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0 comments | Posted by: Terri on November 5, 2012 | Categories:
AnswerConnect has a very clear idea of what we want out of our tools. The apps we use, whether it be our live chat support, our customer relationship management system or our appointment-scheduling software, need to be fluid in order to both meet our constantly-improving standards and adapt to our clients’ changing needs. Rather than search for software that met this criteria, we came up with a better solution. Build our own.
Meet Maha. As a Technical Architect, Maha mentors the team of developers responsible for the innovative software behind our mobile apps, CRM, appointment-scheduler and several other utilities. Below, Maha answers some questions about the tools that keep AnswerConnect, and our clients, connected:
What are the advantages to AnswerConnect’s software being primarily cloud-based?
There are several advantages to using the cloud to power our software services. Our cloud-based solution is cost effective. Our customers can use our software without any upfront investment; there’s no hardware to buy or licensing fees to pay. Another advantage is less maintenance than local applications. With cloud services, there’s no need to maintain your software or download updates. We take care of all that! This frees our clients to focus on doing what they love.
It is becoming more and more important to be mobile, and our software lets clients use our services from just about anywhere. The flexibility allows our clients to think and work outside the traditional cubicle. Finally, cloud services are extremely scalable. Our products serve clients of all sizes very well.
How do you get feedback on your software?
We thrive on feedback! We use our feedback/task manager Looptodo to closely interact with the customers to make sure the products we deliver reach their needs. It’s an application enabled in all of our products to gather feedback from our customers. It’s made my life alot easier when it comes to meeting our customers’ needs!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
AnswerConnect is more than just an answering service! We’ve developed solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses with the goal of making work-life easier and more efficient. We offer appointment scheduling through SetMore, lead and customer management through our CRM solution, Distributed Source, and web chat with the help of Conversion Support. We would love to talk with you about how these products could help streamline your business!
Fact: one in five Americans have no idea what they’re talking about when discussing the cloud. Of those, 17% have gone so far as to lie on a first date. Fifty-one percent of over 1,000 adults surveyed by Wakefield Research associate the cloud with weather. Stop lying to your dates! We’re writing this blog to give you a general overview of the cloud and how you use it in everyday life.
Since the days computers were invented, data security was miles away from what we have today. Photos, documents, files – everything was stored in your computer. Data backup, security, accessibility, ease of use, sharing – these concepts were slowly evolving and nobody had a full-proof solution for protecting the data from intrusion, hardware or software failures, theft and other natural or digital threats.
Keeping all the technical talk aside, let’s try to understand what this “cloud” thing really is.
There are no shutterbugs quite as passionate as first-time parents. Every moment of a child’s life, from first breath to first day of school, is documented, curated and shared with the zeal of a new convert. Rather than store these pictures, videos, documents and files in a hard drive subject to viruses or degradation, parents have the option to use the Internet-based cloud as storage.
You may already be using cloud computing without realizing it. If you’ve ever uploaded a photo to Facebook or Flickr, posted a video on YouTube, or archived an email in Google, you’ve used the cloud. These files are accessible from any computer or smartphone with Internet access because they’re actually stored in a computer warehouse, technically called “data centers”. Inside one of these computer warehouses, there are hundreds of computers that are way more powerful than your computer and can store a behemoth of information and files.
Specifically, your files are stored and saved in multiple warehouses across the globe. The owner of every warehouse ensures that your files, documents, photos and videos are kept safe. If one warehouse is burned, all the data is available from another warehouse or data center, so the risk of losing your important files, photos and videos is reduced by a great extent.
So who is managing all these warehouses?
Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo – these are some, if not all of the Internet companies that provide services and cloud-based applications, mostly for free. For example, Google lets you store documents in Google Drive, photos in Picasa, videos in YouTube and emails in your Gmail account. Facebook lets you store photos and videos and makes sharing super easy, you can also play games on your web browser, video chat with friends and send virtual gifts to anyone.
To use all these services, you don’t have to download anything on your computer, and you’re not limited to a single computer. You don’t have to buy software or worry about upgrades and routine maintenance. They do all the “geek stuff” on your behalf while you just use the cloud and spend time doing things you really love.
