How to Choose an Answering Service – 9 Things to Consider

Congratulations! You’ve made the all-important decision to take your business to the next level and hire a telephone answering service.  But since there is no shortage of answering services companies, how do you select the right one?

Phone extended

When choosing a call centre to handle your company’s calls, there are a number of factors you should consider. Here is a brief list to get you started in selecting an answering service that works for you.

  1. Staffing – Ensuring the call centre is adequately staffed to handle all the calls that come in is vitally important to keep the ring and hold times to a minimum. Ideally, a call should be answered in less than five rings, and a caller should be kept on hold for no more than one minute.
  2. Training – It is important that every call is answered and dealt with in a professional manner and this comes down to training. How well is the staff trained and how often is that training refreshed? Are quality control measures in place to ensure that training is adequate?
  3. Stability – How many years has the answering services company been in business? What is the management like? Answering these questions can give you a good indication as to whether the company will still be around five or ten years from now.
  4. References – Happy customers are often your best predictor of whether or not you will be happy with a call centre’s services. Before you sign on with a call answering service, ask for testimonials or references from other businesses who are receiving services similar to the ones that you are looking for.
  5. Reliability – What happens when there is a power outage or a server goes down? Does the company you are considering have adequate back-up and redundancy systems in place in order to make sure your callers keep getting the care and attention they deserve?
  6. Availability – One of the big advantages of hiring a call centre is their round the clock availability. Make sure that the answering service you choose has 24/7 service.
  7. Selection of Services – Even if you simply want your call centre to take messages for now, it is a good idea to select a company that offers a variety of services which you can grow into in the future. Services you might want to consider include call forwarding, appointment setting, and on hold marketing.
  8. Language – At Touch Communications, we employee many professional customer service representatives who can provide service in French to your customers.
  9. Pricing – While pricing shouldn’t necessarily be your first consideration, it is certainly something you need to look at. Does the call centre provide clear and easy to understand rate plans? What kind of contracts do they offer? Will they work with you to develop a custom package?

At Touch Communications, we strive to offer you everything you need in a call answering service company. Feel free to ask us any of the questions on this list or any additional ones you may have!

Increase your conversion rate with professional live call answering

Business owners love it when someone calls their business for the first time and instantly becomes a customer. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t happen very often. Most callers will have several touch points with your company before they become customers. Do you wish there was a way to increase your conversion rate with your customers? In other words, do you wish there was something you could do to help more callers become customers faster?

There is.

woman making a deal on the phone

Professional live call answering is one of the best ways to turn callers into customers. This is true for a number of reasons, but here are three of the main reasons that it works.

1. Your callers get instant help and answers to their questions 24/7

Most businesses – especially small ones – do not stay open round the clock. But a potential customer can call at any time. When a friendly customer service representative answers the phone – even if it’s the middle of the night – the caller can get their questions answered, or at the very least, get assurance that someone will get back to them the next business day.

Instead of getting an impersonal voice mail, the caller gets a real, live person that can assist. This leaves a great impression and improves the chances of that caller doing business with you.

2. Not all businesses have staff with awesome phone skills (but we do)

A business may be great at providing its core services but that doesn’t necessarily mean the staff have great phone skills. Some callers however, will make their decision on whether to do business based on how they perceive the person on the other end of the phone.

When you’ve got call centre professionals taking your calls, you can rest assured that your callers are always getting friendly, professional service. And that first impression is vital to your conversion rate!

You will be able to take a higher volume of calls

Let’s face it. Sales is a numbers game – so the more calls you can take, the more conversions you will get. If your business is a one-person operation, you are probably used to taking all the calls yourself on your cell phone. But you can only speak with one person at a time.

If your business is a larger operation and you are not using a call centre, you are still limited because you only have so many phone lines.  This means you may be spending time answering questions from a caller who is at the start of their purchase journey, while someone who is ready to purchase, is trying to get through.

With a professional live call answering service, all the important calls get through and prioritized so that the ones most likely to lead to conversion are sent to the right people and departments in your company as quickly as possible.

It is wonderful when you have an abundance of people contacting your business, but ultimately your business will only thrive if a certain amount of those callers become customers. Take a step to increase your conversion rate today with a live call answering service.  For live call answering in Southern Ontario, contact Touch Communications today!

