Call Handling 101

Answering Service Small Business virtual receptionist
May 5, 2021 / 3 min read

Congratulations! The day is here when you’re getting so many calls that it’s interrupting your day-to-day life or you simply can’t handle them all. While this doesn’t feel like an exciting thing, it means that your business has grown, and you need help managing incoming calls. At this point, growing businesses like yours turn to a trusted virtual receptionist solution for inbound call handling. 

We’re so glad you’re here – and we’ll support you every step of the way to ensure you get the most out of your PATLive service. The first step? Customizing your call handling instructions so that our virtual receptionists can serve as a seamless extension of your business. 

What is Call Handling Exactly? 

Call handling encompasses every step we take on your inbound phone calls from start to finish. With the most flexible call handling in the industry, PATLive has the ability to sound just like an in-house receptionist – no matter how simple or complex your calls may be.  

Call handling instructions are built to cover every type of phone call your business receives, from frequently asked questions like where your office is located to calls requesting an appointment be rescheduled. There’s no limit to what we can do on your calls. 

And, with our full suite of integration options, we can input call details directly into the software you’re already using. Or, simply use our receptionists for a live, professional greeting to screen and transfer calls. You’re in complete control. 

Call Handling Options to Consider 

Here at PATLive, we craft call handling instructions to fit your business, and your business only. The more information you share about your business, the better. This way we can design your call handling to address every one of your inbound call needs. 

But don’t worry, call handling instructions can be modified at ANY TIME. Simply give us a call if you have adjustments such as holiday hours or an address change, we have a team ready to make call handling modifications ASAP.  

Here are the top items to consider when collaborating with your PATLive call handling consultant to ensure you take advantage of all we have to offer your business.

1. Your Ideal Call Flow 

What type of experience do you want for your callers? Do you want 24/7/365 support for all of your calls, just roll-over/overflow calls, or during limited hours like in the evenings or during lunch? Want us to qualify callers prior to transferring them according to your list of pre-approved callers and send the rest to your PATLive voicemail?  

With PATLive, you get a fast, friendly answer on every call made to or routed to the phone number we provide you. That means you can advertise the number we give you, or you can forward calls to that number using the business phone number you already have. For more ideas on how to get your calls to our always-available team of virtual receptionists check out this post

Lastly, it’s time to think about your greeting and closing. Would you like us to play a custom greeting at the beginning of each call you receive? If so, you’ll have the opportunity to provide a script, and our internal voice talent team will record your custom greeting for free! You’ll also be able to provide a script for your virtual receptionists to read at the warm opening or closure of each call. 

And don’t worry, we’re here to help. Your PATLive scripting consultant is an expert at making recommendations for your call flows and how to provide an exceptional experience on every call. 

2. What Services Do You Need? 

Depending on the nature of your business, you may only want a live voice to greet your callers before patching the call to you or you may need receptionists to perform specialized services. These services can include: 

Have custom requests? No problem, we design your call handling instructions from scratch to meet your business needs. 

3. Details About Your Business 

We want to know it all. The more we know, the better we can serve your callers. This includes anything your callers would want to know about your business: your location, your hours, and information about your services or pricing. If you have internal documentation that would help our receptionists better understand your business, that would be great too.  

4. Don’t Forget About Statuses 

 Remember, with PATLive you get up to 7 independent statuses such as “Available” or “At Lunch” which can all be configured with different call handling instructions. Instantly update your status or availability via our web and mobile apps to change how our receptionists handle your calls on the fly.  

Always, Always Test Your Call Handling 

Once you’ve established your ideal call flow and we’ve gathered all the information we need about your business, it takes about 24-48 business hours until your 14 day free trial goes live.  

The free trial period is a great time to put your call handling to the test. We highly recommend testing your call handling to help identify any potential holes or opportunities for adjustments. This way, modifications can be made prior to sending your callers to us.   

How To Get Started 

It’s easy – if you haven’t already, fill out this form to get started. If you need help or want to discuss with one of our call handling consultants, please feel free to give us a call at 800-779-7750, or send an email to [email protected]. We’re looking forward to serving your callers!