For a business, every incoming phone call is an important one. Callers expect companies to answer quickly and assist them with their specific needs or questions. Answering every call in such a professional way can be a significant challenge. When you and your employees are focused on running the business, a ringing phone can often feel like a distraction. How can you ensure that every caller receives help quickly and professionally? That’s where an efficient, cost-effective automated answering system can be a valuable tool for any business owner.
Business phone answering systems manage your calls so that you can focus on your core business tasks. Recorded greetings answer everyone the same professional way on every call. Callers can choose to leave a message, transfer to an individual or department, or quickly retrieve a business’s hours, address, or website. Best of all, they are customizable and can meet any business’s unique wants and needs. Simply put, an automated phone answering system ensures that every phone call received is answered the best way possible every time.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS PHONE ANSWERING SYSTEM?
A business phone answering system is a virtual receptionist that efficiently receives and manages all your inbound and outbound calls. It allows callers to connect to your business at any time and can direct calls to employees wherever they are. They can also be customized to play informative greetings with your business hours or other information and to receive and distribute voicemail messages throughout your workforce.
These systems once required a great deal of office space due to their size and were expensive to maintain, which limited their use to the large companies that could afford them. The advent of internet phone systems in the late 1990s first eliminated their physical footprint, and ongoing technological improvements continually lowered their cost. As a result, the telephone answering service became a much more affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF AN AUTOMATED PHONE ANSWERING SYSTEM?
Automated phone answering systems give small businesses access to the same features as those enjoyed by much larger companies. Customizable greetings, business call forwarding, and voicemail to email are standard features. In addition, more advanced options like online faxing and business text messaging are also available. Best of all, cloud-based phone systems have no expensive hardware or confusing software to deal with, so adding or changing any features is easy.
AccessDirect offers many competitive features with our virtual receptionist products. Here are just a few examples of what we have to offer:
- Customizable Greetings: A friendly, professional greeting is the best way to get a call from a customer off to a good start. AccessDirect has over 20 years of experience helping our customers create the perfect greetings, and we’re eager to assist you. We even offer to have a voiceover artist record your greetings at no additional charge. You can also record your greetings quickly and easily by uploading an existing recording or creating a new one through your browser or smartphone app interface.
- Business Call Forwarding: Receive business calls on any device anywhere and any time. Transfer your calls to a single number or multiple phone numbers simultaneously or sequentially. Work from wherever you need to, whether at home, in the field, or entertaining clients, without worrying about potentially missing an important call. You can even set up specialized transfer greetings or hold music for your callers to listen to while we attempt to connect your call.
- Business Voicemail: We think your voicemail service should be accessible in as many ways as possible and have designed our voicemail feature with that in mind. Emails can be sent directly to your email account as an MP3 file to listen to at your convenience. Transcripts of your voicemails are included at no additional charge, letting you read your messages as they come in and determine how quickly someone needs a callback. Review every message from our online dashboard or mobile app to ensure you haven’t forgotten to return a call.
- Information Boxes: Every business is asked and answers the same questions throughout the day. Why not record a greeting with answers to your most commonly asked questions, and free up time for you and your staff? With an information box, you can quickly provide information like your hours, address, or website or answer frequently asked questions without having to take time out for a phone call.
- Online Fax*: Get rid of the hassle of bulky fax machines, paper, and toner while keeping the convenience and security of faxing. Our online fax service converts inbound faxes to pdf and delivers them right to your email inbox. Send outbound faxes from your business phone number to recipients through our online dashboard or mobile app.
- Business Text Messaging*: While phone calls remain a preferred contact method, many customers want other ways to contact businesses. That’s why we offer a business text messaging option to our customers. Send and receive text messages from your virtual local phone number directly from your mobile app, or manage texts through your desktop or laptop browser. Free up your phone line and keep your personal cell phone number private with this convenient option.
*Online Faxing and Business Text Messaging can be added to any subscription plan for a small monthly fee.
CAN A BUSINESS PHONE ANSWERING SYSTEM GROW WITH MY BUSINESS?
A good business phone service will serve you not only today but into the future as your scope and scale changes. Whether you are expanding your services and staff or find yourself needing to scale back, an internet phone system can adapt to your immediate needs. Designed with customization and flexibility in mind, they adapt and grow with your business.
Unlike physical phone systems that require hardware upgrades or expensive replacements, a virtual phone answering service requires no equipment to install nor occupy valuable office space. They can effortlessly grow with your business thanks to their sophisticated software. Their user-friendly nature and adaptability make them an affordable way to future-proof your business communications.
CASE STUDY: A SMALL BUSINESS SOUNDS BIGGER AND MORE PROFESSIONAL WITH A PHONE ANSWERING SYSTEM
- The Problem: A Washington, DC small business owner was preparing to establish a new online reputation website but had encountered unexpected issues. Though their launch campaign strategy required multiple phone numbers in local area codes, obtaining numbers in different cities had become an issue. Those numbers would preferably all roll into a business cell phone, but they couldn’t find a convenient and easy way to organize the calls based on why the client was calling. And they wanted a friendly, professional voice on their phone recordings, preferably recorded by someone outside of their organization.
