As a way to be more productive and to manage your time better, its recommended to schedule tasks such as phone calls into your day, adding them to your to-do list to ensure that you make the time to make these calls. As great and as effective as this is, it only applies to outbound calls. What about unexpected inbound calls that cut into your lunch hour, or a unannounced call from a potential client who wants to talk to someone and ask a few questions? As important as those calls are, they reduce your productivity and the time you have to get things done. Here's where a professional answering service can come in.
Most Calls are a Waste of Time
Let's face it: most calls that come in aren't of high enough priority to justify stopping what you're doing to take the call. On top of that, it can take some time after the call to refocus on what you were doing before you took the call. A professional answering service can handle many of these calls for you, keeping you focused and on track to do what you need to do. This gives you the time and productivity you need to complete your task list, meet your goals, and to be better at your job.
Even if it is an outbound call, most of time its not so urgent as to warrant dropping everything to return the call. This is why scheduling a block of time to do calls and emails is important, as it ensures the call is returned in a timely manner but it doesn't end up interrupting your other duties.
Answer Only the Calls You Need To
Not all inbound calls are a waste of time, although not all of them need to be answered by your or answered right away. Use a professional answering service to set up a triage of phone calls, directing certain calls to certain people or taking the minor ones themselves, making the service a part of the company instead of just a vendor. This way, the inbound calls that are transferred to you, the ones that do require your immediate attention, are the only ones that you get. Sure, they may get in the way of completing the day-to-day work, but you know this call will be worth the interruption.
It's Better than Letting It Ring
As part of being productive and an excellent time manager, you also have meetings and employees to attend to so you're not always at your desk. You don't necessarily want all these calls going to your cell phone or home phone, but you also don't want to just let it ring either. With a professional answering service, there is at least someone to take the call and to give the caller the option of leaving a message or maybe forwarding the call to your cell. This way, the caller isn't left wondering why you're not answering and why you're not helping them right away.
Don't think of a professional answering service as a way to outsource phone calls or to delegate the face of the company, or as a cheaper way to get a secretary or receptionist. Think of a professional answering service as a way to stop wasting time and to reclaim lost hours and productivity. You don't need to answer the phone because it is ringing. You don't need to take the call because you are the CEO or the manager and you are expected to know everything and to answer customer questions. Let someone else worry about that, and you should spend your time running the company.