Front Office/Receptionist Answering Service

Updated May 1, 2017

For your small company, it may not make sense to hire 24/7 front office staff to take incoming calls…but you want your callers to talk to a human being rather than an automated attendant. Centratel is especially suited to offer your callers the personable and efficient human connection you provide in your own front office. Answering quality is so high that your callers will assume that we are physically in your front office!

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Centratel is poles apart from the traditional telephone answering service: We consider ourselves to be the highest quality telephone answering service in the United States.

Have you come to this website because your current telephone answering service is not performing? If so, you are not alone. The huge majority of our newest accounts come to us because they are dissatisfied with a former answering service provider. Note: Our most recent Customer Reported Error Rate (October through December, 2018) was 1 customer-reported error for every 11,034 message transactions processed. For a comprehensive over-view of how Centratel is able to maintain such a high level of quality, see company president and majority owner Sam Carpenter’s letter, “Why Centratel.”

We invite you to review testimonials from our current clients.

Daytime over-flow answering service. When your lines are too busy, we’ll take your overflow traffic and you will never miss a call. We can take a message and get the information back to you via voice mail, fax or email, cellular or connect your caller “live” to a back number at your office. There are lots of options, one of which will suit your situation perfectly.

Depending on your situation, it’s possible that Centratel can handle all your daytime calls thus saving the cost of a full time receptionist. It’s a great cost savings.

Centratel generates hard-copy backups of all transactions. For routine messages, there are a variety of delivery options available including voice mail, fax and Email. If you use our daytime answering service, messages can be delivered one at a time as they are taken, or in batches. In addition, all elements of every after-hours on-call contact for the past 24 hours can be batched hard-copy to the office each morning. We can provide full archiving of answered messages for a period of three years.

There is an almost endless array of message delivery and message retrieval options including picking up your messages anytime from any web enabled computer, or your Smartphone, with our free on-line message pick-up service.

Our various answering service message relay protocols, built on years of emergency dispatch for the medical profession, have a major commonality: it is critical that your incoming calls be handled exactly as described in the 1-2-3 step call center relay method that has been specially designed for your company. The essential element in the relay protocol is that messages are delivered quickly and efficiently! The new “front office” client is carefully interviewed by Centratel’s new-account specialist to determine exactly how we should handle the incoming calls.

Centratel Quality: Quality of answering and message delivery service is, of course, subjective but Centratel’s systematic call center protocols have developed directly as a result of handling emergencies for our many medical clients. What is true for medical urgencies is also true for any non-medical urgency. The transaction with the caller must be professional, accuracy must be zero-defect, and the process of taking the information and delivering it must be fast and efficient. All this must be accomplished by Telephone Service Representatives (TSRs) who perform in exactly the way you expect your front office personnel to perform: they are personable, informed, positive and patient.

Centratel has the same operational/management challenges that you have. We must receive and process messages, handle human resource issues, schedule new projects, deal with inventory, plan for the future and handle after-hours situations. We use the same answering service tools we offer our clients and we’ve honed the necessary processes to offer you refreshingly personable and zero-defect receptionist services.

All calls are digitally recorded (where allowed by law), providing a solid record of any conversation between our TSR and your caller. This is a critical element in determining liability issues–experience has shown that over 90% of client complaints are based upon caller misunderstandings or errors, and not based on TSR error.

We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding substance abuse: Drug testing is part of the interview process, and frequent random testing occurs with all answering service sand administrative staff. Training is incessant and rigorous; our expectations are high. In turn, our TSR staff enjoys wages and benefits in the top 2% of all call centers nationally as they perform in a work environment that is both calm and invigorating. We don’t hire part-time answering service staff; all TSR’s earn a living wage and consider their positions as careers. We break the stereotype in the call center/telephone answering service industry that operations personnel are underpaid and overworked. At Centratel, we work in the opposite direction, fully acknowledging that the key element in a superb answering service message relay lies with the people who handle the calls. And unlike the majority of call centers that discourage clients’ contact with call center operations personnel, we invite you to personally inspect our physical operation in Bend, Oregon and meet the people who actually handle your calls.

Your office personnel have a direct connection to a specific Customer Service Representative. Our customer service department is organized so that you will have one person assigned to your answering service account who handles all client issues directly with the Telephone Service Representative staff. Your Customer Service Representative (CSR) will know your people personally and understand your account intimately. Indirectly becoming a part of your front office staff, your CSR is friendly, professional and dependable. After-hours, and in the absence of your assigned CSR, a skilled on-site Operations Supervisor will be immediately available to answer questions or handle unusual answering service or call center situations.

Our TSRs use the absolute latest and most dependable 100% digital call processing equipment available. Ours is a complex business: All primary systems are redundant and backup systems are readily available. Centratel’s two certified IT engineers are available 24/7/365 in the remote chance of a systems malfunction. Mechanical support includes robust UPS/battery backup with heavy duty generators and redundant servers. Located in the Pacific Northwest, the most stable environmental location in the lower 48 states, we are not susceptible to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or earthquakes.

And, we do it all at a reasonable price! In the answering service industry, just like your own business, it really is a matter of “getting what you pay for.” At Centratel, you can be assured that your monthly answering service investment is solid and worthwhile.

To apply for service, go to our Price Quote page.