The Power of the Person

At its core, personal service is all about the person. The age of emails and text messages has caused many of today’s businesses to become nameless and faceless entities, emotionally detached from their customers. Live Operator Answering Services can help you better connect with your customers and put the personal back in personal service. In fact, a recent study by Consumer’s Union found the #1 customer annoyance was that they can’t get a real person on the phone when they call.

Mention Answering Services and many people think only of their doctor or maybe their fuel oil company. Today’s Answering Services are so much more, providing customized Live operator services to a wide range of companies that are without the time or the staff it takes to effectively handle their calls during the day or after hours.

Many of today’s Answering Services provide detailed and personalized “scripting” of your calls to ensure that your messages have all the vital and accurate information you need to meet your unique business requirements. Well developed “scripting” enables the answering service to be an extension of your company providing the caller with a seamless customer service experience.

Full-service Answering Services provide so much more than simply “take a message and deliver a message” service. Messages are tracked and recorded for auditing purposes and can be delivered to your people using via email, text message, fax or a good old-fashioned phone call to their cell or landline phone. Summary messages can be sent to you daily or weekly to help you manage your customer calls and on-call staff. Some Answering Services can even directly enter call information into your business systems enabling your staff to work more efficiently by eliminating the need to re-enter customer information.

2014 ATSI Award of Excellence (10th Consecutive Year)

For Immediate Release
Monday, June 23, 2014

Finger Lakes Answering Service Wins TOP FIVE ATSI Award of Excellence

Finger Lakes Answering Service (FLAS) of Auburn, NY has been recognized as having one of the TOP FIVE SCORE’s in the annual international Award of Excellence competition sponsored by the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI), the industry’s trade association for providers of telecommunications and call center services including telephone answering and message delivery throughout the world. FLAS was presented with the award at ATSI’s 2014 Annual Convention held in Memphis, TN, along with recognition for earning the Award for the 10th consecutive year.

“We are very excited to have earned ATSI’s the top-five ranking in 2014. We equally pleased to have earned the Award of Excellence for the 10th straight year and for finishing in the top 5 for the past 5 years. Our dedicated team of professionals, lead by Karen Goodman, works very hard to ensure that we consistently deliver excellent service to our clients and their callers, year-in and year-out,” says Gardner McLean, President.

Independent judges are contracted by ATSI to evaluate message services over a 6-month period. The criteria for scoring includes: courtesy, response time, accuracy and overall service to their clients.

“The ATSI Award of Excellence is the most prestigious recognition of exemplary customer service in our industry. Award recipients demonstrated the highest level of service throughout every aspect of a caller’s experience – exceeding the award’s rigorous criteria and customer service standards. It’s quite an honor,” says ATSI President Sharon Campbell.

Now a ten-time winner, Finger Lakes Answering Service earned the Diamond Award for earning the ATSI Award of Excellence for the 10th consecutive year. ATSI extends its congratulations to the staff of Finger Lakes Answering Service on their proven TOP FIVE quality service to their customers.

Ray Schremp, Vice President, said ““We participate in the ATSI Award of Excellence program because it is a great way for us to reinforce the high standards we set for ourselves and it encourages all of our employees to work toward a common goal – excellent customer service. Excellence is not a goal that you reach and forget; it is a perpetual process of achieving the highest levels of performance on each call by every employee.”

How to Make the Most Out of Call Forwarding (Part I)

Most of our customers use Call Forwarding to connect with the answering service.  This feature is available through the local phone carriers and is controlled by you and them.

There are several types of Call Forwarding available through the phone carriers. Here are the most commonly used types of call forwarding and when they may be beneficial:

Call Forwarding Variable This is the basic plan.  This Call Forwarding option allows you to call forward your telephone number manually to any telephone number that you select.

Typical procedure:

  • Activated by dialing *72 and the telephone number that you want to forward your calls to.  You must be dialing from the phone number that you want to have forwarded for this to work.
  • Once you have received confirmation that you have reached the correct number (either a live operator’s greeting or a recorded message) you can hang up.  The call forwarding has been activated.  It is not necessary to actually speak with an operator to tell them that you are forwarding your phones.  In fact, most calls are forwarded at our peak call volume times so you may experience longer than usual wait times if you stay on the line to speak with an operator.

or

  • Dial *72 and the telephone number that you want to forward your calls to, hang up after the first ring and repeat the process until you hear a confirmation tone – this indicates that you have successfully forwarded the line.
  • The Call Forwarding feature is usually cancelled or deactivated by dialing *73 from the telephone line that was forwarded.   There is no need to speak with anyone to do this.

