Answering Services vs Call Center Services – Analyzing the Two Confusing Terms

Answering Services vs Call Center Services – Analyzing the Two Confusing Terms

Are you having a tough time understanding the difference between answering services and call center services? Yes, the two reads like the same thing, don’t they? Maybe you should know that business answering service providers handle incoming telephone calls, while a call center does this and more. Plus, there are other significant differences that we bet you don’t know yet. So, without further ado, let’s discuss them all.

Answering Services vs Call Center Services – Which Should You Opt For? 

Let’s expand our understanding of the two concepts. By doing so, we’ll also get an idea about which one you can prefer as a business owner. 

Understanding Business Answering Services 

Fundamentally, answering services provider contracts to handle phone calls of another company. Most commonly, these calls are from customers or sometimes from potential customers. An organization will use business answering services because: 

– The experts will take phone calls from new or existing customers professionally 

– It will help the business form a good relationship with the caller 

– As a result, lifting the brand’s image or reputation 

A Bit on The Call Center Services 

Organizations consider call centers for outsourcing the responsibilities of the inbound and outbound calls. Because a call center has trained staff to do that, and it is more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team. Some call centers may choose to take the responsibilities of business inbound calls, known as inbound call centers. Some may be available for outbound calls outsourcing, termed as the outbound calls. Mostly, a call center will be available to handle both incoming and outgoing calls. Such call centers are known as blended call centers. 

You must have a fair idea now about how the two are fundamentally different. Let’s get deep into this comparison.

Is a Call Center a Type of Business Answering Service? 

You bet it is! Because a business usually hires call centers to deal with customers’ calls or to reach out to potential customers. Both these are also in the scope of the call answering services provider. So technically, a call center services provider can also be addressed as a business answering services provider. Hence you can also term it as call centre answering service. Besides that, answering services also exist in the following forms: 

The Autoresponders

Can you recall your experience of calling on a company’s number and that pre-recorded voice trying to find out what you need? Making you press a few buttons before you could speak to a representative. That’s the auto responder in place, which will help you find the right answers or would direct your call to a suitable person. This is also an interactive voice response system that automates the answering services. 

Virtual Receptionist

It is the same as an on-site receptionist. The only difference is that a virtual receptionist works remotely. Different organizations these days hire a virtual receptionist to field incoming and outgoing calls for the organization. The most common duties of a virtual receptionist include taking messages, answering basic inquiries, and more. 

You have a good idea now about the answering and call center services. Let’s discuss which of the two a business owner should pick. 

Which of The Call Center Services or Answering Services is The Business Owner’s Best Bet?

There are several reasons that count when choosing call center services or answering services. They are as follows: 

What is Your Purpose?

Do you need someone to hear out your business phone calls, or would you also like them to find you more customers? For the latter, you have to go with acquiring call center services. Because, convincing a potential customer is mostly out of the scope of a representative from answering services. On the contrary, a call center has dedicated outbound and inbound departments that can look over telemarketing tasks and customer service

So, it is better to decide your purpose before going for either the answering services or call center services. 

How is Your Business Operating?

Suppose your business is well-established and has a lot of customers. They’ll often call to ask queries or to resolve problems incurred after the purchase. In such a case, you should use call center services instead of answering services. Because a call center has trained staff to deal with many calls on the go. Plus, they have complex scripts and the ability to customize calls per customer needs or concerns. 

What is Your Product Type?

A call center is your best bet if you are engaged in selling technical products because the experts of a call center can discuss the technical details of a product with your customer. An answering services provider may fail to answer technical queries about a product a customer has after the purchase. But it can forward a call to the concerned department to talk to the customer. But that, again, will need the availability of an expert in the department to take a call immediately. Hence, allowing a call center expert to do it is a better option. 

What is Your Budget?

Yes, hiring answering services will cost less than outsourcing to the call center because of the scope of work and the availability of expertise. So, if you are on a tight budget as businesses are in their initial stages of incorporation, hire the answering services. A representative there will be able to handle your business’s incoming and outgoing calls professionally. After your business is established, you can opt for hiring a call center to improve your customer experience or advance your telemarketing efforts. 

Take Away

You may find answering services and call center services confusing terms. Because they both are often used interchangeably. Yes, answering services is part of call center duties, but the call center is more than that. This blog post was all about getting you an idea of how answering services and call center services are different. Plus, we have discussed which of the two would be the best option for a business owner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the answering service different from the answering machine? What are automated answering services? What is a virtual receptionist? What are the 5 advantages of using an answer service? What are medical answering services or answering center?