5 Criteria to Find the Right Answering Service for Your Franchise Business

Samir Sampat

For those who want to go into business, but who might not have the means or desire to start from the ground up, a franchise is a great option. There are several hundreds of companies that operate on a franchise model and are available for purchase by those who want to go that route. Choosing the right franchise business is about finding your fit—you’ll be happy to know that choosing an answering service works the same. You have to consider the options, check out the available features, and see which providers you like best. 

When you do it well, you’ll benefit in several ways. For starters, you’ll never have to worry about missing another call, even if you’re busy. Answering services today can provide 24/7 solutions so that you don’t have to worry about people calling a competitor because they didn’t get an answer from you. It also frees up your time so that you can focus on other areas of your business. 

Maybe you’re just starting out in the franchise. Perhaps you’ve been growing lately and realized your existing resources aren’t cutting it. And yet with a limited budget, it’s hard to find the best solutions unless you know where to look. Thanks to the modern answering service, you can get a full team of agents to field calls, chats, and more and it will cost a fraction of what you would spend on hiring people to do the work in-house. 

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing an answering service. Some people have an idea of what they want going into it. Others are completely new to the concept and will need to see what’s out there before they can consider what they want from answering services for their own needs. Fortunately, there are also a lot of tools and resources to assist you along the way, including this guide. 

Read on to learn more about the five criteria that should be on your list when it comes to choosing an answering service. 

1. 24/7 availability 

Even if your franchise isn’t open 24 hours a day, you should still be available to those who need you. the Internet has created a world where people expect instant results and always-on availability, and the most successful businesses will be the ones that keep up with that. By having an answering service available, you can still go on with your day-to-day business and your personal life and guarantee that your franchise will never miss a single lead. 

This also gives people more opportunities to call after work, on the weekends, or whenever else a question or concern might arise. Not everyone is available during ‘standard business hours’ so it can be a definite business boost to increase your availability, even if only by phone, so that more people can reach you on their time

2. Features and services

What kind of features does the answering service offer? You might already have an idea of what you need, or you might just be getting to know these services. In either case, you’ll want to take the time to explore their full list of features to see what all they can do for you. Some answering services are more limited in their offerings while others will have a host of solutions that can run the gamut to cover just about everything in communications, admin, and even sales and outreach. 

Getting to know the different features will also help you see just how much your franchise business stands to gain from partnering with an answering service. You might be surprised by all that you find and even better, you might realize that you can get a lot more for your money than you anticipated.

3. Customization options 

Another consideration is how much you can customize those features and services that are provided. Some services have premade plans that give you limited options to choose from. Others offer a la carte services or allow you to add onto packages to create a solution that fits your needs. Then, there are those answering services and virtual receptionists that allow you to customize every last detail of your partnership with them. They’re usually the best choice because they let you get what you need, nothing more, nothing less. 

4. Scalability 

Your business is going to grow if you’re doing it right. When it does, the last thing that you want is to have to reinvest in new services and partners to handle things that you already had under control. The best way to avoid this is to choose an answering service that can grow with your franchise over time. This includes scaling up due to growth, during peak seasons, etc., and also scaling back during slow times, when necessary. Essentially, they should be able to meet your business at any stage in the growth process. 

5. Transparent pricing

There’s nothing worse than getting to a website and learning all about the great services that they offer only to click on the “pricing” or “plans” page and get that dreaded message: please contact us for a quote

There are some circumstances where a custom quote is warranted. However, there are also plenty of ways that companies can disclose pricing information and give you a general idea of what to expect. If they’re hesitant, blatantly ignorant, or otherwise not forthcoming about their pricing, you might want to look elsewhere. 

Partner with Smith.ai for a total communications solution

While you’re busy with your franchise business, you don’t need to be worried about whether you’re going to miss another phone call. The virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can deliver what you need with a total package that includes 24/7 answering solutions along with things like lead intake, appointment scheduling, and live website chat

Plus, we’ll tailor a strategy to manage it all down to the very last detail, ensuring that we never miss a beat, and that you never miss another opportunity to make a great impression. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

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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