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Call Answering and Diary Management

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You may not think that call answering and diary management go together in the same sentence. However, this is actually far from the case. In fact, there are several services that purport to be able to answer your calls and manage your diary or appointment calendar, while saving you money in the bargain.

First, a point of lingual clarification. A diary is commonly called an appointment calendar, or just a calendar, in US English.

Call answering and diary management are an excellent one-two combination. You get the peace of mind of knowing that your calls are being answered by a competent professional, and this same person is also keeping track of your appointments, adding new ones where appropriate and letting you know when appointments are upcoming. This is precisely the job of a receptionist, and with outsourcing, your virtual receptionist can be halfway around the world, as long as theyíre able to work in your time zone.

Many businesses wish to hire receptionists or secretaries to keep things moving along and running smoothly. However, this is not always possible, especially if youíre a sole proprietor. In fact, virtual receptionists are particularly suited for small businesses with under five employees. These businesses typically canít afford to hire a full-time secretary or receptionist but could certainly use their services. This is where a call answering and diary management service comes in particularly handy.

Call answering and diary management packages are available from many providers throughout the world. Though the terminology may differ slightly, all of these services offer the use of a virtual receptionist. This person is typically shared between your business and several others, depending on the quality of service of the company. You pay a monthly fee, which can vary widely, and the virtual receptionist takes care of the rest.

When shopping for a call answering and diary management service, itís important to keep several things in mind:

  • Chemistry: As you talk with each call answering and diary management service, insist on speaking to your virtual receptionist ahead of time. Youíre going to be working with this person every day, so you should approach it like a normal interview as much as possible. Make sure youíre going to be able to understand this person and that they exhibit the degree of professionalism to which you are accustomed.
  • Cost Versus Quality: Find out how many businesses a virtual receptionist will typically serve at one time with each company.
  • Feature Set: What exactly can each call answering and diary management service do for you? Many have bells and whistles youíll never use, so thereís no need to pay extra for them.
  • Scalability: Make sure the call answering and diary management service you purchase will grow with your business at a reasonable cost.
  • Terms: Some call answering and diary management services require you to sign a contract for a specific period, and some donít. Look for the ones that require the least commitment from you, especially if youíre a newly formed small business.

The above checklist should take you well on your way to purchasing the call answering and diary management service that will best help your business flourish.

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