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The Subtle Differences Between Call Handling and Answering Services

In the realm of customer service and communication, the terms “call handling” and “answering services” are often used interchangeably. While they both serve the fundamental purpose of managing incoming calls, there are subtle differences between the two that can significantly impact how they serve various business needs. Understanding these nuances can help businesses make an informed decision when choosing the right service for them.

What is Call Handling?

At its core, a call handling service is designed to manage incoming calls in a way that aligns with a company’s specific operational requirements. This could include tasks like routing calls to the appropriate department, providing basic information, or even scheduling appointments. The focus here is on operational efficiency, ensuring that each call is handled in the most effective manner possible.

What is Call Answering?

On the other hand, call answering is more focused on customer service and engagement. While it also involves managing incoming calls, the emphasis is on providing a high-quality customer experience. This could mean offering in-depth product information, resolving customer issues, or even upselling and cross-selling services. The goal is to not just manage the call, but to add value to each customer interaction.

The Role of Telephone Answering

Telephone answering often serves as a hybrid between call handling and call answering services. It combines elements of operational efficiency with customer engagement, offering a more comprehensive solution for businesses. This type of service can be particularly useful for businesses that have diverse needs, such as those that require both appointment scheduling and customer support.


While they may seem similar, call handling and answering services serve different business needs. Call handling is more operationally focused, aiming to manage calls efficiently. Call answering, meanwhile, aims to provide a high-quality customer experience. Understanding these subtle differences can help businesses choose the service that best meets their specific requirements, whether it’s operational efficiency, customer engagement, or a combination of both.

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