Questions That You Should Ask Before Signing Up For An Attorney Answering Service
If you are looking to sign up for an answering service for the first time, you should make sure that you sign a contract with the right company so that you do not repent later as you discover a mismatch between your expectations and your service provider’s delivery standards. Therefore, you should ask some relevant questions to your vendor so that you can get an idea of what you may expect from your vendor and how far it can go to meet your expectations in terms of budget as well as service quality.
- What is the duration of your contract?
It is always a good idea to do business with a company that works on a short-term contract. If you find that your service provider is not able to provide you with the desired level of service, you may terminate your agreement and look for a new vendor.
- Do you employ trained staff? And do they work from your office?
Answering services are expected to employ qualified in-house staff and they are expected to work from home under the guidance of an experienced, qualified supervisor. However, this is not the case every time. Your answering service may be having employees working from their homes. Imagine a situation when your virtual receptionist receives your client’s call and your client come to hear the sound of a radio, a baby crying in the background, and a dog barking loudly. This will impact your company’s reputation in a very negative way and you may lose customer loyalty as well.
- Do you provide service on a 24/7 basis?
An answering service should ideally provide service on a 24/7 basis and in fact, this is what answering services are meant for. Make sure that your answering service remains functional throughout the day so that you or your clients can reach it at any time of the day and when situation demands.
- Do you use state-of-the-art equipment?
Make sure that your service provider uses modern equipment for its operations. This may include the use of Chat software for your webpage, toll free number, and capabilities to archive email through the deployment of protected back-up systems.
- How will you bill me?
This is one of the major considerations that should guide your decision-making. There are basically three ways by which you may be billed- by flat rate, by the minute, and by the unit. Being billed by the minute is the simplest option you have and you will pay for the time that your virtual receptionist spends on answering your phones. If your vendor has a pay-per-call option in place, you may have advantages as well as disadvantages. For example, if your virtual receptionist handles a lengthy call, you get the benefit out of it whereas if a call is too short, you end up paying the same amount. If you are billed on a flat rate, make sure you know about the billing period. Find out whether you will be billed every four weeks or every calendar month. Check whether your answering service will charge you more for archiving messages. Reputed companies will not charge you for such routine jobs.
These are basic service features that every answering service should provide, but there are players that do not have a good reputation in the market and you should make sure that you identify them and avoid them.