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Call Center Services

What is an outsource call center?

An outsource call center is a business with telephone, computer, space, personnel and management resources shared among many clients to professionally answer inbound telephone calls. By sharing the cost of equipping and staffing the number of telephones you need answered at the times you need them answered, you can better utilize your time, personnel and money to focus on the core competencies of your business.

Why should I send calls to an outsource center rather than answer then in-house?

Outsourcing calls allows for costs (equipment, phone lines, space, personnel, management, etc.) to be shared by many users and thus allows calls to be handled more economically and lets you to focus your time and money on what you do best.

Why use American TeleCenters?

You are freed up to focus on building your core business rather than building and managing a room full of telephone reps. For organizations that already have the infrastructure in place, sending overflow and after hours calls to us allows you to be available to your customer 24 hours a day in this 24 hour world while best managing your resources by not staffing when you would get less than 60-65% efficiency out of your internal reps.

What makes American TeleCenters different than the competition?

As a boutique operation, our biggest strength is how our size allows us a far closer relationship with our customers than is offered by most of our competition. You're not just a number here. We know each of our clients very well and strive to be an arm of their organization.

We're easy to do business with - there is not a lot of bureaucracy. There is certainly structure necessary to serve you well but everything from our service agreement to account setups and changes are structured to make the process easy for our customer. We manage the process, allowing you to focus on your business.

We're fair. Our prices are fair. There are not a lot of extra fees or hidden fees. If we make a mistake, we acknowledge it, apologize for it, and fix it.

What are your minimum volume requirements?

Our minimum billing for call center services is only $250/mo., significantly lower than our competition. We can start small and grow with you or provide invaluable emergency or seasonal backup.

What is the largest call volume that you can manage?

We have handled national television campaigns and recalls that generated hundreds of calls an hour. American TeleCenters is licensed for 91 seats between our Georgia and Tennessee offices but with partners with whom we have worked all across the country, we can provide hundreds or even thousands of agents if necessary. We try to 'right size' every project. Putting a small or medium sized project in a large center can be just as detrimental as putting a large project in a small center. Some benefits of using us for larger projects rather than just putting them in a single larger center are our 'hands on' account management, our ease of doing business with, and our extreme attention to detail.

How soon can you set things up?

Normal setup takes 3-4 weeks for most order taking and special services applications although it can be accomplished sooner, even within hours if resources are pulled off of other projects and focused on an emergency application (such as a recall.)

Do you do fulfillment?

Our offices focus on our strength - call center services. We bring all of our resources to bear on answering and processing calls with excellence. We have partners that bring a similar focus to fulfillment and are happy to refer you to the one(s) that best fit your size and type project.

Do you do database management?

We maintain databases on most special services projects but have professional partners with a larger suite of database management services if needed.

How many agents do you have?

American TeleCenters and Anserfone are licensed for over 90 seats between our offices in Georgia and Tennessee but with partners that we have worked with all across the country, we can provide hundreds or even thousands of agents if necessary.

Are you bilingual?

American TeleCenters provides live Spanish language coverage except for the third shift (11p-7a ET) most days and can use voice mail or partners to provide additional coverage if necessary.

Answering for many companies, how can you sound knowledgeable about my company/project?

A combination of technology, training, selection of staff and experience combine here. A specific number is assigned to each project so that when calls come in the rep's computer screen automatically tells about the company, project and product for which he or she is answering. Beyond that, agents are specifically trained on each order taking or special services campaign before it is assigned to their call group. With 60 years of experience we have found that there are certain types of people that excel at this job and we seek those people. The experience also gives us a real advantage in knowing what works well and what does not as we setup accounts and manage them day to day.

How do you get orders back to me?

Each client has its own exports individually prepared for their specific situation. Orders can be sent in batches via email, put on your FTP site, picked up from our FTP site, or written over the internet to your database among other methods. In some cases, urgent or special orders or messages are individually emailed or faxed.

Do you record calls?

American TeleCenters employs digital call recording (logging) technology for quality control. Calls can be accessed within seconds if information needs to be checked or verified by a supervisor. Calls are also randomly selected for regular quality reviews of all operators.

What kind of reports can I get?

Our databases store hundreds of pieces of data that can be used on reports that we customize for you. Numbers of calls, numbers of orders, totals for the day, spread of calls across time periods, average talk time or hold time, and much more can be reported.

What about processing credit cards?

We can process credit cards on your merchant account but usually do not process credit cards. This is usually done at the point of fulfillment.

Can you interface with my systems?

We interface with many systems currently including Mail Order Manager, the MPower donor management software, and several custom programs. This is usually possible on modern systems with import/export routines or accessible SQL databases.

Can I visit your center?

We strongly encourage you to visit our center. Our goal is to be an extension of your company or organization and there is no better way to know a valuable member of your team than face-to-face.

