EasyIVR Tech Library
Telephone Answering Services
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to answering service systems and phone answering services. At Database Systems Corp. (DSC), we offer complete inbound call center and outbound automated phone services. Our inbound call center processes phone calls using our interactive voice response (IVR) system that answers calls without an operator.
Organizations looking to reduce costs and to improve customer service can now contract their inbound 800 answering service and outbound voice messaging programs at our automated call center facility.
As designers of call answering systems and phone answering service software, DSC is uniquely positioned to manage your call answering service and 800 number service campaigns saving your organization both time and money. Because our phone answering service software was created in-house, we can deliver comprehensive 800 number outsourcing quickly -- providing you with a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
From external database access to web integration including XML messaging, DSC can provide very custom phone applications. Plus you will find our 800 phone service to be quite affordable.
Work-From-Home: Answering Service Businesses
The needs of a business for an
answering service can vary considerably. The basic answering service takes
incoming calls on behalf of business people who are temporarily or
routinely not available during normal business hours. A company may need a
phone to be answered all day, part of the day, after hours only, or 24
hours a day. You can enter this profession at any level you choose. The
amount of equipment you will need to get going will also fluctuate
depending on how much time you want to devote to your home–based
The basic answering service
takes incoming calls on behalf of business people who are temporarily or
routinely not available during normal business hours. Most often,
businesses need their phones covered during an “extended” work day,
say 8:00 A.M.– 8:00 P.M., with an answering machine taking over the
other, less likely, 12 hour call period. Twelve hours can be a long day if
you are going it alone, so you may wish to solicit businesses that
generally are looking for the phones to be answered from 9 a.m. to 5 or 6
p.m. This makes it more likely for you to do the job yourself and work it
easily into your family’s schedule, too.
Once you identify your work
hours, you can begin the task of soliciting businesses to contract with
you. Before embarking on this important effort, you should establish a
goal of how many companies you want to represent. You can certainly take
on more than one company if all you are doing is answering the
The number of clients you take
on will dictate how you will set up your service. The client can either
use a phone company service to have their number ring at your location, or
they can advertise your number during certain hours.
The easiest and most inexpensive
way to begin is to have a separate phone line and phone for each of your
clients. You would then mark each individual phone with the company name
as an identifier for you when the phones begin to ring. Installing
separate phone lines should run less than $200 each. You will also pay
basic monthly charges for each phone. This should average about $35-50 per
month. If you are buying actual telephones, these can be acquired
inexpensively at local stores. This is the best route if you are going to
work with ten or fewer businesses.
However, if you intend to take
on more than ten firms, leasing a switchboard from your local telephone
company will make your operation more cost and space effective. A
switchboard can accommodate a substantial amount of business activity for
Before buying all these phones
and contracting with businesses, check with the phone company to see how
many extra lines you can obtain. There may be a limit in your residential
neighborhood. How many clients you can take on will depend on the number
of lines you can install. You might consider opening up an office in a
nearby commercial area, where the number of lines you need can be
accommodated. However, this is beyond the scope of your home–based
The amount and type of equipment
you obtain will be dictated by your ambition and your budget. It can be as
simple as individual phone lines or as complex as computer screens that
flash messages or record instructions for you to convey. The more
sophisticated the equipment, the more money you will have to spend. For
$25,000, you can purchase one switchboard with 25 lines and the trunk line
cable from the telephone company. Of course, the more business you can
handle the greater the financial reward. This is something you will have
to decide for yourself. If this is low–volume, extra money kind of work,
spend as little as possible and take on only one or two clients. If this
is to be your new career, then consider the larger investment to handle a
high volume of calls.
Before setting up all the
equipment, it is necessary to consider expansion options even at the
start-up phase. If possible, choose a permanent location as moving
equipment and offices can be very costly. Utility companies normally
charge penalty fees when answering services relocate. The key to your
success does not rely solely on the equipment. Your answering business is
providing important customer service for a company. As such, your voice
and congenial manner provide a greater value. If you are working with
small to medium sized businesses, you probably will not need the latest
and greatest phone system to handle the work. The option to installing
numerous phones is to lease a switchboard from your local phone company.
Find a convenient space in your home to set up your work area, and clear a
space for the switchboard. Once set up, it is costly to move, so make your
home “office” choice wisely when a switchboard is involved.
The switchboard can handle up to
100 incoming lines, but you need only activate the actual number of lines
you intend to use. This large number of lines gives you great flexibility
in the service you can provide. Switchboards offer a variety of extras,
including room for another operator if your services demand the work of
two people, and a secrecy switch to secure the phone lines for your
clients. Read the operating manual thoroughly. Better yet, attend training
sessions provided by the local phone company, if available.