Answering Service or Outsourced Receptionist - Which One is Best for You?

Do you like getting an Auto Attendant when you call one of your vendors? If your need is urgent, how do you feel getting lost in "voicemail jail" without reaching a real person? Let's face facts. It is not practical to staff a business to the point that someone will always answer the phone. You may be plagued by sick days, weather closings and occasionally, you may just want to have a staff meeting during business hours.

If you believe, like I do, that there should always be a human being answering (instead of a machine), it may be helpful to hire a service to assist. (Otherwise, your loyal customers might find themselves looking elsewhere!) If you agree, you generally have two choices for the type of service to hire: Traditional Answering Service or Outsourced Receptionist.

Traditional Answering Service

An answering service professional answering phone lines.

A Traditional Answering Service provides solutions as an alternative to voicemail. It allows for calls to be answered 24/7 by a professional and have messages taken. This service has a low cost per transaction. Traditional answering services might be fitting in these types of situations:

  • When business calls need to be transferred and answered after hours
  • You generally prefer to take a simple message - with name and phone number, plus a short message
  • Messages only need to be retrieved once a day and can be sent in a single recap

The types of businesses that might find a traditional answering service as the precise fit are: doctors offices, oil and propane companies, home health care and hospice, and property management companies, to name a few.

Outsourced Receptionist

Another type of service available is an outsourced, live receptionist or virtual receptionist, who can appear to be part of your staff. They answer the phone just like any other full time staff member, which creates a professional first impression for your organization. Inpast editions of LeBlanc Telecom news, we've stressed the importance of first impressions and because we believe in it so strongly, we partner with like minded businesses who believe in it too. One such partner is Ruby Receptionists, a company specializing in virtual receptionists.

Ruby Receptionists can seamlessly connect callers with your staff in the office or on the go. Ruby takes pride in training their receptionists to deliver a gold standard of service by fulfilling the unexpressed needs of their customers. At Ruby, they call it "Practicing WOWism" and it is a big point of difference between traditional answering services and live virtual receptionists. With this service standard and top notch technology, Ruby Receptionists delivers on its promises.

Click on the video link below to learn more about Ruby!

Katie Wilson, Sales and Marketing Associate with Ruby, explains their capabilities by saying "It's much easier for a virtual receptionist service that has better technology and has more company information at her fingertips. Part of the reason we at Ruby try to avoid saying that we're 'with a service' is that a typical answering service can't do much to help them (other than taking a simple message). Answering services might reply to a caller's question with, 'I'm just the answering service.' Instead, at Ruby Receptionists, if we don't have the answer on-hand, we lead them to the right place. For example, our receptionists would answer with: 'Great question! Let me see if Bob is available to help you....'

In addition to exceeding client expectations while on the call, Ruby has the ability to deliver messages via text or email. When a call gets transferred to a Ruby voicemail inbox, they can send out an email containing a .wav file so you know immediately if someone is trying to connect.

Outsourced receptionists can also assume other responsibilities like interviewing callers, taking orders and more. Most services bill by tallying "receptionist minutes", so if your needs are greater than just answering the phone, they can help. While the service might cost more per minute/per call, it might be an investment you're willing to make!

Ruby Receptionists has offered LeBlanc Communications customers a no obligation trial to see if its receptionists can benefit your organization. Click here to sign up for a free month or learn more about this service.

Which Service is Best for You?

It's important to note that in this modern age, many businesses don't operate in traditional office settings and not every company can financially support a full time, on-site assistant. Knowing that missed calls are missed opportunities, it is worth exploring the use of either a traditional answering service or a live, virtual assistant. If you are trying to figure out which service might be a good fit for your business, call LeBlanc Communications at 203-938-8400 and together we can evaluate which is best.

We're always looking for a better way to Give Your Network a Voice!®.

Michael LeBlanc, Founder and CEO
LeBlanc Communications Group, Inc.