If you are looking at how to start your own UK based telephone answering service either from your spare room at home, or by hiring a small local office to run your business from, then theanswercentre.co.uk have some great information for you to help think more deeply about making that move.
We have to say that anyone approaching this idea with previous experience as a virtual PA or who has worked in a call centre or offered some business services over the telephone will certainly have an advantage over someone without any experience. You will need to learn how business owners think and understand their mindset.
To get yourself started, you actually don’t need a lot of equipment, but what you want to make sure is that the equipment you use is of a very high-quality. You will need a reliable and clear phone line and access to the internet. You will need to buy a phone handset or headset that is good quality and comfortable to use.
You don’t need to buy or rent any expensive equipment or complicated systems, so you can start up with minimal costs with just one or two clients to begin with. You can slowly grow your business by taking on more clients, investing in more phone lines, equipment and hiring in extra staff to help you out.
Finding your clients
First of all, you need to decide what sort of clients you want to work for and what sort of services you want offer them. For example, do you simply want to take incoming business calls for a local solo entrepreneur who needs their phone covering while they are in meetings or conducting business? If so, you may only need to re-direct calls or take messages to pass on to your client later in the day.
You may find there is a demand from a small business owner who needs someone to take telephone orders directly from their customers, or you could act as a customer services agent for a small company where you would be answering questions, giving out company information, checking on orders or helping to solve problems. It is up to you how simple or how in-depth you want your service to be.
You can start off by approaching small local businesses in your area to see if they need your help. Each new customer you take on will need to be able to transfer their calls to you, so you will need some software that identifies and differentiates between your clients incoming calls so that you can answer with the appropriate greeting.
Another consideration is to add in other services such as accepting and responding to text messages, social media queries, and responding to emails. These are extra services that you could add further down the line, or you could decide to offer these from day one to make it a more all-inclusive service that you offer.
You don’t need any specific qualifications to do this job, but as long as you are a people person and have good communications skills, you will do just fine!