For more information on how you can best utilize Call Forwarding, please contact Lisa Anderson at 315-255-9125 ext. 225.

How to Make the Most Out of Call Forwarding (Part III)

Here is one more common type of Call Forwarding:

Virtual Call Forwarding (different carriers have different names for this)

This feature allows you to forward your office number to another number even when you are away from the office.  This feature is great for emergency situations or when you forget and leave the office without forwarding your calls to the answering service.  You are given a toll-free number to call along with a PIN to activate or deactivate.

For more information on how you can best utilize Call Forwarding, please contact Lisa Anderson at 315-255-9125 ext 225.

2013 ATSI Award of Excellence (9th Consecutive Year)

For Immediate Release Friday, June 21, 2013

Finger Lakes Answering Service (FLAS) of Auburn, NY has been honored with the exclusive 2013 Award of Excellence for the ninth consecutive year. The award is presented annually by the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI), the industry’s trade association for providers of telecommunications and call center services including telephone answering and message delivery throughout the world. Finger Lakes Answering Service was presented with the award at ATSI’s 2013 Annual Convention held in Kansas City.

“We are very excited to have earned ATSI’s the top ranking in 2013. We equally pleased to have earned the Award of Excellence for the 9th straight year and for finishing in the top 5 for the past 4 years. Our dedicated team of professionals, lead by Karen Goodman, works very hard to ensure that we consistently deliver excellent service to our clients and their callers, year-in and year-out,” says Gardner McLean, President.

Independent judges are contracted by ATSI to evaluate message services over a 6-month period. The criteria for scoring includes: courtesy, response time, accuracy and overall service to their clients.

“The Award of Excellence allows the participating companies to benchmark their customer-focused culture and processes against proven standards of excellence. Winning the award brings industry and community recognition to our members’ call center staff for their valued commitment and dedication. Although winning the award is an honor, all participating companies are winners! The feedback received is a valuable component to their continual commitment to providing a world class customer service experience with every interaction performed on behalf of their clients,” says ATSI President Maryann Whitmore.

Finger Lakes Answering Service was presented with the Sapphire Award for earning the ATSI Award of Excellence for the 9th consecutive year. ATSI extends its special congratulations to the staff of Finger Lakes Answering Service on earning 2013’s TOP SCORE among all of the participation call centers.

Ray Schremp, Vice President, said ““We participate in the ATSI Award of Excellence program because it is a great way for us to reinforce the high standards we set for ourselves and it encourages all of our employees to work toward a common goal excellent customer service. Excellence is not a goal that you reach and forget; it is a perpetual process of achieving the highest levels of performance on each call by every employee.”

2012 ATSI Award of Excellence (8th Consecutive Year)

For Immediate Release
Monday, June 25, 2012

Finger Lakes Answering Service Wins ATSI Award & Ranks
Top 5 for 3rd Straight Year

Finger Lakes Answering Service (FLAS) of Auburn, NY has been honored with the exclusive 2012 Award of Excellence for the eighth consecutive year. The award is presented annually by the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI), the industry’s trade association for providers of telecommunications and call center services including telephone answering and message delivery across North America and the UK. Finger Lakes Answering Service was presented with the award at ATSI’s 2012 Annual Convention held at the Omni Hotel in Orlando, FL.

“We have now been in the top 5 for the last 3 years – an incredible honor for our hard-working, dedicated team. This team, headed by Karen Goodman, has proven time and again how they can stand out in our approach to the customer experience,” says Gardner McLean, President. “I’m sure that most of our customers do not know that we have achieved such a notable ranking, but I would venture that they certainly would agree that it is well deserved.”

Independent judges are contracted by ATSI to evaluate message services over a 6-month period. The criteria for scoring includes: courtesy, response time, accuracy and overall service to their clients.

“Winning the AWARD OF EXCELLENCE is a great source of pride amongst other members’ call center staff. It is an external validation of the excellent service they are providing their callers,” says ATSI President Beth Cooper.

Now an eight-time winner, Finger Lakes Answering Service earned the Ruby Award for eight consecutive years. ATSI extends its congratulations to the staff of Finger Lakes Answering Service on their proven TOP 5 quality service to their customers.

Ray Schremp, Vice President, says: “Our approach to meeting the customer’s needs and surpassing their expectations is backed up by hours of training, monitoring and coaching, and as can be seen with this award, is recognized by our industry. We are all very proud of winning this award for the 8th straight year.”

