Telephone Answering Service

Match AI Technology with Answering Service Strategy

Embrace Artificial Intelligence to Help You Meet Your Goals More Effectively

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

Many people worry about how artificial intelligence (AI) might impact our world, including their telephone answering service (TAS) business. They fear AI will emerge as a disruptive force that fundamentally changes their day-to-day operations. It probably will.

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

But there’s no need to fear AI. Instead embrace it. The key is to align the promise of AI with your business strategy. Tap this burgeoning technology to better accomplish your goals for your TAS operation.

Here are some scenarios to consider.

Basic Service

Some clients are on a budget. They know voicemail won’t cut it, but they only need the basics of name, number, and message. They view anything more as frivolous. AI can come to the rescue. This will first be in supplementing the work of your staff, with an eventual potential to replace much of their work, but not all.

Low-Cost Service

If your answering service strategy is to be a low-cost provider, AI will be a great tool to help you save on labor costs, while still providing the level of service your clients want and expect and pay for.

But don’t expect AI to replace your staff. Instead view it as a tool to help your agents do more in less time and to do it better with greater ease.

The result is that AI will help you maintain your low-cost paradigm and maximize it for your clients’ benefit.

Premium Service

A third consideration is the value-added approach. Your goal is to offer more than your competition. In the past, the premium service strategy drove up payroll, not only in needing more staff but also in paying them more.

In offering premium service, however, there comes a point of diminishing returns. At some level, clients will balk at paying more for the extra value. They’ll decide it’s not worth a higher bill, no matter how much better your service is.

In this instance, you can tap AI to handle supplemental activities that increase the value of your service without growing your payroll. This can be on both the front end and the back end. Use your imagination. Get creative.


These three examples show how AI can help you achieve your answering service strategy in a cost-effective way. But these are just the starting points. Develop your ideal service strategy, and then look at how AI can help you better achieve it, not the other way around.

Learn more in Peter Lyle DeHaan’s book, How to Start a Telephone Answering Service.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader, covering the telephone answering service industry. Check out his books How to Start a Telephone Answering Service and Sticky Customer Service.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.