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

Samir Sampat

You’re not always going to be available to answer calls—that’s just a fact of life, and especially in business. With any luck, your tutoring business is thriving, and you’ve got a full schedule of students just waiting for your assistance. And you’ve probably also got a great outreach campaign in place that’s consistently bringing in new leads. You’re well on your way to success. But who’s answering the phones and handling all those leads? 

An answering service may be just what you need. Today’s professional answering services offer everything from simple phone support to admin services like appointment scheduling and so much more. Plus, you can generally customize and scale plans to fit your needs and get an experienced team that functions as an extension of your business. 

Some people think of answering services and they imagine those outsourced overseas call centers that some companies use—that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a professional team of trained agents that can develop a custom answering solution for your tutoring business so that while you’re taking care of your current clients, your future ones can get the information and assistance that they need. 

What you need from an answering service will be different than another tutoring business. That’s part of the beauty of the solutions available today. However, it can also make the selection process a bit more difficult. To help, here are five must-have criteria for your new answering service. 

1. Professional experience

As a business owner, you are trying to project a professional image to potential clients and students. Naturally, you’re going to want to work with an answering service that will do the same. Check out their background and experience. See if they have worked with other tutoring businesses or educational organizations. Check out reviews and testimonials, too, to get a firsthand perspective of what you might expect. 

Professional experience includes the ability to act as an extension of your business. People shouldn’t know that they’re calling a third-party answering service. They should feel like they’re communicating with your business at all times, and the right answering services will ensure that’s the case. 

See how much experience they have with things like appointment setting and other admin tasks so that you can take even more off your plate than just the phone calls. There’s a lot these companies can do and it all adds up to more time for you to do other things. 

2. 24/7 support and availability

Your students and prospective clients might not have time to call your business during traditional “business hours.” Many people work full-time jobs and need to be able to make calls in the evening or on weekends. That’s where working with a 24/7 answering service comes into play. You can outpace all the competition by offering this kind of support where many others haven’t gotten on board yet. 

With 24/7 support, your prospective and current students will be able to call with questions, concerns, scheduling requests, and other needs whenever it’s convenient for them. It will boost your reputation and show people that you’re truly dedicated to helping them because you have this kind of availability for whatever they need. 

3. Flexible and scalable solutions

Eventually, your tutoring business is going to grow. When you experience that growth, you’re also going to need to scale your partnerships and integrations accordingly. An answering service that has flexible plans that can scale and grow with your business is going to be a great asset. We’ve learned from the pandemic that businesses need to be ready to change on a dime, no matter what industry they’re in. 

The best answering services will immediately start by working on a custom plan that includes flexible options and features that can be scaled to your needs. This includes if you ever need to scale back for one reason or another, although we’re hoping most of you are scaling up, not down. 

4. Features 

What features does the answering service offer besides answering calls? Today’s solutions have so much to offer, allowing you to essentially create total communication and admin solution if that’s what you need. See what services they offer, how they integrate with your software, and what kind of features could make your tutoring business more successful in the realm of communications and client support. 

If you’re lucky, you’ll find an answering service with all the features and solutions that you need. You might even be surprised at some of the services they can provide, including things like support for outreach campaigns and even payment collection, in some instances. Take advantage of these features and get what you need. 

5. Transparent pricing 

As a fellow business owner, you understand the value of transparent pricing for potential clients. Any answering service or virtual receptionist that you work with should be upfront and clear with pricing, and should not automatically require everyone to get a custom quote. Even if they just have ‘average starting rates’ on their website, that’s better than nothing. 

Ideally, you’ll get a full list of plans, pricing options, and information about custom plans and pricing. That’s the best way to educate people and help them make decisions (take note: you should also offer this kind of information on your tutoring website). Even if you end up talking to someone to set up your custom solution (and you should!), having an idea of what to expect first always offers great peace of mind. 

For transparent, total communications solutions, partner with Smith.ai

We know that you’ve got a lot on your plate with your tutoring business. We also know how to help take some of that load off—in addition to being a 24/7 answering service, the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can also assist with things like lead intake and screening, appointment scheduling, and even live website chat for those people who want to talk to someone, but not on the phone. 

Plus, we do it all with a custom strategy tailored to your needs. 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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