FLBS Acquires Elite Communications Answering Service

July 28, 2011 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SYRACUSE , NY — Finger Lakes Business Services, Inc. (FLBS) has purchased the assets of Elite Communications Answering Service, Inc., an answering service based in Brandon, FL. Elite has been in business serving the Tampa Bay area since 1992.

Elite Communications is a full-service answering service located in Brandon, FL and was established in 1992. Elite’s clients will have no interruption in service and will benefit from Finger Lakes Business Services’ continued investment in new technology and focus on customer service. In June, Finger Lakes Answering Service of Auburn and Communications Group of Syracuse were both honored with the exclusive 2011 ATSI Award of Excellence for the 7th consecutive year while Answer Bay Area won for the second consecutive year.

Ray Schremp, Vice President of Operations says: “This acquisition will provide the Elite clients with a larger staff and one that has proven to be at the top of the industry in customer service. We are beginning the process of programming all the client data into our telephony system and training all of the Elite staff on our equipment. We are excited by the opportunity to work with Elite’s customers and build long-lasting relationships with them.”

Elite Communications is the 10th answering service acquired by FLBS. The company previously purchased Finger Lakes Answering Service in 2002, Ithaca Answering Service in 2002, Communications Group in Syracuse in 2003, Executive Support Services in Oswego in 2006, Nunn’s Communications in Rome in 2010. The company previously purchased four out-of-state answering services: Answer Bay Area in Tampa in 2009, the Communications Center of Steamboat Springs, CO. in 2006 and Greeley Telephone Answering of Greeley CO. in 2007, and Mountain West Communications in 2008.

“We have had a prior relationship with Elite, being their backup service in the event that something like a hurricane forced them to shut down, so we knew about their business,” says Gardner McLean, President. “When the former owner decided that his operation was too small to continue on its own, we were glad to jump at the opportunity to include Elite in our stable of businesses. We had been looking to expand our presence in Florida and this fits right in with our current Tampa operation. We have hired all the staff of Elite and expect that we will be handling all the Elite customer calls in our Tampa office within a few weeks.”

According to industry sources, this places Finger Lakes Business Services in the top 3% of all 4,000 answering services in the country in terms of size, with over 1,200 clients and 75 employees. Elite joins existing call centers: Finger Lakes Answering Service, Communications Group, Answer Bay Area, Nunns’ Communications, Communications Center of Steamboat Springs, Executive Support Services, and Greeley Telephone Answering under the Finger Lakes Business Services corporate umbrella.

FLBS Makes 2010 Inc 5000 List

FINGER LAKES BUSINESS SERVICES Ranks No. 3292 on the 2010 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 58%

NEW YORK, August 24, 2010 — Inc. magazine today ranked Finger Lakes Business Services, Inc. NO. 3292 on its fourth annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

 “We are not exactly in a growth industry, so we are extremely pleased to be included in this list,” says Gardner McLean, President of this Auburn, NY based business. “We have been able to grow by applying basic business principles in an industry where businesses are often run as a ‘mom and pop’ businesses. We focus on treating our customers as we would like to be treated. We do not gain market share by cutting prices, but by continuing to provide stellar service day in and day out.”

 

With unemployment remaining stubbornly high, policymakers and business leaders will do well to look to the Inc. 5000 companies for fresh ideas on achieving growth and creating jobs.

 “Our 75 employees work daily on mastering the details of our extensive check list against which they are measured,” says Ray Schremp, Vice President of Operations. “We have a strong work force that has been screened and tested and evaluated daily. Our customers expect the best and we strive to prove it on every call.”

 The 2010 Inc. 5000, unveiled today on Inc.com, serves as a unique illustration of the profound changes taking place in the U.S. economy. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent-minded entrepreneurs.

 “The leaders of the companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have figured out how to grow their businesses during the longest recession since the Great Depression,” said Inc. president Bob LaPointe. “The 2010 Inc. 5000 showcases a particularly hardy group of entrepreneurs.”

Methodology
The 2010 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2006 to 2009 . To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by June 30 , 2006. Additionally, they had to be based in the United States, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2009. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2006 is $80,000; the minimum for 2009 is $2 million.

About Inc. Magazine
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures LLC,Inc. ( www.inc.com ) is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. With a total paid circulation of 712,647 , Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology. Visit us online at www.inc.com .