Where are you located?

American TeleCenters is located at 930 Interstate Ridge Road in Gainesville, Georgia - about an hour northeast of Atlanta, America's 9th largest metropolitan area.

Are your agents web-enabled such that they can take orders on my website?

Yes, all of our stations are web enabled although we do suggest that when taking orders on the internet our clients have a separate, very simple page for the call center where all information can be entered on one page rather than operators having to work through multiple pages of pictures and text aimed at the consumer. This allows our staff to most efficiently and economically process your calls.

Do you get CallerID on calls?

Yes, whenever it is provided we get both the caller's number and listed name. The number is automatically written to our databases and stored there. If desired, additional caller information from previous calls and orders can be automatically populated based on the caller's number.

How much will this cost me?

Cost depends a great deal on the scope of the project. It is usually broken into three components - a one time programming fee, a monthly administrative fee, and a cost per minute of operator talk time. The non-recurring programming fee can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the complexity of the account and the time frame in which it needs to be programmed. The monthly administrative fee typically runs $3-8/day depending upon the amount of daily, weekly and monthly recurring maintenance work required for the project. The final component is the actual amount of operator telephone time used. We charge for actual operator talk time only - not hold time, wrap up time, break time, administrative time, etc. We accumulate time in milliseconds and charge by the actual second so a 32 second call is charged for 32 seconds - it is not rounded up to a minute, 2 minutes or 3 minutes.

Another common billing method used by our competition charges a flat amount for an order but the small print says that is for the first three minutes and additional minutes are charged at an additional rate. This is the worst of all worlds for the customer as you are charged for a three or four minute call even when the call center is more efficient and completes the call in two minutes, but you are still charged extra for calls that go longer. At American TeleCenters, we charge you only for what you actually use.

As a general rule, a simple order with name, address and credit card information can be taken in 3 minutes or less if the caller knows what they want, so typically these calls cost less than $3. Longer orders with multiple items, sending things to many different addresses or with a lot of product related questions can take longer than the three minutes but theoretically will also result in larger order totals since they involve more items.

Are you open 24x7?

Yes, our center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. We never close.

Can you take different actions based on different types of calls?

Yes. Our systems are programmed with a script that you provide or we help you develop. That script will determine the caller's need and route through the call processing process according to the answers provided. Different paths often occur for retail versus wholesale orders, routine shipping versus rush shipping, paying by credit card versus paying by check, customer service calls versus orders, etc.

Do you take catalog orders?

Yes. We can handle dozens of items or thousands of items. Pricing and specials can change based on catalog codes, key codes, and special codes. Items can be programmed to offer multiple sizes, colors, or options and can be personalized. Upsell scripts can be incorporated. When we are provided with inventory information, we can advise callers of backorder and discontinued item situations. We can ship to multiple shipping addresses, include gift messages and transmit a preferred shipping date for orders that are not to ship immediately. We handle multiple payment methods and can include shipping tables for multiple shipping methods. Our computers usually keep up with item names, quantities and descriptions but we also keep hard copies of catalogs available at each operator desk for additional reference if needed.

Do you handle Direct Response TV advertising?

Yes. We handle organizations that broadcast locally, regionally and nationally. We handle ongoing projects and specials. Media schedules with markets, channels and times are very important in coordinating this type project.

Do you handle Direct Response Radio advertising?

Yes. We handle a number of ministries that broadcast in markets large and small across the country as well as via internet, podcast and satellite radio. Media schedules with markets, channels and times are very important in coordinating this type project.

Do you handle ministry/prayer calls?

Yes. American TeleCenters is a Christian owned business that handle ministry business including praying with callers in addition to commercial clients.

Do you take seminar registrations?

Yes. We can handle multiple cities, multiple seminars, upsells for media or products in addition to the seminar or extra days for pre- or post- seminar conferences. Our databases can sell a certain number of seats, general admission, or reserved seating.

Can you do recalls?

Yes. While our normal programming and training time frame is 3-4 weeks, in urgent situations like recalls we can redeploy resources and bring an application up within just an hour or two. We can read exact scripts to the callers and all calls are recorded for your protection. We have handled such projects on both regional and national scopes.

Can you take newspaper or magazine subscriptions?

Yes. We can handle pricing based on multiple source or discount codes, multiple subscription lengths, various daily options, etc. Different payment terms can be required for different options. If your advertising is working 24 hours or extended hours, you need people ready and willing to capture those calls when your potential customers want to order. Let us help you with that.

Can you handle class action lawsuits?

Yes. Should you advertise for members of a class locally, regionally or nationally, we can collect the names, addresses and contact information of callers and pre-qualify them for the class based on questions that you provide.

Can you qualify callers for a medical study?

