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5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Answering Services But Should

Many small businesses don’t really know several things that could impact their decision making process once they have decided that they are going to hire an answering service.  Here are 5 things you don’t know about answering services.:

  1. Because of the rapid adoption of cell phones by small businesses in the early 90’s, the answering service market has shrunk almost 90%. This has had a substantial impact on the service levels of those companies that have survived.
  2. Most of the remaining companies have built their technology on the circuit/switch public telephone system.  The US public telephone system has already been replaced by voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) in a third of the country and is slated to replace the entire US circuit/switch public network by 2018. The impact is that many companies won’t invest in upgrading their technology and they will either be acquired or go out of business.
  3. Fortune estimates 80% of callers that are sent to voicemail, hang up. This is due to two things, 1) when a potential customer calls, they have made an emotional decision to purchase and they want to talk with someone live and 2) due to a scheme concocted in the 90’s by the major cellular carriers, callers that are sent to voicemail have to listen to 20+ seconds of instructions. As a result 80% of your potential customers that are sent to voicemail will just hangup and move on to the next company on the search engine results page (SERP).
  4. Most answering services are call centers with not a lot of familiarity with the companies they answer the phones for.
  5. All answering service companies (except US Answer) have a “Minutes” model, trying to maximize their call minutes (US Answer actually aspires to minimize our customers call minutes).