How an Answering Service Makes You More Productive

Read any business book or go to any business seminar and one of the first things they will usually tell you about productivity is that you need to delegate tasks that others can do. But what parts of your business do you delegate? One of the easiest things to move off your plate and onto someone else’s is your office phone system.

The Touch Communications Logo

By hiring a 24 hour answering service, you can become more productive. You can spend less time taking calls and  focusing on growing and building your business, all while trusting that your phone calls are properly handled.

Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that a business answering company can help improve productivity in your company.

Focus more on production and less on taking calls

Calls come into your business for a variety of reasons. Many calls are simply requests for information such as pricing, business hours, etc. While it’s important that these calls are answered in a professional manner, you don’t necessarily need a member of your own team to take them.

In fact, in many cases, these types of calls end up taking your staff away from a job that is more important. Hiring an answering service for tasks such as providing information, booking appointments, and even taking sales orders can free you and your team up considerably to be more productive.

Take calls 24/7

Most businesses do not need to be open 24/7, but with people’s busy schedules, they may want to call you after regular working hours. Since the call centres are usually open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, it means your potential customers get a better experience when they call your business.

This often translates into more business for you!

Less time transferring calls between team members

Another problem that growing businesses often face is that callers will often just call the first telephone number that they see on your company website – whether it is the proper department or not.

Not only do you or a member of your team have to take a call that shouldn’t go to you, but you must then transfer it – possibly having to take up valuable company time looking up the number for the correct department.

When you hire a call answering service, a trained CSR can transfer incoming calls to the correct person or department every time. This is more productive for your business and a nicer experience for the caller.

Cost efficient

Hiring a 24 hour answering service can also be much more cost-efficient than hiring an on-call employee.

The money that you save in payroll can then be reinvested into your company to buy equipment, supplies – or yes, to hire another staff member to help with the production or service side of your business.  This too will help to make you more productive.

If you are running a business and feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to do all you would like to get done, then hiring a business answering company may be the solution. Contact TOUCH Communications today to learn more.


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Make the Holidays Less Stressful with a Call Answering Service

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful times of year for business owners. As the holiday season rapidly approaches, many businesses notice an influx of customers all the while they are dealing with vacation requests from employees and an increasingly hectic personal life. Even if you don’t require a call answering service year round, using one during the holiday season can help make things a lot less stressful.

Woman on Phone at Christmas

Here are five reasons why so many Touch Communications customers choose to use live call answering during the holiday season:

1. Manage an increased volume of orders.

If your business sells products that just might be on someone’s Christmas wish list, then there’s a good chance that come November and December, you’re going to see an increase in sales. Rather than hire additional seasonal staff that you have to train and then say goodbye to in January, it makes good economic sense to use a call answering service that employs professional customer service representatives.

2. Manage an increased volume of appointments.

Whether your business is an automotive shop, pet clinic, or a dentist, there is a good chance that you will start to see more customers booking appointments this time of year. To manage the influx of callers who are looking to get their snow tires put on their vehicles or have their nails trimmed on their pet,  many businesses choose to make use of a call answering service. This frees up their own staff to better serve customers who are physically present at their place of business.

3. Offer extended hours to your customers.

This is a busy time for your customers as well as for you. Making use of a live call answering service allows you to offer your customers the convenience of extended hours. At Touch Communications, our call centres operate 24/7 which means we can take customer orders and book appointments any time day or night – something your customers will appreciate this time of year.

4. Offer more vacation time to your staff.

The Christmas season is a time that many people like to take more time off to spend with their families but this can be hard to do when things are crazy at work. Hiring a call answering service can take some of the load off your own staff – which allows you to play office-santa and grant more vacation time.

5. Take more time for yourself.

While we’re on the topic of spending time with family, don’t forget that this is important for you too this time of year. When business picks up, it can be easy to feel tied to your cell phone. With live call answering from Touch Communications, you can let our CSRs take care of all the routine calls and only put through to you the ones that you designate.

Remember the holidays can be a busy time of year, but there are ways to make them less stressful. And live call answering from Touch Communications is one of those ways.

