An answering service firm can provide a fun, challenging and rewarding working environment. With a variety of tasks and numerous roles, there is a range of answering jobs to suit all personalities. Whether you want to be on the receiving end of calls, assisting callers, supervising team members or training new employees, you’ll find your ideal role within an answering service or call center environment.
What is an answering service?
Companies need to be able to respond to customer contact swiftly, so it’s vital they have staff manning their phone lines. However, for many businesses, employing in-house staff to do this simply isn’t an option. Instead, they rely on professional answering services to do this for them.
In some instances, companies may need an answering service to provide them with back-up support during office hours, so that customer’s calls are still answered quickly, even if their in-house staff are busy. Alternatively, businesses may rely on an answering service to deliver a manned, out-of-hours response line, so that customers can engage with the company at any time of the night or day.
With companies across all industries requiring professional assistance and support, there is an increasing demand for answering services, and this means there are a variety of related jobs available.
What do answering service jobs involve?
When you work for an answering service, your range of tasks will depend on your specific role. However, many answering service employees are hired to provide a prompt and professional response to incoming calls.
Depending on the client’s requirements, you may be asked to take the customer’s details so that they can be passed on to an in-house employee, provide the caller with relevant information or forward the call directly to the client themselves.
For every client, there can be a different brief, which makes working for an answering service exciting and challenging. You may spend time working for just one client on a long-term basis, or you may spend your shifts switching between clients and responding to callers who are attempting to contact a wide variety of businesses.
What hours do I need to work?
When answering services are hiring, they’ll specify exactly what hours they’re offering. In some cases, they may simply require new hires to work full-time office hours, such as 9am-6pm or 8am-5pm. In addition to this, many answering services are happy to take on part-time workers, so you could take on the role as a second job or as a job that will fit around your studies or other existing commitments.
One of the major advantages of working for an answering service tends to be the hours of work that are available. As many businesses want to use an answering service to field out-of-hours call, there’s a good chance that your employer will be operating at evenings, weekends and maybe even 24 hours a day.
If so, you may find it easy to pick up extra shifts or take on evening work when you’re employed by an answering service. Whilst the relevant job ad will state exactly what a potential employer is looking for right now, it’s always worth asking whether alternative or additional shifts are likely to become available.
What skills does an answering service employee need?
Answering service jobs can be fast-paced, so you should perform well under pressure and always maintain a professional attitude. Whilst there are a variety of skills which can improve your performance, answering services don’t necessarily require you to have a specific qualification. Whether you have extensive academic achievements, or you have honed your skills via experience in the workplace, answering service jobs could be right for you.
Attention to detail
When you’re working with an answering service, you’ll need to pay close attention to everything the caller says. Every call will need to be noted down, so you’ll need to update the caller’s details, reasons for call and the outcome, on the system as the call is in progress. This information is then passed to the client so that they can take further action if it’s required, so it’s vital that all call information is recorded accurately.
Often, customers will contact a business because they have a query or a problem. An individual may call out-of-hours if they require assistance with a household emergency, for example. In such instances, you may be answering the call on behalf of a plumbing or electricity firm, so you’ll need to provide an empathetic response and arrange for their call to reach the relevant personnel in accordance with the client’s instructions.
As an answering phone representative, you’ll handle the customer’s first engagement with the company, and effectively be the face – or voice – of the brand. As such, you’ll need to approach every call with a positive attitude and maintain professionalism throughout. Furthermore, you’ll need to be able to understand the client’s business and the services they’re offering, so that you’re able to respond to callers appropriately.
When you’re working with an answering service, being able to retain knowledge is one of the best attributes you can have. Firstly, you’ll need to remember information about the client’s business, so that you can engage with each caller effectively. If you’re switching between a number of clients, being able to retain this knowledge is vital. Secondly, you’ll need to retain the information that a caller is giving you so that it can be accurately recorded and sent to the client. If you have a great memory or are able to recall facts quickly, you could bring these skills to an answering service environment.
Finding answering service jobs near me
If you think an answering service could provide the perfect working environment for you, it’s easy to find the right opportunities. With many answering services looking for full-time, part-time and shift workers, your enthusiasm and expertise could be just what they’re looking for.
As well as looking on company websites for job ads, make sure you keep an eye on job sites and local websites too. These are great places to find answering service roles, and it shouldn’t be too long until the perfect answering service opportunity pops up in a location near you.