Aug 31 2011
Category: Advice & Information
An answering service can be very useful in many different types of industries. There is no cap for the numbers of businesses in the United States that are using an answering service. Larger sized businesses have begun to use telephone answering services to replace the once useful receptionist in order to maximize employee utilization in the workplace or office. In fact, it is becoming increasingly popular for smaller sized businesses to begin their endeavors purchasing different packages or answering services that companies offer, for the same purpose!
No matter what industry a business is in, an answering service company can be useful for many different reasons. Some of the most popular types of industries that utilize an answering service for their benefit include the:
Aug 29 2011
Where did all the manners go? More and more people are beginning to notice that the interactions between those coming in contact with each other, whether it be by phone, internet, or in person, are becoming less polite and more indifferent. Most of us can remember parents and teachers chiding children on good behavior, respect, and proper manners.
When put into constant practice, these habits make a person polite. Being polite is more than just remembering what you have been told; it is the sincerity of treating everyone else just as you would want to be treated. In a country wide search for good manners, Specialty Answering Service, a nationwide call center, performed an informal study of the attitudes present throughout a number of cities. The cities were then ranked in accordance with the politeness of the area population.
The top 10 most polite cities in the US are:
Aug 28 2011
Specialty Answering Service, a multi location National Call Center has responded to Hurricane Irene, and the havoc that she has wreaked through the eastern portion of the United States. Specialty has locations in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. While every east coast call center has been threatened by Irene, none have been majorly affected by the storm. The mere threat of a hurricane striking an answering service is cause for concern. Specialty was forced to deal with examining their emergency plans, should one (or more) of their locations need to close due to an emergency.
Aug 27 2011
Category: Funny (We Think So)
Apparently, the assurance on the part of operators that work in telephone answering services that say no ma’am, they’re not in India isn’t enough for some customers. In certain cases, they’ll go to extreme lengths to berate their operators with questions so intricate that even born-and-bred American operators can get frustrated. Take my advice—if you have the notion to ask your operator these questions, you should really rethink this plan; is the answer really that big of an issue? Especially since you might just be contacting a now disgruntled American operator.
Aug 26 2011
Category: Answering Service Lifestyle
As a member of the call center community, I am amazed at how many misconceptions there are of our industry. When people hear the word call center, they picture an overseas operation located in India or The Philippines. Yet, more often than not, when someone reaches a call center, they are reaching someone right here in the USA. The reason for this is often times United States call centers are able to provide a seamless transition, making many callers unaware that they have even reached a call center. When a U.S. caller reaches an overseas contact center, the results are not usually so pleasant. Handling even the simplest queries is often a challenge for operators abroad. These incidents are extremely frustrating, but have provided tons of comedic material.
Aug 22 2011
Category: Funny (We Think So)
Ar are not unique in our marketing campaigns. We are one of a million (give or take) answering services that offer a free trial period. Of course, we want our customers to sign up after the free trial, but there is no pressure if they want to quit. We take it as a loss but and always try to come away learning something about why they quit. Maybe they had men answering their phones and wanted only women. Perhaps they were placing test calls and spoke with an operator with an accent that disturbed them. For whatever reason, we do lose customers during our trial period.
What is interesting is when we lose a customer for no real reason and that customer comes back a few days, or weeks later trying to get a free trial again. There is that faction of people that are always trying to get something for nothing, and try they do. We have had people try to sign up for our trial service under multiple names, changed business address, even calling back up with accents and claiming ignorance to the other trial we thought they had already received. Well, it’s time to set the record straight. If you are going to steal service from a company, at least respect the company and steal it right. Here are a few tips to get free answering services for at least a few months (or maybe years) before people catch on:
- Don’t Keep Taking the Free Trial With The Same Company: A common mistake people make is to get a free trial, quit, then call up the company a few days (or even hours – yes it happens) later and try to sign up for the service again. There is no disguise, no funny accents, no new phone number, just the same person quitting and trying to hit the reset button. This method will not work. Once you have exhausted one trial, move onto another company and try rotating back to the original company after a few months.
