the reputation and experience of any provider that you consider partnering with. See how long they’ve been in business, what type of expertise they have, and how they train their agents to deliver a higher caliber of service. This is a good time to read reviews from firsthand users as well as to check out third-party reviews on the best answering services. 

Make sure that you have a company that knows how to handle everything professionally and that they will deliver that extra service to your clients. 

3. Features and services 

You obviously need to know what features an answering service can provide. If you don’t already have a list of what you want, make one while you’re reviewing the features available from different answering service providers. Consider how many features you can get for the money, whether they have all the solutions that you need, and how you can combine them to create a solution that takes care of all of your communications and admin needs, including the ability to scale with your bakery as you grow. 

4. Customization options 

You no longer have to settle for a standard answering service that is “just” going to do this or that. Today, you can choose a provider to partner with that will allow you to create a totally custom solution for your communications needs, no matter how big or small those might be. Whether you want full customization or just the chance to add features and services as you need them, make sure that you know which answering services give you the best support for tailoring their offerings to the needs of your bakery. 

5. Transparent pricing and plans 

The last thing that you need is to get an ambiguous quote from an answering service or find out that you have to reach out to them to find out about pricing. Today’s best companies will have a list of pricing and plans on their website, giving you the chance to see what you can get for your money when you choose to work with them. It also helps you see what you can anticipate investing in this service so that you can budget accordingly. 

Even the sites that do offer customization that impacts pricing should have starter prices or basic plan rates and explain that those can vary depending on the exact features and services that are chosen. 

Smith.ai can provide answering service solutions and more

If you’re looking for a better way to run your bakery, a partnership with a virtual receptionist like the team at Smith.ai is the way to go. We can assist you with all types of call answering needs, including being your 24/7 answering service. But it’s not just that—we can also assist with things like lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your outreach campaigns

As always, it comes with a custom strategy to manage every last detail, too. If you are ready to discuss your needs or want to learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai today. 

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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