3 Ways Answer Midwest Can Help Your Business Grow!

Whether you’ve been in business for a few months, a few years, or a few decades, a growing business is always good. While you and your team are no doubt working hard to achieve your goals, satisfy your customers, and grow even more, sometimes you can get inundated with projects and calls from clients and potential customers, making it difficult and even exhausting to constantly stop what you’re doing and answer the ever-busy phone.

If you want to reduce your stress and make life easier on yourself and your employees, consider utilizing our exemplary services at Answer Midwest!

So why should you consider using our services for your business? Find out 3 great ways we can help you grow your business below!

You Can Attend to the Matter at Hand – Your customers are incredibly important to you and your business, they all need attention and most need it right now, but you can only be so many places at once. That’s why we’re here to help. One thing every business owner needs is time. By tending to your callers we give you more precious time to focus on the tasks that you have at hand. We’ve all been there, you’re desperately trying to work on a project or tend to a customer but your phone won’t stop ringing. It’s very distracting….we know. Your customers and your business need your full, undivided attention, and it’s actually possible to provide that. Let us attend to your customers and give them our undivided attention while you work hard and without distraction!

We Save You Time and Money – When you stand back and look at the big picture, a live answering service is an excellent alternative to hiring part time or temporary help or taking a current employee away from their duties to answer the phone. For a surprisingly low cost we will standby 24/7/365 to help when you need us. We also will answer any calls you may receive during holidays, saving you money you might potentially lose while you and your employees enjoy time off with your family and friends.

We Are There During Unexpected Weather – Things happen. Sometimes you or your employees get stuck in traffic or can’t make it into work because last night’s snowstorm made your roads completely impassable. With Answer Midwest at your side, you no longer have to worry about having to brave the bad weather or speed to work to answer the phones for your customers. We take care of all of your calls no matter what the weather is like out there.

We never close!

Ready to help your business grow? Want more information? Just call us at (618) 463-2430. We pick up, no matter what!

3 Ways Answer Midwest Helps You Rake in Revenue During the Holidays

It’s December, and the holiday season is finally upon us, which means that it’s not only the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the time of the year in which you could rake in a lot of profit. With the holiday season, though, comes those days that everyone wants and deserves off, along with increasingly colder weather and a greater propensity for sickness.

How do you keep your employees happy, healthy, and safe this holiday season without hurting your sales or forcing your employees to work overtime?

Answer Midwest can help! See the 3 big ways we can help your company make some holiday money below!

Your Company Will Never Miss a Call – Statistics show that 66% of holiday calls will be sent to a voicemail, 19% will go to an automated message or no response, and only 14% of callers will hear an actual person on the other end of the phone. For many industries, it’s expected that the office will be closed during the holidays; however, most businesses still receive calls on a federal holiday, which could lead to a major sale or a much happier client. What is the cost of a satisfied client or a big sale? Much less than you might think.

Your Employees Stay Happy – The holidays are a busy, stressful time for everyone, and your employees want (and deserve) to spend time with their friends and loved ones at that time. Besides, pushing your employees to work on the holidays, even for extra money, is a good way to burn them out and push them out the door, resulting in lowered or lost productivity and revenue loss. With Answer Midwest, you can give your employees a chance to rest without your business losing money. We will help you keep your productivity levels high while you allow your coworkers to enjoy the holidays so that they may return to work with continued high productivity levels.

You Don’t Have to Scramble If Employees Are Sick – As the cold weather starts to creep in the area, people will have a higher propensity to get sick. Sadly, the holiday season is the worst time to be short-staffed and to keep your customers waiting, but with Answer Midwest on your side, this doesn’t need to be an issue. If an employee calls in sick, you can rely on us to take any calls while your other employees can continue serving your customers. We can do anything you might need us to do, all while ensuring that your customers are happy and satisfied. Just keep us informed as to who is absent, and we can take care of the rest!

Is your company ready for the holiday season? If not, give us a call today at (618) 463-2430 for more information. Let us help you relax a bit more this holiday season while keeping customers content!

