We Know: How Answering Services Work

What Is An Answering Service?

An answering service in its simplest form is a business that has a live secretary who can take messages at any time of the day or night. At its most complex, the secretary at the answering service is a skilled professional a nurse or a counselor who can give preliminary help to a customer immediately even though the office is closed.

Who Uses an Answering Service?

Among the industries that use answering services are:

  • Medical offices
  • Sales and startup businesses
  • Therapy and psychiatric offices
  • Law Offices
  • Small businesses

These industries can choose between different levels of answering services, from using a qualified professional or paraprofessional at the high end to using an informational message detailing regular business hours,and then providing the option of leaving a message or speaking with an operator.

Answering Service Trends

Like any service-intensive industry, answering services have taken advantage of offshoring. Many services use well-trained personnel in India and other foreign countries. Personnel in these countries often go through intensive training in English, learning not just how to speak without an accent but how to assume specific accents such as Brooklyn, Texan, Midwest.


Many answering services provide extra services, like 800 numbers, text messaging support, and TTY assistance.

Recently, many large private events are using answering services for RSVPs and as a way to deliver information to guests.



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