Monday, December 17, 2012

AnswerFirst Team Members Volunteer at Champions For Children 2012 Holiday Store

Toys For All AgesMore Toys!Toys!AnswerFirst's Keving Glenn Helping Set-upAnswerFirst's Don Quarterman Attended the Store Set-upAnswerFirst Customer Service Professionals Make Great Elves
AnswerFirst Customer Service Professionals Make Great ElvesAnswerFirst Customer Service Professionals Make Great ElvesAnswerFirst Customer Service Professionals Make Great ElvesAnswerFirst Customer Service Professionals Make Great ElvesAnswerFirst Team Members Gearing Up for the 2012 Holiday Store

The Champions For Children Holiday Store provides parents and caregivers who are in need of assistance during the holidays a place to “shop” for their children for free. Last year, 686 children and 290 families visited their Santa Workshops and selected new toys. The Holiday Store & Santa Workshops are made possible by businesses that sign-up to be donation box locations and ask their employees to help by getting involved, donating and volunteering. This year, 15 AnswerFirst team members participated in setting up and running the Holiday Store. It was a great experience and we're all looking forward to supporting Champions For Children and their Holiday Store for years to come!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Makes A Really Good Sales Person?

Is being a good talker enough to make a good sales person?

We’ve all heard the saying, “you have the gift of gab, you should be in sales,” but is having the “gift of gab” really enough in today’s business climate?

Customer service expectations and the increased demand for (and availability of) information have changed the way the world does business.  Clients need to know that you are not just a vendor trying to make a quick dollar, but that you are committed to them. In fact, commitment is key.

Good business isn’t just about selling products anymore; it’s about forming trusted relationships, taking responsibility and selling something you passionately endorse.
An honest salesperson that knows what he/she is talking about!? Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
Click here to read the rest of this blog post.

Our call centers are U.S. based and staffed with English speaking customer service professionals 24/7/365. No contracts or long-term commitment required. Pay only for what you use and no hidden fees. No additional charges for nights, weekends or holidays.

For more information, please download our Pricing & Info Packet: http://www.answerfirst.com/pricing or call us at 1-800-645-2616. 

This post contributed by +Teri Erickson 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from AnswerFirst

Wishing all of our partners, clients and employees a safe & happy Holiday Season.

Our call centers are U.S. based and staffed with English speaking customer service professionals 24/7/365. No contracts or long-term commitment required. Pay only for what you use and no hidden fees. No additional charges for nights, weekends or holidays.

For more information, please download our Pricing & Info Packet: http://www.answerfirst.com/pricing or call us at 1-800-645-2616.

Friday, October 26, 2012

AnswerFirst Answering Service Wishes You A Happy & Safe Halloween


We'd like to wish you, your business and your family a safe and happy Halloween!!

AnswerFirst provides answering services, call center solutions, virtual receptionist services and complete customer service solutions to more than 1600 companies around the globe. To find out more about what AnswerFirst can do for your business, please email (sales@answerfirst.com), call (1-800-645-2616) or visit our website (http://www.answerfirst.com).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Answering With A Purpose

Does it matter who answers your business line if the person answering does not know why he or she is answering?

Whether you are a receptionist or a contact center agent, gathering names, numbers, and messages are not difficult tasks. However, does successfully completing these tasks give callers the feeling that the they matter and that their issues are being handled??


In my experience selling contact center services, I am regularly asked what we do and what are the different ways we can do it. I’ve also often been asked what sets us apart from other services, but I’ve never been asked why we have taken on the responsibility of being a contact center.

Click here to read the rest of this post on our website...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Because Your iPhone Can't Do Everything!


24/7 Live Thinking, Talking Agents!

Our call centers are U.S. based and staffed with English speaking customer service professionals 24/7/365. No contracts or long-term commitment required. Pay only for what you use and no hidden fees. No additional charges for nights, weekends or holidays. 

For more information, please download our Pricing & Info Packet: http://www.answerfirst.com/pricing or call us at 1-800-645-2616.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Phone Customer Service?

Phone Customer Service by AnswerFirst
Phone Customer Service, a photo by AnswerFirst on Flickr.
Why do we have to, "press one for English," when we just end up getting transferred to someone that we don't understand anyway?  At AnswerFirst we only hire English speaking U.S. agents so that our clients' business calls are answered properly.

Would you like more information about our service? www.answerfirst.com/pricing

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Receptionist and the Anwering Service

In-house receptionists can be a nice convenience in today’s small office. In between routing phone calls and taking messages they are able to complete menial tasks like filing and filling out paperwork.  They can also serve as greeters for the mailman and other folks that pass through the office on a daily basis.  In short, they can be somewhat useful.

