In today’s economy, many companies are making hard choices to reduce costs, and often times this involves outsourcing. Companies are discovering quickly the benefits of hiring an answering service as a “virtual receptionist” as opposed to having a traditional “onsite” receptionist because of the ability to reduce cost while increasing the potential of support to their customers. Often customers are unaware that the “receptionist” is working remotely, because he/she can perform the same tasks as an on-site receptionist. We can take it one step further. We can literally act as your front desk receptionist by answering your phone in your company name – screening your callers and when appropriate, based on your instructions, “patch” or cross connect your caller directly to you or anyone in your office. We know where you are, which calls are important to you and what you want done with each call at any precise moment in the 24 hour day.
Most customers realize there are many advantages, above and beyond a cost savings!
- An on-site receptionist cannot provide 24/7 availability, however a virtual receptionist is hosted by a staff of professionals who are always available to take calls, answer questions, dispatch, transfer calls, and even book appointments at any hour. (and more than one at a time)
- A virtual receptionist can offer a variety of bi-lingual support in multiple languages by utilizing multiple resources for language service.
- Your answering service can provide a high-level of technological services that you may not have available in your office. Whether it’s pulling call reports, call recordings, or delivering messages in a variety of transmission methods, your virtual receptionist has the best technology available at their fingertips.
- No sick-days, vacations, weekends, or down hours… your answering service based Virtual Receptionist is always on. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
We provide professional receptionist service to companies of all sizes, from the one person office to Fortune 500 companies; and we provide our service to clients all across the United States and abroad. Our very “live” Virtual Receptionists may not exist in your office, but they exist in ours. And they are available 24 / 7 to give you the peace of mind knowing that they are ready and able to answer your phone, take a message from your caller, give out or gather information and contact you immediately.
Direct Line TeleResponse would like to introduce our newest ATSI Certified Agent!As a part of our process to ensure excellent customer service, Direct Line TeleResponse utilizes an agent certification process through ATSI (the Association of TeleServices International), our national trade association. The ATSI Agent Certification consists of two parts; a written exam and a verbal test administered by a representative of ATSI. It is required to get a 90% on both parts to pass and become certified. All employees participate in this process, which occurs after their first 6 months of training. All eligible Direct Line employees have passed this certification, except those who are currently in training and in the process of testing. The ATSI Agent Certification program allows us to assess all of our employees to ensure they meet nationally determined standards of excellence. We do not have a product to sell, and we cannot hide poor customer service behind a shiny product. Our product IS our service – answering the calls of our highly prized clients; pleasantly and professionally; obtaining information accurately; determining our clients specific instructions on how to process their important information; and when called for, reaching our clients in a timely manner. That’s what our business is all about, excellent – outstanding – remarkable service!
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It was September 10, 1979 that Ruth and Larry Goldenberg flipped the switch, opening the doors of Direct Line Answering Service at Dwight and Fulton streets in Berkeley California. In the years since, Direct Line has maintained the highest level of customer service through implementing high standards of excellence and keeping up with technology. We were one of the early adopters in incorporating computerized systems into our service, and continue to ensure our customers receive the best technology our industry has to offer.
While we didn’t start out in the early 1900s (like this picture above), but we did start out with 10 accounts whom we served by using cord-operated switchboards similar to these. We rented our switchboards directly from AT&T and we ran our business out of a small rented office. Today, we serve over 800 clients utilizing state of the art technology with our computer-telephony integrated Pinnacle system and other high-level technology resources. We operate out of our custom designed office building located in Berkeley, California, and benefit from having a highly qualified workforce with technology experience. We pride ourselves on recruiting top-notch staff and ensuring they are provided the best possible training and technology access. We strive to provide a healthy and positive work environment, and recognize staff for their achievements through our “RAP” awards and through our staff appreciation events.We improve as technology improves, allowing us to take our long-respected legendary accuracy to an even higher level.
For the last 18 years, Ken Goldenberg (their son) has been a solid member of the leadership team driving Direct Line’s success, and over time he has taken more and more of a primary leadership role in the company. He has committed to continuing the high-level of excellence the company has exemplified over the past 33 years, and is committed to carrying that torch forward. On this 33rd birthday, Ruth and Larry are ready to hang up their phones… but of course that doesn’t mean they aren’t still there to support Ken as he takes over as the new President of Direct Line.
