How to Choose an Answering Service – 9 Things to Consider

Congratulations! You’ve made the all-important decision to take your business to the next level and hire a telephone answering service.  But since there is no shortage of answering services companies, how do you select the right one?

Phone extended

When choosing a call centre to handle your company’s calls, there are a number of factors you should consider. Here is a brief list to get you started in selecting an answering service that works for you.

  1. Staffing – Ensuring the call centre is adequately staffed to handle all the calls that come in is vitally important to keep the ring and hold times to a minimum. Ideally, a call should be answered in less than five rings, and a caller should be kept on hold for no more than one minute.
  2. Training – It is important that every call is answered and dealt with in a professional manner and this comes down to training. How well is the staff trained and how often is that training refreshed? Are quality control measures in place to ensure that training is adequate?
  3. Stability – How many years has the answering services company been in business? What is the management like? Answering these questions can give you a good indication as to whether the company will still be around five or ten years from now.
  4. References – Happy customers are often your best predictor of whether or not you will be happy with a call centre’s services. Before you sign on with a call answering service, ask for testimonials or references from other businesses who are receiving services similar to the ones that you are looking for.
  5. Reliability – What happens when there is a power outage or a server goes down? Does the company you are considering have adequate back-up and redundancy systems in place in order to make sure your callers keep getting the care and attention they deserve?
  6. Availability – One of the big advantages of hiring a call centre is their round the clock availability. Make sure that the answering service you choose has 24/7 service.
  7. Selection of Services – Even if you simply want your call centre to take messages for now, it is a good idea to select a company that offers a variety of services which you can grow into in the future. Services you might want to consider include call forwarding, appointment setting, and on hold marketing.
  8. Language – At Touch Communications, we employee many professional customer service representatives who can provide service in French to your customers.
  9. Pricing – While pricing shouldn’t necessarily be your first consideration, it is certainly something you need to look at. Does the call centre provide clear and easy to understand rate plans? What kind of contracts do they offer? Will they work with you to develop a custom package?

At Touch Communications, we strive to offer you everything you need in a call answering service company. Feel free to ask us any of the questions on this list or any additional ones you may have!

Increase your conversion rate with professional live call answering

Business owners love it when someone calls their business for the first time and instantly becomes a customer. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t happen very often. Most callers will have several touch points with your company before they become customers. Do you wish there was a way to increase your conversion rate with your customers? In other words, do you wish there was something you could do to help more callers become customers faster?

There is.

woman making a deal on the phone

Professional live call answering is one of the best ways to turn callers into customers. This is true for a number of reasons, but here are three of the main reasons that it works.

1. Your callers get instant help and answers to their questions 24/7

Most businesses – especially small ones – do not stay open round the clock. But a potential customer can call at any time. When a friendly customer service representative answers the phone – even if it’s the middle of the night – the caller can get their questions answered, or at the very least, get assurance that someone will get back to them the next business day.

Instead of getting an impersonal voice mail, the caller gets a real, live person that can assist. This leaves a great impression and improves the chances of that caller doing business with you.

2. Not all businesses have staff with awesome phone skills (but we do)

A business may be great at providing its core services but that doesn’t necessarily mean the staff have great phone skills. Some callers however, will make their decision on whether to do business based on how they perceive the person on the other end of the phone.

When you’ve got call centre professionals taking your calls, you can rest assured that your callers are always getting friendly, professional service. And that first impression is vital to your conversion rate!

You will be able to take a higher volume of calls

Let’s face it. Sales is a numbers game – so the more calls you can take, the more conversions you will get. If your business is a one-person operation, you are probably used to taking all the calls yourself on your cell phone. But you can only speak with one person at a time.

If your business is a larger operation and you are not using a call centre, you are still limited because you only have so many phone lines.  This means you may be spending time answering questions from a caller who is at the start of their purchase journey, while someone who is ready to purchase, is trying to get through.

With a professional live call answering service, all the important calls get through and prioritized so that the ones most likely to lead to conversion are sent to the right people and departments in your company as quickly as possible.

It is wonderful when you have an abundance of people contacting your business, but ultimately your business will only thrive if a certain amount of those callers become customers. Take a step to increase your conversion rate today with a live call answering service.  For live call answering in Southern Ontario, contact Touch Communications today!

5 Tips to Make the Best Answering Service Scripts

When working with a call centre, one of the first orders of business is to put together a professional voice greeting script. Don’t worry, a good answering service should be able to do the bulk of the work in this department, but they will still need your help to ensure that they are getting your company voice and brand just right.

woman answering phone

Here are five things to consider when developing answering phone call scripts:

Keep the initial greeting short

Remember that you are answering the phone – not reciting Shakespeare! At the start of the telephone conversation, callers only need to know that they have reached the right company. Long or complex messages at the start tend to be overwhelming – and since the caller is usually pretty focused on their own problem (the reason they called) – they probably won’t listen to a long greeting anyway.

Once you’re done with the initial greeting, the rest of the call can be as long or as short as it needs to be to assist the caller.

Don’t sound like a recording

This may sound obvious, but one of the reasons businesses use live call answering is because it is more personal than voice mail. So why would you want a professional voice greeting script that sounds like a recording?

The point of a good script is not necessarily for a customer service representative to read word for word, but rather it acts as a guideline to make sure all the essential information is conveyed and received. There may also be specific messages relevant to the company’s brand contained within the script that the representative can “check off” during the call.

