December 2018 | Redding Answering Service

Monthly Archives: December 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

From our workplace family at Redding Answering Service, we want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.

May you have a joyous holiday with family and friends.

Document Your Call Forwarding Instructions

Make Sure Everyone in Your Office Can Easily Turn On and Off Call Forwarding

Most answering service clients use call forwarding to route their calls to their service. Call forwarding is a smart, effective, and reliable method to send your calls to your answering service whenever you want them to answer your phone.

Call Forwarding Is Fast and Simple

Call forwarding is also easy to use. It only takes a few seconds to activate call forwarding when you leave your office in the evening. And it takes even less time to deactivate call forwarding when you arrive in the morning.

The people who regularly turn on and off call forwarding learn to do it without even thinking. However, what happens if the person who regularly does this isn’t available? It may not be so quick or so easy for someone else to figure out. And this is especially true if your activation and deactivation process requires an extra step or two that the phone company’s standard instructions don’t cover.

Write Out Call Forwarding Instructions

Therefore you need to write down the steps to activate and deactivate call forwarding. Once you’ve done this, ask someone who’s never done it before to see if they can follow the written steps to turn on and then turn off call forwarding, without any prompting or assistance.

Based on that experience, fine-tune the instructions. Then repeat this process until you have it perfect. Now anyone in your office can easily follow the instructions to successfully activate and deactivate call forwarding.

Post Call Forwarding Instructions by Your Phone

Now that you have a set of can’t-miss steps to activate and deactivate call forwarding, prominently post this procedure next to your primary telephone in the office. Don’t leave this piece of paper laying loose on the desk, stuffed into a folder, or filed in the operations manual. Fasten it to your phone or right above it. Bonus points if you laminate it. This will make it look more important and less likely for someone to accidently throw it away.

Prepare for Holidays, Vacations, and Absences

Just because one person regularly handles activating call forwarding each evening and deactivating call forwarding each morning, doesn’t mean they’re always going to be available to do it. You may even have a backup person to handle this when the primary person isn’t there.

But what happens when neither one of them are in the office? During holidays, vacations, and special employee schedules, you’ll run into times when the people who’ve mastered call forwarding aren’t around to do it. That’s why we’ve gone through these steps to be prepared.

Conclusion

It may seem like a hassle to write out your call forwarding instructions and post it by the phone. But you’ll be glad you have it when it’s time to go home in the evening and there’s no one there who’s ever turned on call forwarding. Take these steps now, and save yourself aggravation later.

 

With a decades-long record of offering telephone answering service to the northwest region and across the United States, Redding Answering Service is committed to providing advanced, first-rate telephone answering service to your company. Let us help you maximize your communication effectiveness—at a cost-effective price—to drive bottom-line results. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer who covers the answering service industry.

Answering Service Case Study: Art Teacher Launches Business

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Theresa Alacante has been making fine, hand-made ceramic tiles for upscale clients for twelve years. After she graduated with her Masters in Fine Arts from UC Davis, she taught art in the public school system. At the same time she designed and crafted fine hand-made ceramic tiles on the side.

Theresa’s reputation grew. Many upscale designers began specifying her work on major construction and design projects. Soon, Theresa realized she had to make a choice. In order to meet demand, she gave up teaching to pursue her business full time.

As a new small business owner, Theresa attempted to handle all of the tasks her growing business demanded. She even kept a cordless telephone on her glazing table and juggled purchasing, inventory management, and customer orders herself. A friend helped her launch a website and later a printed catalog that she sent to designers around the state.

She soon found she had as little time to concentrate on her art now as she did when she was teaching. Because she worked from a home studio, Theresa was reluctant to hire staff, which would have subjected her to various health, labor, and safety regulations that did not otherwise apply to her as a small, home-based business.

In order to cope Theresa outsourced her telephone calls to a virtual receptionist service provided by a telephone answering service. Later she rolled over her 800 number so her catalog orders could be accepted along with her routine calls. Thanks to the proficient staff and sophisticated order-taking software at the answering service, her callers were greeted by professional operators who could answer questions and process orders.

A few months later her work was featured in a national designers trade publication,  and Theresa’s business was inundated with requests for her catalog. The answering service took every one of the calls that flooded in. They even mailed the catalogues for her, over a thousand of them.

“There is no way we could have coped with all those phone calls and catalogue requests,” Theresa said. “It was all my husband and I could do to keep supplies coming in and orders going out. If someone had told me a year ago how much this would have grown, I’d have never believed it. But thanks to my answering service it was all manageable, and we couldn’t be happier!”

 

Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Contact us to learn how a telephone answering service can answer your calls 24/7 to better serve your customers.

When Can Your Answering Service Answer Your Calls?

Select an Answering Service That Provides Scheduling Flexibility

Telephone answering services answer your phone calls when you’re not available to do it yourself. There are variations in what this looks like, with clients picking the coverage plan that best applies to their situation. However, circumstances change, and you might need a different level of coverage.

Make sure your answering service can quickly adjust to accommodate your changing needs whenever that occurs. Here are some common answering service coverage options.

Afterhours Answering Service Coverage

When we think of a telephone answering service, our first consideration usually goes to afterhours answering service coverage. That is, when your office is closed, the answering service answers the phone for you. This includes evenings, weekends, and holidays. For many businesses, after hours coverage serves as the entry point for using an answering service. Some businesses remain in this mode for a long time, while others supplement after-hours coverage with other phone answering options.

Overflow Answering Service Coverage

Phone calls seldom arrive at a regular, easy-to-handle pace. Instead they seem to come in batches. You might go a half an hour with no phone calls, and then two come in at once, closely followed by a third. This need to juggle simultaneous calls keeps a single receptionist hopping—for a couple of minutes. Sometimes, if too many calls come in on top of each other, a lone receptionist can’t get them all, and some people hang up in frustration.

This is where an answering service can help. They can take those extra calls for you. Let’s say your receptionist can handle up to two calls at a time, but when there’s three or more, your answering service can get those. And since your answering service has multiple people working every shift, accommodating multiple simultaneous calls is much easier for them to deal with.

Answering Service Coverage as Needed

A third option is on-demand coverage. This means that your answering service isn’t regularly scheduled to answer your calls, but when you need them to, they’re available. This works great for entrepreneurs and small companies. For example, if you’re the only one in the office and need to step out, just forward your phone lines to your answering service. They’ll take care of your calls until you return and turn off call forwarding.

24/7 Answering Service Coverage

Some companies, however, want their answering service to answer every call for them, around-the-clock. This includes after office hours and during office hours. In these cases, the answering service answers their calls 24/7. This frees up your staff to focus on other things, without the interruption of a ringing telephone.

Application

With these options, many answering services offer their clients scheduling flexibility, with afterhours answering service coverage, overflow coverage, as needed coverage, and 24/7 coverage. Choose the scenario that best fits your business, but make sure your answering service will allow you to switch to a different coverage option without hassle and without delay when you need to.

This is because someday, you will need to change your answering service coverage. Make sure your answering service can change with you.

With a decades-long record of offering telephone answering service to the northwest region and across the United States, Redding Answering Service is committed to providing advanced, first-rate telephone answering service to your company. Let us help you maximize your communication effectiveness—at a cost-effective price—to drive bottom-line results. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer who covers the answering service industry.