Another convenient solution for handling inbound business communications is to utilize an answering service.  To some business owners, this option might seem a little impersonal.  An answering service isn’t in-house and, of course, they cannot help with filing or paperwork.  However, the work they do is typically consistent and reliable and they do not require vacation time, sick leave, etc.  They never show up late and their professional agents are available at all hours to answer phones, emails and social media inquiries promptly and professionally.

To read the rest of this post, please click here to visit out website.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tampa Business Owners: AnswerFirst Can Help Your Business Survive The 2012 RNC

Business Owners: Don't Let the 2012 RNC in Tampa Force You To Close
The Republican National Convention is being held in Tampa, FL beginning August 27, 2012.

More than 50,000 people are expected to visit Tampa for the convention and while many local businesses will benefit from the additional tourism other businesses will be forced to close their doors or figure out a way to operate remotely because road closures and traffic will make it impossible for them to function normally. 

AnswerFirst's Center of Operations is located just outside of downtown Tampa and will remain open during the RNC.  The majority of our call center staff works remotely and will not be affected by the congestion that the convention will bring.  If you think your business will be affected, it's not too late to set-up an account with us so that we can help you handle your business communications during the week of the convention.

For more information, please visit this page of our website: Use An Answering Service During the 2012 RNC or call us at 1-800-645-2616.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Do You Want Service or… Don’t You?

I’ve learned that educating potential clients about answering service practices & capabilities is what makes our service shine above competitors.

Unfortunately, not all potential clients are invested in learning before they buy. In the contact center industry this “attitude without aptitude” quote demand always leaves the buyer with unreasonable expectations and often substandard service.

In this competitive business environment, learning at the expense of your ability to maintain and generate revenue is worse than “learning the hard way”...

Please visit our website to read the rest of this post...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Did The Dog Eat Your Customer Service?

Good customer service is essentially meeting the same expectations you have when you are a customer.
Has your customer service gone to the dogs?This basic “golden rule” will never change. Most people would probably agree with the generic definition of good customer service: prompt and courteous attention delivered by smiling, friendly employees.

But, is that it??? Doesn’t your business want to kick it up a notch?

The cost of getting a new customer is often five times that of retaining an existing one, those that understand this, realize the importance of responding immediately to theirs. That being said, are you living up to the customer service expectations you have, with your own customers? Would you like to?

Please visit our website to read more...

Monday, July 16, 2012

AnswerFirst: The Most Cost Effective Way to Handle Your Business Communications

AnswerFirst agents can handle your inbound emails and incoming phone calls to your specifications for much less than the price of hiring a receptionist.  Here are some of the benefits of choosing AnswerFirst as your customer service solutions provider:
  • We offer one simple rate plan: pay as you go and only for what you actually use.
  • Respond to your clients 24/7/365 for less than the cost of a full-time receptionist.
  • We don't charge additional fees for nights, weekends and holidays.
  • No monthly or yearly contracts.
We provide answering services, call center solutions, inbound email processing and customer service solutions for businesses in every industry.  

Want more info about what we can do for your business? 
Visit our website to download a free pricing and plans packet or call us at 1-800-645-2616.

Monday, July 9, 2012

AnswerFirst Nominated For Tampa Bay Business Journal Fast 50 Awards

We're proud to announce that we've been nominated for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Fast 50 Awards!!

The TBBJ is the Tampa Bay area TBJ publication that circulates over 9000 printed publications each month while also receiving more than 175000 monthly visitors to their website.  The TBBJ holds 11 annual events including the Fast 50 Awards.  The Fast 50 is a list of the fastest growing privately held companies in Tampa Bay with rankings based on percentage of annual growth over a three year period.  Companies on the Fast 50 list must meet the following criteria: the company must be privately held and locally owned, it must be headquartered in Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk or Sarasota counties, the company must have been in operation since 2008 or prior, and the company must have had annual revenue of at least $1 million in 2011 with no revenue requirement for the years 2009 and 2010 as long as revenue has grown each year.  Each year, the final rankings are revealed at an awards luncheon with the top 5 companies receiving special recognition.

Matt Herron, AnswerFirst’s CEO, stated, “The economy has been very weak these past few years, but we’ve been able to continually improve the efficiency of our business model, hire the right team members and invest in effective marketing techniques; these are just a few of the administrative decisions that have allowed us to grow in this rough economic climate.  I feel fortunate that we are able to employ people during a time when many Americans are out of work and I’m very proud of our entire team for making this nomination possible.”