Yes. Should you advertise for people with certain medical conditions locally, regionally or nationally, we can collect the names, addresses and contact information of callers and pre-qualify them for a medical study based on questions that you provide.

Can you refer callers to a nearest dealer?

Yes. Our systems can locate a nearest dealer based on the caller's ZIP code or postal code. Based on a file of locations that you provide, our system will present the operator with a list of the closest ones to the caller with address and telephone numbers. The caller can be given the information on the location, connected through to the location, and/or the location can be emailed a message to contact the caller. If you have multiple products, types of products or classes of products that are not necessarily all carried by all dealers, referrals can also take that into account.

Do you do emergency fundraising?

Yes. While our normal programming and training time frame is 2-4 weeks, in urgent situations like emergency relief situations we can redeploy resources and bring an application up within just an hour or two. These calls can be kept very brief since no product is involved and we are normally only gathering address and credit card information, however gifts can be offered for various levels of giving if desired.

Do you do emergency dispatching?

Yes. Based on criteria that you give us, we can have a central set of people to contact or we can contact dealers or personnel nationwide on calls, refer callers to a local number in their area for help, or connect the caller through to a local number in their area for help. If we are contacting someone for the caller, we have a number of protocols for attempting contacts via telephone, pager, cell phone, text message, and email as well as escalation procedures.

Can you do contests?

Yes. Callers can give us a code that checks against a database for prizes, we can program a random number generator for choosing winners, or you can specify a certain pattern that we should use. In every case, name and address as well as any other questions that you want asked can be collected on every call.

Will you rent your seats for phone banks or special projects?

At times when we do not need to use all seats we will rent a number of seats that you could staff with volunteers or your personnel for a phone bank or special inbound or outbound project so you do not have to setup such a system.

Can I listen to my calls?

Voice files can be requested at any time to confirm quality control. We also have a limited ability to allow clients to listen to calls via a web interface.

Can you tell if a caller has called before?

Yes. We have an optional feature which can save time where we program our systems to automatically fill in information if a caller has called before.

Is my data confidential?

Yes. While we maintain many databases for many companies, they are all separate databases stored in separate accounts. We contractually commit to keeping your data confidential including customer lists, call lists, recordings, and any databases that you provide us such as inventory and dealer information.

Do I have to sign a long term contract?

Due to the extensive work necessary to program and train staff for order taking and special services applications we prefer an annual agreement but can work on shorter terms if necessary.

What if your phones go down?

Both of our offices have extensive redundancies built into our systems and offices including redundant components, battery backups and generators. In a worst case scenario where one of our offices is completely disabled, the other will automatically takeover call coverage until the disabled office is brought back online.

How long have you done this?

Our parent company was founded in 1948 so we have over 60 years of experience answering phones and caring for callers.

Message and Dispatch Center Services

What is a message center or dispatch center?

American TeleCenters operates a message center group in addition to our call center. Message centers have been around for many decades under such names as dispatch centers, paging centers, medical exchanges, physician's exchanges, and telephone answering services. We are a state-of-the-art call center that bring the latest technology and exceptional people together to answer calls for companies and organizations in their name, gather information for them about the call, and then follow their directions in getting that call information back to our client.

Why use a message center like American TeleCenters?

Use us to better serve your customers, get more business, and/or to make your life easier. Better serve your customers by giving them 24 hours access to live people. These same live people can help you gain more business by answering your phone live and offering to help potential customers that are calling rather than leaving them with voice mail or an answering machine. Differentiate yourself from your competition with a live voice - a friendly, professional, knowledgeable live voice with us. Finally you can make your life and your staff's life easier by letting us answer your calls and hold non-urgent issues until you want them and only disturb you immediately with urgent issues. Enjoy your life and your family without being tied to a cell phone or pager around the clock answering non-urgent calls.

What makes American TeleCenters different than the competition?

We have local people that will answer your calls and treat your callers like we treat our neighbors here in North Georgia. Our office is locally owned and managed. We further strive to be easy to do business with - attempting to keep pricing, policies and procedures simple and up front. Our goal is always to tell you how we can do what you want or need instead of why we can't do it. Our expenses are like most answering services so our rates are very similar if comparing apples to apples while leveraging our 60 years of experience to give you more for your money.

Do you answer for my area?

American TeleCenters' office in Gainesville is local to North Georgia and answers locally for Gainesville, Metro Atlanta, Athens, Rome and the many communities surrounding those cities. We pride ourselves in knowing how our neighbors here in North Georgia want to be treated, and treating each of our callers in that way. Clients can and do call forward to us from anywhere in the nation, but our neighbors are here in North Georgia.

How can you answer for so many companies and keep our instructions and messages separate?

