The call answering professionals: Over 23 years of virtual receptionist experience

Call Centre Or Call Answering Service?

By Nick East

October 23, 2019

Did you, like many people out there, read that title and think we’d gone a bit mad? After all, aren’t call centre and call answering basically different ways of saying the same thing? Well, no! In reality while the services might sound similar, there are a number of key differences, from the services offered, the size of businesses they work for and even the type of business they are. But don’t worry – it’s a common mistake to make if you’re not in the industry, and one that causes a lot of confusion. So if you aren’t sure which is right for you, or what the difference is, then this article is for you.

What Is A Call Centre?

Before we dive into the details, let’s look at the dictionary definition of a call centre:

An office in which large numbers of telephone calls are handled, especially ones providing the customer services functions of a large organisation’.

So, a call centre is a central, off-site office that handles a businesses phone calls. Some businesses might have their own dedicated call centres, usually handling a combination of incoming customer service calls and outgoing marketing or sales calls, etc. There are also call centres who handle multiple businesses calls, which can be hired out for a fee. Again, these tend to be used to field large numbers of customer service calls, make outbound cold calls or otherwise enable large-scale marketing efforts.

In general, call centres aren’t suited for all businesses. They are geared towards large-scale operations and come with a pretty hefty price tag to match. They also aren’t great for personalised services. Call centres lean heavily on scripts to guide their conversations, and most of the time that’s very obvious to the customer. If you want a truly personal, meaningful service experience for your customers, then this probably isn’t the option for you.

So Why Is A Call Answering Service Different?

Looking at the definition of a call centre, you might think that a call answering service is very similar. After all, both answer phone calls and take messages for your business, don’t they? Well, yes and no!

Call answering services are companies who take calls for other businesses. But rather than being enormous office centres, they tend to be much smaller businesses themselves. Because of this call answering services are able to be tailored to your individual needs. A few of the benefits include:

Cost: The potential cost savings of using a call answering service over a call centre are huge, particularly for businesses looking to tighten up their bottom line. Ensuring your business phones are always answered can be a challenge, and even one receptionist requires a space to work in on top of their salary, training, holiday cover and other costs. With an answering service you have no admin to worry about and no extra costs of hiring someone. Overall, it’s the much cheaper option for your business.

No Scripts: Most call answering services will not want anything to do with a script – instead wanting to treat your customers like human beings. They may have certain prompts to ask to ensure they get the right information for a query, but all conversations will be organic between the receptionist and caller. This means you can deliver a high-quality, personal service to your customers without them even realising the person they’re talking to isn’t an employee.

Personal Touch: Because call answering services are more bespoke, they have the ability to tailor everything to the client. This means you can decide everything about how your calls are handled, from how the phone is answered to where they are directed, what terminology should be used and what questions need to be asked. This means you will get better information from the call while maintaining your brand identity at every stage.

Multi-Channel Services: Of course, call answering services don’t just stop at the phone. Most will offer extras to manage every method of communication with your customers. This can include things like web chat, reminder emails and outgoing calls, as well as incoming ones. A good call answering service will be able to offer you a multi channel approach to communication that ensures your customers are never left in the dark.

More Than Just Calls

One of the big advantages of using a call answering service actually doesn’t lie in the core service, but in the support and extras surrounding it. A more bespoke service will be able to give you the support and attention you need, along with the confidence that they can work with you and your customers in a positive way. But they also offer other supporting services too, all designed to help make your lives easier and keep your customers happy.

Just a few of the other services Verbatim can offer alongside basic call answering include:

  • Call answering and handling
  • Virtual receptionists
  • 24/7 and emergency call outs
  • Business continuity
  • Lead qualification
  • Virtual phone number supply, set up and management
  • Diary management
  • Order management, including processing, queries and taking payment

Is A Call Answering Service Right For You?

So, is a call answering service right for you? Well, if you’re spending more time on the phone than you would like to be, can’t always answer calls because you’re too busy, or just want to make sure all of your customers get a good first impression of you, then the answer is yes. And luckily, you’re in the right place.

At Verbatim, we specialise in providing call answering to clients just like you perhaps? Our team are always on hand to make sure you have the support you need, whether that’s overflow call handling or 24/7 call answering support. So, if you’re interested, just get in touch with the team today and let’s arrange a chat.


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