Should You Hire a Nearby Answering Service?

Elizabeth Lockwood

Choosing the right answering service is just as important as choosing the right people to work within your organization. It might be even a bit more important since you’re outsourcing—you do want to make sure that you choose the best people for the job, after all. When it comes to adding an answering service, its location should be relevant in your search to a certain degree. 

What do we mean? Well, some people automatically look to outsource to the cheapest answering service or call center. Unfortunately, those are usually overseas and have all kinds of issues with language barriers, and that’s a fast track to bad reviews and poor customer service ratings. That’s not to say that all global answering services are bad. It’s just important to do your research and make sure that you’re choosing qualified solutions, regardless of their location. 

Typically, the best thing that you can do is stick with a North America-based answering service or team of virtual receptionists. This will ensure that you get all the features and services that you need from people who can deliver the professional, friendly voice that your customers and leads deserve. 

Benefits of a North America-based answering service

When you choose to work with an answering service that’s based in North America, you’re much more likely to find features like 24/7 answering solutions, as well as a dedicated team of diverse employees with varied skillsets to help reduce your labor costs and improve the quality of the people that are an extension of your business. 

Another benefit of choosing a service that’s based closer to home is that many of the cultural nuances will translate better and there won’t be a disconnect in the communications between your answering service agents and the people calling your business. You’ll have access to all the features that you need, and you’ll have a team of dedicated experts on your side to help you with any communications and admin support that you have in mind. 

These are just a few of the benefits that come with choosing an answering service that’s based in North America when you’re trying to keep things somewhat close to home. 

What about bilingual services?

Honestly, you can find local and international answering services alike that offer bilingual service. Of course, you do want to make sure that they’re actually capable and that they can still deliver the same caliber of customer service and support, regardless of the language being used. 

Typically, it’s best to choose companies based in North America because they will be able to provide both English-speaking virtual receptionists and those that speak languages like Spanish, for example. A service based in another country may offer English language solutions, but their accents could impact their ability to converse with callers. 

Ultimately, the right service is one that offers nationwide or global solutions based on what your business demands are. Local companies are great for some things, but their limitations compared to national teams with a host of resources are quite obvious. If you feel that bilingual services will benefit your business, or if they’re essential, just add that to your list of qualifications so that you can choose the right answering service, regardless of their location. 

Custom solutions are the most important element 

More than anything, you need a virtual receptionist or answering service that is going to be able to help you create a custom strategy that includes everything that you need from them, including:

  • Live answering
  • Warm transfers
  • Appointment scheduling services
  • Lead screening and intake
  • Bilingual service (if necessary)
  • 24/7/365 service
  • Email and text call summaries
  • Custom greetings
  • CRM and eCommerce integration
  • Call forwarding
  • Customizable plans 
  • Custom voicemail solutions

This is just a glimpse of what you can get when you choose the right answering service for your business. Here are a few tips to help you determine exactly what the “right” service is, regardless of location. 

How to choose the best answering service

In addition to getting the features that you want, there are a few other things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the best answering service. Aside from 24/7 support, you’ll also want to make sure that you can customize the caller’s experience and deliver a unique experience with every single interaction. You’ll also want a plan from a company that offers transparent, affordable pricing and delivers high-quality communications with clients, leads, and others. 

Simple, up-front pricing is a big deal here because this is what sets great companies apart from those that are just delivering a good service. Another big issue when choosing an answering service is how much privacy and security they offer when delivering the answering solutions that you need. 

Finally, remember to take the time to look at all the available features and make sure that you get what you need. Consider packages and other deals that they have that will allow you to get more for your money with your investment in this answering service. Remember, the best solution is about more than location. It’s about living up to what your company needs. 

Speaking of solutions, partner with Smith.ai for the best answering service and more

At Smith.ai, our dedicated virtual receptionists can offer 24/7 phone answering solutions along with support for appointment scheduling, lead qualification and intake, live website chat, and even your outreach campaigns if you’re still working on the marketing of your business. Plus, we’ll ensure that you get the calls that require your attention and that information from all the calls is properly documented in call logs and your CRM. 

It all comes together with a custom strategy to manage every last detail, making your answering service solutions easier and more streamlined than ever before. To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what our virtual receptionists can do for your business, or drop us a line at hello@smith.ai

Elizabeth Lockwood

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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