Our Amtelco Infinity systems are specifically designed for handling many accounts. Each client account with its particular instructions, messages and voice files is kept separate by account number. When you forward to the number that we assign you, your particular account with your instructions, messages and voice files automatically comes up on an operator screen each time a call comes through.

Answering for many companies, how can you sound knowledgeable about my company?

By forwarding to the number that we assign you, your account automatically appears on one of our operators' screens each time we receive a call for you. The screen includes a personalized message form that lists each of the questions that you want us to ask of each caller, an information section with your permanent business information and instructions, a directory of your staff and their contact information, on-call schedules, and any temporary instructions that you have given. All of that information combined with our training helps us represent you as an extension of your organization.

Are you open 24x7?

Yes, our center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. We never close.

How do you get messages back to me?

Urgent calls are normally paged out, sent to an alphanumeric pager, text messaged to a cell phone, or called out to the cell phone or home phone of the proper on-call person. Non-urgent messages are usually sent via email, sent via fax, left on voice mail, picked up on the internet, or held to be read to you when you call in.

What information can I get in a message?

Almost all messages include who the message is for, who it is from, the caller's telephone number, and what the message is regarding. From there each message slip can be customized with any particular information that you need for your business such as patient name, date of birth, address, etc. All messages are also automatically stamped with the date and time the message was taken, the person that took the message, CallerID information if available, and any dispatch steps taken to get the message to you.

How soon can you set things up?

Most simple dispatch center or virtual office applications can be setup within about one business day and sometimes even sooner if necessary. Complex accounts may take a couple of days.

Can you guarantee that my phone will not ring 10 times?

Yes. We use the latest technology to distribute calls to operators that are standing by to answer your calls and serve your callers. Due to the semi-random nature of calls (they fluctuate with peaks and valleys) there are times that all of the operators will be talking to other callers so we have a special feature on our system that allows the computer to answer after 3-4 rings with a customized greeting asking the caller to wait for a live agent momentarily if a live agent is not available within 18-24 seconds.

Can you guarantee that I'll never be put on hold?

Offering a shared operator service and with dozens of lines coming into each of our offices to try to make sure we do not give busy signals, some calls do have to be put on hold. This is the same as if you have more lines coming into your office than you have people answering them. With our scheduling and procedures the vast majority of our calls are answered live and we strive to keep the number of holds to a minimum. Likewise, if a call must be put on hold we strive to keep that time holding to a bare minimum.

Can you take large volumes of calls?

Yes. Our Georgia and Tennessee offices are licensed for 91 seats. For even larger projects we have a number of partners that we work with throughout the country but that would typically be for large order taking or special services projects.

Can I enter my own on-call schedules?

Functionality coming soon

Yes. Our customers can use our online access to check, add and update their on-call schedules as well as to view or edit our list of their employees and contact numbers.

How long do you keep messages and voice files?

Both voice files and messages are immediately accessible on our systems for a week, on our hard drives for supervisor access for three months, and on external drives for seven years.

How many agents do you have?

We staff each shift based on expected call volume. There are times that we will have just a few agents on and others that we will use a dozen or more for our message center accounts. We have other agents also available that handle larger call center accounts so if you expect to need a larger number of agents our call center services side can handle requirements up to several hundred agents. Agents are split into smaller groups so you will often speak to many of the same operators and they can know you and your account better than if everyone was answering your calls.

Are you bilingual?

American TeleCenters provides live Spanish language coverage except for the third shift (11p-7a ET) most days and can use voice mail or partners to provide additional coverage if necessary.

How do I get my calls to you?

Most of our customers use regular call forwarding through their local phone company where they dial a few digits (72# in most cases) and a number that we provide which is answered in your name. You may also use Call Forwarding-Busy and Call Forwarding-No Answer features through your local telephone company. If using Call Forwarding, they would then dial another code (73# in most cases) to get their calls back. Other clients that have multiple lines coming into a telephone switch which can not use telephone company call forwarding use a feature within their company telephone switch to forward calls. Finally, some companies leave their calls directed at our center all of the time either through a local remote call forwarding number or a toll free number.

Are you HIPAA compliant?

Yes. All of our agents sign confidentiality agreements, data is password protected, and we can provide a Business Associate Agreement (BAA.)

What kind of reports can I get?

Daily lists of messages that are holding as well as all calls relayed can be sent by fax or email. All messages read or unread over the past week can also be accessed through the internet at your convenience. This message report shows the whole message as well as information on the date and time that the call was taken, who took the call, Caller ID number and name if provided, and all dispatch steps taken.

Can you send messages to my alphanumeric pager?

Yes.

Can you send text messages to my cell phone?

Yes.

Can I get a faxed copy of my messages?

Yes, messages can be faxed as taken or in batches each day. Clients are also able to get a faxed recap of calls taken daily.

Can I get messages by email?

