Answering Service Milwaukee WI: A Buyer's Guide

published on 12 March 2024

Choosing the right answering service in Milwaukee WI is crucial for enhancing your customer service, boosting sales, and saving both time and money for your business. Here's a quick guide to making an informed decision:

  • Understand Different Types: Know the difference between live answering, automated solutions, and hybrid models.
  • Consider Key Factors: Look for industry expertise, assess your budget, check the quality and reliability, and ensure integration capabilities with your current systems.
  • Follow a Selection Guide: Identify your call handling needs, determine your budget, research potential providers, assess candidates, and select your provider.
  • Implement Smoothly: Work on onboarding, monitoring performance, and maintaining ongoing success with your chosen service.

By focusing on these areas, you can find an answering service that improves your business operations and customer satisfaction in Milwaukee.

What is an Answering Service?

An answering service is a company that picks up phone calls and handles other types of messages for businesses. In the past, these services were all about real people answering every call. But now, they also use technology like automated systems that can talk to callers, known as IVR systems.

Here are some things answering services do:

  • Answer calls any time, day or night
  • Take messages and pass them on
  • Check who's calling and decide what to do with the call
  • Call people back if needed
  • Directly connect calls to the right person
  • Set up meetings
  • Help sign up new clients
  • Work together with a business's computer programs

By doing these jobs, answering services help small businesses keep up with their customers without having to stop their main work.

Brief History

Answering services have been around for a long time. They started as special offices inside companies to manage lots of calls. Here's how they've changed:

  • At first, they were like in-house call centers to handle lots of calls.
  • In the 1960s, they used big switchboards to connect calls by hand.
  • By the 1990s, outside companies started offering answering services to help with customer service.
  • Nowadays, real people still answer calls but they also use technology like IVRs to help. This mix makes sure customers get good service.

So, answering services began with people manually taking calls and have added more technology over time to get better at what they do, while still keeping that personal touch.

Benefits of Using an Answering Service

Using an answering service can really help small and medium-sized businesses in Milwaukee. Here are some of the main ways it can make a difference:

- Professional Brand Image

When real people answer your business calls, it makes your business look good. Customers talk to friendly and well-spoken staff who know about your business. This makes customers trust you more and makes your business seem bigger and more serious.

- Improved Customer Service

Customers like it when they can talk to someone right away and get help. They don't have to wait or leave a message. This means problems are solved faster and customers feel looked after. Your business seems easy to reach and ready to help.

- Increased Sales & Opportunities

When more calls are answered, you miss fewer chances to make a sale. The people answering can tell callers about what you offer, answer questions, and set up meetings. This means more chances to turn callers into customers.

- Time and Money Savings

It's cheaper than hiring your own team to answer calls. You don't have to pay for extra staff, phone equipment, or office space. You also get reports that help you work better. The service takes care of calls, letting you and your team focus on other important work.

In short, using an answering service in Milwaukee can make your business look better, improve how you help customers, save you money, and give you more chances to grow. It's all about making sure customers are happy, helping your business do better, and keeping things running smoothly.

Types of Answering Services

There are different kinds of answering services to fit what your business might need. Let's look at the main types:

Live Answering

This is when real people answer your business calls any time, day or night.

  • Real people, known as agents, are ready 24/7 to pick up calls just like your own team would.
  • These agents get to know your business so they can talk about your services or products, answer questions, book meetings, and take messages.
  • Talking to a real person makes customers feel more connected and valued. It builds trust.
  • This option costs more than others but gives your customers a better experience. It's great for businesses that want to make sure their customers are really taken care of.

Automated Solutions

These are systems that use technology to answer calls without needing a person.

  • Automated answering uses a system where callers press buttons to get through menus or get basic information.
  • Sometimes, if it's set up this way, a real person can step in to help if the system can't do what the caller needs.
  • It's available all the time and costs less than having real people answer. It's quick for simple stuff but doesn't have that personal touch.
  • Good for handling a lot of calls that just need simple answers like what your hours are, where you're located, or setting up appointments.

