Both call centres and answering services offer telephone answering services to handle your calls and sometimes the line blurs between what each service entails. In all earnestness, they do have many similarities – the most prominent feature of course is the loud buzz of telephones ringing from multiple locations within the office space in a call centre. Whereas a telephone answering tries to work on a quieter environment.
That is where the similarity ends. A call center works mainly with scripts and is a very scripted conversation without any real knowledge of the business or its employees.
A telephone answering service handles inbound calls, takes messages and at times, schedules appointments and will have an understanding of your business, its employees and departments.
- Virtual receptionists exchange information with your clients and are geared to handle phone calls more efficiently and professionally.
- Managing your diary.
- Services are tailored according to the needs of businesses.
- Generally, don’t have scripts so a more bespoke service.
The Difference Between Call Centres and Telephone Answering Services
Call centres generally provide your clients with basic information about the business and any subsequent inquiries are directed to your own receptionist who will have to handle the bulk of the clients. The nature of their job is to just take a message and forward it.Hence, they are not useful for complex tasks and beyond simple message taking. They simply do not work in the same framework that telephone answering services typically work in.
Telephone answering services generally offer complex services that require timely and critical decision making. They are considered as an extension of your business instead of being located separately on an off-site location. Their job isn’t relegated to merely information gathering and sharing, but they must possess the ability to understand your business. They are generally happy and positive so making your business look and sound professional.
Telephone Answering Services and Human Emotions
Call centre agents don’t engage with your clients empathetically. Often times, they are equipped with a sales pitch that they recite whenever they pick up the phone. This doesn’t come across as too friendly and the client feels discouraged by the dry message being relayed over the phone
Telephone answering services are geared to handle a variety of callers with empathy. They are trained to understand the client’s situation and provide them with relevant messages.
In other words, call centre agents don’t engage clients in meaningful conversation and often times ask for prearranged information, which is all too scripted.
A good telephone answering service can handle a client’s query in a timely manner. On the other hand, call center agents can take up to 3 minutes for rehashing the same old script in different ways. Call centers also charge by the second or minute so it’s in their interest to prolong the call. When the client realises that they aren’t being given meaningful information, they turn away from your business.
Natural and free flowing conversation is the hallmark of a true telephone answering service. Serving the customer with empathy is what you should get with a telephone answering service