Public and Private Utilities Answering Service

Updated May 1, 2017

Electric, water, waste disposal and irrigation utilities oversee large geographical areas and often have multiple on-call service individuals and/or crews. In an emergency, Centratel has the resources, including a state-of-the-art telemessaging system, that allow the Telephone Service Representative (TSR) to expertly classify and coordinate each service call.

Request a Price Quote

(Note: This web site is different from other answering service sites. Our prime objective is to provide you information, not to simply “sell” you. Of course we want to provide you service, but our first aim is to inform. Within this site you will find nearly 200,000 words of answering service-related content accessible via a search feature. The information is constantly updated and is as objective as it can be, considering we are a for-profit entity. For information about the answering service industry itself, go here.)

Personal and property liability risks are huge, so after-hours calls must be handled efficiently, immediately and with great care. Our various answering service relay protocols, built on years of emergency dispatch for the medical profession, have a major commonality: It is critical that every one of your incoming calls be handled exactly as described in the 1-2-3 step relay protocol that has been specially designed for your operations department. The essential element in the relay protocol is that every urgent message is delivered quickly and efficiently.

Quality? We represent ourselves as “the highest quality answering service in the United States.” Our “Customer Reported Error Rate” statistics demonstrate a near-flawless level of message processing. Again, note: Our most recent Customer Reported Error Rate (January through March, 2018) was one customer-reported error for every 12,297 message transactions processed.

We invite you to review testimonials from our current clients.

At the beginning, working together, your operational people and our New Account Specialist will determine exactly what constitutes an emergency and how to relay the information to on-call personnel. It will be black and white with non-emergencies held for the next working day per your operations manager’s exact direction.

Absolutely dependable, it’s the job of the Centratel Telephone Service Representative to carefully follow your exact relay instructions that will find a balance between needlessly disturbing your on-call personnel and efficiently connecting him or her to people who truly need immediate assistance. Once your relay protocol has been established, it is followed tenaciously by the TSR unless we have been given real-time instructions otherwise.

All calls are digitally recorded, 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 are the face of your utility when you’re not there. Your non-emergency calls must be handled quickly, professionally and in a friendly way. Every call counts!

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 and administrative staff.

Training is incessant; our expectations are high. In turn, our TSR staff enjoys wages and benefits in the top 2% of all answering services 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. Job descriptions are thorough yet concise so our people know exactly what is expected of them. We break the stereotype of answering service operations personnel who are underpaid and overworked. At Centratel, we work in the opposite direction, fully acknowledging that the key element in superb message relay lies with the people who handle the calls. Unlike the majority of telephone answering services that discourage clients’ contact with 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 will have a direct connection to a specific Customer Service Representative at Centratel. 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 TSR 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 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.

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 service, messages can be delivered one at a time as they are taken, or in batches. All elements of every after-hours on-call contact are batched hard-copy to the office each morning. We 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.

Centratel Quality: Quality of answering and message delivery service is, of course, subjective but as mentioned previously, Centratel’s systematic utility answering service 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 a utility 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 who perform in exactly the way you expect your front office personnel to perform: They are personable, informed, positive and unrushed.

And, we do it all at a reasonable price! Our rate structure is in the middle of the range of rates charged by other utility telephone answering services. In the answering service business, 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 or call center investment is solid and worthwhile.

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