5 Tips to Make the Best Answering Service Scripts

When working with a call centre, one of the first orders of business is to put together a professional voice greeting script. Don’t worry, a good answering service should be able to do the bulk of the work in this department, but they will still need your help to ensure that they are getting your company voice and brand just right.

woman answering phone

Here are five things to consider when developing answering phone call scripts:

Keep the initial greeting short

Remember that you are answering the phone – not reciting Shakespeare! At the start of the telephone conversation, callers only need to know that they have reached the right company. Long or complex messages at the start tend to be overwhelming – and since the caller is usually pretty focused on their own problem (the reason they called) – they probably won’t listen to a long greeting anyway.

Once you’re done with the initial greeting, the rest of the call can be as long or as short as it needs to be to assist the caller.

Don’t sound like a recording

This may sound obvious, but one of the reasons businesses use live call answering is because it is more personal than voice mail. So why would you want a professional voice greeting script that sounds like a recording?

The point of a good script is not necessarily for a customer service representative to read word for word, but rather it acts as a guideline to make sure all the essential information is conveyed and received. There may also be specific messages relevant to the company’s brand contained within the script that the representative can “check off” during the call.

Collect the necessary information

Call center phone call scripts are two-way. There is the information that the representative needs to give to the caller, and there is the information that the representative needs to collect from the caller. The basic information such as caller name, phone number, etc. should be collected at the beginning of the call.

Depending on the company, there may be other very specific information that the representative will need to collect. Be sure to differentiate between must-have information and nice to have information. The less information you ask of your callers, the better their phone experience is going to be.

Attach an action to the call

Any phone call script should ultimately lead toward some type of action. Do you want your customer service representatives to make a sale? Set an appointment? Provide further directions to the caller? Think about what kind of outcome you want the call to have and develop the script around that.


A smile is a simple thing to do, but it can be easily overlooked. You’ve probably heard that people can “hear” your smile through the phone. Well – it’s true. Smiling affects the way we think.  When designing your script, smile, so you keep your script positive and polite.  Polite words such as please and thank you should also be part an answering script to ensure the caller feels welcome and appreciated.

Touch Communications is ready to work with you to help develop your script.  Our goal is to seamlessly represent your business with the same care they have come to expect from you!


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Three Reasons Your Small Business Might Need a Call Answering Service

Owning and operating a small business is full of both challenges and rewards. If you are successful, you will eventually reach a point where you will need to grow – and you can grow your business either by hiring more employees, or by contracting out services. One of the services you may wish to contract out are answering services. But how do you know if you really need them?

small business growth

There are lots of reasons and why a small business owner would choose to hire an answering service, but here are three of the most popular ones.

You’ve got more work than your team can handle but not enough to hire additional staff

If your team is overloaded, it not only makes for a stressful work environment but it can mean things start to fall through the cracks. Quality and customer service can eventually become compromised – or you simply have to turn customers away.

You could hire a full-time receptionist, but if the extra calls coming in don’t amount to high enough revenues for the company, then it’s difficult to justify the extra salary.

Hiring an answering service is often the ideal solution. The costs are significantly lower than that of hiring another employee, and it takes pressure off your existing team.

You want to offer emergency or off-hours service

Depending on the industry you are operating in, it may be necessary or desirable to offer emergency or off-hours service to stay competitive. For example, many contractors such as plumbers and electricians offer emergency 24/7 services. To stay competitive in these types of industries, this is becoming increasingly common.

Even if you don’t want to offer emergency services, you may wish to offer your callers the convenience of 24/7 availability to make appointments, place orders, etc.

While it would be impractical – and exhausting – to have your own phone turned on all the time, it is a simple matter for a professional answering service to ensure that the call is answered whenever anyone wants to contact your business.

You need to make more time for yourself

Especially in the early stages, small business owners need to hustle. To become successful, you likely had to network, work long hours, and live on a limited budget. Perhaps now though, you’ve reached a point where the money is flowing in fairly well, but you’re still working long hours and always seem to be pressed for time.

If that’s the case, then hiring an answering service may be the solution. By hiring an answering service, you can let the bulk of your calls go to the call centre. If you are expecting certain important calls you can have them transferred to you or another person in your company.

Having an answering service allows you to take more time for yourself and not have to worry that you might be missing an important call.

Growing a small business can be a challenge – but for many this challenge is made easier when they hire a call answering service. If you think that this solution might be right for you, we invite you to contact Touch Communications today to find out more!  Or view Touch Communications on our Facebook page!

