25 things to look for in your first answering service.

Telephone Questions

You’re ready for your first answering service, but with so many options out there, you have no idea which will work best for your business. We know how tedious the process of selecting the right call center can be. That’s why we put together this list of 25 questions and answers to guide you, based on how things work at SAS.

  1. Is there a free trial? Yes! SAS offers a two-week free trial, no strings attached!
  2. Do you offer both local and toll-free numbers? Yes! Your first number is free. Additional toll-free numbers for add-tracking are available by creating sub account.
  3. Do you have 24-hour coverage? Yes! Our operators are on board 24/7/365, so you can rest assured that you’ll never miss another call, no matter what the hour.
  4. Will there be online access to my account? Yes! Your secure web portal will contain your call logs, messages, scripting, and more.
  5. Do you record calls, and can I listen to them? Yes! Our call center is located in California, a two-party state. That means all calls must be recorded, and will be available for you to download.
  6. Do you offer appointment scheduling? Yes! We prefer Google calendar for appointment scheduling. However, we do have an internal calendar that we can set up for you, and you can make changes to it as necessary. Depending on compatibility with call center systems, we may also be able to schedule appointments through your company’s calendar management software.
  7. Can you record IVR greetings? Yes! We can personalize frontend IVR greetings for you, or if you would like to record your own greeting, simply send us the WAV or MP3 file, and we’ll upload it.
  8. Do you provide voicemail service? Yes! Voicemail can be added to any account, and you can have as many mailboxes as you need at no extra charge.
  9. Can I train your agents on my company’s specific protocols? Yes! We invite you to work with our management team on any particulars that our operators should know before answering your calls. In fact, you can even visit our call center and conduct training in-person!
  10. Do you offer live chat or email response services? Yes! Our live chat and email response services are part of our dedicated agent program, or for high-volume accounts.
  11. How many operators do you employ? SAS has 300+ operators on staff. The number of operators on duty varies during peak vs. off-peak hours.
  12. Do you have a dedicated agent program? Yes! Dedicated agents offer complete support for your business alone, rather than having calls answered at random via the operator pool. Visit our dedicated agent page for details.
  13. Do you staff bilingual operators? Yes! We have Spanish-speaking operators on staff. If you need your calls answered in a different language, you can record frontend IVR in your language that will direct callers to your office.
  14. How quickly will you answer my calls? We aim to answer all calls within 3 rings, and our answer rate is even higher, with 85% of calls answered within the first ring!
  15. How often do you evaluate operator performance? Managers review hundreds of call recordings daily and score the operators in a variety of categories to ensure that issues are addressed and corrected immediately.
  16. Can you track call metrics and provide me with reports to analyze? Yes! Via your secure web portal, you can access different metrics for your campaigns such as number of calls, call duration, and call result.
  17. Are your agents trained in cross-sell and upsell? Our agents can certainly apply cross-sell and upsell techniques to your sales calls, depending on the specific instructions you outline in your call script.
  18. Do you have an activation fee? Should you decide to move ahead with service following the free trial period, there is a one-time activation fee of $50. This will show up on your first invoice.
  19. What types of payments do you accept? Accounts require a valid credit card on file (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) to remain in good standing. However, you can also elect to pay by check as long as payment is received and cleared prior to the invoice due date.
  20. What types of plans do you offer? Our plans range from economy, for small business owners, all the way up to enterprise-level plans. Check out our pricing page for details.
  21. Is there a contract? SAS bills one month in advance, on a month-to-month basis. There are no contracts to sign, and customers can discontinue service at any time by providing 30-days’ notice.
  22. Do you bill per call or per minute? All new accounts are billed on a per-minute basis, with per-minute overage charges when your usage exceeds your plan allotment.
  23. How long is your billing cycle? Our billing cycle is 30 days. Invoices are sent out on or around the first of every month.
  24. What are your payment terms? Payments are due on or before the 21st of every month, which allows approximately 3 weeks to pay from the invoice date.
  25. What if I want to cancel? We require 30-days’ notice in writing for all cancellation requests.

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Specialty Answering Service is a leading call center company, helping fast-growing businesses close sales and deliver amazing live customer support 24 hours a day. SAS' friendly virtual receptionists and customized call handling create an outstanding virtual office experience. There are thousands of small businesses already using our services. Try SAS for free today.

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