a critical step. Start-up
equipment for a telephone answering service (TAS) can cost between $20,000 and $100,000.
Do not, under any circumstance, buy equipment that has not been
designed specifically for the TAS industry.
The features available on the equipment you buy will dictate the
types of services you can offer and what you will charge for them.
Although buying an entry-level, basic system will save you
money, it will also severely limit what services you will be
able to sell and may negatively affect your productivity.
The tendency is to focus on the price and
features of the equipment, but also look to the company behind
it. How long have they been around? How big are
they? How many systems have they sold? What about
product support? Is there a user's group?
When you narrow down the list of vendors,
make a point of visiting your top prospects. This will
give you a real good feel for they type of company that
they are. During your visit, spend time in their customer
service department. These are the folks that you will be
working with after you purchase the equipment, so make that you
are comfortable with them. Also, meet with their trainers
to make sure they are knowledgeable and competent. Lastly,
talk with other users of the equipment to see what they have to
say. Their feedback will be valuable. When doing
this keep in mind that every company ahs there supporters and
their detractors, so keep things in their proper perspective.
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