Collect the necessary information

Call center phone call scripts are two-way. There is the information that the representative needs to give to the caller, and there is the information that the representative needs to collect from the caller. The basic information such as caller name, phone number, etc. should be collected at the beginning of the call.

Depending on the company, there may be other very specific information that the representative will need to collect. Be sure to differentiate between must-have information and nice to have information. The less information you ask of your callers, the better their phone experience is going to be.

Attach an action to the call

Any phone call script should ultimately lead toward some type of action. Do you want your customer service representatives to make a sale? Set an appointment? Provide further directions to the caller? Think about what kind of outcome you want the call to have and develop the script around that.


A smile is a simple thing to do, but it can be easily overlooked. You’ve probably heard that people can “hear” your smile through the phone. Well – it’s true. Smiling affects the way we think.  When designing your script, smile, so you keep your script positive and polite.  Polite words such as please and thank you should also be part an answering script to ensure the caller feels welcome and appreciated.

Touch Communications is ready to work with you to help develop your script.  Our goal is to seamlessly represent your business with the same care they have come to expect from you!


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Three Reasons Your Small Business Might Need a Call Answering Service

Owning and operating a small business is full of both challenges and rewards. If you are successful, you will eventually reach a point where you will need to grow – and you can grow your business either by hiring more employees, or by contracting out services. One of the services you may wish to contract out are answering services. But how do you know if you really need them?

small business growth

There are lots of reasons and why a small business owner would choose to hire an answering service, but here are three of the most popular ones.

You’ve got more work than your team can handle but not enough to hire additional staff

If your team is overloaded, it not only makes for a stressful work environment but it can mean things start to fall through the cracks. Quality and customer service can eventually become compromised – or you simply have to turn customers away.

You could hire a full-time receptionist, but if the extra calls coming in don’t amount to high enough revenues for the company, then it’s difficult to justify the extra salary.

Hiring an answering service is often the ideal solution. The costs are significantly lower than that of hiring another employee, and it takes pressure off your existing team.

You want to offer emergency or off-hours service

Depending on the industry you are operating in, it may be necessary or desirable to offer emergency or off-hours service to stay competitive. For example, many contractors such as plumbers and electricians offer emergency 24/7 services. To stay competitive in these types of industries, this is becoming increasingly common.

Even if you don’t want to offer emergency services, you may wish to offer your callers the convenience of 24/7 availability to make appointments, place orders, etc.

While it would be impractical – and exhausting – to have your own phone turned on all the time, it is a simple matter for a professional answering service to ensure that the call is answered whenever anyone wants to contact your business.

You need to make more time for yourself

Especially in the early stages, small business owners need to hustle. To become successful, you likely had to network, work long hours, and live on a limited budget. Perhaps now though, you’ve reached a point where the money is flowing in fairly well, but you’re still working long hours and always seem to be pressed for time.

If that’s the case, then hiring an answering service may be the solution. By hiring an answering service, you can let the bulk of your calls go to the call centre. If you are expecting certain important calls you can have them transferred to you or another person in your company.

Having an answering service allows you to take more time for yourself and not have to worry that you might be missing an important call.

Growing a small business can be a challenge – but for many this challenge is made easier when they hire a call answering service. If you think that this solution might be right for you, we invite you to contact Touch Communications today to find out more!  Or view Touch Communications on our Facebook page!

7 Things Customers Wish You Knew

When you hire a call answering service to represent your business, it is important to make sure your customers get the treatment that they want and deserve – after all, it’s your company reputation that is on the line. At TOUCH Communications, our call service representatives (CSRs) understand what customers wish more businesses knew about them:

Happy Customer on Phone

Good service is better than fast service

Yes, when people call into our call centre, it is important that they are served in a timely manner, but our CSRs know that it is better to take a little extra time to make sure the client gets all the information they need and doesn’t feel rushed on the call.

Your customers want personalization

Customers value personalization a lot. That’s one of the reasons that TOUCH Communications’ CSRs will go the extra mile to make them feel valued.

Customers want you to remember their name

People love to hear the sound of their own name which is why our CSRs call them by name after they’ve identified themselves.

When customers are given a pleasant surprise, it means positive word of mouth for your business

Many customers calling into your business for the first time may expect to be greeting with voicemail or have lengthy on-hold times. They are often surprised to be greeting by a friendly voice even in what would normally be considered off hours.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create goodwill with your customers

It is often the little things that customers remember – and talk about. Some business people send out birthday cards to their clients or give little bonuses when someone makes a purchase. In the call answering world, a goodwill gesture could be something as simple as making sure the caller gets through to exactly the right person in your company that will be able to help them.

Customers love a good story

One of the best ways to build your brand is through storytelling. At TOUCH, we work with you to develop effective scripts for our CSRs that will best reflect your company.

When your call answering service provides you with the feedback that you are getting from your customers, it can help you come up with successful innovations for your business.

Customers value time over money

Your customers are willing to pay for your service or product.  However, they also want to get through to someone should there be a problem or concern.  By using a service such as Touch Communication, your customers won’t be on hold for long periods of time, and they will be able to get through to a live person, rather than voice mail.  This improves client trust, and satisfaction with your company.

At TOUCH Communications, we understand what makes customers tick – and we use that knowledge to help your business.  Take the first step to improve your customer satisfaction today and contact TOUCH Communications to learn more on how we can help you!

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