The Secret to Superior Customer Service as Told by Answer Midwest

When was the last time you had a negative experience when calling a business? Perhaps you had minor frustrations with the person on the other side of the line. Maybe you had such a horrible experience that you vowed to never do business with the company ever again.

If you’re a business owner, you probably know how imperative proper phone protocol and thoughtful call answering is to your business. A good phone call can make a current client even happier (which might prompt them to tell their friends and clients about you), and it can even garner new prospects to use your services in the future.

We at Answer Midwest have been making ongoing investments in training, quality service, and the latest technology to ensure that we provide the highest levels of customer service possible. Throughout the years, we have found the real “secret” to our success in providing superior answering services, which can be boiled down to the following three phone answering components:

Smile Through the Phone – Believe it or not, a caller can sense your mood through the phone within the first few seconds of the call. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day once in a while, but remember that your bad day is not the caller’s fault. Each time the phone rings, answer it with a smile. Your caller can’t help having a positive experience with you, and the experience will reflect as a positive experience with your company! Making the effort to answer each call with a good attitude and a happy demeanor will go a long way toward building a positive image for your company.

Be Helpful – When a client or prospective client calls you, they should be able to sense that your main goal is to be as helpful as possible in addressing their needs and answering their questions. Most phone calls go well beyond the simple “yes” and “no” answers, and many times callers don’t know the exact questions to ask to get what they’re looking for. Meet them halfway by asking frequent questions such as the following:

  • How can I help you today?
  • What else may I help you with?
  • Have I addressed all of your needs?
  • Were my answers helpful to you?

These probing questions will often reveal additional information that will enable you to serve the caller even more efficiently. They will also appreciate your genuine interest and persistence in solving their issues.

Focus on Each Caller 100% – Remember how you feel whenever you try to call a company and feel like you’re just an annoyance? Try to keep this feeling in mind when you’re answering the phone. No one wants to be “processed,” and few things are more irritating than calling a business in which you can instantly tell that they are reading from a script that will be read to countless other callers during the day. Instead, give each caller your 100% focus and make your responses to their concerns or questions genuine. The voice on the other end of the line is an individual with his or her own problems and questions. When the phone rings, do all that you can to put all other distractions and business to the side and give them your undivided attention.

These principles are simple in action, yet so many organizations can easily overlook them and ultimately wind up losing business in the shuffle because of it. Don’t be one of them – take action and incorporate these principles into your phone answering procedures today!

If you’re too busy to dedicate time to answering your phone, don’t worry! Just call us at (618) 463-2430. We pick up every time and are dedicated to providing your callers with customer service that’s second-to-none!

Is Your Company Ready When Disaster Strikes? Answer Midwest Can Help!

We never really think about disaster much at all until it happens. While some regions are more prone to certain disasters than others are, anything can happen at any time. A fire can break out, a nasty storm front can bring tornadoes and flash flooding, and serious unexpected power outages can occur at any moment.

As hard as it is to believe, it has been just a little over a year since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on the evening of October 29, 2012. The storm ravaged the coastline of New Jersey and New York, and more than 23,000 people had sought refuge in temporary shelters and more than 8.5 million customers lost power.

During that difficult time, businesses big and small were suffering from the hurricane as well. Tens of thousands lost their offices, inventory, and their equipment during the storms, and millions lost power and were struggling to keep their businesses running.

Disaster recovery is a preventative measure that every business should take the time to implement in their strategic planning process. In the unfortunate event that a disaster strikes your business, it’s important to make sure that your customers can reach you even if you don’t have power and your phone lines are down. Your business must stay up and running and your customers must be taken care of, no matter what.

We are the solution for your business!

Answer Midwest will provide you with 24/7/365 availability when you and your customers need it the most. We will act as your receptionist at any hour of the day or night, and make sure your business is running smoothly in any circumstance. We will be sure to answer all of your calls to your specifications and keep your customers well-informed and happy while you focus on immediate tasks such as reconstructing your operations, searching for a new business location, or speaking with your insurance agent. You can rest assured knowing that your customer base will be taken care of when you use our services.

