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If you’re curious about how a small business answering service or call center operates, this post is for you. Today we’ll be examining how a typical small business owner comes to need an answering service, how their account is set up with a provider, and how the parties work together to continue growing the business.

Our example account: Fred’s Plumbing

For this article, we’ll use a hypothetical plumbing company, Fred’s Plumbing. The owner, Fred, has a few plumbers that work for him, along with his wife, who occasionally helps taking phone calls.

Time for an answering service

After months of intense marketing and increased referrals, Fred’s Plumbing had picked up a lot of business, and the phones began to ring off the hook. In addition, because the company provided after-hours emergency plumbing services, calls were coming in at all hours of the day and night.

Searching for a solution to help manage their call volume, the company began searching for a call answering service that worked with small businesses.

Setting up their account

Once Fred had decided on an answering service he wanted to work with, it was time to set up his account. Since he had not worked with a live answering service before, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

The account representative at the service walked him through the process, which went as follows:

First, determine the types of calls Fred was receiving

Call types included service calls, emergency service calls, appointment questions, rescheduling, billing questions, and general office calls.

Second, determine a procedure for each call type, 24 hours a day

Fred was happy to hear that the processes he had been following in the office could be followed by his new answering service.

Plumbing service calls that weren’t urgent were scheduled during the day and held for the office overnight. Emergency plumbing calls were relayed to a technician immediately, 24 hours a day.

Appointment questions were answered by the service whenever possible and passed on to Fred’s wife when an answer wasn’t available. The service also handled canceling and rescheduling appointments via Fred’s web-based calendar. Lastly, general office calls were sent to Fred and his wife via email and text message so they could take care of them when convenient.

The service starts taking calls

Once Fred and his account representative finished setting up his account, it was time for the answering service to start taking calls. This was an easy process: All Fred had to do is forward his phone line whenever he wanted the service to take calls.

When the lines were forwarded, calls went to the service instead of Fred’s office, and the service used the instructions to ensure each call was handled appropriately.

And there you have it – an example of a live answering service in action!

Looking for additional information?

If you’re interested in learning more about how answering services can benefit your small business, our team of professionals would love to speak with you. Contact us today for a free quote and an overview of how CMS can help with your growing business!

By Last Updated: September 13, 2022Categories: Blog2.6 min read