- Make Sure The Other Companies You Call Aren’t Owned By Any of Your Previous Conquests: In the answering service world, many companies will buy multiple domains or have different online identities as a lead capture method. The wise thief will do their homework before contacting the next service they are trying to game. Do a little research. Try a Whois search or at least google the telephone number or address on the site to see if it comes up in any other website. There is a good chance your next victim could have be the same company as your last. Be a nerd about it. Keep a running excel file noting time, date, who you spoke to, mailing address, toll free numbers, etc.
- Get A Different Phone Number & Business Name: If you use a service like RingCentral or Grasshopper, you can easily have hundreds of telephone numbers at your disposal. When you are jumping from service to service, always sign up with a different telephone number, different company name, and different mailing address. In fact, you’d better wipe away all records of your past identity. You should also change your contact name, email address, fax number, how you want your phones answered, etc. Anything the company has on file from your last trial will easily be matched so you really need to change everything.
- Don’t Be Scared to Use an Accent: Many smaller answering services only have a few customer service representatives. It is usually the same person doing billing, collections, and managing customer problems. If this person is good at their job, you will need to fool them. We recommend trying to disguise your voice with an accent. Perhaps something French or Australian. Something that’s very obvious and will completely separate you from your past. If you are a fan of the movies, try someone famous like Sean Connery or Gimli, that dwarf from the Lord of the Rings. Now there was an accent!
- Deny. Deny. Deny.: There is nothing worse than getting caught trying to steal service. If you do, just don’t pick up the phone from that company or answer any emails. If they do catch you off guard, you need to be prepared to deny everything. Even if you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar, keep denying. At this point you won’t be able to use their service but you will have your pride.
If you follow the points above, it will definitely improve your changes of getting free answering services for a few months or more. Remember to take good notes, be smart, and be creative.
Aug 21 2011
Category: Advice & Information
Government offices need to be run efficiently and professionally. To manage their after-hours or office hour inbound telephone traffic, many state and local agencies are turning to telephone answering services to manage their phone calls. Call center representatives can meet your agency needs and dispatch your calls. Whether an agency is local, state of federal; call centers can handle any variety of calls from answering questions about local township events to taking payments over the phone for sewer bills. Custom packages are made to help you and your jurisdiction run more smoothly.
Jul 16 2011
Category: Regional Answering Service
The issue of rapid expansion and map location used to plague every growing buisness. Shipping, finding qualified employees and finding larger offices in the vicinity of the old, small offices was a huge issue that seemed to loom over every decision made by a buisness. However the ‘information age’ and new wireless technology coupled with telephone answering services has changed the buisness world irrevocably, including changing the gravity of this situation.
Jun 21 2011
This is a guest blog by Kieron at PackNet. For more information on guest posting opportunities on this blog, please contact us.
If you run a business and telephone enquiries are important to help you generate new clients, then you should be maximising each call you receive to ensure no opportunity is missed. Companies of a big enough size will typically have a sales team – or at least a sales person or an answering service – that will be used when a new telephone enquiry is received, and people may often think that is enough, but what about the calls that are being missed?
Nobody can be on hand 24/7 to take a call, so here we look at 4 ways you can stop leaking new potential business opportunities due to missing telephone enquiries.
Jun 20 2011
Category: Advice & Information
The first few months or weeks of any business are an especially hectic time. Business owners and employees alike are often frazzled and overwhelmed by the amount of tasks at hand. The furthest thing from anyone’s mind during these times is answering phones or handling voicemail.
One of the best reasons for using an answering service as a new business is that is provides an image of professionalism. Having a well-trained live person answering phones for a company creates an image of efficiency and stand-out customer services. This image lent to a fledgling business by the utilization of an answering service can help establish a business within a community and can help bolster its reputation.
Read the full blog post