If you’ve reevaluated your business strategy plan and have found that you’re not totally prepared for an unexpected crisis, please take a moment to call us here at Answer Midwest at (618) 463-2430. Put your business in the hands of someone you can trust when disaster strikes – Answer Midwest!

Answer Midwest Is Now Featuring Secure Messaging Capabilities!

Attention, all physicians and medical staff! We have great news for you – we are making your lives easier than ever before!

Answer Midwest is now offering secure messaging capabilities for all of our clients. Designed by Telescan, LLC, our secure messaging capabilities, called Secure Message Delivery App (or SMDA for short), deliver your messages safely, quickly, and simply to the mobile phones of physicians and staff. The best part – it also coincides with HIPAA PHI compliance!

We know you depend on your messages to be delivered in a timely, safe, and efficient manner all while remaining compliant with HIPPA PHI regulation requirements. That’s why we decided to go the extra mile for you to provide our staff with this technology so you won’t miss a single message or have any contents compromised.

Your messages are definitely in safe hands here at Answer Midwest. Our messages are sorted as “read” and “unread,” along with the date and time it was sent and “secure” in order to meet the HIPPA PHI requirements. The messages are then organized in scrollable lists when they come in, so they’ll be sorted under “new,” “in-process,” or “complete,” depending on the status of the message. Our fantastic operators will mark your messages “complete” when it’s delivered to you!

But that’s not all! Our new secure messaging capabilities also provide you with a lot of really great benefits, including secured messaging with SSL encryption software, secure Internet access to all client-specific messaging information, instant 24-7 access to your messages, safe storage of your messages on a secure, remote server, and lower costs.

If you’re in need of a friendly, efficient, 24/7 telecommunication service that is secure and totally HIPAA PHI compliant, you’ve come to the right place! Just call Answer Midwest at (618) 463-2430! We’re your go-to place when it comes to secure messaging!

Answer Midwest Employee Spotlight: Leah Zirkelbach

We at Answer Midwest strongly believe in taking good care of our clients’ customers with our exemplary customer service. Day or night, we pick up and answer with a smile, happy and enthusiastic to serve. We really feel that our wonderful employees make all the difference in our customer service and satisfaction. This month for our Employee Spotlight, we are proud to showcase Leah Zirkelbach, one of our main dispatchers here at Answer Midwest!

Leah has been with us for one year and was promoted just recently to the role as one of our main dispatchers. “My role is to take incoming calls, screen them, and get the message to the appropriate person based on the criteria that has been set by our clients,” Leah said. “I also try to help both the caller and our clients as much as possible, whether it’s an office message or a major emergency call.”

Leah joined the Answer Midwest team for many reasons. “Initially, my mom heard about Answer Midwest at her office. She’s a nurse practitioner, and the people in her office referred me to the company,” said Leah. “I discovered that I really like it at Answer Midwest! I have great co-workers and management. Everyone is really down to earth here, and it’s also close to home.”

Most of all, Leah loves helping people in need. “Every caller is in need of something, and even the callers that think we are ‘just’ an answering service end up realizing that we play a key role in helping them,” she said.

A graduate from Lewis & Clark Community College, Leah grew up in Bethalto and fondly remembers spending time with her grandparents. “I had the best times as a child camping on weekends and holidays with Grams and Grandpa! Our favorite spots were in Vandalia and Nashville, Illinois,” said Leah.

Leah recently got married this year as well! “I married my husband in April, though we have been together for six years,” she said. “We went to Mexico with our family and close friends for our ceremony. I have never really traveled much, but going to Mexico was amazing!” Leah and her husband don’t have children yet, but their Chihuahua wiener dog, Lucy, tends to think that she is their child.

When Leah isn’t helping those in need at her job, she can be found outside. “I’m an outdoor girl! I love fishing, camping, boating, four-wheeling, hunting, and anything that keeps me outside,” Leah said. “I especially like gardening and working in the yard.”

Want to know more about Answer Midwest? Just give us a call at (618) 463-2430! No matter what hour of the day or night, we pick up!

8 Ways Answer Midwest Will Make Your Business More Efficient

At Answer Midwest, we are here to make your work go smoother! But maybe you’re curious about how we can achieve that. Below we’ve compiled eight ways we will make you and your business far more effective, all without having to go through the costly and time consuming process of hiring new employees.

