Serviced Offices vs Telephone Answering Services
Twenty years ago the concept of a serviced office was barely understood and little known. The accepted model of working was to rent an office and employ a receptionist. Usually the office would be on a lease and the receptionist would meet and greet, do filing, and answer the phone etc. The office was usually far from cost-effective and employing staff is never cheap. The only other emerging option was to work from home and use a mobile the size of a brick or an answerphone. Then the old ways of working slowly began to change to meet the flexible working practices of the increasing numbers of self-employed. Serviced offices and business centres began to appear to meet the demand for affordable office space and reception services.
Meanwhile, telephone answering services had already become established, although they remained fairly specialized and their use hadn’t yet gained widespread acceptance amongst businesses. It was not until the late 90s that the first telephone answering services catering for small businesses came upon the scene. Many of these were “call-centre” type operations without personalized call-handling that simply took messages and no more. As this was the type of reception service that serviced offices and business centres offered it usually proved adequate.
However, in recent years, as firms have downsized and new startups have emerged, they have increasingly asked more of their telephone answering service. For many clients, simple message taking and forwarding of calls no longer suffices. They ask for much more. Telephone answering services are now being asked for clinic management, order taking, and appointment making. Tasks that in the past would normally have been performed by a staff member. Only personalized telephone answering services can usually offer this type of service with their experienced teams dedicated to efficient call handling. It is their core business, after all, and their revenue is entirely dependent on carrying this out well.