How Online Answering Services Can Benefit Small Businesses

online answering service

Did you know there are 270 million smartphone users in the United States? When it comes to your small business, you want to be able to accept as many calls as you can. And yet, you can’t always be available to take every call.

With an online answering service, now you can!

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Answering services are now more relevant than ever in this busy and growing modern world. You need to be able to keep up with the demands of your customers and an online answering machine can help you do that.

Read on to find out how an online answering service can help your small business.

What Is An Online Answering Service?

When you think of answering services, you might flashback to having one of those big bulky corded units with the little cassette tapes for recording messages on your home landline while you were away for the weekend.

Online answering services have come a long way since those days. Now, using an after-hours answering service has become a critical tool for small businesses everywhere.

It allows a business to enhance its bottom line by increasing customer engagement outside of normal operating hours. By outsourcing their customer service to call centers during peak and off-hours, small businesses are able to keep in contact with their customer base.

This helps create a stronger business profile through a live one-on-one customer service representative, not an automated message system.

What Types of Small Businesses Use Online Answering Machine Services?

The truth is now almost every business type from medical offices to plumbers and HVAC can utilize online answering services for their businesses. Most places have set fixed business hours, but life happens 24/7, and being available to accept calls at all hours is crucial.


Holidays and weekends can be most hectic when it comes to plumbing emergencies. Customers want a plumbing business that is able to respond to and rush an urgent repair, as needed, for a clogged or broken pipe.

With an online answering machine, their call can be routed to a representative who will answer any questions they may have and address their concerns in the most appropriate manner.


For heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning repair companies, a speedy reply to a call for service is key. Customers don’t want to be left sweltering in the heat or freezing in the winter when their unit malfunctions.

An online answering machine can prioritize a service call and even schedule an appointment after hours as needed.

Funeral Homes

Sometimes the inevitable occurs and unfortunately, it isn’t always within a 9-5 workday period. For funeral homes, being there to connect and console a distraught customer who has just lost a loved one is what sets you apart from other businesses.

A trained call center employee will provide burial and funeral planning information, body transport services, religious burial considerations, and even grief counseling if requested.

Roofers and Contractors

Skilled craftsmen and tradesmen are often on the job from sunrise to sunset making repairs and improvements and don’t have ample free time available to answer calls and inquiries about other jobs.

By integrating their business with an online answering machine service, they can do all the heavy lifting while their answering service takes the incoming calls and gathers the needed information for detailing and scheduling other jobs and services.

Medical Offices

For medical practices the benefits of having a medical answering service online can include:

  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Access to Telehealth
  • Nurse Triage Service
  • Call Transferring and Recording
  • Time and Date Stamping
  • Toll-Free Numbers

Medical answering services are HIPAA compliant and secure for storing information. They may also be used to provide resources for Medicaid beneficiaries, such as a hotline for transportation services and meal delivery.

Legal Offices

For attorneys, an answering service can provide legal intake on DUI cases, personal injury, bankruptcy, and criminal cases. After-hours and out-of-office call forwarding are must-haves for busy attorneys.

A Spanish language answering/translation service is also available for no additional fee.

Additional Benefits of Online Answering Services

Having a 24/7 dedicated answering service for your small business means that no call will go unanswered, even if your line is busy. Calls will be forwarded to a bilingual human agent, not a frustrating and time-consuming automated service.

Emails often get lost in the shuffle and buried under other messages and orders clogging up the inbox. With your online answering service, phone inquiries go directly to a trained call center for targeted response and resolution to the issue.

Are Online Answering Services Expensive?

If you think you can’t afford to use an answering service for your small business, you’d be surprised at how affordable they are and how well they will handle all your small business needs.

Studies have shown that customers who called a business only to get a voicemail message or automated service prompt refused to leave a message at all. 75-80% of customers hung up! On a scale of frustration from 1-10, with 10 being the highest, the lack of being able to connect with a human clocked in at an 8.9 and attempting to navigate an automated system scored an 8.5.

Most online answering service companies offer free trials of their service and can create a customized business plan for any budget and business size, including a flat-rate plan. What you spend on a monthly online answering machine service will come back to you in positive customer feedback and increased profit.

Having an actual human representative on the other end of the line is worth its weight in gold to your customers who want to connect with your small business.

Whether you own a bakery or an accounting firm or an artisanal coffee shop, online answering services are there for you.

Finding the Right Online Answering Service

If you’re finally sold on setting up your own small business online answering service but don’t know which one is right for your small business needs, that’s where Best Answering Service comes in. Best Answering Service does all the legwork for you.

We offer a free, no-obligation trial; no credit card required. We’ll provide quotes for up to 3 different answering services with one easy-to-use form in as soon as 1 business day.

Join the over 20,000 businesses that have already gotten their quotes.  What are you waiting for? Check out Best Answering Service today.

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Author: Michael C

Michael has over 30 years of executive call center and answering service experience. He is a successful business owner and lead generation expert and shares tips to help other entrepreneurs build and grow their business through leads generation and lead capture solutions. His mission is to share carefully guarded marketing tips that will help small-medium business compete on a smaller budget.

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