As more small businesses are realizing they need some kind of office support, there’s a greater demand to understand the differences between a live answering service and a call center. After all, it’s your job to decide what works best for your business, but how can you do that unless you know the differences? But before that let’s start with the similarities between a live answering service vs a call center.
Live answering services and call centers have quite a bit in common, especially on the surface.
There are people at desks, computers, phones, and they both work for other businesses. Both types of services will also use some type of script and have the individual business’ information made available to them.
The services offered at each type of business will vary depending on the company. It’s impossible to say with absolute certainty what each company offers to their clients.
Standing at a window looking in, it’s difficult to know which one is which. Really, the differences lie in what they do and who hires them.
So, what are the differences between a live answering service vs a call center?
Call centers tend to help larger companies that don’t want to maintain a full office. They’re designed to handle a substantial volume of calls, both incoming and outbound. Some centers will specialize in inbound or outbound calls, though there has been an increase in blended call centers.
Complaints, scheduling, and technical support are the types of inbound calls typically handled by call centers. Outbound tasks may include telemarketing, fundraising, and lead generation, to name a few.
Call centers frequently start with an interactive voice response (IVR) system that acts as a receptionist, rerouting calls to the department designated to handle them.
Almost all call centers operate during business hours or in limited times outside standard hours.
Generally, some form of resolution is expected by the end of a call. Money has been raised or a cold call has either resulted in fresh business or with the request to never be called again. Questions have been answered and technical problems have been solved.
Live Answering Services
Live answering services typically serve small business owners and entrepreneurs who need a receptionist but don’t want to hire a person full time. The aim of a live receptionist is to offer an individual more time for their business and personal life.
Unlike a call center, answering services are often available 24/7. They’re designed to still provide top customer service while allowing the solopreneur and small business owner to have a life outside of work.
They may receive many different types of calls depending on the services offered. Some examples include scheduling, signing new clients, and call transfers.
Live answering services act as a receptionist rather than multiple departments like a call center will. Also, a live service is a live service from start to finish. There are no voice systems for people to wade through.
If you are a smaller business, then a live answering service is perfect for your needs. Definitely call around to see what individual companies offer to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need for your company to prosper.
If you need a multi-departmental office, then you likely need to talk to a call center.
If you’re unsure, contact us and a representative can help you discover if USAnswer is the answer to your needs.