Over the past 33 years some things have changed (such as our location and our name, and the generation of leadership), and others continue to remain the same (several of our long-standing customers and our family-owned company). We here at Direct Line pride ourselves on having a positive and motivating work environment, on our commitment to making our community a better one, and most of all to serving our amazing clients here in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the world.
Thank you for continuing to be an integral part of our business family, and we look forward to serving you for another 33 spectacular years!
No matter what business you are in, it is very difficult to be available to your clients on the phone at any moment they choose to call. In today’s 24/7 instant gratification world, your customers are looking for service. Are you giving it to them? When they call, do they get an “answer”?
Seven reasons to choose Direct Line Teleresponse as your 24/7 Answer.
- Specialized Service: Direct Line provides specialized service plans for your unique business needs. Whether you need someone to handle your calls, take your orders or to provide support for your web alerts, Direct Line will create a tailor-made plan to maximize your business potential.
- Superior Service: Internationally recognized for our excellence in customer service, we provide outstanding customer service quality to both your customers, and to you… our customer.
- Experienced Service: Established in 1979,Direct Line Teleresponse has been serving businesses of all sizes across the nation for over 30 years.
- High-Tech Service: We pride ourselves on utilizing the best technology available in the industry with our Pinnacle computer system which automatically identifies which instructions to follow, whether it is time of day, specific service you provide, or who might be on call for a specific situation. As technology changes, we advance with it.
- Reliable Service: Direct Line is a 24 / 7 Gold Site Certified Service, representing a high level of proficiency in recovery techniques, good business practices, documentation of procedures, and levels of redundancy necessary for 24 / 7 preparedness.
- Customized Service: We don’t just answer your calls (or answer your inbound email), we do it professionally, pleasantly, within 3 rings and never put callers on hold in the middle of a call. We process incoming information accurately, quickly, exactly, as per your on-call instructions as detailed in our database. Direct Line will deliver your message, efficiently, quickly by email, fax, pager, text message, voice mail, relay to cell phone, or patch the call directly to you.
- Domestic Service: All of our agents are based in the United States, and we do not outsource any of our calls to overseas call centers. We screen our operators to ensure the highest possible quality, and pride ourselves on our outstanding staff.
Isn’t it time you gave yourself an advantage? If your customers can’t reach you, they will surely reach out to your competitors. Our service is always open, always answering, and always offering the very same high-quality customer service whether you call at 9am, 9pm, or even at 2am. We remain open on all holidays, and are equipped to remain open no matter the circumstances with our backup systems. You will never miss another call, and you will get one of the best competitive advantages available in business today. Excellent customer service.
When it counts, you need to have someone handling your calls that will go the extra mile to be sure you get that important, possibly life saving message. One call we received this month is a perfect example of how important judgement is. A call came into our office late at night attempting to reach our client to alert her that a home neighboring hers was on fire. Usually calls to the client would be handled by sending a page, however our late-night agent took extra steps to alert the client of the danger. Knowing the urgency of the situation, the agent called the client directly to all known numbers and continued calling until she got through.
“Our neighbors house went up in flames last night and Astra called me instead of just paging me which woke us up and we got out of the house just in case the fire spread. If it wasn’t for her calling we would have slept through it.” ~ L.A. June 2012
When situations require “out of the box” thinking, we are proud that our staff has the training and good judgement to put in the extra effort to provide the level of service needed.
Great Job Astra!
At Direct Line Teleresponse, ensuring the best possible customer experience is our goal. We do everything in our power to ensure that hold times either do not occur, or are as short as is possible. Your customers deserve better than to be put on infinate hold. They deserve better than a long and never-ending phone tree. They deserve personalized service with a human touch which gives them peace of mind. They want to be heard. How many customers have you lost due to them hanging up while waiting on hold for you? If you had someone to handle those overflow calls, you could keep those very customers.
Choosing The Right Call Center/Answering Service Part 2
When shopping around for the most cost effective solution to your answering service needs, keep in mind the timeworn Latin phrase ‘caveat emptor’ … let the buyer beware. You get what you pay for. To spare yourself unforeseen headaches, get references from your chosen provider. Any reputable service will be able to put you in touch with at least three clients that have applications similar to your own.
Choosing The Right Call Center/Answering Service Part 1
If you’ve already opted to take a more personalized approach in managing your business’s telephone traffic by hir
ing a call center, the next step is choosing the right service provider. A basic understanding of the process is helpful, but ultimately you’ll want to consult with a call center sales representative to ensure that your business needs are sufficiently addressed.