The secret to creating a successful 24-hour business

 

All businesses have needs. But sometimes, those needs extend to all hours of the day and night in the name of customer service. This is where our team at Answer Midwest shines. Although it no doubt gets tough with a team that runs 24/7, we also know it makes an incredible difference for our clients every single day.

As a truly full-time answering service, Answer Midwest has dozens of team members working hard to keep the lines of communication open between our clients and their customers. It’s a busy and sometimes stressful job, but we know our staff is our greatest asset. 

Our approach to customer and employee satisfaction is all about building relationships. Over the past 32 years, Answer Midwest has grown leaps and bounds, and we pride ourselves on fostering a healthy, happy workplace. Since we’re available and on-call all day, every day, our team must have that needed energy our clients require of us to provide to their customers.

As the saying goes, success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. We’ve worked hard to cultivate a culture that is good for our clients and our staff. Learn more about the lessons we’ve learned that have helped us to create, build, and sustain the successful 24-hour business we are today. 

  1. Show your appreciation — and show it often.
    One of the top reasons people leave a company is because they feel undervalued. If you don’t take care of your staff by recognizing their needs and making accommodations that are mutually advantageous to their lives and the company, you’re more likely to run into trouble.To show our appreciation at Answer Midwest, we provide flexible in-office and work-from-home capabilities, incentive programs to boost productivity, employee assistance programs, wellness resources for mental and physical health, and more.
  2. Celebrate the wins!
    We don’t just provide 24-hour service for our clients. At Answer Midwest, we’re there for each other 24/7, cheering each other’s wins and consoling the losses. Caring for people is at the core of who we are. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate our team’s accomplishments both inside and outside of the workplace:
     

    • Honoring each other’s dedication and achievements.
    • Celebrate personal team member milestones and recognize the importance these moments have in their lives. At Answer Midwest, every team member is unique — and our leadership team ensures they are valued and seen!
    • Create a caring environment. We know when our team members feel they are in good hands and confident in their training, they can provide the highest level of quality client service. A win-win! 
  3. Provide competitive compensation.
    We hinted at this earlier, but it takes more than just a positive work culture to retain talent. A recent survey from Pew Research Center stated that low pay and insufficient benefits were among the top reasons people left their jobs in 2021 amid the Great Resignation. While we strive to provide strong wages and benefits, we understand the importance of advancement opportunities, 1:1 mentoring and encouragement, and support for both personal and professional growth.

By keeping our team top of mind each step of the way as we grow, we know we can’t fail. We look forward to celebrating many more team successes, milestones, and opportunities as we move into the future together. 

Contact Answer Midwest today to find out how we can partner with your team to help your business thrive and find success! 

 

 

 

Meet the Answer Midwest Team: Susan H.

At Answer Midwest, our team is so much more than employees to us; they are the very heart of our organization. We’re celebrating them both collectively and as individuals not just on Employee Appreciation Day, March 4, 2022, but also throughout the whole year. We know you’ll enjoy meeting and learning about some of the individuals, like Customer Service and Billing Manager Susan H., who make the Answer Midwest Team thrive every single day.

Introducing: Susan H.

Susan, who has worked for Answer Midwest for 16 years, tells us that Tennesee is her favorite place to visit because it’s green, lush, “warmer than here, and close to home.” She dreams of going someplace tropical for a long holiday and would love to go paragliding over the treetops someday. As a matter of fact, she mentioned that looking at tropical pictures is one of her favorite ways to relax.

In her free time, she likes to watch Married at First Sight or the film You’ve Got Mail, and she enjoys listening to Christian music (and also funk). She gets her exercise in during aerobics classes or by working outside and loves watching animal videos for fun. Susan loves fried chicken and hopes to drive a racecar “like a Bahja race, but not as long.”

Susan is an important part of our team, and we’re fortunate to know her. Her unique experience, skills, and talents help create the positive culture at Answer Midwest that continues to attract more wonderful employees like her. We’re so grateful for the work our team does to create an atmosphere of support and professionalism. We appreciate them every day and know that you do, too.

How Our Culture Benefits Your Business

At Answer Midwest, our mission is to serve and support our clients to help them grow their businesses. How can we best do this? Through creating an award-winning culture that attracts the best employees—employees that are excited to represent our clients and their businesses. When our team members are excited to come to work, customers experience a more positive interaction. So, what does a focus on team culture look like? It’s truly so simple, but has an amazing impact:

Following the golden rule. Although it may sound cliché, we instill this idea – treat others as you would want to be treated – into all interactions with our team. Since team members feel respected and appreciated, they in turn are genuine to the callers with whom they speak on the phone.

Compliment bonuses. In addition to preaching kindness to each other, we also make it a point to reward positive interactions with customers. At our staff meetings, we give out $5 for each in-depth compliment that our employees receive from callers and clients. We are at a point where we hand out thousands of dollars at each meeting, as our team members continuously receive compliments for delighting our customers.

