Working for an Answering Service
Working for an answering service is a very challenging, yet oftentimes rewarding job. Some days are just plain fun and other days are very stressful and frustrating, but you can never let that show to your callers. I feel like I am a great actress on those days. Basically, you have to try not to take it personally and realize that if people are yelling at you it is usually just because they are frustrated with their own situation or the company they are calling; it's really not about you.
My job on days like that is to show the caller that I am listening to the calling and pass their message on to the right person as soon as possible. Sometimes, when the caller is having an emergency, I have to patch the call straight through. At times like that, I realize how important my job really is.
Things you need to know about working for an answering service: One I already mentioned is keeping calm no matter what is going on and another is listening and caring about the callers' needs. On the technical end of things, it is pretty simple really. Everything I need to know is right in front of me on the computer screen. When a call comes through, I see all the information about the company this call is for including what I am supposed to say when I answer this call.
I click on the button to answer the call and listen to the callers' needs. If they are calling for a person who is not available, I simply type the message into a box on my screen and hit "save" when I am finished. I thank the caller for their call and click to end the call.
I used to work for a company that used a paper based system and back then we had to write the messages down, stamp them with the date and time and place them in the proper "mailbox" for the person and company they belonged to. The new paperless systems are much easier to deal with and there is no slip of paper to lose. If you have a choice, I would definitely recommend working for an answering service with a paperless system.
When I first started working for an answering service, I was on the evening shift making minimum wage. There were a lot less calls on the night shift and I learned how to use the equipment and handle problems well. Once I gained some experience and moved to the day shift, I started to make more money. I make over $10.00 an hour now and I expect another raise this fall.
Some of the qualities that you need to have to work at an answering service are intelligence, patience, compassion, kindness, good typing skills and a healthy self-esteem. You can't be too sensitive when a caller is irritated. If you feel that you have these qualities, enjoy helping others and like to talk on the phone, then working for an answering service is a job you should consider trying.