Yes, messages can be emailed as taken or in batches each day. Clients are also able to get an emailed recap of calls taken daily.

Can I have a voice mail greeting?

Yes, if you prefer not to have calls answered live, we can play an automated greeting all of the time or at specific times. This greeting can give your office hours or several options to press different numbers to get other recordings or be transferred, can give the caller the option of pressing a number for a live operator, can play then automatically connect to an operator, or can give a tone and record a message from the caller on voice mail.

Can I have calls answered live but pickup messages on voice mail?

Yes, if you prefer to pickup your messages at your convenience by voice mail rather than speaking to a live operator yet still have a live operator answer calls from your clients and record the messages for you, our systems can accommodate you.

Can I combine live service and voice mail?

Yes, we try to customize solutions for our customers. Many of our clients prefer that all calls go to a live operator but others prefer a voice mail greeting that screens off non-urgent calls saving them some money. Others prefer a live answer but prefer to pickup messages on voice mail, another capability of our system. Let us know how we can combine services to serve you.

Can I get voice mail messages emailed to me?

Yes.

Can I pickup messages on the internet?

Yes.

Do you record calls for quality control?

Yes, we attempt to record all calls for quality control. Our supervisors use these recording regularly for evaluating operators and if there is ever a question about what was said or how it was said on a call.

Are you web enabled? Can you take messages on my website?

Yes, all of our stations are web enabled. In order to maximize efficiency of operators when talking to callers, we highly recommend any web applications which you request be limited to a single, easy to understand page with minimal graphics.

Do you get CallerID on calls?

Yes, whenever it is delivered by the phone company we stamp messages with the caller's telephone number and name.

Can you transfer calls back to me?

Yes. This feature is typically called patching in our industry.

How much will this cost me?

Our rates are based on usage and vary based on the number of calls that we answer, the information that we need to get on each call, and what is involved in dispatching the call. We try to keep our rate plans very simple with a base rate that covers having operators available, administrative costs and a monthly allotment of operator time or calls. A second component to most rates is a per minute or per call rate for usage above your monthly allotment if there is any. Accounts using voice mail will usually have a small voice mail fee. Finally, there is a one time programming fee to get things setup. We bill 12 times a year - once for each calendar month. Many services bill every 4 weeks which means you get 13 bills a year, but not with us. Many services also bill extra for holidays but we consider that part of what you pay us for in the first place. Some other services also charge for faxing messages, emailing messages, or internet access but again we consider those part of what you are paying for in our basic packages. Basic packages start at $75-80/month.

Do you take orders?

Yes. This is typically done by our call center staff as they have a great deal of experience dealing with order taking applications which are usually larger than typical message center type applications. Many more questions are answered above in the FAQ section on Call Center Services.

Do you do emergency dispatching?

We are not a 911 center but do handle large volumes of dispatching urgent calls. You give us a list of your on-call staff, preferred contact methods and contact numbers as well as a regular on-call schedule and list of what you consider urgent and we will follow your parameters for dispatch.

Do you handle small businesses?

Yes, we answer the phones for many small businesses. With rate plans starting as low as $75-80/month, we can answer your phones live when you are our serving clients or away from the office. We serve clients that get just a few calls each month to clients that get thousands of calls per month.

Can I listen to my calls?

Both of our offices record all calls for quality control but those records are usually used only internally unless you have a quality concern with a call or if a call is needed to prove proper handling to one of your clients. There are processes available for picking up all calls via voice mail that would also provide a recording of all calls if requested.

Can you tell if a caller has called before?

Most of our traditional accounts store calls for seven days so if a caller or your office references a previous call within that time period, an operator can manually look through your message index for the message in question. Our Intelligent Series software offers an option that can populate message data automatically based on previous calls or even a database that you provide.

Is my data confidential?

Yes. Each of our clients has a separate account that is separate from all other clients. All of our staff sign a confidentiality agreement that everything that they hear on your calls, all messages and all information that they have on your company is strictly confidential.

Do I have to sign a long term contract?

No. We typically work on a month to month agreement - winning your business every month. We do offer 6 and 12 month agreements if you want the security of a guaranteed rate for such a period but our rates do stay pretty stable.

Do you charge extra for holidays?

No, we consider that part of what you pay us for each month.

How many bills will I get each year?

12. We bill once per calendar month. There are many services that bill every 4 weeks which gives them an extra bill each year - 13 total. With our services you will get 12.

What if your phones go down?

We have extensive systems, redundancies and backups to ensure that does not happen but we have a sister office so that if we experience a catastrophic failure, that office can take calls until the problem with the Gainesville office is identified and rectified. We have experienced multiple days without power in both locations in the past due to ice storms and wind storms but have run on generator power when most of our customers and some of our competitors did not have power.

