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Answer Direct

FAQs

Answe Direct FAQs

  1. How long does it take to start service?
  2. What do I need to start service?
  3. Is there a long term contract?
  4. Can I make changes to the way my calls are being handled?
  5. What are some of the industries that use your answering service?
  6. Do you offer any automated services?
  7. How is cost determined?
  8. Are your rates flexible?
  9. Do you take calls on holidays?
  10. How are you staffed?
  11. How will you answer my calls?
  12. How do you know what information I need from my callers?
  13. How do I receive my messages?
  14. How do I notify you of my company’s OnCall (and what if there are changes to the OnCall schedule)
  15. What if I have questions about a call that was answered at your location?

How long does it take to start service?

It typically takes 24 hours to start a basic service. Clients who require more complicated message taking and delivering will require more time. (i.e. a business having several locations, territories, a large employee directory or requiring call scripting)


What do I need to start service?

In order to begin service, we need some basic information regarding your business, such as office hours, business phone, fax, and a listing of the services you provide. Also in order to begin service we require a signed contract as well as initial payment.


Is there a long term contract?

No, we do not require a long term contract. Our agreement is month by month.


Can I make changes to the way my calls are being handled?

Yes, we understand that businesses are constantly evolving and we pride ourselves on evolving with our clients. Temporary and minor changes can be made anytime day or night such as OnCall changes or an employee has a new phone number. We do ask that major account changes such as a change in the information gathered from callers or the addition of a location be made during weekdays. Major account changes must be permanently programmed in to your account as well as those changes need to be communicated effectively to our entire staff.


What are some of the industries that use your answering service?

Just a few of the industries that use our service are: Physicians, Funeral Homes, Hospice Care, Utilities, Plumbing, HVAC, Attorneys and Insurance Companies.


Do you offer any automated services?

Yes, we offer several automated services that do not require a live operator.


How is cost determined?

Cost is determined by usage. Accounts are billed with a monthly base rate that includes a usage package. The usage package is tracked by either transactions or by minutes. Accounts requiring considerable information from their callers or that require significantly more operator time than general message taking are billed on a per minute rate. Generally accounts are bill with a transaction rate. Transactions are all incoming and outgoing calls, pages and account cues.


Are your rates flexible?

Very often it is difficult to guess your call volume. We will adjust our billing rate once we are able to determine your actual call volume is significantly higher or lower than previously estimated.


Do you take calls on holidays?

Yes, we take calls 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


How are you staffed?

We are fully staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our schedules are made according to the amount of traffic to ensure efficient operator coverage at all times.


How will you answer my calls?

Each client is assigned their own phone number that is answered at our location. Clients typically forward their main office line to that number when they would like us to take their calls. When that phone line is activated (a call is coming in) the call enters an operator’s screen. The operator is able to see what account the call is for before they even pick up the line. Once the call is selected the operator is able to view your answer phrase and your business information. Most answer phrases consist of “Good Morning / Afternoon / Evening, [Name of Company], This is [Operator’s Name] How May I Help You?”


How do you know what information I need from my callers?

You determine the information the operators gather from your callers. Each account has a “message ticket” programmed so that operators are aware what information is required. Message Tickets are unique to each client and will list the information to be solicited from the caller. Some examples are Name, Address, Phone Number, Alt. Phone Number, Message, Do you rent?, How did you hear about us?, etc.


How do I receive my messages?

There are a number of ways to retrieve messages. Messages can be emailed, paged and faxed. Clients can also call in to check in for messages.


How do I notify you of my company’s OnCall (and what if there are changes to the OnCall schedule)

We ask that OnCall schedules are emailed (or faxed) to our office at the beginning of each month. To insure accuracy we prefer that schedules are entered in advance and during times when operators are not receiving or placing calls. If there is a change to an existing OnCall schedule, those changes can be emailed or called into our office at anytime.


What if I have questions about a call that was answered at your location?

All incoming and outgoing calls are tracked and recorded. Once a call is at our location it is tracked – every second of a call can be accounted for, ring time, talk time, any hold time, etc. Recordings are used to insure accuracy and call quality.


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Locations

  • Fairview Heights, Illinois
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Associations