Veterinary Answering Service

Updated April 28, 2017

Veterinary call processing must be handled quickly, accurately and with sensitivity to the caller and the on-call doctor. With a three decade history of handling medical calls, human emergency call processing has shaped every facet of Centratel’s veterinary services operation. Visit our headquarter offices in Bend, Oregon and see for yourself that our answering service call processing center evokes the same calm, clean, and efficient atmosphere as your own clinic.

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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, all accessible via our 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.

Small animal, large animal, exotic and equine answering service: Centratel has the resources, both human and technical, to offer the veterinarian worry-free and reliable call screening and dispatch.

Absolutely dependable, it’s the job of the Centratel Telephone Service Representative (TSR) to carefully follow your relay instructions, finding a balance between needlessly disturbing the on-call veterinarian and efficiently connecting him or her to clients who truly need immediate assistance. Once the answering service relay protocol has been established for your account, it is followed tenaciously by the TSR unless you give us real-time instructions otherwise. Based on our medical specialty, and on feedback from hundreds of physicians and veterinarians, we’ve developed 1-2-3 answering service procedures to provide a nearly zero-defect call screening process.

Our We pride ourselves in being the “highest quality answering service in the United States.” most recent Customer Reported Error Rate (January through March, 2018) was one customer-reported error for every 12,297 message transactions processed: an error rate far superior to any answering service elsewhere.

We invite you to review testimonials from our current clients.

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

Hard-copy backups of all transactions. For routine non-urgent 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 delivered to your 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 online message pick-up service.

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 due to caller misunderstandings or errors, and not based on TSR error.

At Centratel our people make the difference. Applicants for the Telephone Service Representative position undergo an intensive interviewing/testing process. 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 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 of answering service industry in which operations personnel are under-paid and overworked. At Centratel, we move in the opposite direction, fully acknowledging that the key element in a superb answering service message processing lies with the people who handle the calls. And unlike the majority of telephone answering services that discourage client contact with an answering service operations personnel, we invite you to personally inspect our physical operation in Bend, Oregon and meet the people who actually handle your calls.

Centratel Quality: Quality of answering and message delivery service is, of course, subjective but Centratel’s systematic answering service protocols have developed directly as a result of handling emergencies for our many medical clients. What is true for human medical emergency is also true for any veterinary emergency. 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 TSRs who perform in exactly the way you expect your front office personnel to perform: they are personable, informed, positive and patient.

Your office personnel 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 answering service 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! Centratel offers a dramatic cost-cutter. Approximately 95% of medical and veterinary offices use “Gold Service,” an automated greeting/information option to intercept calls for initial screening and to give out general information. On average, two thirds of all incoming after-hours callers can be accommodated without speaking to a TSR. Office hours, directions to the office and the ability to leave a message are all contained within the automated greeting. Callers appreciate the answering service system as they are on and off the line quickly after retrieving the information they need or after leaving a message for your office. By pressing zero on their dial-pad, or by simply staying on the line, callers who must speak with the on-call doctor are quickly routed to a Centratel TSR for call dispatch. Veterinary office managers appreciate the Gold Service system as it is dramatically less expensive than having every caller speak directly with a Telephone Service Representative. Of course, we also handle offices that do not use this screening system; each caller speaks immediately with our Telephone Service Representative.

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