5 Criteria to Find the Right Answering Service for Your Financial Planning Business


Financial planning businesses are all about efficiency and streamlining—at least when it comes to money. If you take that same approach with your day-to-day operations, you can find a lot of different ways to make improvements that you may not have known before. For one thing, are you still trying to field all the phone calls that come into your business on your own? Perhaps you’ve brought in a single receptionist to assist, only to find out that you’re still not quite hitting the mark.

Fortunately, there are better solutions out there today in the form of professional answering services. These providers can deliver all kinds of phone support and communications solutions, including custom strategies to ensure that your business gets exactly what it needs. This can ensure that you will never miss another lead or opportunity, and your callers will always talk to a live person and never leave a voicemail. 

After all, some people won’t want to leave a voicemail, or they’ll take that as a sign that you’re too busy and start calling other financial planners until someone answers the phone. If you want to keep people from going elsewhere, you cannot let the phone go unanswered. 

The good news is that answering services exist in all forms and with solutions to suit all types of businesses. The caveat, of course, is that you have to know what you’re looking for in order to get the best solutions. You might be a master at tax deductions and building wealth, but do you know what it takes to deliver effective communications solutions for your clients and prospects?

Here are a few criteria that should be on everyone’s list when it comes to choosing the right answering service for your financial planning firm. 

1. Professional business expertise

Financial planning is a highly professional industry. Naturally, you’re going to want to make sure that you hire an answering service that can deliver the right caliber of service and support to your callers, be they current or prospective clients. Look for answering services that have worked with professional services in the past and that cater specifically to those in your industry. That way, you’ll know they know how to handle the incoming calls. 

Granted, they won’t be able to dish out advice—but they can keep you from returning a lot of calls to answer simple questions and save you from losing potential clients when you can’t get to the phone. 

2. 24/7 availability 

Speaking of when you can’t get to the phone, this is another big factor to look for. Answering services can be ready around the clock to field calls from all kinds of leads and clients. They might get a lead call at 8 PM on a Tuesday, or have someone call with a financial emergency on Thanksgiving weekend. And yet, they will be there to answer the call. Not only does this save you from missing the calls, but it ensures that you aren’t the one who has to be available all the time. 

That means you have more time to spend on your current clients and on enjoying your personal life, and still won’t have to worry about missing a single thing. 

3. A solid reputation 

The answering service that you choose is going to be representing your business. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that they have a solid reputation in the industry. They should have great reviews and testimonials and they should be viewed as an authority and leading resource. Check out their background and experience. See how long they’ve been around, what they’ve done, and who they have worked with in the past. 

If you hire an answering service that is less-than-reputable, that’s going to reflect badly on your business. Therefore, it only makes sense to take the time to find a quality service to work with, and it’s probably one of the biggest factors in your decision. 

4. Flexible, customizable solutions

Your needs for an answering service are going to be different than someone else’s. Fortunately, today’s answering services offer an array of plans and services. The best ones have customizable solutions that let you create a plan that works specifically for your needs. You can pick and choose features, add seasonal or peak business assistance, and so much more. 

While you’re looking at these aspects, consider also if their services are scalable and can grow with your financial planning business over time. That way, you don’t have to get a new answering service every time you experience significant growth. 

5. Available features

What are you looking to get from an answering service? Today, these providers have tons of different features and solutions that they can offer, including everything from fielding calls to scheduling consults and appointments, screening leads, and even helping with sales, outreach, payment collection, and so much more. Take the time to see what features are available and compare them to what you need. 

This can also help you see just what you can get from an answering service. For those who are less familiar, this can be a good time to see just how many different features are offered. You might be able to get a lot more than you anticipated. 

Speaking of getting more, partner with Smith.ai for your communications and admin needs

At Smith.ai, we know what it takes to run a business. We also know that while you’re working in that business, you might not be able to field every single call. Our virtual receptionists can pick up the ball and make sure that you never miss a single opportunity, thanks to our 24/7 answering service. It’s not just that, though. We can also offer support for things like lead intake, appointment scheduling, and live website chat.

Plus, we’ll do it all while also creating a custom strategy to handle all of your needs, and we’ll be there to support you every step of the way. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Business Education

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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