Whenever I talk about the benefits of call answering services, I feel like I’m running through a list of bullet points. Those benefits are hard to convey in real-life terms. A while back, though, I received an e-mail that did a great job of doing just that. Let me tell you the story.
In early February, a 17-story building in the Northeast caught fire. The police needed barricades to close off the street to traffic. That call came through a call answering service.
The fire department needed the transit authority to send buses to help evacuate the people from the building. That call, too, went through the same call answering service.
When the Red Cross needed to provide water and shelter for the tenants, that call also went through the same call answering service.
Many residents of the building had pets suffering from smoke inhalation, and they needed a veterinarian. That call went through the same call answering service.
After the fire was put out and the barricades were taken down, a contractor was needed to clean up the debris. That call, too, went through the call answering service.
When salt and sand were needed to spread on the streets to prevent icing, the call for the trucks went through that call answering service.
When the electrical safety authority had to restore power to the building, that call also went through the same call answering service.
Calls from evacuees wanting to know if they could go back home were handled by that same call answering service.
Sadly, in this case, when two lives were lost, and they needed the coroner, the call answering service took that call, too.
It’s easy to think about call answering services handling after-hours phone calls, but when you see the reality of how the service unfolds, it takes on a whole new meaning. The woman who wrote the e-mail about this incident not only works at the call answering service that handled all those calls, but her mother was a tenant in the building that caught fire that night. For her, the benefits of call answering services will never be just a list of bullet points.
Frances Starr, Director of Sales & Marketing for Alert Communications. Alert Communications is a 24/7 bilingual inbound call center, specializing in professional attorney answering, virtual receptionist, Spanish answering and business answering solutions.