Selecting an answering service or call center is not an easy task. We hope to answer some of the questions you may have as thoroughly as possible. If, after reading this, you still need more information, please contact us at 888-588-9800
Do I Need An Answering Service?
Constantly answering the phones can become extremely time consuming for you and your team; it can be distracting and negatively impact your company’s productivity.
If any of the following statements are true for you, chances are it’s time to hire a professional answering service to handle your calls and messages:
- You have difficulty answering all of your calls.
- You find yourself having to check your voicemail all day long.
- There are times when your voicemail is full.
- Some of your employees are tied up answering the phone.
- Your phone rings for a longtime before somebody can answer it.
- You have trouble delivering the messages to the right people on time.
- You have to make separate calls to a list of people to deliver the same message.
- You are wondering if it would be easier and more cost-effective to hire an answering service than to have a full- or even part-time employee to do it.
How Do I Select An Answering Service?
With all the choice available today, choosing an answering service can become frustrating and time-consuming. It is important to pick a company you like, but it is even more important to pick a company that your customers will feel comfortable with. A call center’s job is to interact with your callers, so it is necessary that the service you choose is able to relate to them on a professional level.
These are our suggestions to help you choose the best answering service for your company:
- Go with an answering service that specializes in your industry. Does this sound familiar: you have a question about a product and you call then customer service number only to find out that the call center is located somewhere off-shore and the agent you are talking to is completely unfamiliar with the company and its business? It happens more and more often these days, and it doesn’t make you at all confident that your problem will be solved or that your question will be answered correctly. When choosing the answering service for your business, make sure that the service you hire has experience in your industry, is familiar with issues that could arise and is equipped with the appropriate terminology. These assets can go a long way in building your callers’ and customers’ confidence.
- Make sure it is 24/7. When hiring an answering service, make sure it is always available, and that if someone calls your business in the middle of the night, there will be representatives waiting to answer, take a message, and deliver it to the appropriate location immediately or at the time you indicate.
- Look for dedication and care. The answering service you choose will become extension of your company. Make sure the service you hire is ready to represent you with just as much dedication and care as if you would.
How Do I Forward My Lines To Your Answering Service?
You can activate Call Forwarding whenever you want your calls to be sent to another phone. Once activated, your calls will be sent to the forwarding number you request. To activate your Call Forwarding Service
- Dial *72
- Enter the phone number including the area code where you want your calls to be forwarded to (e.g. *72-555-355-3232) and press #
- You will hear the number you entered ring. When the call is answered, Call Forwarding is activated.
- If the call is not answered or the line is busy, hang up and call the number again within two minutes. You will hear two short tones telling you that Call Forwarding is activated.
Call Forwarding procedures may vary depending on the company you are using. If you have trouble completing the transfer, please contact your service provider or check the instructions on the website.
When Do You Answer My Company's Calls?
Calls are answered throughout the day depending on your needs. We have plans that include answering your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and during holidays.
When Do You Know Incoming Calls Are For My Company vs Another?
Our answering service uses software that identifies the source of each incoming call and enables our agents to answer with the appropriate greeting, including the name of your company. The greeting can be customized in compliance with your instructions.
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How Do I Receive My Messages?
Our clients can customize and choose the way their messages are delivered to them. The options are:
- Receive text messages (secured or regular)
- Receive email messages (secured or regular)
- Receive fax messages
- Call for your messages
- We can call you with your messages at a time you choose
- Record your messages and listen to them any time
- Send your messages to multiple recipients using multiple options
You can customize your plan and method of delivery at any time with the help of your Account Executive. Your messages can also be delivered to multiple on-call staff according to their schedules.
When you choose to supply us with your weekly or monthly schedule we will soft-code it into our system to minimize the risk of human error.
Will I Receive My Messages In Real Time?
We relay all messages to you as soon as we receive them, unless you instruct us otherwise. We consider the service process complete once you have received your message, not a minute sooner.
Can You Connect To Caller Directly To Me At The Time Of The Call?
We can directly connect you to a caller, if you instruct us to do so. You can choose what type of calls you want to take personally and when you prefer a message to be taken for you. This service is called “Virtual Receptionist”.
Do You Answer Any Callers' Questions Specific To My Business?
We answer callers’ questions only when you instruct us to do so. You can specify what questions you want us to answer. If the caller’s needs are beyond our expertise, we take a message and deliver it to you for a call back.
Can I Listen To Any of My Messages The Way They Came In?
All messages are recorded via Voice Logger and archived for 3 months. During this period, you can request to listen to any of your messages and we will email them to you in an mp3 format.
Does Your Answering Service Comply With Confidentiality Laws?
You can be sure that Answering 365 is 100% HIPAA compliant. For more information and specifics on HIPAA and how it relates to answering services, please read our HIPAA page.
Do I Have To Sign A Long Term Contract?
Our services are provided on a 12 week minimum basis. After this period expires, if you wish to cancel you are free to do so with no cancellation fees. 30 days notice is required.
Ask Us About Our New Client Special
Is Your Business Based In The USA?
Our clients are located throughout the United States and around the globe, but all of our offices are in the U.S. Our agents are all native English speakers, and many are bi-lingual in Spanish and English.
What Are The Advantages of Time Billing and How Often Do You Bill?
Answering 365’s service fees are based on a “time used” approach. You simply pay for what you use and not for what you thought you would use. AND you do not pay for hold time. We bill based on a 28-day cycle (every four weeks).
How Can I Use My Answering Service Efficiently?
Communication is the key to efficiency. Keep us up to date to ensure the highest quality of service.
- Make sure we know who your key clients are and how we can serve their needs.
- Keep us informed about staffing and personnel changes.
- Provide us with any changes in telephone numbers or email addresses
- Send us your calendar updates such as any changes to your hours of operation or availability during the holidays.
The more information we have, the better we can serve you.