Thursday, September 30, 2010

How Does An Answering Service Work?

Every account is provided with either a local or nationwide toll free number, which may be called directly (may be used in client's advertising) or be forwarded to, typically from a client's existing business lines. In some instances a client may do both, forward office lines when they need us to answer and they will also advertise (web site, postcards. etc.) the provided number.

Accounts are custom built and configured to exact specifications. Calls will be answered using a client's preselected custom answer phrase and will be processed according to the client’s instructions. Different types of calls may be processed. For example, new sales and support calls may be expected. In this case client's account screens may have instructions such as, for all support calls, go to page 2. For all new sales calls, go to page 3. On each page specific instructions will be given for processing that type of call. In the support example the agent may be instructed to e-mail that information to 5 separate e-mail addresses. For a sales call, perhaps the instructions are to gather up certain information and patch the caller through to a salesman. Any combination of delivery methods may be selected for any type of call. For example, maybe certain types of calls need an e-mail and a text message, while others are held until a scheduled e-mail or fax summary is sent the next morning. Alternatively, certain call types may require that information is provided to callers, such as, offering up-sell information while an agent completes a script. Other times agents may simply be relaying information, such as, business address, providing directions to your nearest location or supplying information on the types of services you provide.

These are but a few examples of available services and how they work.  Please contact us for more information:

1-800-645-2616 - Answering Service, Virtual Receptionist, Call Center & Contact Center Solutions

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Answering Service Client Testimonial

Hey Jim,

You do a great job working on our account.  You make every situation very understandable.  It's obvious that you've done this kind of thing many times before.

We love your answering service!

Mensa Technology, LLC

1-800-645-2616 - Answering Service, Virtual Receptionist, Call Center & Contact Center Solutions

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What is an Answering Service?

Did you know one third of callers to your business will not leave a message if the call is answered by a voice mail? In our ever-changing world, the ability to access newer technologies can give your business the competitive advantage you need over the competition. Our commitment to constantly leverage these new technologies enables us to provide our clients with the advantage they need in today's business climate.

Our business telephone answering services provide cost effective ways for businesses to handle after hour calls or when staff are unavailable - live operator telephone answering service, virtual office and voicemail service are key components of our call center solutions. An answering service is more than just someone answering your calls, to your customer, we are your business. Our professional staff will insure your callers are greeted by a courteous and helpful voice and will insure you receive accurate messages in a timely manner.

Whether yours is a professional, blue collar or internet business, AnswerFirst has a rate plan designed for your specific needs. Each account is custom tailored and our commitment to providing high quality service at a fair price is why we are one of the fastest growing services in our industry.
All rates are 24/7 and include toll free access.

Live Operator clients may additionally add voice mail options to either enhance their messaging capabilities or minimize their live operator costs. As soon as we receive the signed contract, setup forms and payment, your account will generally be activated within 72 hours. Emergency setup is available - additional fees apply.

Messages may be delivered in a variety of ways: hold for call in, call out (to cell phone, home phone etc.), digital page, alpha-page, e-mail, fax each as taken, voice mailbox, fax summary and e-mail summary..

Do you have questions about our answering service? Please call 1-800-645-2616 or contact us for assistance.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AnswerFirst Offers More Than Just Answering Services

Our main services include answering services, virtual office solutions, order entry, customer & client care, technical support, appointment scheduling and reservations. Other important components in our range of services are messaging, e-commerce solutions, dispatching, information gathering, class and seminar reservations, fulfillment, catalog order taking, literature fulfillment, inventory control and credit card processing. Whether your needs are as simple as collecting the necessary personal and product information from your callers or as demanding as sales and support for a nationwide advertising campaign our customer service support representatives can field calls transparently as though they worked directly for your company. No matter what your needs may be, we can help make support available to your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Answering Service
Messaging services are a cost effective way to handle after hour calls. Our professional staff can be available when your’s is not. We are more than just someone answering your calls... to your callers, we are your business. Insuring all your callers are greeted by a courteous and helpful voice can make a difference. Read More...

Virtual Receptionist
Adds the benefits of a world class IVR to your Live Operator services. Urgent or emergency calls can be quickly transferred to a Live Agent. Voice Mail messages can be e-mailed to you avoiding lengthy calls to retrieve messages. Custom greeting for each announcement or voice mail box. Read More...

Order Entry
Our skilled and experienced agents can quickly take your orders. Use your current e-commerce website or use our internal order systems. Up Selling and Cross Selling available as part of our suite of services. Voice mail announcement can be added to eliminate “shoppers”. Read More...

Call Center Solutions
Adds the benefits of a world class IVR to your Live Operator services. Urgent or emergency calls can be quickly transferred to a Live Agent. Voice Mail messages can be e-mailed to you avoiding lengthy calls to retrieve messages. Custom greeting for each announcement or voice mail box. Read More...

Technical Support
Our staff can alleviate some of the burden 24 hour support places on your staff. Our agents can log in to your trouble ticket system to process calls or open tickets. Priority clients can be transferred directly to your technical staff 24/7 when needed. Routine questions can be answered via an FAQ list. Read More...

