Call Answering Services VS Call Centers: Why They Are Not Always the Same

The people who contact us think they know what we do, or at the very least, they think they can guess. You would expect their assumptions to vary depending on whether they call us a call center or a call answering service. You don’t need to think far as our name says it all. But […]

call answering service

The people who contact us think they know what we do, or at the very least, they think they can guess. You would expect their assumptions to vary depending on whether they call us a call center or a call answering service. You don’t need to think far as our name says it all.

But regardless of the terminology they use, their assumptions remain the same. They imagine rows of desks with men and women sitting all day and chattering away on their phones.

Regardless of how accurate or inaccurate that assumption might be, it is important to note that the terms ‘call center’ and ‘call answering service’ do not always mean the same thing. Take a look at the following:

1) The way call centers and call answering services are formally viewed tends to vary. In most cases, customers who contact a call center know that they are dealing with a call center.

Yes, they want to engage directly with personnel from a particular company but there is rarely any doubt that they are contacting a call center because call centers are typically quite open about their identity.

Things are never as obvious with call answering services. A call answering service is designed to blend in. When you attempt to contact a company’s customer support staff, you are not supposed to know that you have been connected to a call answering service to which the company in question outsourced its call answering needs.

This is because call answering services work so closely with the businesses that hire them. Consumers cannot distinguish between the two.

2) Despite the varied manner in which they are viewed, it is easy to see why people would use the terms ‘call center’ and ‘call answering service’ interchangeably. On an operational level, call centers and call answering services mirror one another.

Both entities have personnel located off-site that are tasked with either making or receiving calls from customers. In both cases, you have rows of desks, computers, headsets and a lot of talking.

People are the primary component in each case and their customer service skills are essential for success.

3) But despite these operational similarities, one must realise that the term ‘call center’ can refer to firms that use a variety of methods to communicate, including the phone, fax, and even email, not to mention chat.

Some people will argue that call centers are primarily charged with tasks that involve phone calls and once you bring other methods of communication into the mix, such firms must be categorised as ‘Contact Centers’.

But that hasn’t been true for a while now. Today, any business entity that communicates via chat, email, and fax is recognised as a call center. This isn’t true for call answering services that are only concerned with the making and receiving of phone calls.

4) It isn’t just their functions that sometimes separate call centers from call answering services.

The scope also matters. Call centers are normally associated with large corporations.

They are constituted by companies that have to contend with high volumes of calls, and the consumers initiating this contact expect to receive quick answers to simple questions.

For this reason, call centers are generally staffed with large numbers of employees who must work off well-crafted scripts. Their work is like a well-oiled, rapidly-paced machine that does not permit them to deviate from the words that have been prepared for them regardless of the nature of the conversation initiated by the consumer.

Call Answering Services are simpler. They also consist of real people who must make and receive calls. However, the people who work for call answering services are classified as virtual receptionists because they perform the tasks of a receptionist.

They are expected to answer, screen calls and take messages where necessary, not to mention making appointments.

Virtual receptionists also use scripts but only during the initial moments of the conversation. After that, they are free to speak off the cuff, maintaining a tone that is both warm and professional.

They are supposed to make the customer feel like they are interacting with an employee of the company. This is despite the fact that they are not expected to possess the same technical expertise as an actual employee of the company they have been hired to represent.

Call answering firms are perfect for small businesses because the costs of acquiring their services are more manageable than the resources one must expend to put a call center in place.

Make no mistake that it is possible for call centers to operate and even perform the functions of a call answering service. This is no different from what we do here at Call Center- Telephone answering service. But rarely do you find call answering services masquerading as call centers.

The good news is, at Call Center, you get to enjoy a 14-day Free trial and zero charges for wrong numbers that dialled you. That’s not all, you also get to enjoy VoIP service, 24/7 automated call handling and virtual switchboard features, giving your customers the best experience they can ever get.

If you still can’t quite differentiate call centers from call answering services, that is perfectly fine. You can still depend on us to serve you in every capacity you desire.

For any questions, please call us on 0800 357 678 or see our Contact Us.