A Complete Guide for Using Automated Answering Systems

Anurag Gade Anurag Gade Abhinav kumar Abhinav kumar
Jan 21, 2023 7 min read
A Complete Guide for Using Automated Answering Systems

As a business owner, improving customer satisfaction is crucial to your success. One way to achieve this is by implementing an automated answering system known as an auto-attendant. This phone-based system can handle a high volume of calls, directing them to the appropriate department or individual, eliminating the need for a live receptionist. This makes it an effective solution for businesses operating outside of traditional hours.

When it comes to improving customer satisfaction, companies often take various steps to achieve this goal. However, when faced with a high volume of customer requests, concerns, and complaints, it can be difficult to keep up. Fortunately, with the help of automation, automated answering systems are now available to act as customer service representatives and handle all customer inquiries on your behalf.

Automated answering systems can complement the role of a receptionist by helping to grow your business, manage customer relationships, and streamline processes. They do not replace the need for a human receptionist. It acts as a digital receptionist that is available 24/7 to handle all customer inquiries. This eliminates the worry of missed calls or missed messages, as the service will take care of everything on your behalf. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about automated answering services.

What is the process of using automated answering systems and how do they function? This guide will provide a basic understanding for beginners.

What Is an Automated Answering Service?
How Does an Automated Answering Service Work?
What Is Call Deflection?
Benefits of Automated Answering Services
Different Sectors That Use Automated Answering Services

What Is an Automated Answering Service?

Several companies have live operators on board to answer phone calls and take down key customer messages. Such companies generally rely on automated answering services that take care of the phone whenever the live operators are busy with other tasks.

Automated answering services are ideal for individuals who frequently receive important calls but cannot answer each call personally. In short, an automated answering service acts as a replacement for a traditional answering service, handling customer requests and inquiries and providing prompt responses without making customers wait on hold.

An automated answering service is a tool that manages inbound calls, as opposed to an automated calling service which primarily handles outgoing calls. It utilizes advanced AI technology to provide self-service options to customers, allowing them to quickly receive answers to their requests or inquiries without having to wait on hold. This makes it an ideal solution for individuals or businesses that receive a high volume of important calls.

How Does an Automated Answering Service Work?

An automated answering service can be customized to fit your business needs. Whether you need to accept payments, route calls to different teams, or perform other tasks, an automated answering service can handle it for you.

In other words, an automated answering service is a digital receptionist that can answer calls on your behalf, direct customers towards the relevant department, or guide them through a series of menus. An automated answering service generally works in three different ways

  • Answer the calls on your behalf using your existing phone number
  • Play a pre-recorded greeting message that is tailored to your business requirements
  • Guide customers through a series of menus and ask them for their intent and gather all relevant information
Global IVR Service Distribution by Region

An automated answering service can gather a significant amount of information, transfer it to the user, and then direct the caller to the appropriate department. Additionally, an answering service can also use a call deflection feature to manage high-volume calls.

What Is Call Deflection?

Call Deflection, as per the name, is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) feature that automatically redirects a call from one point to another whenever a particular endpoint is busy. It is one of the many forms of call diversion.

Automated answering services can be tailored and customised to meet your business requirements and the needs of every client. When it comes to answering services, every time you receive a call, it will be directly routed to an operator who will then ask the caller/customer their name and the nature of the call.

Once the operator has obtained the information, they will check if the client has a record in their database. If a match is found, the operator will then route the client to the appropriate party. If no client record is found, the operator will take down the client's message and then convey it to the client via text message or email.

Benefits of Automated Answering Services

Apart from saving you from high customer service costs, and improving customer services. An automated answering service serves several benefits such as

Professional Imaging

Based on the needs of your business, you can customize your answering service to ensure that all responses are prompt and enhance the company's professional image.

Tailored Answering Service

An automated answering service can be used for a variety of purposes such as receiving payments, scheduling appointments, recording customer requests/complaints, handling inquiries, and more.

Saves On Operating Costs

An automated answering service acts as a digital receptionist that collects all customer information on your behalf, eliminating the need for a middleman or agent and ultimately reducing customer costs.