No Downtime – We pride ourselves on being available 24/7 and we mean that. We know your business can’t afford any downtime, either. As such, we will take any and all calls and make sure they get to you no matter what. Hurricane Sandy is the perfect example of this. When some of the businesses on the east coast lost power because of the storm, those businesses didn’t miss a beat thanks to our service. Your company may face days when the office can’t be open, but that’s no reason to stop serving your clientele. Answer Midwest makes that possible!

Order taking – Say you are the type of business that lives on getting orders from customers by phone. You can’t be expected to stay in the office 24/7, and it can be costly to hire one or two people to work the phones during the graveyard shift. We can help you! With our service, your customers can order your products and services around the clock whether you or your employees are in the office or not.

Our staff can handle any order taking details you need. You can rest easy knowing your customers will speak with representatives of your company who are helpful and knowledgeable. All orders will be sent to you when you want them, and in any format you choose including email, fax, phone, and more. It’s like having your own personal employees!

Medical Emergencies – Are you a doctor? If so, you know how important it can be to get calls when your office is closed. We have been handling medical emergency calls since 1946, so we are very capable of helping you. We will take any medical calls, handle any information accurately, and keep all records for seven years for insurance and legal purposes. Your patients won’t ever know that you don’t have a receptionist 24/7!

Appointment Management – Your calendar is your lifeblood. Your schedule is important to you, and so it is for us, too. Clients, patients, or patrons can call us to make or reschedule any appointments, and we will make sure your schedule is kept up-to-date!

Information Center – Do you need survey results or questionnaire responses in order to help target your marketing program? We can handle that! We will gather any important information from your clients and make sure it gets to you without having to trouble your staff to do it. You’ll get your results without having to miss a beat at the office!

Troubleshooting and Help Desk – Ever find yourself answering the same questions over and over again? We can step in and take those calls for you. If you find that you constantly need to answer certain inquiries, just let us know how you would like us to respond, and we can take those pesky calls off of your hands.

Dispatching – Get the right information to the right person the first time. Instead of forcing your clients and customers to have to wade through a maze of on-hold messages, we will make sure their inquiries get to the right person each time.

Reminders – Do you find yourself forgetting important dates? Our wake-up service will make sure you know where you need to be and when you need to be there. You won’t have to worry about forgetting schedules, medications, appointments, or anniversaries with Answer Midwest at your side!

So, are you ready to kick your business up a notch? Then call us at (618) 463-9093, we’re ready to take your call!

Answer Midwest Employee Spotlight: Chrissy Pollock

Here at Answer Midwest, we love making sure that our clients’ customers are always taken care of and have all of their needs fulfilled. This wouldn’t be possible without our amazing staff, who are always happy and serve our clients’ customers with enthusiasm and a smile on their faces, no matter what time of the day or night. Our Employee Spotlight this month showcases Chrissy Pollock, Senior Dispatcher and soon to be our Office Manager here at Answer Midwest!

Chrissy has been with Answer Midwest for 4 and a half years and has worn several hats while at the company. “I’ve been in training for about a year now on all aspects of running the office,” she says. “I do account programming, the first level of employee performance reports, call-handling, dispatching, and I am also responsible for several reporting functions as well as being the trainer for new employees and new customers learning our systems.”

Chrissy has never been short on ambition and is always in pursuit of knowledge and self-betterment. “There are lots of other things that I’m training on!” said Chrissy. “Basically, I want to be able to know everything there is about keeping this office running smoothly for our Answer Midwest team and for our clients.”

A native of Wood River, Chrissy grew up spending time with her twin brother Chris and racing soapbox derby cars as a child. “I was on the news once when I won a trophy, which was almost as tall as I was,” she said. “That was a pretty cool thing for a kid!”

Chrissy graduated from SIU-E and studied social work, criminal justice, and business at the university. She chose to work at Answer Midwest because she wanted to work with people in an office setting and was looking for a job that would match the need she had. “My best friend Tess had worked at Answer Midwest while she was in school, too, and she told me that it was a great place to work,” said Chrissy. “She was right – I love it here!”

