CALL ANSWERING SERVICES IN NORTH AMERICA – FAQ
Answer calls regarding your properties from customers across North America with our professional call answering services. Property Answer provides around-the-clock support to help your business grow. Here we answer a few of the frequently asked questions for you to get started.
Property Answer can be the answer to all your real estate and property management call answering needs.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
HOW DO I FORWARD MY CALLS?
If you have an established business phone number that you'd like to keep, you may want to forward that number to the one we provide. That way, your callers will still dial the same number they always have. The available features and exact procedure for forwarding your calls depends on your phone carrier and may be different for business and residential lines. Here are some common types of call forwarding and how to activate them with most carriers:
If you want to forward all your calls, all the time, you usually dial *72 or 72# (again, depending on your carrier), followed by the number you want to forward your calls to (the local or toll-free number we provide). Generally, this can be deactivated with *73 or 73#.
Maybe you only want to forward your calls to us when your main line is busy. For that, most carriers use *90 or 90# to activate, and *91 or 91# to deactivate.
To forward your calls when you don't answer after a specified number of rings, use *92 or 92# to activate and *93 or 93# to deactivate. Contact your carrier to set the number of rings your callers will hear before the call is forwarded. We recommend two rings—why make people wait?
To set up a more customized call forwarding schedule, such as having your calls forwarded only during certain hours, check with your phone carrier—most will be able to accommodate you.
HOW MANY CALLS FIT IN EACH MINUTE PLAN?
The number of calls we can answer within the minutes allotted for each plan depends on what we're doing for your callers.
For basic services such as taking messages or basic lead capture, a good rule of thumb is two to three minutes per call. If we're helping you with more advanced services, such as order-taking or appointment setting, or if your script is on the intricate side, calls may take longer.
We're always happy to review your plan with you to make sure you're in the right one.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO SAY?
We create a custom script for your account based on your requirements. Generally, this consists of an answer phrase followed by a "decision tree." Our agents choose options based on what the caller says, which in turn opens new scripting instructions and new fields for the agent to complete.
For example, after greeting your callers, our Agents may hear the caller say that they want to place an order. When the agent checks the box for order taking in your script, new fields appear to collect the order information.
In addition, the info page on your account tells us things like your location, hours, and names of staff. And who is On Call.
By carefully creating a script that is neither incomplete nor too complicated, we can maximize the efficiency and accuracy with which we answer your calls. At the same time, we don't ask our agents to follow a script unthinkingly. We are most valuable to you when we can react to the situation at hand in a friendly and informed way.
HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER?
We answer 95 percent of our clients' calls within two rings, and most well before that.
This is one of the most important metrics we use to measure our success in offering excellent customer service to your callers.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE CALL-HANDLING FEEDBACK?
We use SalesForce to create tickets that allow us to follow-up on any problems that might arise in answering your calls.
Mistakes happen, but this process allows our supervisors to provide our agents with coaching and guidance and allows our Quality Assurance team to track agents' long-term performance.
The best way to submit a ticket is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your issue.
Call-Handling Feedback doesn't get agents in trouble. It's a valuable tool for coaching and improvement. Our agents will make mistakes from time to time, but our goal is to address any errors, whether it be with an Agent or script changes.
Call recordings help address call-handling issues by allowing our supervisors and quality assurance staff to review individual calls on your account.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE MINUTES FOR BILLING?
We calculate your minutes based on the total time required to handle the call, including any after-call work our Agents do to take your messages.
You are not charged for any queue time between when the call reaches our system and when the Agent answers. This is generally not more than a few seconds, but the time is not billed to you.
For calls longer than thirty seconds, we bill by rounding to every 6 seconds. So, a call of one minute and twenty-two seconds would be billed as one minute and twenty-four seconds.
DO MY MINUTES ROLL OVER?
No. However, if you find that you consistently wind up using fewer minutes than you have in your plan, contact us to talk about changing plans.
HOW DO I SET UP AUTO-PAY?
Auto-pay makes it easy for you to automatically pay your bill each month. You can use either a credit card or pre-approved payments. You can also set up e-transfers by sending your payment to email@example.com. Just make sure you include your account number in the details.
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IS THE BILLING CYCLE?
We bill monthly. Your invoice will include your base amount for the upcoming month, and any overages minutes from the previous month, if applicable. If you have autopay set up on your account, the transaction will happen on the 15th of the month.
For example, on February 1st, you'd get a bill for your base fee for the month of February, plus any extra minutes you used from January 1st to 31st.
WHAT IF I GO OVER MY PLAN MINUTES?
Your bundled minutes are based on your expected volume, and your Account Manager reviews the call volume on a monthly basis. If you've just exceeded your plan minutes for a month or two, but don't think that call volume will last, you might be better off sticking with the plan you have.
If you think you are seeing a higher call volume than usual, don't hesitate to reach out to your Account Manager or email us at email@example.com