Choosing an answering service vs voicemail

Peyton Duplechien • 09 Jun 2022 • 4 min read

If you’re in charge of a small and busy business, you probably don’t have the time to answer every single call that comes through. And this leaves you with two options – either investing in a voicemail or hiring a Live Answering Service.

But how do you decide which option to choose between? After all, both have their benefits. Read on to learn the difference between the two, their benefits, and why you really should be investing in a Live Answering Service if given the option.

What is the difference between an answering service and an answering machine?

As you might be able to tell from its name, a Live Answering Service puts you in direct contact with a professional, human answering service that can handle client comms, message taking, appointment booking, and far more, all so you can focus your attention without distractions.

And a Live Answering Service isn’t just for taking your calls if you happen to be busy. Should you miss a call by accident, they can catch these as well, meaning your customers will never go unanswered.

What is a voicemail service

Unlike a Live Answering or Virtual Receptionist Service, a voicemail service is a simple system that allows customers to leave behind a message should you happen to miss or be busy when they call.

Voicemails are pre-recorded, inviting the caller to leave their contact information and a brief message, so you can return their call. It’s simple, cheap, and efficient, but doesn’t lend itself well to providing immediate customer solutions.

The benefits of using voicemail

When it comes to the benefits of using a voicemail vs answering service, the most significant advantage voicemail has to offer is its cost-effectiveness.

Most cell phone packages include a free voicemail box for you to use where you can record a message on your work phone that greets customers and encourages them to leave a message. The message itself can be evergreen, meaning once you’ve recorded it, you won’t have to change it.

The disadvantages of using voicemail

However, while this cost-effective benefit is certainly important, when it comes to voicemail vs an answering service, voicemail has significant setbacks that you need to be aware of.

First of all, it lacks the personality and attention that a real person can offer when answering the phone and can leave customers feeling abandoned. After all, voicemails are reliant on you answering them promptly.

Voicemails also don’t perform well in emergencies. When you’re out on the job or working after hours, it’s understandable that you won’t be available to personally answer all calls, but if you do the type of work that can involve emergency situations, missing the call can have negative consequences for yourself and your client.

And even if missed calls are just standard requests, not picking them up immediately will typically lead to a loss of business. For example, if you have a potential customer in a hurry to choose a company or service and you don’t answer and don’t call back immediately, they’re likely to move on and try the next company.

The benefits of using a Live Answering Service

With voicemails covered, what about Live Answering Services? What benefits do they have to offer?

Well, while some customers and clients might be more comfortable leaving a message and waiting for a callback, many will call your business hoping to speak to you or your staff directly.

By outsourcing the task of dealing with phone calls to an answering service, you have a guaranteed team available to greet each caller and answer their questions. And if you do it right, this service will be available 24/7, 365 days a week.

On top of this, speaking with another human makes potential customers feel like they’ve got the ball rolling and can proceed with working with you. And when a live person answers your business phone, customers can have questions answered and feel like they’ve been well-served.

They simply don’t get this same feeling from leaving a message, even if you’re prompt when returning calls.

The disadvantages of Live Answering

Naturally, a service such as this is not without its drawbacks, with the biggest being the potential for human error that comes with any live person answering the phone.

For example, the receptionist might mistakenly give the caller the wrong information, or a message or phone number can become misplaced. However, professionals working for an answering service are very experienced and trustworthy, so this is not a common occurrence.

On top of this, you do have to pay for a Live Answering service, whereas voicemail is typically free.

Invest in a Live Answering Service today

So, now you know the difference between an answering service vs voicemail, and why Live Answering is certainly the superior choice if you can afford it. And if that’s something you’re interested in using, then you should get in touch with the VoiceNation team today.

Our team of experienced and professional receptionists are on hand 24/7 to meet all of your call needs and more. We even offer a Live Chat service for those who need it. Reach out to learn more about our different packages and our free trial period, and don’t forget to visit our blog for similar articles to this one.

We have pieces on what a Live Answering Service is, answering services vs call centers, choosing the right answering service for your business, and how to hire a temporary live answering service.