More specifically, Chrissy loves the people most when at her job. “I love both the people I work with as well as the long list of different companies and callers,” she said. “I also enjoy being able to learn new things and share ideas here!”

Chrissy has been married to her husband, Don, for 8 years and together they have two dogs, Leroy the basset hound and Stitch the Shih Tzu. “My husband has been my rock through so many trials – we really are soul mates!” she said. “We don’t have children currently, but we both love kids and definitely see them in our future.”

When Chrissy isn’t happily assisting our clients’ customers or her coworkers, she can be found reading, crocheting blankets, or camping or fishing with her husband. An avid baseball and St. Louis Blues hockey fan, Chrissy also loves to watch her twin brother Chris race on the dirt tracks at TRI City Speedway, being part of her cousin’s free haunted house, Mason Mansion, in Wood River, and being part of the Ladies Auxiliary in Hartford.

Want to know more about Answer Midwest? Call us at (618) 463-2430. We’ll pick up!

Hey, Health Care Professionals! Answer Midwest Is Now HIPAA Compliant!

When you use any kind of service, you expect your information to be confidential and held with the utmost respect. This is especially true if you’re in the healthcare field, a field in which privacy is a must.

Well, we have great news for you then! Answer Midwest has now become totally HIPAA compliant and certified in order to better serve all of you in the medical industry!

All of our operators at Answer Midwest have just finished training and certification in become HIPAA compliant, so whenever you use our services, your clients will be greeted by HIPAA certified, friendly operators who are highly trained to gather private sensitive information and to dispatch messages promptly and accurately to your desired HIPAA compliant protocol! Each call includes detailed record-keeping and is digitally recorded for retention.

We also provide message encryption, which will protect your privacy and the privacy of your clients in both text message and email format! Doctors will now have the ability to send secure messages to others in their group and make notes on the messages that they receive right on the secure messaging app!

Best of all, all data files are sent and received securely among you and your staff and features text with fully-supported

SMS text messaging! All messages are secured with SSL encryption software and are safely stored on a secure remote server.

As an ever-changing industry, the field of healthcare and medicine depends on messages being delivered in a simple, quick, and secure manner, all while remaining compliant with HIPAA secure PHI regulation requirements. At Answer Midwest, you can be assured that your messages will remain secure and that you can access them instantly – 24/7!

Want to make sure that your company is ahead of the curve? Sign up with Answer Midwest, your full-service, 24/7 live operator call-handling service company!

Call us at (618) 463-2430 today!

Answer Midwest Wins the National Award for Excellence 12 Years in a Row!

Here at Answer Midwest, we strive on a daily basis to make sure that you, our client, are receiving the best service possible. We make sure that every caller of yours is happy that they are doing business with you and that your every need is catered to and considered. We want to provide you with the highest quality of caller professionalism, service, responsiveness, and comfort, and we make it a point to reach for this goal on a daily basis.

How honored were we when we learned that we were being recognized and rewarded for our hard work!

The Association of TeleServices International has recently given us The Diamond-Plus Award of Excellence for customer service for the 12th year in a row! This is quite an honor for us all here at Answer Midwest. For the past twelve years, we have had to pass stringent testing by an independent panel of judges. The judges rated our call-handling skills in the realms of courtesy, accuracy, professionalism, response time, making our customers feel comfortable, and our overall service to our clients’ callers.

We are so proud to continue this tradition of quality and superior customer service and so honored to have received this award for the 12th consecutive year. Our goal each and every day is to make every single caller happy and satisfied that they are doing business with our clients, and that our agents, who continually train and are unwaveringly committed to our clients, provide the highest quality of service, responsiveness, and caller professionalism for our clients and their callers. To us, receiving this award exemplifies that we are adhering to our motto every day – “Real people. Real time. All the difference!”

If you’re looking for a full-service, 24/7 live operator call-handling service company that stands out from the crowd and provides you with superior service, then we are the company for you!

Give us a call at (618) 463-2430 for more information! Remember, our only limitation is your imagination!