How do I know that I need an answering service?

Suppose your company or medical facility uses precious resources to answer the telephone. In that case, it might be distracting you and your team members from their core functions and can negatively impact the company’s productivity.

  • Do you need help answering all of your calls?
  • Do you find yourself constantly checking your voicemail?
  • Is your voicemail frequently full?
  • Does answering the phone tie up some employees of your business?
  • Does your phone ring for an extended period before it is answered?
  • Do you have trouble delivering the messages to the right people on time?
  • Do you have to make separate calls to a list of people to deliver the same message?
  • Have you wondered if hiring an answering service would be more cost-effective than having a full- or even part-time employee to do it?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are it’s time to hire a professional answering service that will be more productive and cost-effective.

How should I choose an answering service?

With all the choices available today, choosing an answering service may become frustrating and time-consuming. It is essential to pick a company you like, but it is even more critical to pick one your customers will appreciate. Our job is to interact with your callers, so the service you choose must be able to relate to them professionally.

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. It is quite a common practice these days for some answering services to “off-shore” their staff. Your potential or existing customers will not feel good when they call your office and speak to someone in a remote location totally unrelated to your company and its business. Ensure that the service you hire has experience in your industry, is familiar with possible issues, and is equipped with the appropriate terminology. This knowledge can go a long way in building your callers’ and customers’ confidence.
  • Choose 24/7. If you are going to hire an answering service, make sure it is always available, and if someone calls your business in the middle of the night, there will be representatives waiting to answer the call, take a message, deliver it to the appropriate location immediately or at the time you indicate, or cross-connect to the on-call specialist.
  • Look for dedication and care. In choosing the answering service that best meets your needs, you will want to ensure that the company and its professionals will represent your business just as you and your internal team would.
How do I start my service?

Starting the service takes a couple of easy steps. On the Answering Services page, please pick the plan closest to what you want and click the Let’s Talk tab. After you fill out a simple form, we will get back to you to schedule a consultation where we will discuss all the details and customize the plan to fit your needs. You can also call us at 888-588-9800 and ask to speak to our Sales Director. The consultations are always free, and you don’t have to sign the contract until you are fully satisfied with all arrangements.

How do I forward my lines to your answering service?

There are several ways of forwarding your calls to us. For specific instructions, please first choose your carrier:

For step-by-step instructions, please CLICK HERE

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 requested forwarding number. To activate your Call Forwarding Service, in most cases, please follow the steps below.

  1. Dial *72
  2. 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 #
  3. You will hear the number you entered ring. When the call is answered, Call Forwarding is activated.
  4. 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 get in touch with your service provider or check the instructions on the website.

ATT – http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB408811&cv=807#fbid=2CjbBC6Os3J

VERIZON  – http://www.verizon.com/Support/smallbusiness/phone/homephone/calling+features/call+forwarding/call+forwarding.htm

COMCAST  – http://businesshelp.comcast.com/help-and-support/voice/phone-managing-call-forwarding-routing

SPRINT – http://support.sprint.com/support/article/Set_up_call_forwarding_on_my_Sprint_Phone_Connect/case-gz982789-20111213-120759?INTNAV=SU:DP:OV:TS:SprintPhoneConnect:SetUpCallForwardingOnMySprintPhoneConnect

VONAGE – https://support.vonage.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1930/~/call-forwarding

When do you answer my company's calls?

It depends on your needs. We have plans that include answering your calls during the day, after hours, on weekends, or the combination of any, or 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and during holidays.

How do you know the incoming call is for my company vs. any other company?

Our answering service uses software that identifies the source of each incoming call and enables us to answer calls with the appropriate greeting that includes your company’s name. The greeting can be customized in compliance with your instructions.

How do I receive my messages?

Our clients can customize and choose the way their messages are delivered to them.

These options are:

  • Text Messages (secured or regular)
  • Email messages (secured or regular)
  • Fax messages
  • You can call your service directly for your messages
  • We can call you with your messages at the time you choose
  • We record all your messages, and you can listen to them anytime
  • 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 the messages to you as soon as we receive them unless you instruct us otherwise; that’s when we consider the service process completed, not a minute sooner.

Can you connect the caller directly tome at the time of the call?

Yes, we can if you instruct us to do so. You can choose what type of calls you want to take in person and when you want a message to be taken for you. This service is called “Virtual Receptionist”.

Do you answer any caller's questions specific to my business?

Only if you instruct us to do so. You can specify what questions you want us to answer. If the callers’ needs are beyond our expertise and are not included in your instructions, we take a message and deliver it to you for a callback.

Can Iisten to any of my messages the way they came in?

Yes, all messages are recorded via Voice Logger and archived for three months. During this period, you can request to listen to any of your messages, and we will email them to you in MP3 format.

Does your answering service comply with the privacy and confidently laws?

Absolutely! You can be sure that Answering365 is 100% HIPAA compliant. For more information and specifics on HIPAA and how it relates to answering services, please CLICK HERE

Answering365 has been the trusted provider of answering services for healthcare professionals, hospitals, community clinics, and managed care organizations for many years and has won many industry awards in the process. We have taken extra care to ensure that we are 100% compliant with HIPAA laws to help protect our clients and their patients.

At Answering365, we integrate technology, security, and privacy policies to comply with HIPAA standards, such as encryption (SSL), system-user identifiers (logins, passwords), multiple user access levels, high-end physical server security, nightly back-ups, strong privacy policies (not sharing information with anyone unless you direct us to), timed log out, strong internal personnel policies such as having employees sign detailed privacy agreements and take online courses regarding the rules of HIPAA and the Omnibus Law.

To guarantee that the privacy of your patients is protected by HIPAA, Answering365 maintains the following:

· Password Protected Access to Information
· Secure Digital Storage of Records
· State of the Art, Digital, Secure Messaging Systems
· Secure Processing of Voice and Data Information
· HIPAA Compliant Information Transfer
· Multiple Levels of Data Back-up and Storage
· Emergency Back-up Power Systems
· Telephone and Communications Provider Redundancy
· Constant training of all staff regarding HIPAA privacy rules
· Updated policy and procedures manuals which dictate how our teams respond to emergency situations

Do I have to sign a long-term contract

Our services are provided on a 12-week minimum basis. If you wish to cancel after this period expires, you are free to do so with no cancelation fees. A 30-day notice is required.

What are the advantages of time billing and how often do you bill?

Answering365 service fees are based on the “time used” approach: you pay for the minutes you use and never pay for Hold Time. For most accounts, we bill based on a 28-day cycle (every four weeks.) However, there are other options that can be explored during the set-up of your account.

Is your business based in the United States?

Yes. Our clients are located throughout the United States and globally, but our offices are all in the U.S., and many of our agents are bilingual in English and Spanish.

How do I get the most out of my call answering service?

Communicating with us clearly and keeping us up to date will ensure the best quality service.

  • Tell us who your favorite clients are or how you like your calls answered
  • Update us on new employees joining your company or existing employees leaving
  • Provide us with the changes in telephone numbers or email addresses
  • Send us your calendar updates, such as your changed hours of operations or availability during the holidays

The more information we have, the better we can serve you.