A Telephone Answering Service (TAS) is a company such as RED that answers incoming calls for other businesses. These calls may be transferred (patched) to an employee's phone; a message delivered by email or SMS; a diary updated; orders taken; payment processed; CRM system updated.
Not all TAS offer all these services – RED does.
A TAS will help prevent you losing business if you’re not able to answer the phone or your calls go to the ‘dreaded’ voicemail – industry stats (Henley Business Centre) show that 70-80% of people do not leave messages – they simply look for an alternate supplier who has a real person answering the phone.
For any business, engaging a TAS is a cost effective alternative to hiring a dedicated receptionist. You can use the service as much or as little as you need.
All calls can be routed to your outsourced Receptionists or just those that can’t be answered when you’re busy or simply don’t want to be interrupted.
Call Answering Hours
Office Hours- Calls areanswered throughout the day (including the lunch hour) from 08.30 until 18.00 weekdays.
Extended Hours- If you’d like us to answer your telephone in the evening and at weekends, or for the full 24/7 cycle we can do that too.
Holiday Cover- We can even answer your calls on an ad hoc basis for a day when you’re ill or suffer staff shortages, or for a week or fortnight to cover your holidays.
Calls answered in your Company Name
RED usessoftware that identifies the destination of each incoming call which enables us to answer with the appropriate greeting, typically, "Good morning (or Afternoon), Widget & Co, Karen speaking, how may I help?". If you require a different greeting you simply let us know when we’re setting the service up for you.
Send your messages via email or SMS
Messagesare sent immediately by email or text assoon as the call ends. Faxes can be sent but are used less and less frequently.
Transfer (patch) calls to a landline or mobile number
Calls can be transferred (or 'patched') through to any standard telephone number. Calls to Mobiles will cost a little more. You can specify which types of calls, or callers, you want transferred. We announce the caller before connecting you so you have the option of declining the call discreetly.
Backup for your messages
All messages are stored in a secure partition of RED’s database and can be recalled if necessary.
The Date and Time calls were received, is stored by sophisticated call logging software.
RED will give you a unique, dedicated telephone number.
You can put this number on your business cards, van or car, marketing material or advertising, or simply use it for diverting.
If you already have a business landline or virtual number, you simply route it to the number RED gives you.
We can also ‘port’ most numbers to our telephony portal, so we can manage the number for you as well.
You have control of the divert
You can divert your calls on a permanent basis if you would like us to answer all your calls. If you’d like to answer some yourself then RED advises clients to set up the divert so that calls will come to us when your number is busy or unanswered. This is like having extra business lines in your office.
Your calls are routed to RED
The name of your company appears on the PA's screen - this is how they know how to answer the call.
Calls can be transferred, or a message taken
They can be transferred (or 'patched') to any landline or mobile number, although mobile calls cost a bit more. Messages can be sent by email or text. Some companies charge extra for SMS – RED doesn’t.
The more information you provide, the more professionally your calls can be answered.
At RED we take pride in how we familiarise ourselves with all our clients, such that callers assume they’re talking to someone in your business. High volume call centres don’t have the time to do this.
RED has a rigorous set-up procedure to ensure we know everything we need to be able to handle your calls professionally and in accordance with your business ethic.
We will want to know what your business does, who the employees are and their responsibilities, how you want us to handle calls, who your VIP callers are and also who you would like to ‘blacklist’ so their calls don’t get through.
RED filter blacklisted calls and cold sales calls, so you don’t waste money paying for messages you really don’t want. Call centres will start the charging process as soon as the phone rings – RED doesn’t.
This is what we’re good at – our experience helps us know what’s important. And we send you or talk you through the set-up procedure so you don’t have to waste any time getting started.
We are your Virtual Staff. Keeping us up-to-date will ensure the best quality service.
Keep us up-to-date
RED’s ability to represent your business and to provide top-quality customer service is dependent on us knowing:
- Employees joining or leaving your company
- Internal restructures, promotions etc
- Employee daily or weekly whereabouts (leave, illness, appointments)
- Change of telephone numbers or email addresses
- New products, recalls or changes to existing products
- New services or changes to existing services
You market your businesses services or products but you aren’t able to respond to telephone enquiries. You could be with clients, working on a project deadline, seldom in the office or you just don’t want to be interrupted by the phone when you’re busy.
Missed calls = missed potential new sale.
You can choose to have RED take all your calls, just as if you had a front-of-house Receptionist;
You can have calls diverted when your phone is engaged;
You can have calls diverted when your phone is unanswered; or
You can divert all calls for a period of time – when you’re in a meeting, ill, or on holiday for instance.
RED advises setting up the ‘Divert on Engaged’ and the ‘Divert on Unanswered’ and leaving that in place. The divert facility is recognised by your provider and calls routed accordingly.
IMPORTANT - Before getting your Telephone Answering Service in place, ensure your provider has enabled Call Diversion on your account – this will probably have a small monthly or quarterly fee. Allow 24-48 hours for this to be activated.
When you sign up for service RED will send you a confirmation of the divert number you’ve been allocated and instructions on how to divert depending on which provider you’re using.