Hybrid Models

This is a mix of both real people and technology.

  • It starts with the automated system for the easy, repeat questions which saves money.
  • If a caller has a harder question or specifically asks to talk to a person, the call gets passed to a live agent.
  • This mix means you can save money but still give personal service when it's really needed.
  • The call center might not be 24/7, with the automated system taking over when it's closed.
  • This option lets you change things up as your business grows or needs change.

When picking what kind of answering service to use in Milwaukee, think about how much you can spend, how many calls you get, what kind of calls they are, how you want to treat your customers, and what's most important for your business. The best choice will help your business run smoother, make more sales, and keep your customers happy.

Key Factors in Choosing an Answering Service

When picking an answering service, think about these important things:

Industry Expertise

It's a good idea to choose an answering service that knows a lot about your type of business. This way, they're already familiar with the special words, questions, and needs your business might have.

For instance, a service for healthcare businesses would know medical terms and how to schedule appointments, while one for law firms would understand legal terms and the importance of keeping client information private.

Choosing a service that knows your industry means they can work well with your team right from the start.


Understand how the service charges to figure out how much it will cost. Here are some common ways they might charge you:

  • Per minute rate - You pay for the time they spend on calls.
  • Monthly package - You get a certain number of minutes each month for a set price.
  • Annual subscription - You pay for the whole year at once, usually at a lower rate.

Make sure to ask if there are extra fees for things like setting up, extra services, or going over your minutes.

Knowing your budget helps you choose a service that fits what you can spend.

Quality & Reliability

Make sure the service is good and reliable by doing things like:

  • Checking online reviews - Are people generally happy with the service?
  • Testing customer service - Call them with questions to see how they respond.
  • Asking for call samples - Listen to how they've handled calls before to check if they're professional.

Doing this homework helps you pick a service you can trust to do a good job.

Integration Capabilities

Choose a service that works well with the tools you already use, like:

  • CRM - They can put call info directly into your customer records.
  • Email - You get emails about calls that need your attention.
  • Calendaring - They can book appointments right into your calendar.
  • Analytics - You can see call data in your reports.

The service should easily connect to your systems to keep things running smoothly.

Picking the right answering service means looking into these key areas to find the best match for your business in Milwaukee.


Step-By-Step Guide to Selection

Follow these steps when looking for and picking your answering service:

1. Identify Call Handling Needs

Think about the kinds of calls your business gets, how many calls come in during busy times, if you need help all day every day or just during work hours, and any special things about your calls. This helps you figure out exactly what you need.

2. Determine Your Budget

Find out how much answering services might cost based on how many calls you get and how long they take to handle. Don't forget to include extra costs for things like booking appointments or handling urgent calls. This helps you plan your spending and choose a service that fits your budget.

3. Research Potential Providers

Look up answering services online and read what other people say about them to make a list of ones that might be good for your business. Check if they know a lot about your industry, respond quickly, work well with your current tools, and have happy customers.

4. Assess Candidates

Talk to the salespeople to see if they understand your needs and ask how they would handle your calls. Try out their service if you can, to see how it works. Make sure they can use the same tools you do. Also, talk to other businesses that use them to see if they're happy. This helps you make sure they're a good fit.

5. Select Your Provider

Compare your options to find the one that best meets your needs and budget. Look for a service that can easily work with your current setup and handle calls the way you want. This makes sure your customers and your team have a good experience. Choose the service that seems right for helping your business do well.

Implementing Your Chosen Service

Once you've picked an answering service for your Milwaukee business, there are some steps to take to get started and keep things running well. Here's how to make sure everything works smoothly.


Set up scripts and flows

Work together with your answering service to create guides on how to handle calls. This includes:

  • How to say hello
  • What questions to ask
  • How to write down what the caller says
  • When to transfer calls
  • How to schedule appointments

Do compliance training

Teach agents about the rules they need to follow for your industry, such as:

  • Healthcare: Privacy laws (HIPAA)
  • Finance: How to handle client information
  • Law: Keeping conversations private

Integrate systems

Make sure your tools like CRM (customer management), calendars, and reports can share information with your answering service. This helps keep everything in sync.

