5 Key Things Every Answering Service Portal Should Have

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Innovative answering services provide clients with online tools to better manage their account

Today’s advanced telephone answering services offer convenient, laborsaving tools to enhance communication with their clients and deliver helpful resources. These are accessible through a password-protected online gateway that is available from anyplace with internet access, using a standard web browser.

While not every online portal is the same, here are five key parts that the best ones offer:

Immediate Message Access: Your answering service’s online interface should provide access to all your company’s messages. As soon as an operator completes a message, the details appear in your private online account. This resource is ideal for message management, verification, and follow-up confirmation.

Critical Call Recording Retrieval: In addition to accessing text files of your messages, an advanced answering service portal should also allow you to easily retrieve voice recordings of specific calls. This tool provides a backup if you need to verify information from a call. Also, should the need arise, it’s an accurate resource to let you know exactly what was said during a specific call.

Convenient On-Call Scheduling: If your company has on-call personnel, you know the challenges in planning for effective on-call coverage and then making updates to accommodate ever-changing employee needs. Once you have a handle on that, you need to communicate it to your answering service.

With an online portal, however, you can maintain your on-call schedule and automatically send this information to your answering service. Real-time communication provides outsource operators with the latest updates as soon as you make changes.Accurate Staffing Contact Info: Closely associated with on-call staffing is the arduous task of keeping track of each on-call person’s information, such as which contact methods to use and at what times. For example, perhaps Joe wants to receive text messages until 10 p.m. and be reached by phone after that. However, Cheryl prefers email until 9:30 each evening and then wants to be texted until 6 a.m., when she reverts to email. Multiply this by scores of employees, and you end up with a complex set of requirements that is hard to track for both you and your answering service.

However, with an online portal, you simply set it and forget it (until something changes). From then on, everything happens automatically. This interface will also allow you to add staff members to your on-call list and remove them, as well as update contact information and reaching preferences.

Complete Staff List: Not all employees are on your on-call roster. In fact, many are not. But your answering service will benefit by knowing who these employees are. Your online portal should allow you to enter all staff into an employee directory, including adding and removing personnel as needed. This gives operators up-to-date, accurate information at their fingertips.

Real-Time Report Access: Your answering service’s online gateway should do more than allow you to view information and enter data. It should also let you run reports relevant to your account, such as your messages, employee directory, on-call schedule, and account information.

Although the options in answering service online portals vary, these are the key services you should expect. Having these features available—through an online, password-protected interface—provide you with the benefit of better message management and enhanced communication.

Once you’ve experienced the advantages of an online portal, it will become a valued answering service tool you won’t do without.


With offices across the United States and decades of experience, Endicott Communications is poised to help you enhance your communication with your customers and callers. Click here to learn more.