Have you done this very long?

Our Memphis office has been in business for over 60 years. It was established by Odie Graves in 1948 after he finished his time with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II. As he was returning on a ship, he is said to have read in Reader's Digest about some men in Washington, DC that ran an answering service. He returned to Memphis and opened his service with a few phones. Over time that evolved into many phones on shelves, old style plug boards, electronic switch boards, and then multiple generations of computers. We've learned a great deal about what works well and what doesn't in answering and processing inbound phone calls. Mr. Graves wife, Denise Graves, went on to write multiple books including Bell Created A Monster about this industry. Mr. Graves retired in 1984 and passed ownership and management to a new generation that has led the company since then.

In 1996 a senior manager from Anserfone's Memphis office purchased Professional Edge Answering Service in North Georgia which had served Cornelia, Gainesville, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Hiawassee, Blairsville, Toccoa, Jefferson and Athens, Georgia for years. Later in 1996 he combined with Page South's answering services in Gainesville, Athens and Rome, Georgia which had also served North Georgia for many years under the name Response Communications. In 1999 Response bought National Message Center in Roswell, Georgia that had served the Roswell, Alpharetta and Atlanta areas for 30 years and Dunn Communications in Buckhead that had served Atlanta under that name and Correspondence for decades. With every acquisition we have brought many great ideas to the combined company but also learned from each company acquired their best practices.

Can I visit your office?

Absolutely. We strongly encourage you to visit our office that will serve you. You wouldn't hire someone to answer your phones at your office for 8-9 hours a day without meeting them, why trust a message center to answer your calls for 15-16 hours without meeting us in person? You will find our offices located in a professional building, using the latest equipment, with excellent personnel and skilled management. We are very proud of those qualities and are confident that if you visit both us and our competition, we will be your choice as a message center every time.

Where are you located?

Our office is located 60 minutes north of Atlanta in beautiful Gainesville, Georgia. Our office is in the Interstate Ridge office park at 930 Interstate Ridge Road, Suite F which is right off of Exit 22 from I-985.

Medical Exchange

All of the questions and answers in the Message and Dispatch Center Services sections also apply to our Medical Exchange application but below are some specific questions from our medical clients.

Are you HIPAA compliant?

Yes. All of our agents sign confidentiality agreements, data is password protected, and we can provide a Business Associate Agreement (BAA.)

Do you cover after-hours calls only or are you available for daytime backup coverage?

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can cover your calls after hours, during lunch, when you are in a meeting, or any other time that you need potentially urgent calls dispatched to you.

Are you dependable?

We've been is this business for 60 years - since before there were cell phones or even pagers. We have served thousands of physicians over that time and tens of thousands of patients. We've learned from our years or experience and the years of experience of companies that we have acquired how to serve the medical community and serve them well. We've learned of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and addressed those issues. We are definitely one of the most dependable services available.

How do I know that messages will reach me?

Each client helps develop their own delivery instructions. In some cases we call you on your cell phone or at home and deliver urgent messages directly to you so we know that you have the message. In other cases you might call us back after we page you to pickup the message or verify that you have received an alphanumeric page or text message. In cases where we have to page you or leave a message to call us back, our system has reminders built in to prompt the operators to follow up after predetermined amounts of time have elapsed by calling again, trying to reach you with a different contact method, or escalate the call to a backup person. Additional special instructions can also be given for callers calling back or that you might have trouble contacting. Instructions can be included on a pre-recorded greeting reminding callers to remove Call Blocking features on their phone or operators can remind them live to do that as we finish each message. We are here to work with you in developing the best formula for getting every urgent call to you promptly.

How quickly can my messages be delivered?

This largely depends on how quickly you can be reached. Urgent calls are usually immediately dispatched by the operator taking the call or a dispatcher. If we are calling your cell phone, calling you home phone, alpha paging or text messaging you, the call will come right through. If we digitally page you, it just takes until you can get free to call us back. On most medical calls we have a 15 minute escalation to try to reach you again or reach a backup if the initial contact has not been made but those instructions are totally at your discretion.

Can I have a backup copy of all my messages?

Each day we can send you a copy of all messages, routine and urgent, from the prior day by fax or email that you can keep. We keep a copy of all messages and voice files for seven years. If there is a question or some legal issue involving a call that comes up months or even years after the call is taken, we can usually provide you complete details on the call.

What types of medical accounts can you handle?

We handle hundreds of physicians, psychologists, counselors, nursing services, hospices, and medical equipment companies to name a few.

Can you record my calls?

Yes, we record calls for quality assurance.

How do I listen to my recorded calls?

