As a business owner, you probably can’t practically keep yourself in the office every working hour. For this reason, you can’t always be there for when the phone rings, either. Of course, you might assume that you wouldn’t need to be anyway. Can’t voicemail or your in-house staff simply fill in?

Well, yes, but it’s not always an ideal solution. There are good reasons to consider offloading otherwise unanswerable calls to a telephone answering service rather than other fallback options.

Your voicemail fails to “pick up the slack”

You might have recorded a voicemail message asking callers to leave a message, but do all of them act on that invitation? According to research brought up by Today’s Wills & Probate, 69% of callers sent through to voicemail simply opt to hang up rather than leave that sought-after message.

If someone isn’t there to take the call on your company’s behalf, the caller will likely just ring up another company in search of one that can meet their needs now, not later.

You can’t afford a dedicated receptionist

Employing a receptionist to handle those incoming calls would be ideal – but, for now, might remain just that: ideal. Perhaps your company’s current budget just can’t stretch to paying another full-time salary, or managing another full-time staffer in-house would be too big a hassle for you anyway.

In this case, it would be worth considering a phone answering service, where callers can still interact with a receptionist who, though employed and trained by another firm, acts on behalf of yours.

You are struggling to pay for new phone systems

The costs of technology and other equipment can be real bugbears to companies, especially small ones. Mercifully, though, you can significantly trim the costs by engaging a telephone answering service, as you would be spared the necessity of spending on new phone systems.

Small businesses should also have a strong online presence. At the minimum, have a solid website as well as a few social media pages. Even if you cannot afford a professionally designed website, you can find templates and other tools online. Make sure to include your phone number or your virtual phone number and other contact information on the website and social media, including your California area code number or USA code number.

Calls regularly distract your staff from their work

If you have left your office-based staff in the habit of answering calls in your absence, this practice could be unhelpfully hampering their productivity. When workflow is interrupted, it can take, on average, 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return, warns Small Business Trends.

For this reason, leaving professionally trained receptionists, as would be provided with a telephone answering service, to take those calls can bode well for your in-house workforce’s productivity. Many callers could be reaching out for basic information already displayed on your firm’s website, but receptionists could forward calls to you when they turn out to warrant it.

You are locked in tough competition with rival companies

Estate Agent Today likens implementing a telephone answering service to “hiring a snappy dresser for your team”, as it’s largely about portraying the right image to your customers.

No-one wants to deal with a company seemingly prone to unprofessional lapses, like snappy or rude behaviour. Thankfully, a good telephone answering service provider will let you fully brief the receptionist so that they know exactly what type of image to project over the phone.