Flexible work situation. Many of our team members work remotely and have flexible hours – both are practices we implemented prior to the pandemic. We believe that employees who are comfortable in their work environment are happier and achieve better results. For us, flexibility for our associates is all about treating our team with respect and understanding the need for work/life balance.

Our customers tell us that they are surprised by the kindness and respect they receive from our team – and it’s because we strive to create a pleasant atmosphere.

Employees are so much more than just workers at Answer Midwest – they are individuals who matter. Investing in the culture of our team had done wonders for our business and that of our clients – what could a shift to a positive team culture do for your business?

Your Culture Becomes Our Culture

When your customer picks up the phone to call your business, they deserve quality service that makes them feel heard. At Answer Midwest, we reach for one goal: connecting your customers to your business. Everything we do, from our on-boarding process to how our customer service representatives answer the phone, maintains that standard. As your supportive partner, we work hard to be a continuation of your company culture through two primary methods.

Team training and process: Training for our customer service representatives is specifically designed based on your business so it is relevant to your customers’ needs. We tailor our communication styles to match your own. For example, when our representatives answer calls on your behalf, they give a customized greeting that tells the customer they’re speaking with an extension of your company. We continually monitor calls to ensure the highest level of quality. Our thorough training process helps us seamlessly align with your business’s voice and vision.

The latest technology: Because we are a continuation of your business, our technology is always up to date. Our systems are state-of-the-art, with backup systems to ensure you have 24/7 coverage. During a call, a custom screen displays information about your business to the customer service representative, so they’re fully equipped to handle the customer’s needs. All call information is logged into our database for future reference and quality assurance. Our tech forward approach means we engage with your stakeholders in the same way you do.

We know that your business has its own unique culture. Whether you look to Answer Midwest for supplemental coverage, after hours business availability, or exclusive reception services, we want to be stewards of your company’s reputation when communicating with your customers. Our process is designed with that standard in mind.

Contact our team today to talk about partnering with us.

Answer Midwest Newsletter – Volume 8

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Answer Midwest Awarded with Coveted Top Ten!

WE HAVE BIG NEWS!
Answer Midwest has been awarded International Top Ten

 

We’re thrilled to announce that not only have we been awarded our 16th Award of Excellence but we ranked in a coveted TOP TEN POSITION.

Our team competed against answering services from all over North America and Canada and was recognized as the cream of the crop.  We know we have a great team, but such highly esteemed international recognition sure feels good.

 

Answer Midwest Newsletter – Volume 7

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Call Center Campout

Article courtesy of Advantage News

While much of Madison County was closed over the weekend, Alton answering service Answer Midwest was caffeinated and ready to keep area businesses up and running.

“It is simply not an option for a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a week business to close, no matter what the forecast,” says Jen Schulz, vice president. “We’re working so our clients don’t have to.”

With the goal of treating others the way they want to be treated, the company brought in lots of food, supplied a cot and blow up mattresses and set up a big-screen TV with Netflix so those who were working could have a place to step away and relax amidst the craziness.

“We know just how valuable our employees are to Answer Midwest,” Schulz said. “Everything we do comes back to our mission, so it’s natural that we would take care of our team.”

Answer Midwest was booming over the weekend, which is to be expected when most of the area’s businesses were closed because of the weather and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. They more than doubled their normal call volumes, taking thousands of calls for hundreds of businesses across the country.

Clients were elated to be able to let their employees stay home during the storm and know their callers would still be taken care of. The callers always appreciate being able to reach a person on the other end of the line and not a machine.

“It’s an era of instant gratification,” Schulz said. “At Answer Midwest we want to keep businesses and their clients connected, no matter what the obstacle.”

Owned and managed by the Tedrick family since 1991, Answer Midwest offers customers all over the country a wide range of telephone-related support services, from reception phone services to help desk, order-taking, appointment management and even dispatching for service calls and medical emergencies.

Visit http://advantagenews.com/news/business/call-center-campout/ to see the story on Advantage News

Answer Midwest Newsletter – Volume 6

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Answer Midwest Earns 15th ATSI Award

We are happy to announce that Answer Midwest, Inc. has earned the Association of Teleservices International Diamond Plus Award for fifteen consecutive years. 

 

“The ATSI Award of Excellence Program recognizes that excellence requires a level of service that considers the caller first in every aspect of the call. The award is earned by a company by judging the handling of calls placed by mystery callers against specific, member-driven criteria.” Says ATSI President Jeffrey W. Zindel, “Companies that earn this award are continuously focusing on delivering first class service to their customers. It is truly an honor!”

 

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
  • Overall Impression of Call

We are incredibly proud and honored to have earned this prestigious award for the 15th year! Answer Midwest takes great pride in our employees and their ongoing excellent service skills. Thank you all for your continued support!