Use an Answering Service to Handle Your Office Hours Calls

Most everyone knows that answering services are great at answering the phone in the evenings and weekends, but they can also answer your phone during the business day. Though most applicable for entrepreneurs and small businesses, this also has application for medium-sized and large businesses. Here are some common scenarios:

Out of the Office

When you are out of the office meeting with customers and making things happen, let your answering service handle your phone calls. This way you won’t miss an opportunity when it calls—even if you’re not there to answer it.

During Appointments

If you are in an important meeting and the phone rings, what do you do? If you focus on the meeting you may miss a significant phone call. If you pause to answer the phone, you disrespect the person you are meeting with and may blow an opportunity. Your answering service eliminates this dilemma by answering your phone so you can concentrate on your meeting.

Already on the Phone

You go for a couple hours without the phone ringing, then two calls come in at once. When you talk to the first caller, what happens to the second one? Let your answering service answer it for you. Then you won’t have to juggle two (or more) calls and risk bungling them both.

Block Out Uninterrupted Time

Some astute entrepreneurs set aside time each day to handle key aspects of their business, such as preparing quotes, processing orders, generating reports for clients, or working on customer projects. Phone calls interrupt each of these tasks, affecting productivity and hampering critical income-generating work.

Focus on Essential Tasks

Deadlines and time-critical projects demand focus if you are to complete them on time. Phone calls disrupt these tasks, interrupt concentration, and can cause errors. Your answering service protects you from a ringing phone so you can attend to vital work. Success Tips: In using an answering service to handle your ringing phone during each of these critical situations, keep in mind that you shouldn’t use an answering service to perpetually dodge phone calls but to shift them to a more conducive time.

Keep two things in mind

First, let your answering service know what constitutes an emergency and how they should alert you when urgent situations occur. Second, give your answering service parameters on when you will call people back. You may strategically reserve time for this each day, such as between 2:00 and 3:00, or this could vary with each situation, such as after your meeting or as soon as you finish your current project. This way your answering service can present you in a professional manner to callers. Doing so will let them know what to expect, which will reduce their frustration and making repeat calls. Your answering service can serve as a key resource during office hours, as well as after. Janet Livingston is the president of  Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry – and who provides a call center matchmaking service, covering both onshore and offshore call centers. Contact Janet at or call 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Tweet: An #AnsweringService can handle your office hours calls—so you can focus on other things.