There are several ways of accessing recordings. A standard part of our service is recording all calls for quality assurance. These files are mostly used internally but if you infrequently need a copy of one, we can email the file to you. It would come in a .wav file that most (all Windows, Macintosh, and most Linux) computers have software to play. If you want to listen to all calls, we can flag the account to store a recording of all calls to voice mail and you can access that by dialing our Check-in Line, entering your account number and passcode, and then each call will be played for you to keep or delete.

Can I access my account online?

Functionality coming soon

Yes. We offer online access for picking up messages, viewing or changing on-call schedules, and even listening to recordings.

How do I know if you are answering my calls properly?

The easiest way is just call your office number when you are forwarded to the service or call your forwarding number at any time. We will answer that line in with the phrase that you have given us to use and offer to take a message. We regularly listen to recordings of all of our operators and they are graded on using the answer phrase that you have provided, their professionalism, and many other characteristics.

How do I make changes to my 'on-call' schedule?

Online functionality coming soon

Many of our customers fax over a monthly on-call schedule. That can be changed by faxing over a revised monthly schedule, faxing a notice of a change for a particular day, emailing a change for a particular day, or our making their changes directly to your schedule online. For unplanned changes where you do not have access to email or fax, the on-call person or office can call in and notify us of a change.

Can I get call activity reports delivered to me?

We can send lists of calls each day by fax or email of all of the calls taken the previous day.

Can you transfer my incoming calls directly to me?

Yes. In our industry this feature is called 'patching' a call.

How quickly can my service begin?

In most cases we can start individual practices and offices within one business day. Multi-physician, multi-location, and multi-specialty offices may take a few days more depending upon the complexity of how calls are sorted and dispatched.

Can you schedule appointments for me?

Yes. If we are handling all of your scheduling, we can do that on our systems internally. If you are scheduling some times and want us to enter appointments as well we can accomplish this with online services like Appointment Plus or Turbo Scheduler.

How do I contact you to make changes to my account?

Temporary changes can be called in to your call forwarding number and the operator answering the call, her dispatcher or the supervisor/team leader on duty can make the change. For your protection and ours we ask that permanent changes be faxed or emailed over so we have written documentation that can be added to your permanent file.

Virtual Office

What is a virtual office?

We are in essence a shared receptionist. You may answer your own phone for your small office/home office (SOHO) when you are there and forward calls to us when you are not or you may let us answer all the time. We offer both live and voice mail options as well as combinations of the two.

Why not just use an answering machine or the telephone company's voice mail?

A live receptionist will better represent your company. If you are in a highly competitive industry, a caller that reaches an answering machine or voice mail will often just call the next such provider that they can find. With a live voice, our agent can assure your caller that she is getting someone that can help them to call them back.

Most of my competition uses voice mail so why would I need live service?

To differentiate yourself. Show that you want the business more. Let us help you gain more of the market that is out there.

Why not just use my cellular phone?

Using a cellular phone will either result in interruptions while you are serving your customers or again result in new potential customers hearing voice mail and going on to your competitors. We can answer those calls live, let the caller know you are with someone but will call them back, and send you a text message that can be returned when you finish with the client that you are serving.

How does your receptionist know about my company?

You are assigned a number here that automatically pulls up a screen showing all about your company every time one of your calls come in. In addition to delivery instructions, it can tell us your hours, what you do, other names your company goes by, website information, fax number, address, staff names and positions, and much more.

How can I get my messages?

The most economical ways are automated methods - fax and email if you are in the office or text to cell and alphanumeric paging if you are out. We can also page you on a digital pager, call your home, call your cell, or you may call in for messages but those methods cost a little more as they use more operator time.

Can I have a copy of my messages faxed or emailed with this service?

Yes. If you are out a lot and we are sending messages to you, a summary can be faxed or emailed to your office periodically.

Can I check my messages on the internet?

Yes. At any time you may access your account on the internet and view all undelivered messages and up to seven (7) days of delivered messages.

What types of businesses normally use Virtual Office service?

Repair services, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, business brokers, sales agents, small offices and home offices where a live receptionist is not available during all business hours but calls need to be answered live, etc.

Can you record my calls?

We record all calls for quality control.

How do I listen to my recorded calls?

Our quality control recordings are typically used only internally but if there is a question or concern about a particular call, call your forwarding number and ask for a supervisor/team leader.

How do I know if you are answering my calls properly?

The easiest way is to call your office number when you have the phones forwarded or call your forwarding number at any time. We regularly listen to records of all of our operators and grade them on using the proper answer phrase and professionalism as well as other items.

How do I contact you to make changes to my account?

Temporary changes can be called in to your call forwarding number and the operator answering the call, the dispatcher or the supervisor/team leader on duty can make the change. For your protection and ours we ask that permanent changes be faxed or emailed over so we have written documentation that can be added to your permanent file.

Text Message Dispatch

Will you dispatch to my cell phone?

Yes.