Minimum Missed Calls

Not every call requires an agent to be present. An automated answering service can assist by prioritizing important calls and saving time.

Wait Time Expectations/Queue Management

Customers waiting in a queue need to know how long they will be waiting before their request is addressed. An automated answering service can provide wait time expectations for better queue management.

Simplicity And Precision

An automated answering service can connect customers directly to the appropriate agent or department by asking them a few simple questions.

Multiple Routing Options

Many modern answering services have multiple routing options that reduce customer wait times. This allows customers to bypass the queue and speak directly with a designated agent to address their issues.

24/7 Customer Service

An automated answering service allows your business to be available 24/7, providing customers with access to customer service across all time zones.

Added Sales Opportunity

Automated answering machines are beneficial for both small business owners and large enterprises to improve and increase sales. Customized answering messages can be created to provide customers with the latest offers and product updates whenever they call.

Different Sectors That Use Automated Answering Services

As we mentioned earlier in the article, it doesn’t matter whether you are a small business holder or have a large enterprise, having an automated answering service will help your business grow and flourish.

Businesses of every stature and size can avail of the benefits that come with automated answering service to save time and cut down on operator costs. Furthermore, these services are perfect for businesses that run 24/7, have limited resources, and/or have international clients.

Moreover, automated answering services are largely dependent on the type of services businesses offer. Based on the services provided, the following are the places where you can find automated answering services used the most.

MSME: Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) are some of the best businesses that prefer automated answering services. Although the volume of phone calls might be less, they can still reap the benefits associated with an answering service

HVAC Services: HVAC services, such as plumbers, often receive calls outside of standard business hours. This is where having an active service can come in handy. An automated answering service can take down inquiries and essential messages.

Growing/Transitioning Business: Businesses on the verge of transition or an update too tend to use answering services that are flexible and can adjust to their growing business needs

Real Estate: Real Estate generally happens out of work and on the field. At this time, real estate professionals need someone in the office to attend to client calls and inquiries. This is where a tailored automated answering service comes in handy

Medical And Dental Offices: Thanks to strict HIPAA regulations, medical and dental service providers have to adhere to strictly when taking down customer information over the phone. This is where you can customise an answering service as per HIPAA laws to ensure safe and secure client information

Insurance Companies: Insurance workers, like real estate people, tend to work odd hours to better match their clients' schedules. Therefore, in such scenarios, even after-hours calls are equally important. Setting up an automated call answering service will help attend to those calls and give potential customers the information they want.

Spas And Salons: Unlike the good old days, modern-day spas and salons require you to make a prior appointment. Setting up an answering machine and customising it will help customers make that appointment with ease.

In short, having an automated answering service is a great option for businesses with multiple operations areas. Therefore, if your business operates in different areas, having an answering service is extremely supportive in growing your business.

Conclusion

Automated answering services can complement traditional agents at a call centre and help grow your business in many ways. With an automated answering service, you have a digital receptionist available 24/7 to handle all customer inquiries. This has made it even more important for businesses to have an automated answering service in place to ensure that they don't miss any important calls, even when they are not physically present to answer the phone. With an automated answering service, businesses can ensure that all calls are answered promptly and efficiently, regardless of the time of day or the location of the caller.

By having an automated answering service, you can improve customer service, increase productivity, and streamline your business communication. It can also help you save on operating costs, time and staff resources, and provide you with a professional digital presence 24/7.

FAQ

What is an IVR dialer?

An IVR Dialer is an automated dialer that dials numbers from a given database and plays IVR (Interactive Voice Response) messages when connected.

What is an automated answering system?

An automated answering system allows your contact centre to answer phone calls without a customer service agent on the line. Instead of your team answering calls, an automated phone answering machine uses self-service and advanced automated AI to answer.

What is the function of an automated voice answering system?

Interactive voice response is an automated telephone system that combines pre-recorded messages or text-to-speech technology with a dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) interface to engage callers, allowing them to provide and access information without a live agent.




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