If you'd like more information about AnswerFirst, our answering services or virtual receptionist solutions, visit our website or call us today at 1-800-645-2616.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Attention Laywers & Law Offices: Need A Live Agent?


Does your law office need a live agent?


Are you guilty of...
  • sending your clients' calls to voice mails?
  • neglecting your phone after-hours?
  • misplacing phone numbers and messages?
  • letting emails pile up in your inbox?
Answering Services for Lawyers & Law OfficesWe provide 24/7/365 Answering Services, Inbound Email Processing, Virtual Receptionist Services, Appointment Scheduling and Customer Service Solutions.

Download our free document, Costly Mistakes Lawyers Make at www.answerfirst.com/Lawyers

Contact us today for more information about what we can do for your law office, 1-800-645-2616, or visit www.answerfirst.com/pricing

Friday, June 8, 2012

How Does AnswerFirst Deliver Messages?

We deliver messages via fax, email, text messaging (SMS), alpha pager, digital pager, verbally over the phone and via the web.
Select any of these options in any combination. For example, we can send a text message to your cell phone, and then you can later retrieve or review that same message on the web, and then via a summary email the next morning. Also, based on your account setup, you can have different dispatch protocols for different types of messages (i.e. emergencies sent via text message and then called to confirm receipt but all routine calls held for the next morning). 

For more information about our services, please visit one of our websites: Affordable Answering Service, Answering Service, Lawyers' Answering Service or our corporate website, AnswerFirst.com.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AnswerFirst's Receptionists Can Do Anything!



AnswerFirst live receptionists can do anything!

Our U.S. based live agents are awesome at:
  • taking phone messages and sending them to you in whatever format you choose
  • providing customer service to your clients
  • scheduling appointments
  • acting as an extension of your business
  • giving your clients directions to your location
  • answering your inbound emails and phones 24/7/365... yes, even on holidays and weekends
...and a lot more! 

Call us or visit our website today for more information about what our agents can do for you and your business: 1-800-645-2616 or AnswerFirst.com

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Avoid the Sting of Bad Customer Service!

Avoid the Sting of Bad Customer Service

Reliable & Cost Effective Customer Service Solutions for Any Business!

  • Eliminate the loss of important revenue generating calls
  • Answer with a human, not a machine
  • Respond to time sensitive emails
  • Be available day and night
  • Free yourself with more time; focus on your business
  • No long-term contracts; simply pay-as-you-go
  • Recordings and reports at your fingertips
We provide answering services, call center solutions, inbound email processing and customer service solutions for businesses in every industry.  

Want more info about what we can do for your business? 
Visit our website to download a free pricing and plans packet or call us at 1-800-645-2616.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Use An Answering Service To Improve Your Customer Service

Does You Customer Service Stink?

There's no excuse for foul customer service!


Consistent, prompt responses to your business communications lead to happy customers, business growth and a reputation of great customer service for your business.

Our Motivation 

We only collect a $20.00 base rate up-front; we actually have to answer your calls and respond to your emails to earn any additional money. This makes us HIGHLY motivated to answer every inbound communication in a timely and professional manner. Services that make you pay upfront for a package of calls, minutes or units do not have this same level of motivation because they’ve already been paid. At AnswerFirst, 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.

Total Dedication to Delivering Results
  • Prompt and Professional Responses
  • Agents With Customer Service Experience
  • Dedicated Dispatch Operators
  • Reliable and Redundant Infrastructure
Services Include:
Value:
  • Pay Only For What You Use
  • Free Client Web Access Portal
  • Full Unlimited Access to All of Your Call Recordings & Reports
  • Redundant Power, Data & Telephony Infrastructures for 99% Uptime
Try us before you buy at www.AnswerFirst.com/demo

Looking for more info? Download a free Pricing & Plans Packet at www.AnswerFirst.com/pricing

Friday, May 4, 2012

Answering Service & Call Center Industry Terminology


At AnswerFirst, we feel that it's part of our job to educate our clients about the services and products we offer and part of that process is teaching clients about some of the more technical aspects of a call center including the terminology that goes along with learning about it.  With that goal in mind, here is a list of answering service and call center industry terms with layman's definitions.  This list of terms consists of words and acronyms that we use almost every day when speaking with our current and potential clients; these definitions are useful for anyone who is new to dealing with answering services and call centers.

