Live Phone Answering Service FAQ

Everything you ever wanted to know about 1stTC's live phone answering service!
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what's the main advantage of a live phone answering service

When callers phone a business they expect their call to be answered in person. Diverting calls to voicemail when you're not available to answer them yourself can give the impression that your business is a small or unprofessional, especially if a caller is using your main business contact number. Not only can this give a poor impression, voicemail may be so off putting that they simply hang-up, try one of your competitors instead.

A poor or automated answering service equals lost business, especially on numbers displayed in competitive advertising and used in first-contact sales. Avoid the risk of losing business with our live call answering service.

won't live answering confuse my caller?

No one is as expert on your business as you are, and in an ideal world you would always be available to field enquiries. Our live phone answering service comes to the rescue when you are not available, and our operators are highly skilled at deflecting requests for information and professionally adept at requesting call-back details.
So rather than slowing down or complicating the sales process, live answering can help you respond quickly to enquiries, while avoiding the risk of losing new leads.

isnít a 24/7 live answering service expensive?

Not really, lost calls equal lost business, especially on numbers displayed in competitive advertising or used for 'first-contact' sales. What did you pay for that great ad with your contact number displayed prominently? Does it make viable business sense to your company to pay £1.25 to ensure you get the lead? Ask yourself whether you can afford not to ensure that callers are answered professionally at all times.

For this reason many live answering service subscribers prefer to budget as part of their marketing costs, rather that their operational costs.

Can customers call my Answering Service number directly?

No. you divert your 'normal' number to live answering whenever you need to. When you signup for live answering we allocate a central London 0207 number, to which you can divert calls using any standard divert options. For operational reasons your answering service number may be changed in the future, so we advise you not to use it in advertising, on your stationary, or give it out publicly. 

Can I use Live Answering with BT Call Divert or my mobile phone?

You can divert calls to your phone answering service from any other phone number which has a divert feature. This means the service can be used with BT's Call Diversion (automatic call divert) feature, as well as with the flexible call-forwarding features built in as standard to UK mobile numbers.

How can I make sure only sales calls go through to Live Answering?

There are 2 methods.

(1) Use a dedicated sales number in advertising, and set up diverts to your phone answering service to handle times when you're not available.

(2) Combine our phone answering service with the power of our free Switchboard. Simply set up a sales department with our free Switchboard, and make sure that the last number tried when a caller is put through is your Live Answering numbe

If I get a call I donít want to take can I divert it to Live Answering at the touch of a button?

If you are using our free Switchboard, the answer is yes - as long as you set up the free Switchboard so that your phone answering number is the 'catch-all' divert destination. If you are not using our free Switchboard it will depend on whether your telephone service allows you to specify the number that unanswered calls are diverted to.

I run a small business. How can Phone Answering help me when Iím away on holiday?

Our Phone Answering service will ensure your calls are answered professionally, even when you're on the beach. Your customers won't even know that you're on holiday, (or a small business or sole trader!)

Can I specify scripts so that the live answering operators answer how I want them to?

You can, but we strongly advise you not to. Each caller is unique, meaning that each call is best handled flexibly. Our operators are experts in answering calls professionally, familiar with dealing with different personalities, and extremely good at getting callers to leave their contact details and a message - even when the caller is reluctant or difficult to deal with.

Since each caller is unique, we recommend that you let our operators answer them with flexibility, as this tends to produce far better results than sticking to a rigid script. Therein lies the advantage of a personal human answering service over voicemail.

Do I have any control over the details live answering operators collect from a caller?

No. Our phone answering service is designed to do one thing ... very well. The operator collects the callers name, contact number, and a message, which are then forwarded to you by SMS Text and/or email. 

How quickly do I get messages left with the live phone answering service?

The message is sent immediately the call has finished, by your choice of text, email, or both. You receive any messages whenever you check your email, or check your mobile for new text messages.   

Can the answering operators be briefed to give out company details or information about the products and services we supply?

Our answering operators are experts and handling your calls and taking messages, we are unable to train them to understand your business or service in enough detail to ensure complete accuracy. We're expert at answering calls, you are the expert for your particular business!

Are there any hidden costs?
Absolutely not! the table below gives you our total cost for the service.

what will it cost me?

 Phone Answering
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What's the set up cost? FREE
How much is the line rental? £19.95 per calendar month
How much do messages cost? £1.25 per message
Do I get any free messages? Yes, 15 messages per month
How much do they cost to call? Standard local or national call rate
Cancellation: After the first two full months you can cancel dmAnswers at any time. As long as you tell us at least two working days before the start of the next month, we can cancel your dmAnswers service at the end of the month.
How can I pay? Credit / Debit Card, Cash, Cheque, Postal Order or Bank Transfer

Special Offer

Sign up for additional 0800 / 0845 / 0870 numbers for only £3 PCM, with no signup paid annually in advance, excl. free minutes. N.B. prices are adjusted at invoice stage.



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