Key Components of a Professional Voice Greeting

Professionalism matters when speaking to customers. Taking the time to treat customers with the utmost courtesy and respect will help customers return again and again for your business’ services. Communicating with customers over the telephone requires even more professionalism, as your voice becomes the only way information is conveyed to customers. To ensure the impression that customers get of your business over the telephone is always positive, follow the tips below!

happy woman on the phone

Identify Yourself at the Start of the Conversation

Using a professional greeting at the beginning of the conversation such as is “Hello, Finance Department, Molly Smith speaking” helps customers feel more comfortable and presents a more professional image of your business. In addition, stating your name can also aid if more information is needed by the caller later. Equally important is to address unfamiliar callers by his or her title (if known), such as “Mr. Slack.”

Use a Friendly Tone of Voice

It’s important to use your normal tone of voice when providing customer service over the phone. Avoid speaking too loudly and refrain from being aggressive or pushy. Sitting up in a chair (rather than leaning back) can help you present a professional tone of voice to customers. Always be sure to speak clearly and slowly, avoiding any broken phrases or slang.

Stay Focused while on the Phone

When someone calls your business for information, it’s important to focus on the call and to truly listen to what the caller must say. Distractions – like chewing food, rustling papers, working on the computer or speaking with a co-worker – are not only unprofessional, but can make a customer feel like they are not worth your time.

If there is a distraction that simply cannot be ignored such as another phone line ringing, politely ask the caller if you can place them on hold. Return to the caller on hold as soon as possible, or risk them taking their business to a competitor.

Always Remain Patient and Helpful

Even if a customer is irate when speaking to you, do your best to remain as polite and helpful as possible. Allow the customer to convey their issue to you without interrupting them. Let them know that their concern has been heard and do your best to find the best solution possible. Never act rudely to the caller. Remember, you are presenting the image of your company when speaking to customers over the phone. How you handle all telephone calls can make or break a customer’s business with your company in the future!

Touch Communications: Professionals at Your Service!

Using Touch Communications as your call answering service means providing customers with excellent customer service at all hours of the day. Regardless of where your business is located, we can become the voice of your business whenever it’s required. Don’t trust anyone other than Touch Communications with providing a professional voice on behalf of your company! Contact us today for more details about the services we offer or view us on our Facebook page!

7 Things Customers Wish You Knew

When you hire a call answering service to represent your business, it is important to make sure your customers get the treatment that they want and deserve – after all, it’s your company reputation that is on the line. At TOUCH Communications, our call service representatives (CSRs) understand what customers wish more businesses knew about them:

Happy Customer on Phone

Good service is better than fast service

Yes, when people call into our call centre, it is important that they are served in a timely manner, but our CSRs know that it is better to take a little extra time to make sure the client gets all the information they need and doesn’t feel rushed on the call.

Your customers want personalization

Customers value personalization a lot. That’s one of the reasons that TOUCH Communications’ CSRs will go the extra mile to make them feel valued.

Customers want you to remember their name

People love to hear the sound of their own name which is why our CSRs call them by name after they’ve identified themselves.

When customers are given a pleasant surprise, it means positive word of mouth for your business

Many customers calling into your business for the first time may expect to be greeting with voicemail or have lengthy on-hold times. They are often surprised to be greeting by a friendly voice even in what would normally be considered off hours.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create goodwill with your customers

It is often the little things that customers remember – and talk about. Some business people send out birthday cards to their clients or give little bonuses when someone makes a purchase. In the call answering world, a goodwill gesture could be something as simple as making sure the caller gets through to exactly the right person in your company that will be able to help them.

Customers love a good story

One of the best ways to build your brand is through storytelling. At TOUCH, we work with you to develop effective scripts for our CSRs that will best reflect your company.

When your call answering service provides you with the feedback that you are getting from your customers, it can help you come up with successful innovations for your business.

Customers value time over money

Your customers are willing to pay for your service or product.  However, they also want to get through to someone should there be a problem or concern.  By using a service such as Touch Communication, your customers won’t be on hold for long periods of time, and they will be able to get through to a live person, rather than voice mail.  This improves client trust, and satisfaction with your company.