As Senior Account Manager of Client Services, Andrea Seelye has the role of managing clients, mentoring/training new Client Services team members and advising coworkers on difficult situations. Customers don’t typically call a client services department when everything is working perfectly. Most people call when something has gone awry. Her best tip: “Frustrated clients can be challenging. The best way I’ve found to handle those situations is listening to the client’s frustrations and working to resolve the situation not only for that particular client, but for all our clients. If one client is expressing frustration about a concern, there are five others that are frustrated but not telling us about it. The key is taking the client’s feedback and using it to make our service better all around.”
Below, Andrea answers the top five questions most often asked of our Client Services Team:
How can I update my account information?
The great thing about our model is that our clients have a dedicated Account Manager they can reach out to—directly or through another member of the Client Services Team. We accept updates by phone and email, whichever is more convenient.
How can I view and/or change my script?
Our Client Web Access—found at http://access.answeranswerconnect.com—has a great tool for viewing scripts under the “Agent View” tab. It gives our clients a view into our messaging system so they can see exactly what our associates see. At this point, we’re not set up to accept script changes online; but with our iOS and Android app you can update your status at anytime from your phone. We’re working on an update that will make it possible for clients to change their scripting directly from Client Web Access, but for now our team is always happy to accept updates by phone or email.
Why aren’t I receiving my messages?
I always recommend checking the spam/junk folder of the email address not receiving messages. Since our service sends out many emails each day, we occasionally get flagged as spam. If the messages aren’t showing up in the spam/junk folder, check Client Web Access to confirm we’ve taken messages recently. Please contact client services if you need help with further trouble-shooting. We’re always happy to help out!
Where can I view my invoice?
We’ve made all previous invoices available under the “View Bills” tab in Client Web Access. We can also send one-time email requests for our customers. Just let us know which invoice you need, and we can send it over as a PDF.
What other services are available?
AnswerConnect isn’t just an answering service anymore. We’re constantly working to add more features to make the service more of a business solution service. Aside from our Client Web Access, we now offer a mobile application—for both iPhone and Android—IVRs, lead generation, appointment setting and task management services.
Thanks, Andrea, for your insight! We’re glad our clients are in your capable hands.
Meet Jenny Carter. Jenny has been with AnswerConnect for over three years and lists helping people as one of her passions. “It’s in my genes to want to help people. I interact with people who are experiencing problems addressing their business needs. As a salesperson, I’m able to offer up multiple business solutions to help meet those needs. “
Our salespeople speak daily with medical practitioners, lawyers and business owners of all types; all concerned with one thing: finding an answering service that fits their needs while providing the best possible customer service. Several key questions come up often in these conversations. We thought we’d save you a little phone time by having one of our top salespeople answer the most frequently asked questions:
How does your answering service work?
When you decide to use AnswerConnect, you get a specifically assigned Setup Specialist to help with all of your setup questions. Then you get a Dedicated Account Manager who will work one on one with you your entire time as a client. We give you a toll-free number that is custom to your business. You can use that as your business number, or you can forward your existing lines to us. We then develop/customize a script with you detailing how you want us to answer your phones, the role you want us to play on those calls, any information you would like us to gather—or give to your callers—and the delivery method. We can email/text all of your messages to you, transfer callers, dispatch calls, set appointments, place orders and more. Also included with all of our service plans: live web chat and active response—two incredible features if you have a website.
What is the cost?
Depending on your specific needs, we have entry level plans for automated and live answering which fit almost any budget.
What will your associates say?
This is where we customize your account to meet your specific needs. We want to outline the reasons why a person is calling you. Each call type essentially has its own set of scripting. Based on the specific call type, we’ll build your account according to any information that you’d like us to gather or give to your callers.
What makes AnswerConnect different from the other competitors out there?
We have been in the industry over 10 years. We are a part of The Better Business Bureau, and have a great rating there. We answer our phones quickly, professionally, and are efficient on your calls. And all of our associates are US-based.
AnswerConnect is always on the cutting edge of technology. We offer mobile applications for the iPhone and Android phones, web-based scheduling through our SetMore product, chat support through our Conversion Support software and so many other applications.
While we may not be the least expensive, we are extremely competitive in pricing and definitely one of the best. I sell our service on quality and our desire to form long-term partnerships. We want to be the company that grows with our clients, no matter what service level they’re starting out on.
To speak to a salesperson live, head over to our website. If you have a question you’d like to see featured on our blog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!