Most of our customers use some type of Call Forwarding through their telephone company to get calls to American TeleCenters, although some companies with PBX or IP telephone systems use a forwarding feature within their telephone system.
Regular Call Forwarding - requires you to dial a code to send the calls to the answering service and then dial another code when you want to take your calls back. Different telephone companies use different codes but the most common are:
Call Forwarding-Busy- is a feature where calls automatically forward when your line is busy. This is setup through your telephone company if you are using regular call forwarding or through your telephone system vendor if you have a PBX or IP phone system. In either case, they just need to know the number to which you want calls forwarded and they will program that for you.
Call Forwarding-No Answer- is a feature where the phone automatically forwards if not answered after a certain number of rings. Just as your cell phone will normally go to voice mail after a certain number of rings, your phone can go to the answering service after a certain number of rings. This is also programmed by your telephone company so you call your telephone company and tell then the number that you want calls forwarded to and how many rings you want to allow (usually 2 or 3.)
Remote Call Forwarding- is a feature where you do not have to be at your office to forward your lines. Some internet based telephone companies have you login to a website to forward a number while legacy carriers like AT&T have you dial a special number, dial your number and a PIN, then dial the number to which you want calls forwarded.
Most of our customers use some type of Call Forwarding through their telephone company to get calls to American TeleCenters, although some companies with PBX or IP telephone systems use a forwarding feature within their telephone system
Regular Call Forwarding- requires you to dial a code to turn off call forwarding so they again start ringing to your office again. Different telephone companies use different codes but the most common are:
Dial your voice mailbox number
To listen to your messages:
After the message ends:
To change your passcode:
Reset your call forwarding
Most issues involving failed message delivery are due to small but often overlooked problems.
We have live operators standing by 24 hours a day to answer, process and dispatch calls with our state of the art call processing computer systems. We have hundreds of telephone numbers coming into that system and assign a different number to each of our clients. When you want us to answer calls, just call forward to the number assigned to you. We work with you to understand your business and put those details into our computer. Things like your business hours, fax number, email address, website, street address, directions, staff list, and any additional information like specialties or rates are listed so operators can answer common questions. The computers also have a variable message ticket that is customized to gather the information that you would like from callers such as name, telephone number, address, message, etc. on various types of calls. As messages are taken the system prompts operators to dispatch them according to client instructions; this could mean holding a message for fax or email to the office, or urgent calls can be called out, paged, texted, or sent by an encrypted messaging app.
American TeleCenters got it's start as Anserfone By Graves in Memphis, Tennessee in 1947. Anserfone was founded by Odie Graves after having served a tour with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific in World War II. After returning home, Mr. Graves put a telephone on a desk and started an answering service with his first client. He filled his desk with phones and then shelves of phones; later he upgraded to plug boards and then switchboards and eventually computers. Mr. Graves sold the business to Stan Cooper in 1984 who would continue to innovate with technology for the next 30 years. In 1996 Marvin Cooper left Memphis to open a sister office in Gainesville, Georgia that would become American TeleCenters. American TeleCenters is built on lessons from Mr. Graves' initial 37 years, Stan Cooper's 30 years, and now Marvin Cooper's 20 plus years.
Yes, we never close. We staff live operators 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Not unless you want to; we normally work from a month-to-month Service Agreement with the philosophy that we want to earn your business every month. With this model, we have customers that have been with us over 20 years. Customers that would like a longer term agreement can sign a 12 or 24 month agreement if they wish.
American TeleCenters serves customers large and small. The biggest factor in pricing is how much operator time a client will use. While there are answering services and call centers that bill many different ways, we find billing by operator time most fair. American TeleCenters' most common entry level virtual office or dispatch package costs $119/month and includes 100 minutes of operator time. We bill for actual operator talk time, not rounding each call up to the next minute, half minute, or even 6 seconds. Billing for actual operator talk time also means that we do not bill for ring time, hold time if there is any, administrative time, time waiting on calls, break time, or wrap up time - we just bill when actually connected to you or your callers on the phone. We are also very straight forward with our billing, not nickel and diming our clients for little extra fees like faxing or email fees; or periodic archival, holiday or line fees. We bill by the calendar month, not on a 28 day cycle that creates a 13th bill every year. So with us, cost is going to largely depend on how much operator time that you use which is most affected by the number of calls you get, how much information that you want us to get from callers, and what you want done with calls. We have clients that bill as little as less than 100 minutes to clients billing tens of thousands of minutes. A brief interview with our sales team can produce an estimate of how much operator time that you might need.
You can change to a larger or smaller plan that we offer with just a fax, email or written letter to our office. The change will take effect on the next billing period. Our sales staff is always happy to discuss your usage and plan options with you. Most of our calling plans are in hundred minute increments.
We are always disappointed to see clients go and if something is not exactly to your liking we request the courtesy of notification of a problem and an opportunity to fix it. If a client needs to leave for any reason on our month-to-month Service Agreement, all that we ask is 30 days written notice. We do ask for it in writing to avoid any misunderstanding; this can be by fax, email or written letter.
Never. Our call center is located in Gainesville, Georgia, about an hour northeast of Atlanta and our primary staff is all in that general area. Even our emergency backup staff is in Alabama.
Yes, approximately 2/3 of our staff if bi-lingual.
We are a family owned communications company on our third generation of leadership. We are not the new kids on the block; we have learned a lot over the past 70 years and have evolved with technology and society. As a family owned organization, you are not lost in some big corporate structure; our leadership and management is easily reachable. We focus entirely on communications with the goal of being best at that not medical waste, warehousing, product fulfillment, or other distractions. We are innovative and can adapt quickly. It has also been our passion for 20 years to be easy to do business with. Tell us what you need and we will do what we can to break down the barriers to delivering just that.
Yes, Verizon and Sprint use *72 immediately followed by the number that we have given you to which to forward while AT&T Wireless has you use a button on the Settings app then Phone to forward an iPhone or the Phone app on Samsung Galaxy. If you forward your cell phone, we can still text or email you, but any calls going to the phone including from us will go to our call center.
Yes, we can have multiple on-call schedule on each account. You determine how your on-call groups are defined whether it be by hospital, specialty, product, etc.
Many companies have faxed or emailed us a monthly or weekly schedule which we manage. We also have online access if you prefer to manage your own on-call calendar. Finally, you can call in daily if desired, but we recommend one of the other methods. Of course, if there is an emergency and it is necessary to change on-call on the fly, that can be done with just a quick phone call to your forwarding number
Yes. We maintain BAA's with our medical clients and confidentiality agreements with all of our staff. Our staff is trained in patient confidentiality procedures.
Yes. We primarily use Qliq at this time but have also connected with TigerText and our systems are capable of miSecure messaging. With American TeleCenters you are not restricted to just an internally branded secure messaging product.