A Message from your Phone: Why You Need Live Phone Answering

A Message from your Phone: Why You Need Live Phone Answering
Hi. It’s your phone here. I know you’ve been stressed lately and I have seen how busy you have been, but you can’t leave me ringing. Sometimes I ring for so long I get out of breath, but you are either out of the office or else talking on that floozy mobile phone. And even though I ask the callers to leave a message for you, a lot of them just hang up on me. I think we need help. I saw this ad where I get answered every time I ring, no matter what you are doing. The people calling are happier because they get to talk to a real person, not just me telling them no-one is around. And best of all, I get a facelift out of it! Yep, no more unmemorable number for me, but a catchy 1300 number I can brag about to all of my friends. I hope you don’t mind, but I went ahead and contacted the company in the ad. They’re called Alltel, and they’re really helpful and friendly. (I can see why their customers say so many nice things about them on their web site.) They can set up a virtual office for you, and it will cost less than you spend on the coffees you buy each day at that little shop around the corner. I’ve attached some FAQs that Alltel sent to me so you can find out more. This sounds like it could be just what we need. What do you think? We’ve been together too long for us to go our separate ways, but the same can’t be said for our prospective clients. Yours truly, Ringo

How does live phone answering work?

Your calls are answered by the professional operators in Alltel’s Australian-based call centre. They greet callers using your business name, and then take a message that they immediately forward to you via SMS, email, and web-based portal. With some plans, you can even get them to connect the calls through to you.

How do they know when to answer my calls?

You can set up your 1300 number so that calls are diverted to live answering if you’re already on the phone, or else if you don’t answer within a set time (e.g. 15 seconds). You can also have all calls go straight to the live answering service outside of your regular office hours. The call centre operates 24/7, so customers can leave messages at any time of the day or night.

How much does all this cost?

Alltel’s live answering plans start at just $29 a month for a messaging service. Or if you want one of the plans where operators connect calls through to you, those start from $49 a month. And the 1300 numbers start at $14 a month.

Will I get locked into a long-term contract?

The minimum contract for live answering is three months. After that, you can cancel at any time: just give Alltel one month notice. There is no contract for 1300 numbers. Again, cancel at any time with one month notice.

What’s the virtual office that you mentioned?

Alltel bundles together some of their most popular services, which they offer to you at a discounted rate. The package includes live answering, Fax2Email (get faxes delivered directly to email: no fax machine required), and two dedicated 1300 (or 1800) numbers: one each for live answering and Fax2Email. If you buy these services as a virtual office bundle, Alltel throws in the Fax2Email service for FREE.

What else does Alltel do?

Alltel is a full-service business telco, so in addition to live answering and 1300/1800 numbers, they can help with things like your business phone lines, Fax2Email. Voice2Email, call forwarding IVR menus, and Smartnumber® hosting. Getting everything through a single carrier provides the convenience of a single bill, a single point of contact, and savings available through bundles like Alltel’s virtual office.

Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I get started?

You can give Alltel a call on 1300 ALLTEL (1300 255 835). The people there are really helpful and happy to spend time talking to you about which of their services are best suited to your business. You can also check out their web site at www.alltel.com.au to find out more about who they are, what they do, and what their customers say about them. Note: Prices quoted exclude GST. Set up and other fees may apply. Visit www.alltel.com.au for full pricing, terms and conditions. With acknowledgement to Sarah J Bray, who is a marketing goddess.

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