If You’re Not Using This 800 Number Answering Service, Your Toll Free Number Customer Calls Are Probably Costing You Money

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I get a ton of questions from toll free 1800 number customers, on which answering service they can use for after hours customer service calls. Some own ecommerce stores, some are dentists offering emergency dental services, some are just busy business owners running a service business and can’t allocate any extra time to answer inbound calls on their 800 number… that’s forwarded to their mobile phone, while they’re out in the field during the day. Tons of situations and different businesses, but one of the easiest things to implement without incurring the additional overhead of hiring a secretary of private virtual receptionist, is to use a third party online answering service that’s completely tax deductible.

Free 14 Day Trial To PatLive’s Answering Service For Clever Leverage Readers (coupon code link below)

PatLive has offered us a free trial now for Clever Leverage readers. When I first started looking in to live answering services for my business phone lines, I was hesitant to sign up for anything expensive because I feared what I’d be getting myself into. It’s nice to be able to test everything out for two weeks before committing… and then if it is a good fit, everything is set to go.

Update >>  I’ve secured a 14 day free trial of Pat Live for our readers here, so you can try before you buy.

Who is this a good fit for? Here’s a good example for the question I get the most…

Matt, What’s A Good Grasshopper Answering Service To Use With My 1-800 Number?

A lot of people sign up to Grasshopper to get their 800 number line, and then forward it to wherever they like quick and easy. It’s cheap at $25/mo with unlimited minutes, so they don’t have to worry about all the extra fees like you get into with other providers.  But then business picks up, and they need help answering some of the calls.

Instead of potentially losing customers by not being able to take every call, they have two options: 1) hire a secretary or virtual receptionist, and usually they have to train them… which takes more of their time away from the business; or 2) they stumble through trying to use an auto attendant to setup their call routing in a way that feel professional for people when calls can’t be taken.

The trouble is, there are some instances and business where, there simply is no replacement for human contact. If a single customer is worth several hundred, to several thousand dollars, it’s pretty silly to potentially lose revenue because you’re being cheap about a solution to your problem for $200 bucks a month.

For a lot of the Grashsopper customers, they turn to a live answering service like I recommend, and simply fill out their script for exactly how their calls should be handled, when to take notes that get delivered to them nicely via email, and when to immediately interrupt them for important calls if that’s what they prefer.

Using An 800 Number Provider’s Auto Attendant VS A Live Answer Receptionist Service

There are tons of 800 number providers out there that are good, but most (even if they do offering live answer as an addon) don’t really have the phone answering dialed in for you. If you’re looking to have a live answer receptionist take all your toll free number calls for your business, I recommend getting your 800 number through an inexpensive provider, and then signing up for a virtual phone answering service that specializes in just that.

When first impressions matter so much, you only get one shot… so it’s important they nail it, can answer using your custom specified script, etc… Often times, when you use a virtual phone service provider that tries to lump these together, they don’t quite have it tweaked like a staff of professionally trained virtual receptionists who do this day in and day out.

PatLive is one of the best live answer services that has been around since 1990. A lot of these type of services pop up every year, but most just hire stay at home moms, or people looking for minimum wage jobs to take the calls remotely.

You want people that have specialized professionals, and can cater to industry specific needs like medical, insurance, home repair, real estate, and on and on…

But Call Answering Service Plan Costs That Will Take My Toll Free Inbound Customer Calls 24/7 Must Be Astronomically Expensive?

For less than $150/mo, PatLive takes your business call flow 24/7, handles all inbound calls however you want, and will even live transfer you important calls immediately.

The script customization process is one of the best in the business, and you can be as particular or general as you like… and they will follow it to a T.

But don’t take it from me, they have a 14 day free trial to see if it’s for you. The proof is in the pudding, give them a try at no cost to you. I also negotiated a 15% lifetime discount for all Clever Leverage readers, if you do decide that their service is a good fit for you.

No hoops to jump through either, here is the lifetime 15% discount link.

Using An 800 Line Provider’s Addon Virtual Receptionist Service VS A Dedicated Live Answer Service (pros and cons)

A lot of people have asked… “but Matt, can’t I just use the phone forwarding system within the control panel, and use the custom voicemail script for this”?

Yes you can, but in those instances where you run a service business with after hours support, or your a solopreneur and you’re busy talking with clients like in the case of a real estate agent, insurance broker, small specialty doctors office that sees patients by appointment only, there are a LOT of instances where calls are missed.

In this fast paced society, it’s only getting worse. You know what I’m talking about….

  • Customer Google’s the best dentist in their area
  • Customer clicks on first couple and calls
  • Voicemail on the first, immediately dials the second
  • The competition is using a live answering service like PatLive above, and boom the appointment is booked
  • This is how market share is slowly eroded from local businesses slowly over time
  • The guy who’s been in business over 30 years, suddenly wakes up one day and wonders where all his customers and clients went

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