Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2005 Autumn

Evaluating an Answering Service

Hours of Operation and Call Forwarding

Most answering services operate 24/7/365. You control when your calls are forwarded to your answering service. Make sure you have the option to daily change when you forward your calls. Also consider activating an automated answering option offered by your answering service during the evening hours.

Knowledge of the Industry

Most answering services serve a wide variety of customers. Ask if they have any experience working with your type of practice. Find out if they understand your industry and can answer specific questions that callers may ask about you or your services.


Ask for and check their references. Talk to their customers that are in your line of practice and ask them what they like and don’t like about their service.

Other Services

In addition to answering your incoming telephone calls, ascertain additional services they might offer such as:

  • Schedule appointments.
  • Provide credit card processing.
  • Send e-mail notifications to you and your staff for new appointments and appointment updates.
  • Send e-mail appointment reminders to clients.
  • Manage more than one location as one account.
  • Process gift certificate sales.
  • Build your client database with each appointment scheduled.
  • Offer marketing and business development tools.


Establish the level of return on your investment their services deliver.