Frequently Asked Questions

What is an answering service?

An answering service is a professional, cost effective way for you to be available to serve your customers 24.7.365. We serve various sizes and types of industries, such as service, medical and law practices. A Superior provides trained receptionists to answer your lines professionally and help you  meet the needs of your customers.

We are sometimes referred to as a call center, but our service is traditionally more personalized and focuses directly on messaging, more than “help desk/problem solving” services. Our calls average 1.0  minutes in length since we mainly capture a name, phone number and message.  Answering services are available 24.7.365 and operate during all major holidays.

How do I know if I need an answering service?

Answering the following questions honestly may help you determine your needs:

Are you missing calls and potential business?

Are you constantly checking your voicemail?

Is your voicemail always full?

Does having to answer the phone keep you or your employees from getting their work done?

Does your phone often ring more than 4 rings before being answered?

Do your caller’s ever hear a busy signal?

Do you need to be contacted for emergency calls after hours?

Are you losing customers because they cannot reach you?

If you answered yes to some of the questions above, you likely are in need of help.  An answering service may be your most cost-effective solution to answering customer calls and allowing you to do get your work done.

How should I choose an Answering Service?

Consider these Five important Factors when searching for an answering service for your business:

#1 – Courteous and professional sounding agents. Ask for references and contact some of their clients. Ask do they look for voice quality when hiring agents.

#2 – Hours and availability – You definitely want 24.7.365 availability. Even if you don’t get a lot of calls at night or on weekends, you will want coverage during the holidays!

#3 – Emergency preparedness – do they have a backup plan if they lose power or internet?

#4 – Message delivery options – do they offer various options for receiving messages? Text, Email, Online portal.
#5 – Is your information private/protected – Do they have IT service/techs protecting their network? Do they offer HIPAA compliant message options?

Is there a contract to sign?

We have a business agreement that states our requirements of 30 day notice of cancellation. We do not require a long term contract.

Can I advertise the call forwarding number A Superior provides to me?

We can offer numbers to be advertised. Please let us know that is your interest when signing up for service.

How do I forward my existing office line or cell phone to A Superior?

Call forwarding is provided by your telephone carrier. Typically there are 2 different types of forwarding most carriers offer. Instructions can usually be found on their website.

Busy or No Answer Call Forwarding:

Your phone provider will program your office line to transfer to our answering service if your lines are busy, or if you don’t answer after a certain number of rings.  This allows us to receive calls 24/7/365 if you can’t answer them. You may have to contact your provider directly to activate this service.

Remote or Manual Call Forwarding:

You are in control of your call forwarding and will be responsible for turning it on and off.  Each phone provider has specific instructions for activating and deactivating call forwarding. Please check with your phone provider or look on their website for specific instructions.

How do your agents know how to answer & handle my calls?

Our call center software identifies your call forwarding number and shows the agent your company name, information and message script as soon as we receive the call.  Our agents have all your information at their fingertips to be able to handle your calls with ease and confidence.

How does your billing work?

We provide your service in one “Base Rate” for each billing cycle. Each Base rate includes an allotted amount of minutes. Our billing cycle recurs every 28 days.

We bill by the minute. Our average call lasts 1.5 minutes.  However, there is an occasional client who requires a longer script in order to effectively serve their customer.  We have found that per minute billing allows us to meet the individual needs of our clients.   All scripts are written with input from and approval of our client.

How is your per minute billing calculated?

Our billable time is calculated in 15 second increments. Billable time is not accrued for texting, emailing or faxing.

What is “patching” and Is there an extra charge?

Patching is our term for connecting your caller directly to you.  Once we connect your call  and back off the call,  you and your caller reside on our phone switch using 2 lines for the duration of the call.  This “patch time” is billed at a separate reduced of $.39 per minute fee to cover line charges.

Can I change my billing plan?

Yes. We understand call volume can change for many reasons. You are not restricted to a certain billing plan and A Superior is happy to work with each of our clients to ensure they have the most efficient billing plan.

Can I track my minutes?

No, at this time you must contact our offices for your accrued minutes. We only run minute totals on billing day, but are glad to run a mid cycle numbers upon request.

How long has A Superior been in Business?

Since November 2, 1976. We are still owned and operated by the same family who prides itself in meeting the individual needs of our clients.

Are all of your agents located in the US?

Yes. The majority of our agents work out of our physical location in Madison, GA. We also staff remote agents outside of our physical office.

How long does it take to get your answering service activated?

Once we receive your setup information and first payment, we can have accounts activated in 2-5 business days depending on account needs.

Will my phones always be answered by a live operator on the first ring?

Calls come into our call queue and are answered in the order they are received. Agents are assigned calls by the phone switch and cannot pick or choose which calls they answer.  Once an agent is on a call, we do NOT put callers on hold to answer other calls. Your call is handled from start to finish without interruption.  If all agents are on a call, your call will ring in queue for the next available agent. If an agent does not become available by the 3rd ring, we provide an automated attendant that answers the call and asks the caller to hold for next available agent.  (Customized auto attendants are available). The number of calls answered by our auto attendant, on average, stays below 10%.  This is a number we monitor closely to ensure prompt service.

How can I get my messages?

Messages can be sent via email, text, fax, or phone call.  We have HIPAA compliant text and also offer a client web portal available 24.7.365 on our website.

Can I have a recurring report that shows all of my calls/messages?

Yes,  We store a wealth of information for your business. We offer customized reporting to assist you in understanding your call trends and grow your business. Our system tracks data for every call.  We know date and time calls were taken and relayed.  We track duration of calls and record all calls for quality assurance. Not only can we email you a daily or weekly summary of your messages, you can also access this summary of messages online from our client web portal. We also offer customized downloadable reports in formats such as excel.

If I start with VOICE MAIL Services and change to Live Receptionist do I have to change my call forwarding number?

No, you can change services and will keep the same call forwarding number.


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