Can I use my digital/numeric pager with Text Message Dispatch service?

Only if you require only a telephone number and want to call numbers back without knowing who called you. Otherwise, we can send a full message with name, number and regarding to an alphanumeric pager, a cell phone that receives text messages, a Blackberry or iPhone, fax or email.

Can you obtain additional information other than the customer's Name, Telephone Number and message at your service?

Yes, message tickets can be completely customized to ask for whatever information that you need but our most basic Text Message Dispatch includes only a name, number and regarding in order to keep costs to a minimum.

How soon can you set up my service?

Basic text message dispatch can usually be setup within one business day.

How does the Text Message Delivery service work if I am away, on vacation, or not able to receive messages the way I normally do?

Calls can be held until your return and then emailed or faxed to you in a batch.

Can I call in for my messages?

On our standard plans you are welcome to call in for messages and have a live operator read them to you but our basic Text Message Dispatch product keeps costs low by using automated methods of delivering calls.

Can I have my messages faxed or emailed with this service?

Yes.

Can I receive my messages on my pager or cell phone when I travel out of the area?

Most cell phones have no problem receiving messages outside of your normal area but you should check with your carrier about their coverage area. Many paging coverage areas are more limited and you need to be careful to check a backup delivery source such as email in case messages are missed while out of the coverage area.

What types of businesses normally use Text Message Dispatch service?

Repair services, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, business brokers, sales agents, small offices and home offices where a live receptionist is not available during all business hours but calls need to be answered live, etc.

Can you record my calls?

We record all calls for quality control.

How do I listen to my recorded calls?

Our quality control recordings are typically used only internally but if there is a question or concern about a particular call, call your forwarding number and ask for a supervisor/team leader.

Can I access my Text Messaging Answering Service messages online?

Yes.

How do I know if you are answering my calls properly?

The easiest way is to call your office number when you have the phones forwarded or call your forwarding number at any time. We regularly listen to records of all of our operators and grade them on using the proper answer phrase and professionalism as well as other items.

Can I get call activity reports delivered to me?

We can send lists of calls each day by fax or email of all of the calls taken the previous day.

How do I contact you to make changes to my account?

Temporary changes can be called in to your call forwarding number and the operator answering the call, her dispatcher or the supervisor/team leader on duty can make the change. For your protection and ours we ask that permanent changes be faxed or emailed over so we have written documentation that can be added to your permanent file.

Voicemail

What is the difference between your voice mail service and that of my local phone company or cell phone provider?

We provide a telephone number with voice mail attached whereas the local phone companies and cell phone carriers attach their voice mail to a telephone number that you would already have with them for either a home or business phone or cell phone.

What are some of the features available with your voice mail service?

Our standard voice mail will answer calls with a greeting up to 120 seconds and then record messages up to 90 seconds each. It will store up to 200 messages at a time for up to 10 days. These basic boxes can also be programmed to only play a greeting and not accept messages. Basic boxes can also be programmed to play the CallerID of each call where it is available before the message. The system will allow you up to 15 simultaneous calls at any given time.

Our expanded voice mail box offers all that a standard box does plus can extend the greeting time beyond 120 seconds, extend the message length beyond 90 seconds, the message storage limit above 200, the storage time beyond 10 days, and/or page or call you each time a message is received.

Do you offer any special options beyond your standard and expanded plans?

Our systems offer a number of special options. Voice forms allow you to ask a series of questions with the caller pressing a key after each question and then putting all the parts together as one voice mail for you. Voice mail trees allow the caller to press different numbers for different options - a caller might press 1 for directions, 2 for rates, 3 to leave a message, etc. or press a different number for different people in an organization. The system can allow callers to press a number to reach a live operator or to be connected directly to you at your home, work or cell phone number. If you have multiple boxes such as a sales organization, messages can be transferred to other boxes or broadcast to all boxes. Different messages can be played at different times of the day or day of the week. Callers can press a digit to mark a call urgent and trigger a different response than for a routine call. Calls that are paged or called out can work through an escalation list until the message is picked up. Other options are available as well. If you have an application in mind, call us to discuss whether the system can be programmed to accommodate your need.

What might some applications for this type of service be?

Employment lines, home for sale, car or boat for sale, announce weather closing for sports teams, clubs and associations, RSVP line, automated receptionist, multi-level marketing, promotional line, classified ads, audio suggestion box, absentee reporting line, whistleblower hotline, etc.

Could my voice mail transfer important calls to a live operator?

Yes.

Could my voice mail transfer important calls to my home, office or cell phone?

Yes.

What numbers do you offer?

We offer Atlanta numbers, Adairsville numbers that are local to Rome, and Athens numbers.

How do I access my messages?

You can retrieve messages by dialing your number from any telephone, pressing the access key and then entering your passcode.