2011 ATSI Award of Excellence (7th Consecutive Year)

Finger Lakes Answering Service Receives Emerald Award from ATSI
JUNE 27, 2011

Finger Lakes Answering Service (FLAS) of Auburn , NY has been honored with the exclusive 2011 Award of Excellence for the seventh consecutive year. The award is presented annually by the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI), the industry’s trade association for providers of telecommunications and call center services including telephone answering and message delivery across North America and Canada . Finger Lakes Answering Service was presented with the award at ATSI’s 2011 Annual Convention held at the Grand Hyatt, San Antonio , TX .

“We are extremely proud to have Finger Lakes Answering Service rank in the TOP 5 of all the answering services in this international association. This is the second year that we have achieved a TOP 5 ranking which speaks clearly of our staff’s continual push for excellence,” says Gardner McLean, President of Finger Lakes Business Services, the parent company of FLAS and several other answering services in New York , Florida and Colorado .

Independent judges are contracted by ATSI to evaluate message services over a 6-month period. The criteria for scoring includes: courtesy, response time, accuracy and overall service to their clients.

“ATSI prides itself in agent training through many mediums. The AWARD OF EXCELLENCE is one of the most rewarding. This “secret caller” program is an intense program extending throughout the year with test calls being made to registered participants and handled by random agents,” says ATSI President Michael Fultz. “If a company receives the AWARD OF EXCELLENCE they have set the bar for quality in the Telephone Answering Service Industry.”

Now a seven-time winner, Finger Lakes Answering Service earned the Emerald Award for seven consecutive years. ATSI extends its congratulations to the staff of Finger Lakes Answering Service on their proven TOP 5 quality service to their customers.

“This is all about training, coaching, supervising and monitoring that is done on any ongoing basis in order to not only attain this prestigious award, but more importantly, to provide our clients with the highest level of service, “ says Ray Schremp, Vice President of the company. “Our staff is dedicated to proving themselves every day, with every call that we handle.”

2010 ATSI Award of Excellence (6th Consecutive Year)

Finger Lakes Answering Service Receives TOP TEN and Pearl Award from ATSI
June 16, 2010

Finger Lakes Answering Service of Auburn, NY has been honored with the exclusive 2010 Award of Excellence for the sixth consecutive year. This year, Finger Lakes Answering Service also earned special recognition as having scores that were in the TOP TEN of the industry. The awards are presented annually by the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI), the industry’s trade association for providers of telecommunications and call center services including telephone answering and message delivery. Finger Lakes Answering Service was presented with the award at ATSI’s 2010 Annual Convention held at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA .

After six months of intensive testing, an independent panel of judges scored call-handling skills such as courtesy, response time, accuracy and overall service to their clients, the cornerstones of the call management industry. Answering Services with excellent scores in ALL categories are presented with the coveted Award of Excellence.

Now an impressive six-time winner, Finger Lakes Answering Service earned the Pearl Award for six consecutive years. ATSI extends its congratulations to the staff of Finger Lakes Answering Service for their proven TOP TEN quality service to their customers.

“We work hard all year to achieve the ATSI Excellence standards on all of our calls”, says Gard McLean, President of Finger Lakes Business Services, Inc., the parent company of Finger Lakes Answering Service. “We are continually evaluating our staff and coaching them to attain perfect scores on every call. We are very pleased to see that the efforts are rewarded with these 2 awards. We have strived each year to be in the Top Ten, and have improved our standings each year.”

“We have made an event around the winning of these awards”, says Ray Schremp, Vice President of the Answering Service. “We have a few days of celebration with luncheons and handing out of bonuses to our whole team. We are extremely proud to have had the 4 th highest score in the world this year. This will be hard to top next year, but we will try.”

“The training that the agents of ATSI members receive in preparation for professionally handling these phone calls is the best assurance that an Award of Excellence Winner is a high quality provide of telephone answering services!” says ATSI President Larry Goldenberg.

About ATSI
The Association of TeleServices International was founded in 1942 as a national trade association representing live answering services. ATSI now encompasses companies across the United States offering specialized and enhanced operator based services including: call centers, contact centers, inbound telemarketing (order entry), paging, voice messaging, emergency dispatch, fax and internet services among others.


Warning: include(wp-content/themes/answer-child/sidebar-right.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/80/5816580/html/answerfingerlakes/wp-content/themes/answer-child/author.php on line 89

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'wp-content/themes/answer-child/sidebar-right.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5_4/lib/php') in /home/content/80/5816580/html/answerfingerlakes/wp-content/themes/answer-child/author.php on line 89