1. When I hire several new people and need to add their names, home telephone numbers and mobile phone numbers so Business Connections can reach them, what should I do?
Fax us an updated list of the names (first & last) and phone numbers and we’ll update your account. Please allow us a few hours to make the necessary changes. Updates after 4pm may not occur until the next business day. Our fax numbers are listed above.
2. When is the best time to inform the Telephone Receptionists who will be on-call for the evening & weekend?
Between 9am-11am and 2pm-4pm. Our peak calling times are early in the morning, during lunch hours and after 4:30pm when clients’ offices are closed. If you call during our peak calling times, our service to your callers and other accounts is degraded since a Telephone Receptionist is taken out of call rotation updating your account. A better alternative is to fax us your on-call list each week or month.
3. What is Call forwarding?
Call forwarding is a feature of your phone service from your telephone company, usually AT&T, Century Link, Verizon or Comcast. Here are the two most popular types of call forwarding.
Call forward busy or don’t answer:
Calls are automatically transferred to Business Connections when all of your lines are busy, or after a preset number of rings. (+) Everything is automatic. You never need to activate or deactivate call forwarding. If all of your lines are in use, calls will be transferred to Business Connections. A GREAT way to prepare for a disaster (i.e. contractor digs up your phone line, Ice Storm, Earthquake, Wind Storm, Tornado or Flood eliminates electricity at your office)…remember multi-line phone systems need electricity to operate. If the above disaster occurs your phones will still be answered 24 hours a day by a Helpful Human at Business Connections since the call forwards to us after the 3rd ring and this is done at the phone company central office.
Variable call forwarding:
Allows you to choose a number to which all incoming calls will be directed. Once this feature is activated, you cannot answer calls. When activated, multiple calls can be answered by Business Connections, even if you only have a single telephone line. (+) Calls are immediately transferred to the answering service; therefore your customers are greeted A.S.A.P…fewer rings means better service. (–) You need to remember to activate and deactivate call forwarding whenever you leave your home or office.
To Activate Variable Call Forwarding:
A) Dial “*72” or “72#”; after
B) You will hear two short tones, then the normal ringing signal. As soon as you hear normal ringing signal hang up and dial “*72” or“72#” again. This second time you’ll hear 2 short tones and a dial tone. This confirms that Call Forwarding
To Deactivate Variable Call Forwarding:
A) Dial “*73” or “73#”. You’ll hear two short tones followed by a dial tone. This confirms that Call Forwarding has been de-activated.
1) When utilizing Call Forwarding Variable, as a reminder signal that your service is activated, your telephone will ring a half ring each time an incoming call is forwarded. The call cannot be answered at your location.
2) Your telephone can still be used for outgoing calls even though we are answering your incoming calls.
3) When activating Call Forwarding Variable, you must dial from the phone number that you wish to Call Forward calls from. (FYI – some phone companies offer Remote Access where you can call a toll free number from anywhere to activate or deactivate call forwarding)
4) All calls will continue to be forwarded until you deactivate your service.
4. I’m having problems with my account; whom should I talk with to get the problem corrected?
Call one of the above phone numbers and ask for Dirk or Stuart. We can also run detailed statistics on any call providing us with the following data: How many times your phone rang before we answered, if the call was put on hold, total hold time, total time we spoke with the caller, amount of time taken to contact on-call people, what time we answered the call and what time the call was delivered, etc.
5. If someone calls to ask for my Fax number or any other information and a message is not taken, does this count as a call?
Yes. Any activity on your line is counted as a call (i.e. calling emergency messages to on-call personnel, paging, giving out information to the caller, etc…). Even though you’re not getting a message, your caller is provided personalized service, which generates
6. How many telephone secretaries do you employ…I want my phone answered as quickly as possible?
Our goal is to answer your telephone within the third ring or less. We achieve this goal within a 95% confidence level every day. Another statistic we look at each day is how many calls do we put on hold.
Staffing enough people at the right time is the key to success. Every day we print out a graph that shows the number of calls we took in 30-minute increments and we are able to forecast our staffing requirements for the next day. We utilize the fastest, most state of the art equipment and employ 28 Telephone Receptionists. During the last 15 years our Telephone Receptionists increased productivity 63% due to new technologies, and we’re providing much better service to your callers today.
7. How much background noise will my callers hear?We’ve designed the call center to minimize background noise. Each Telephone Receptionist uses a special noise-canceling microphone on his/her headset – when he/she isn’t speaking and is listening to the caller,
8. What are my options for picking up messages?
There are four methods for receiving your messages:
1) Receive your text messages (words + numbers) on your Smart Mobile Phone (i.e. Apple I-Phone, Blackberry or Android). After our telephone secretary has completed taking the message from the caller, he/she enters another keystroke and sends your complete text message. We can also send a copy to your office e-mail address. You benefit because you can immediately review your detailed message and decide exactly what response is appropriate without calling in. Beat your competition by responding to
2) Internet/E-mail Messages – your messages can be delivered to you via your Internet connected E-mail. You may use this service as your primary message retrieval method, or to simply have back-up copies of your messages archived at your location
3) Fax Messages – copies of your messages are faxed to you at a set time each day.
4) Call in at your convenience and listen to messages from voice mail. Over 80% of our customers utilize this method. Benefits – you can call from any telephone and listen to your messages, and the secretary who takes the message also delivers it…better accuracy and detail.
9. When an emergency call comes in and you page the on-call person, how do you remember to page the back-up person in the event the primary on-call doesn’t respond in time?
When we page an on-call person to check-in with us, we instruct the computer to automatically bring your account back up on the screen if the on-call person hasn’t checked-in after a preset time (usually 10, 15 or 20 minutes).
10. Can I set up my mobile phone to forward calls to Business Connections answering service when I don’t answer my mobile? Sometimes I’m using the phone and don’t want the interruption or I’m out of coverage area. My callers would rather talk to a person then leave a message on voice mail.
YES! This is very popular. You know more about your business than anyone, but if you’re not available to talk with the caller, Business Connections operators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
11. What is voice mail withoperator assistance?
Callers are greeted by our digitally mastered voice mail system and press Zero if the call is urgent. Example greeting…Thank you for calling XYZ company. Your call is very important. If you need immediate assistance please press Zero and you’ll be transferred
12. What happens if there is an electrical outage at Business Connections Call Center?
We have a back-up battery system that is connected to a generator. Once a week the generator automatically runs for 20 minutes to exercise the starter and engine. The generator can run for over a week before needing refueling. For those clients who manually activate their call forwarding, it would be wise to also subscribe from your local phone company to “Call Forward Don’t Answer”.
13. Can Business Connections Telephone Receptionists access my Web Site while talking with callers?
Yes, all our workstations are Web Enabled. We have several accounts where we enter the orders directly on their web site. It’s also helpful for the Telephone Receptionists to see pictures of what the caller has questions about.