Answering Service vs. Virtual Assistant – How to Choose the Best Service for Your Business

Virtual assistants and answering services both provide exceptional service to your business. The one you choose will depend on the style of support that best suits your company; by understanding how each works, you can select the right service to work for you.


What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is one or more agents dedicated to your business. On the surface, their duties include taking messages and transferring calls for your business. Many virtual assistants work directly with your business, handling much more than just phone calls.

They may handle administrative tasks like scheduling appointments while providing more value to the customer. Most virtual assistants will only work with one or two companies at a time, helping them devote more time to your business. While you will need to train a virtual assistant personally, their services can be customized to suit your customers’ needs. This process makes them more of a team player in the company.


What is an Answering Service?

An answering service is a group of assistants who will answer and transfer calls while sending any critical complaints to your business’s proper department when necessary. They do not work directly for your business, which means they will often receive a script to use when interacting with your customers. Answering services offer someone to answer the phone, even outside regular business hours, but personal service lacks.


How to Make Your Decision?

To decide whether you need an answering service or a virtual assistant, you need to first look at your business needs. Do you need someone who can answer calls at all hours of the day, providing prompt and courteous customer service no matter when the customer calls? Or do you want someone who knows your business inside and out and who can offer more value to your customers by setting appointments and getting results?

If your company would benefit the most by having a friendly voice to answer any time someone calls your business, even after business hours, then an answering service is the right option for you. These companies ask their representatives to undergo intense training, so you know your customers will be taken care of anytime they call.

An answering service will provide a level of professionalism that your customers will appreciate. If your goal is to make sure that your customers have someone available to answer their questions or solve problems quickly, without trying to upsell much or spend a lot of time on the phone, then an answering service is a good choice for you.

However, if you want someone who is a part of your team and works directly for you, then a virtual assistant is a better option. They can deliver much more to your customers than just answering the phone and taking messages. They provide customized services to you and your customers while being a part of your team, rather than working for another company and being contracted out to you. Their services are more varied and professional, giving you a valuable team member.


About Ansafone Contact Centers

Ansafone Contact Centers is an award-winning BPO provider with 50 years of world-class customer experience and brand care. We are a national call center with omnichannel services, fully equipped to help you with your business and with any special circumstances.

Please request a quote or call 800-510-0514 to learn more about our custom solutions for creating exceptional customer service experiences for your clients. We’re happy to offer insight into what your customers seek from your company’s language offerings and tailored customer solutions.

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