Though some individuals use it interchangeably, an answering service and a call center are two different types of businesses, even though one of their main goals is to handle incoming calls. Some key differentiators set each of these businesses apart, and we will detail them below. 

An answering service takes and relays messages on behalf of a business. They work as an extension of the in-house office team, representatives can even answer questions, or even direct customer requests to a different department when necessary. An answering service can handle complex calls for any type of business for any reason: some agencies can book appointments or help customers get quotes. Answering services go by different monikers as well, such as Virtual Receptionists or even Virtual Office Service

The advantage of these agencies is that they can offer service to small and medium-sized businesses that do not have the financial resources to up staff their in-house team to manage their call overflow.  Answering services tend to a variety of industries such as insurance agents, physicians, and contractors, who are too busy to take calls themselves. The answering service enables them to take the calls they can yet not lose a potential customer to their competitor’s market.

Now, a call center does similar work they not only answer incoming calls from customers, but they can take orders over the phone, and make outbound calls to customers. They, too, are the front line of the companies they represent and are often the first point of contact a customer has with your business. You could say the major point of difference between an answering service and a call center is in the way they design and address their scripts. Answering services are known to use a script prompted system that allows customers to create from simple scripts to complex ones. Whereas call centers offer large script branching options, therefore an answering service can meet simple business needs all the way to complicated branching ones. Meanwhile, call centers are designed for businesses with a myriad of needs.

If you find yourself interested in knowing which of these services could meet your business’s requirements best, we suggest taking a look at our answering service bundles. Especially when you are on the fence about outsourcing aid for your office call overflow. Answering services, such as those provided by Team by the Minute, can offer solutions to either simple or complex communication routes that are part of your customer’s journey. Feel free to explore our website for more information and if in doubt still contact us at (801) 797-0580, or email us at



~F. Hernandez