AnswerConnect is a primarily inbound call center and answering service that specializes in processing orders, assisting customers and setting appointments. It also provides some outbound services, such as generating leads and taking surveys in your company's name. However, it does lack some of the outbound services of more comprehensive call centers.
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AnswerConnect's simple answering services include taking calls, answering general questions and forwarding messages for you. It can also perform receptionist duties and transfer customer calls to the correct departments. Agents are available 365 days a year and around the clock, helping even the tiniest business operate a 24/7 front office.
Pricing and Fees
AnswerConnect offers monthly minute-based pricing plans, the rates of which depend on your call volume. Rates range from 76 cents per minute, which is average in the industry, up to $1.49 per minute. For our hypothetical business, which we said received 20-30 calls per day, a company representative quoted us at 83-86 cents per minute for a package of 2,400 minutes per month. AnswerConnect will send you an alert when you have used 80 percent of your minutes, and you can upgrade or downgrade your plan as needed.
AnswerConnect charges a one-time setup fee of $50. The company always rounds up to the nearest minute, but calls shorter than 30 seconds do not count toward your total. There is no agent work time after the call; when agents hang up the call, they are finished working on your account, so you are only billed for the time during which agents are connected.
AnswerConnect requires a 90-day agreement for service, with cancellation allowed at any time and no cancellation fee. For an estimate regarding your call volume and services required, you'll have to speak to a company representative.
Call Center Services
AnswerConnect offers sophisticated inbound call center services, including technical help, lead capture, cross-selling and upselling. It also offers email and live chat support. The live chat service uses the same bank of minutes as your inbound and outbound services, but it only charges for up to 10 minutes per chat, in case of excessive idle time.
The company works with you to write call scripts. You have full control over how your customers are greeted and what they hear when they are transferred to another department. AnswerConnect promises that callers will connect with an agent within just a few rings, though it does not provide an expected waiting time.
AnswerConnect offers some basic outbound services, such as following up with customers and contacting leads from a list that you have already gathered. You can also have an AnswerConnect representative survey recent customers to gauge their satisfaction, and dispatch calls in urgent situations. The company doesn't offer more robust telemarketing campaigns, though, or engage in any cold calling. However, a major benefit of AnswerConnect's outbound services is that they don't require dedicated agents. Instead, your monthly package of minutes counts toward outbound work just as it does toward inbound work, which is a somewhat unique aspect of AnswerConnect's services.
Shared and Dedicated Agents
AnswerConnect maintains both shared and dedicated agents, which it can assign to you based on your service needs and call volume. Shared agents are cheaper and used for more general purposes. Dedicated agents, while more expensive, are assigned specifically to your company and maintain an intimate knowledge of your business and customer base. Consulting with the company to develop a custom plan will help you determine which level of agent your contact center objectives require.
Our experience with customer service from AnswerConnect was positive. We weren't placed on hold, the representatives we spoke with answered our questions professionally, and we didn't have to be transferred around to get the information we needed.
AnswerConnect employs customer service representatives who speak English clearly and well. It also provides Spanish-speaking representatives, an essential and courteous way to connect with clients in an increasingly multilingual world. However, AnswerConnect does not offer a translation service for clients who speak other languages, which can hinder your international business.
AnswerConnect's outbound offerings are limited. While it does offer certain outbound services, extensive campaigns are not on that list. If you're looking to conduct telemarketing campaigns or cold calling, you might want to look elsewhere, as AnswerConnect only calls your warm leads and recent customers.
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