- How We Helped: Seeking guidance and solutions, they contacted AccessDirect looking for help. After hearing about his situation, we immediately went to work creating an automated phone answering service for their specific needs. First, we obtained the local virtual numbers they needed, connecting them to their new telephone answering service. Incoming calls to any of those numbers were programmed to forward to their business cell phone. To help better organize calls, we recommended using departmental extensions to triage calls and make the company sound bigger at the same time. With the information they provided, we created several greetings for testing and feedback. After listening to the options, they chose the one that best fit their desired image. Best of all, the business owner worked with the same representative every step of the way, which sped up the process and gave them a single point of contact.
- Why They Liked It: We’ll let the customer tell you themselves: “This made my life so much easier!” They loved how their business phone answering system organized calls, requiring no hands-on attention. The entire system worked the way they needed in the background without a second thought. Though they occasionally needed small changes made to their greetings, it was never a problem. They sent a script to their service rep and had new recordings ready within a business day. No matter their issue or question, we could quickly explain a solution and implement it for them, letting them focus on running their business. Our professional answering service provides them with both a solution and peace of mind.
THE ACCESSDIRECT DIFFERENCE: MORE THAN JUST A PHONE SYSTEM
We pride ourselves on going above and beyond with our customer service approach, providing benefits and features that our competitors simply cannot. When you subscribe to an AccessDirect service plan, we offer more than just an automated phone system. All our plans include the following benefits at no additional cost:
- Complimentary setup of your system programming based on your preferences within a business day
- Free professional recording of your business phone answering system’s greetings by our in-house voice talent
- Upgrade or downgrade to a different plan at any time
- Month-to-month subscription plans with no long-term commitments required or contract to sign
- Live U.S. based support with 24/7 emergency on-call support
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BUSINESS PHONE SYSTEM?
A business phone answering system can provide many benefits to your business. They answer every call professionally and ensure callers never hear a busy signal. They funnel your incoming calls and quickly route them to the appropriate party. They increase productivity and make it easier for your employees to focus on running your business. And when you choose a cloud phone system like AccessDirect, it can save you the physical space and expense of desk phones, fax machines, paper, and toner. Here are some of the other benefits a phone answering service for business can provide:
- Cloud phone systems never have a bad day. Even the best customer service agents can have an off day, need a break, or have to step away from their desks. A good phone answering service works hand-in-glove with service agents, sales reps, and anyone else who takes calls. A friendly greeting answers every call, with no long ring times or busy signals, and quickly gets them to the person or information they need.
- More control and customization. A telephone answering system gives you control over nearly every aspect of the call. Record greetings in the tone of voice you need to say what you want. Extensions can be programmed for individual employees or ring out to entire departments. Voicemail notifications are sent via email, text, or both to ensure messages get returned promptly. The purpose of the system is to be flexible and can be changed to meet your requirements.
- Manage high call volumes and have fewer dropped calls. High call volumes aren’t a problem for an automated answering service. Designed to answer multiple calls simultaneously, your callers will never hear a busy signal. Play informational messages or hold music as callers wait to talk to a representative, keeping clients on the line longer. Program extensions to send calls to multiple people simultaneously to cut down on-hold times. Our business phone systems help callers spend less time on hold and more time reaching their desired person or department.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT ANSWERING SERVICE FOR MY BUSINESS?
We know that no two businesses are alike. That’s why AccessDirect offers four unique plans to choose from, allowing you to pick the answering service that matches your business’s specific needs. Whether you need a simple voicemail, a virtual line for incoming and outgoing calls, or a fully-featured auto-attendant, we have your perfect telephone answering system. Interested in an answering service for business? Order one of our subscription plans below, try our convenient Help Me Select tool, or give us a call today to get started!
A single mailbox for either
voicemail or fax.
The perfect solo
The small business solution
for 2-25 people.
The ideal solution for
CALL ANSWERING SYSTEMS FROM ACCESSDIRECT
Since 1997, AccessDirect has sought to make automated telephone systems affordable for small businesses. We pride ourselves on providing the individual, personalized service that our larger competitors simply cannot. The same agent will guide you from sale through service for the life of your subscription. They will know your system and your business and can make the recommendations that best fit your company. You will never have to speak with multiple people for a resolution – a single point of contact will take your call and call you back with updates as needed.
We have helped businesses of all sizes design a digital answering service that meets their specific needs. Whether your company is starting up, experiencing growing pains, or is simply looking to improve its customer communications, we have a professional answering service that works for you. Our subscription plans are customizable, easy-to-implement, and require no long-term contracts or commitments. If you have questions about or are ready to try our business phone answering systems, contact us today for a no-risk one-week free trial.