There are many perpetual answering service myths that could cause some to turn up their nose to the idea. But most of what you hear about answering services are just that – myths.
In this post, we break down the top myths about how answering services work.
Myth #1. Your Callers Will Know They Aren’t In Your Office
This is possibly the biggest answering service myth. There are multiple factors that contribute to whether or not your callers will know if your receptionist is in your office or not.
1. Knowledge and Training
You might be thinking that answering services don’t typically require much from their applicants in order to hire them. And too often, that’s true.
Large call centers don’t specialize in one industry, and no applicant can be well versed in them all.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Boutique and specialized answering services offer a small team of receptionists who can speak with your callers confidently with knowledge and extensive training in your industry.
(Back Office Betties requires all applicants to pass a legal skills test before their first interview and provides customized training for every law firm. Small teams of 4 – 6 receptionists become familiar with your staff and procedures… as if they were sitting at your front desk.)
2. Call Centers vs. Remote Workers
There’s a significant (and important) difference between answering services operating out of call centers and answering services operating remotely.
- The background noise in call centers is distracting for the callers AND the agents who are speaking with them. It’s not exactly what the office at your law firm sounds like.
- Remote virtual receptionists work from home in their own quiet, private offices without background noises or distractions. That’s possibly even better than what the office at your law firm sounds like.
Not all answering services operate out of call centers
While many answering services outsource their call centers overseas, it’s a common misconception that this is the only option when picking a provider.
There are many answering services that operate locally and never outsource.
One tip if you want your virtual receptionists to sound like they’re sitting at the front desk of your law firm: consider hiring a company that’s based in your country/language.
Language barriers can sometimes be confusing for callers and can be a dead giveaway that the person on the other end of the call may not be located nearby. This is especially important for attorneys – you don’t want case detailed to get missed due to simple miscommunications.
Myth #2. It’s Cheaper and Easier to Have an In-House Receptionist
It might sound easier to hire an in-house receptionist – It is conventional and you are familiar with it.
However, this isn’t typically true. Answering services are almost always cheaper and the management, payroll, benefits, taxes, and hiring processes are all taken care of.
While in-house receptionists can cost upwards of $4,123.60 a month, answering services and virtual receptionist prices range from $300 – $2,000 a month. With multiple plans, there are options for every law firm’s needs and budget.
Not to mention that in-house receptionists can only take one call at a time, need to take lunch breaks, step away to use the restroom, go on vacations, and call in sick.
With answering services, multiple receptionists can answer calls for your firm at the same time and there is always someone there – no disruptions by way of lunch or bathroom breaks, sick days, or vacations.
Answering services ensure that you’ll never miss a call and provide more service for that lower cost compared to an in-house receptionist.
Answering services work to save you time and money while improving the quality of service
Myth #3. Your Clients Will Receive Poor Service
The answering service myth that your clients will not receive quality service is debunked by providers with well-trained and highly specialized receptionists.
Common negative experiences with outsourced answering services are:
- The agent didn’t seem to know anything about the company or their product/service.
- You had to call again and got a different agent on the line who knew nothing about your previous call.
- You were placed on hold right away – or even multiple times.
But not all answering services are the same. The quality of service provided is based on the level of expertise the virtual receptionists have due to specialization and training.
With the right answering service, none of these common complaints need to be a concern.
- Answering services like Back Office Betties that specialize in the legal industry are able to speak with your callers with the same level of expertise as a legal receptionist in your office.
- Boutique answering services with small teams of receptionists are able to communicate with each other, ensuring your callers won’t be starting from square one if they get someone new on the phone.
- High-quality answering services will always take 1 call at a time giving your callers their full attention from start to finish.
Myth #4. You Have No Control Over Your Calls
A common complaint answering service users report is a lack of control over their calls.
However, most answering services do provide some level of customization. Most, if not all, offer a customized greeting and will answer a few FAQs for callers.
Many services will also schedule appointments for you and follow your custom directions for warm and cold transfers.
High-end legal answering services can even provide you with significantly more options and services to fit your needs, such as:
- Completing complex legal intakes
- Payment processing
- Calendar management
- Adding new leads to your CRM
- Slack communication
These are just a few examples.
The virtual receptionist plans that Back Office Betties provides are specifically engineered for law firms at 4 different stages of growth – they include all of the unique features that law firms need and are customizable to fit your firm like a glove.
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If you have concerns about any of these myths, be sure to question answering service providers about their operations before committing!
“Back Office Betties is the face of my company: they’re the first people that a new client talks to. People think their team is a receptionist in my office. I’ve never had an issue where someone didn’t end up hiring me because of their communication with the Back Office Betties team.” – Carla, Attorney
Don’t have time to quiz every answering service? Schedule a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist to discover how Back Office Betties goes above and beyond to ensure your clients will never know our virtual receptionists aren’t sitting at the front desk in your law firm!