At TOUCH Communications, we understand what makes customers tick – and we use that knowledge to help your business.  Take the first step to improve your customer satisfaction today and contact TOUCH Communications to learn more on how we can help you!

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Does your law firm need an answering service?

It used to be that when people called a professional service such as a law firm, it was simply expected that they would need to call during business hours if they wanted to speak with a real person. But as the legal industry has become increasingly competitive, more and more firms are looking to gain an edge. One possible edge is to make sure your callers get to speak with a real live person every single time that they call your office.

Lawyer in court

There are many advantages for law firms that use call answering services such as those offered by Touch Communications.

Personalize your service

More often than not, the individuals calling a law firm are doing so in the midst of a stressful circumstance. They could be going through a divorce, facing criminal charges, or in the midst of a lawsuit. Even positive circumstances such as drawing up a business agreement, collecting an inheritance, or buying or selling property can have people on edge.

It can help boost your clients’ perception of your firm if they are met by the voice of a friendly and helpful customer service representative rather than an impersonal voicemail message.

Make your small firm seem bigger

Perhaps your law firm has only been around for a few years, and while you have big dreams, you are still working with a small staff.  Many successful law firms have started off as a sole proprietorship or as a partnership with little to no office workers.

Having an answering service not only means that your callers’ phone calls will always be answered professionally, but it also helps project the image of a larger firm.

Fantastic Customer Service

Call answering services can perform several duties for law firms and one of them is managing your appointment calendar. If you are busy with a client, you wouldn’t want to be rude by answering the phone every time it rang, but you also wouldn’t want to miss out on a potential new client.

With call answering services, our Touch Call Service Representative can direct the call to another extension if you are busy, or handle the call in another manner such as taking down their contact information.

Screen and forward calls

Another advantage to using a call answering service is that the really important calls can be forwarded to a designated person within the firm, your cell phone or anywhere else you choose.

For example, a Touch CSR will be able to answer some basic questions that the caller may have (with your script of course), or they can take messages for non-urgent calls. On the other hand, you may be working on an important case and request that calls regarding a specific issue or from specific callers are transferred to you right away.

Hiring call answering services for your law firm can be advantageous on so many levels. If you would like to learn more about how it can help your legal business, then contact Touch Communications today!

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Bilingual Answering Services for your Business

woman on phone

If your business serves French speaking customers, then it is just good business to ensure that you can provide them with a positive experience from the very first time that they pick up the phone to contact your business. So, you want to make sure that whatever call centre you work with offers a bilingual answering service.

Even if you do not have any French speaking customers now, the fact is that someday a French speaking caller may want to contact you and do business with you. Having a trained bilingual customer service representative on the other end of the line can help to give you a huge advantage over your competition – who without bilingual service – will simply not be able to deliver the same kind of customer care that you can.  You’ll find yourself expanding your customer base while delivering better service.

But my employees aren’t fluent in French!

One of the arguments that many people raise against needed bilingual answering services is the fact that they don’t have bilingual employees – so while a caller may get service in French over the phone, eventually they are going to have to deal with someone who doesn’t speak the language.

The fact is, however, that even if not one of your employees speaks a word of French, it still makes sense to be able to have French speaking customer service representatives. This is because most French speaking Canadians speak some English but they will likely feel more comfortable explaining their need in French. Your service people don’t necessarily have to speak French if the customer’s issue has been clearly communicated prior to their arrival.

And if you do have French speaking employees?

All the better! Our bilingual customer service reps can forward French speaking callers directly to their lines so there is no interruption in service in French once they are transferred to your company lines.

Use your bilingual answering service as a marketing tool!

Imagine living in a community where your primary language is not the one commonly spoken. You may speak the language but it just isn’t quite as comfortable to you as your mother tongue. Then one day, you see a business not only advertising a service that you need, but they advertise that they can speak to you in your language! How much likelier are you to contact that business over the others?

Using a bilingual answering service is a smart move – but advertising that you have French speaking customer service representatives is pure genius. For some would be customers, the fact that someone can speak their language may be the main reason that they call your business and not the competition.

Let Touch Communications help you say bonjour!

At Touch Communications, we employ many professional customer service representatives who can provide service in French to your customers. We can provide a wide array of services to those customers including answering basic questions, setting up or changing appointments, and call forwarding to name a few.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you!

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