What is the difference between telephone answering services, call centres and virtual receptionists?
The difference mainly lies in size and capabilities which essentially effects compatibility.
Unlike telephone answering services, call centres consist of much larger quantities of people and are therefore able to handle high quantity levels of inbound calls and outbound calls. Because of the size of many call centres, they are usually the cheapest option for a business to outsource to. There is also a difference in whether you choose to outsource to call centres abroad or local call centres in the UK. Obviously a call centre abroad would be the cheapest option but may not be the best option for various reasons including the obvious language and time barrier. Call centres tend to be very impersonal and quality may not be of a high standard.
A call centre is probably best suited for businesses that are very large and therefore need the manpower to handle inbound calls at extremely busy periods. A call centre is also a very cost effective way to make many outbound sales calls for large corporations.
Telephone answering services, on the other hand, tend to be much smaller than call centres and therefore, although generally not as cheap, are more likely to provide a more personal service.
As telephone answering services usually consist of smaller quantities of people they are more capable of providing a more personalised service to businesses. One of the differences between a call centre and a telephone answering service that would become apparent right away is the noise level. When getting through to a call centre it is apparent right away from the background noise that you have reached a call centre. This may not be as apparent when getting through to a telephone answering service. That in itself is an important factor when deciding to outsource your business calls to either a telephone answering service or a call centre. After all, most businesses would prefer that their clients don’t know that they have outsourced the call. So a telephone answering service would be, in most cases, preferable especially to small and medium sized businesses who wish to appear larger without giving away the fact that their calls are actually being outsourced.
Virtual receptionists can either be working for a telephone answering service or individually running as sole traders from home offering to take calls just like a telephone answering service.
The major difference between hiring a virtual receptionist over using a telephone answering service is that with an individual virtual receptionist, you are going to get an even more personalised service, since the virtual receptionist would be the closest thing to hiring a regular employee for your business. However, the major advantage with using a telephone answering service over hiring a virtual receptionist working from home is that the virtual receptionist can only handle one call at a time and therefore will most likely have to place calls on hold as she will be ‘juggling calls’ all day from different businesses. A telephone answering service, on the other hand, will be able to handle multiple calls at the same time without having to place people on hold. This can potentially mean that clients will feel they are getting a better service as they are being dealt with right away. visit:http://www.jetvirtual.co.uk/
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Article Added on Wednesday, March 23, 2011
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