A Career Operator

By:  Dee  (15+ years of answering service experience)

I remember my first day at Answer Bay Area.  I had no idea what an answering service did, with the exception of answering the telephone on behalf of companies and doctors’ offices.  I was amazed at the call volume and variety of call types that my instructor handled as I looked on.  Within hours I was answering calls with an experienced operator by my side.  I was so terrified that I did not think I would be back the next day.

I remember the first mistake that I made was calling a doctor with a routine appointment call.  He quickly realized that I was new but took a moment to encourage me.  He assured me that I would get the hang of it.  He did not know that made my day and I decided I would give myself a chance to learn the answering service business.

Once on my own, I realized that we are here to help people by taking a message, being compassionate to their needs or just being nice to someone. I have irate callers that I have to take deep breaths in order to be overly nice.  Surprisingly, some of them offer an apology for taking their frustrations out on me.

We receive sad calls from people whose spouse has passed away during the night and from hospitals notifying the doctors that a patient has expired.  We also receive the occasional funny story.  I took a call from a parent whose child had stuffed a green pea up his nose and the mother was laughing so hard she was having trouble giving me information for the doctor.

Over the course of my career, I have left the office realizing that I have helped someone each day, whether it’s a caller, a client or an operator.  It makes my job fulfilling each day.

AnswerUSA Group Honored with Multiple Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) Awards of Excellence for 2015

Finger Lakes Answering Service (Auburn, NY) has been honored with the exclusive Diamond Plus Award of Excellence,  marking its 11th consecutive year of recognition. This year’s achievement of finishing in the top 5 for the past 6 years is unprecedented.

Answer Syracuse/Communications Group (Syracuse, NY) has also received the Diamond Plus Award of Excellence, recognizing its 11th consecutive year of outstanding service.

Answer Bay Area (Tampa, FL) has been honored with the Pearl Award of Excellence for achieving its 6th consecutive year of excellence.  This marks a spectacular increase in ranking over 2014.

Independent judges are contracted by ATSI to evaluate message services over a six month period.  The scoring criteria includes:  Response Time, Courteousness of Rep, Accuracy of Call, Knowledge of Account and Overall Impression of Call.

Our dedicated team of professionals, lead by Karen Goodman (Auburn, NY), Jennifer Wiler (Syracuse, NY) and Dee Starling (Tampa, FL), work very hard to ensure consistent delivery of excellent service to AnswerUSA clients and their callers, year after year. The results make us very proud and motivate us to continue our hard work.

Finger Lakes Business Services, Inc./AnswerUSA Welcomes Answer Watertown

Finger Lakes Business Services, Inc. (FLBS) has completed the purchase of the Telephone Answering Service operations of S.T.A.T. Communications, Inc. (STAT).  (STAT has been in business serving the Upstate New York region since the 1950’s and continues to provide all its other services.)

This former STAT operation is now part of FLBS’ AnswerUSA Group Division and is known as Answer Watertown.  Its clients are being served from an office on Public Square in downtown Watertown, along with staff in 3 other offices (Auburn, Syracuse and Tampa).  The combination of offices provides additional support to assist with call handling.

“We are pleased to add the former STAT clients to our service area”, says Gardner McLean, President of FLBS.  “Most of the clients are located in the North Country and Utica areas, which fits nicely into our network.  We have gained a nice team of experienced staff to make the transition smooth.  We look forward to serving this new client base.”

Clients have been transitioned to the AnswerUSA system without interruption in service and are now benefiting from the continued investment in new technology and customer focus. .  The process of transitioning is extensive because of the unique scripting that the AnswerUSA system provides.  This includes a thorough analysis of each account and individualized programming for each client.  In addition to the STAT staff, the division has  hired several new employees  to compliment the new site.

This is the 11th answering service acquired by FLBS.  The company previously purchased operations in Auburn (NY), Ithaca (NY), Syracuse (NY), Oswego (NY), Rome (NY), Tampa (FL), Brandon (FL), Steamboat Springs (CO), Greeley (CO), Hotchkiss (CO), and now Watertown.

Answer Watertown is a full-service call center.   In 2015, the Auburn, Syracuse and Tampa offices were each honored with the exclusive 2015  ATSI Award of Excellence.  The Award of Excellence is a program that provides independent testing of quality in customer service levels.

According to industry sources, AnswerUSA ranks in the top 5% of all 3,000 answering services in the country in terms of size, with over 1,300 clients and 70 employees.  Answer Watertown joins existing call centers: Answer Finger Lakes, Answer Syracuse, Answer Bay Area, under the Answer USA Group umbrella.

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