Familiarize agents

Give agents a quick rundown of what your business does, common questions, prices, who to send calls to, and other useful info.

Ongoing Success

Monitor performance

Check reports on things like how fast calls are answered, how long calls last, and how well issues are resolved. You want to make sure the service stays good.

Do periodic training

If things change in your business, update your answering team so they can keep up.

Request feedback

Ask your customers if they're happy with how calls are handled.

Meet regularly

Have meetings with your answering service to talk about what's going well, what could be better, and any new things coming up.

Following these steps for starting and continuing service ensures that your answering partner helps your customers well while letting you and your team focus on other things. This way, your business in Milwaukee can keep offering great service and grow.


Picking the right answering service is super important for small and medium businesses in Milwaukee who want to make their customer service better, sell more, save time, and be more flexible. By using the tips in this guide and working with a provider that knows their stuff, like Dialzara, you can really improve how you handle calls and reach your business goals.

Here are some simple tips for choosing your answering service:

  • Look at what they can do, not just the price - A good answering service that fits well with your technology and handles calls smoothly is worth more than what you pay each month.
  • Read reviews and talk to other clients - Hearing good things from other businesses gives you confidence in the answering service.
  • Try it out with a demo - Watch how they manage calls for businesses like yours. Check if they're professional, know about your industry, can work with your technology, and give you reports.
  • Start with a small plan, then grow - First, try a basic service to see how it goes. If it works well, you can add more services later.
  • Have regular meetings - Every few months, talk about what's going well and what could be better. Share what you and your customers think.

With a good answering service in Milwaukee, your business can handle customer calls better and free up your team to do other things. This guide helps you find the right service for now and for growing in the future. Let's talk about how an answering service like Dialzara, with AI, can be like an extra part of your team.

What is the average cost of an answering service?

The cost of an answering service usually falls between $0.75 and $1.50 for every minute they're on the phone. Here are some typical costs you might see:

  • Per minute fees - You pay based on how long they talk on each call. This can be anywhere from $0.75 to $1.50 per minute.
  • Monthly packages - You pay a set amount each month for a certain number of minutes. If you go over, you'll pay extra.
  • Setup fees - This is a one-time charge to get everything set up. It's usually between $100 and $500.
  • Additional services - Things like transferring calls, taking messages, or setting up appointments might cost extra.

How much you spend each month can change a lot depending on how many calls you get, what services you need, and how you customize things. Small businesses might spend between $200 and $800 a month.

Is an answering service worth it?

Yes, an answering service can really help businesses by:

  • Making sure customers can always talk to someone, which makes them happier.
  • Catching more chances to sell something because someone is always there to answer.
  • Making your business look more professional because calls are handled well.
  • Letting your team focus on their main jobs instead of answering calls.

For a lot of small businesses, the benefits like better work flow and more sales are worth more than what they spend each month.

How do I choose an answering service?

Here's what to look for when picking an answering service:

  • Call quality - The call should be clear and free from background noise.
  • Responsiveness - They should answer calls quickly.
  • Customization - They should be able to follow your specific instructions and way of doing things.
  • Reliability - They should hardly ever drop calls and be up and running almost all the time.
  • Value - The pricing should be fair and clear.
  • Industry knowledge - They should know the special terms and ways of your industry.
  • Integration - They should work well with the software you already use.

Start by looking at 3 to 5 options. Try them out with demos and read what other people say to find the best match.

Do answering services still exist?

Yes, they do. Even with new technology, answering services are still popular because they help manage calls, take messages, and provide a personal touch to customer service. Using both automation for simple stuff and real people for more complicated issues works best. Many fields, like healthcare and law, use answering services to handle lots of calls while still giving good service.

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