IVR or Interactive Voice Response: A technology that allows humans to interacts with computers through the use of voice and tone inputs.  When you call a business and a machine picks up that asks you to make choices by speaking or pressing buttons on the phone you are interacting with an IVR system.  Most callers find IVR systems to be annoying because many of these systems don't work well; this can result in substandard customer service experiences.

CSR or Customer Service Representative: These are AnswerFirst staff members that will be answering your phone calls and emails.  Our customer service representatives must have prior customer service experience; it's their job to answer all of your business communications according to the protocols you have created while being both professional and friendly.

DID or Direct Inward Dialing: Your DID is the number that is designated as your direct line in our call center.  When this number is dialed and the phone rings in our call center our agents know that these calls are for your account.

CWA or Client Web Access: This is our version of a free online customer account portal.  You can access your messages, check your invoices and change the way your calls are handled by logging in and taking advantage of the many features of CWA.

If you're currently shopping for an answering service you might also want to check out our answering service comparison chart.  Even if you decide that our services are not right for your particular business needs, we hope you feel that you've learned something about the services you were shopping for during your interactions with us.

Looking for more information? Give us a call at 1-800-645-2616, tweet or Facebook us.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Evaluate Answering Services Before You Buy!

Compare Answering Services Before You Buy
Shopping for an answering service can be tricky because not all services are equal.  Hidden fees, unreliable infrastructures, outsourcing to non-U.S. agents and limiting access to your call recordings are just a few of many issues that an answering service or call center might have and, if you're not careful, you can end up stuck in a long-term contract with exorbitant bills and unreliable sub-standard service.

So, how can you avoid choosing the wrong service?  We've put together a list of more than 30 questions that you can utilize to compare answering services.  Here are just a few of the questions you should ask any answering service that you are considering:
  • Does your normal rate include answering on holidays, weekends or nights?
  • Can I forward my phones any time I wish without penalty or additional charges?
  • In the event of a power outage, will the service continue to function?
  • Is my account data protected by a firewall and backed-up daily?
(You can view the rest of the questions by clicking here.)

If you choose an unreliable or unprofessional answering service, you risk upsetting your existing and potential clients so take your time and ask questions.  If you're looking for more information about AnswerFirst and our answering services then click here to download our free pricing and information packet.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

AnswerFirst Reveals Their New Brand Identity


We're happy to announce that we have finally revealed our new brand identity.  Our new logo, website, sales documents and social media presence can be seen at the following locations:

Logo and Website: http://www.answerfirst.com
Sales Documents: Please fill out a pricing packet request at http://www.answerfirst.com/pricing
Social Media: Visit us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Do you like what you see?  Let us know!  Leave comments on this blog post or on our social media channels.  For more information about our answering services, virtual receptionist services and call center solutions visit us

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Inside AnswerFirst: The Marketing Department

At AnswerFirst our management staff is split into four departments: Operations, Sales, Marketing and IT.  Each department is responsible for specific duties that are crucial to the success of the other departments and AnswerFirst, as a whole.  Through collaboration and focus these four departments are consistently successful at achieving our mission to provide the best customer service to our clients and our clients’ callers, in a timely fashion and as efficiently as possible.  This post is one of a few blog posts that are about the responsibilities of each of these four main departments and how they interact with each other to make AnswerFirst successful.  Introducing the AnswerFirst Marketing Department...

The goal of the Marketing Department is to develop new and innovative ways to connect with existing and potential AnswerFirst customers.  Marketing is responsible for how potential clients perceive AnswerFirst before they speak to an AnswerFirst Sales Representative and, therefore, is focused on distributing professional, informative, appealing and engaging content across all media including social, web and print.  This department is responsible for teaching potential clients how we are different from our competitors while teaching existing clients about old and new services that we offer.  We are an industry leader in social media with our active Twittter, Facebook and YouTube accounts; we encourage our clients to interact with us via any or all of our social channels.  We believe that interaction with our clients helps to solidify our relationships and leads to superior customer service experiences.  The Marketing Department also develops and implements Internet marketing strategies, working closely with the Sales Department for the purpose of bringing new clients to AnswerFirst and also teaching sales team members how to effectively use social media in their sales efforts. Marketing relies on the IT Department for implementing technology solutions that result in improved marketing agendas and more efficient social and Internet marketing strategies.  The Marketing Department acts as eyes and ears of AnswerFirst; without the Marketing Department we can’t attract new clients or differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

For more information about AnswerFirst's answering services and call center solutions, please visit our wesbite http://www.answerfirst.com or call us at 1-800-645-2616