Scheduling & Reservations
We offer cost effective solutions which can free your staff from these mundane tasks. Use of Online Calendar available to synchronize the scheduling of appointments. Reservations can be made based on the total number of attendees for each event. Confirmation calls can be made to insure appointments are kept. Read More...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Reasons to Choose AnswerFirst as Your Answering Service

  • Pay Only For What You Use
    Our rate insures you only pay for exactly what you use. Didn’t have any calls this month – pay nothing in addition. Don’t get stuck prepaying for a package and paying for unused calls, minutes or units. Never worry again about the higher “overage” fees you have to pay because you exceeded some guessed at number of calls, minutes or units included in your package. With AnswerFirst, you pay only for what you use.

  • Value Added Services
    Are other services offering access to your call recordings as soon as a call is finished? Can you run reports about your account activity any time YOU want? Can you export all your critical message data in .csv format for import into your database? Are your messages archived? Can the call center also process inbound e-mails just as they process inbound calls? Can you do all of these things for no additional cost? These are just a few of the many value added services we offer every client at no additional cost. Give us a try to experience what true value in a call center is.

  • Price Guarantee
    We can offer most any type of rate and usually can match or beat anything our competitors offer.

  • Transparency
    With the ability to access so much your account information in real time through our included Client Web Access web portal, our clients have a unique opportunity to see how we are performing on their account. It need never be a mystery to you again. Our willingness to be open and frank with this information speaks loudly of our desire to forge long term relationships with our clients. While others may snicker at the thought of providing this information to clients, we say give us a try and you too will discover the AnswerFirst difference.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Answering Service Client Testimonial

I have to confess that I called in to our AnswerFirst line around 5:15 PM on last Friday and posed as a vendor.  Kimberly answered the phone on the first ring and left me VERY impressed with her pleasant and professional disposition!  I now must congratulate myself for selecting a great answering service!

Thanks again for writing, and IntelliTek Systems looks forward to a mutually profitable business relationship with AnswerFirst!

Chief Project Engineer
IntelliTek Systems, Inc

1-800-645-2616 - Answering Service, Virtual Receptionist, Call Center & Contact Center Solutions

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Reasons to Use AnswerFirst as Your Answering Service

  • Equipment
    We have redundant equipment for every infrastructure process and requirement.

  • Power
    With a 45KW diesel generator sitting out back, our entire facility has full power for an extended period of time for any type of power interruption. Full UPS, Lightning and Surge protection systems are also provided for all of our equipment.

  • Telephony
    With multiple SIP, Fiber,T-1 and PRI circuits routed from different providers down different routes, you can feel safe we will be there when you need us.

  • Internet
    With redundant ISP connections, clients who rely on our ability to access the World Wide Web can rest assured we will have access. These are very fast connections with automated roll-over capabilities in the event of an outage.

  • Facility
    Our two story facility was built by us specifically for call center usage. It is fully compliant with Category Five hurricane standards and can withstand all but the most serious of natural disasters. Hurricane shutters, GFI circuits, lightning protection and more was all incorporated in the planning of this facility.
1-800-645-2616 - Answering Service, Virtual Receptionist, Call Center & Contact Center Solutions

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why Should You Choose AnswerFirst?


  • Our Motivation
    Because all of our billing is in arrears and our clients only pay our $20.00 base rate up-front, we have to answer your calls to earn any additional money. This makes us HIGHLY motivated to answer every one in a timely and professional manner. Services that make you pay upfront for a package of calls, minutes or units are already paid and do not have this same level of motivation. A lost call from one of your customers tired of waiting in a hold queue means potential lost revenue for you and guaranteed lost revenue for us. When paying for services not yet rendered, the motivation to answer is not the same.
  • Quick and Professional Response Time
    We do a terrific job of insuring proper agent staffing. 85% of our calls are answered on the first ring with a live agent and another 10-12% on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th ring with a live agent. Only 3-5% of calls go to our hold queue where professional music is playing and our average hold time is less than 15 seconds.
  • Superior Experience
    We never place your callers on hold. Once our agent answers your valuable call, they take the call to conclusion. We never interrupt your call to answer another client's ringing call. This results in a much more pleasant experience for your callers. This requires additional staffing on our part, but our clients and their callers agree it is a far superior way to answer calls.
  • Dispatch Operators
    Every new message an inbound agent takes is sent to our dispatcher queue for delivery. Our highly trained dispatch agents insure every message we send is a professional message. Dispatch operators are also our most experienced agents and since they only deliver messages, they are very good at it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Affordable Answering Service - About Us

Affordable Answering Service is a division of AnswerFirst Communications, Inc. and is based just outside of downtown Tampa, FL. Our newest operations center was built from the ground up in 1999 specifically for AnswerFirst. The center's layout and design provides a safe and comfortable environment for our CSR agents. We believe that our agents' work environment plays a primary role in their health and happiness. Happy agents are more productive, for us and you. We provide our agents with ergonomically correct seating, flexible scheduling options, injury prevention training, and state-of-the-art workstations.

Our operations center is also home to our state-of-the-art computer and telephony hardware that serve as the technological “heart” of AnswerFirst. We've used current technology standards to create an extremely efficient and reliable backbone to our operations. With our thorough attention to redundancy, efficiency and reliability you can be sure that your customers' calls are answered promptly by a crystal clear voice every time. We use this same technology to log and save all calls and provide you access to all these logged calls and your up-to-date account information via our Client Web Access solution. You can listen to your calls, check your messages, make account changes, check your billing data and more from anywhere with an Internet connection, your username, your password and a few clicks of your mouse.