An answering service and a virtual receptionist service: What's the difference?

The stereotypical answering service lacks a personal touch. The receptionist will only be able to do absolute basic tasks, such as answer your calls and perhaps cold transfer the caller to you. A virtual receptionist helps you with so much more. Upholding your company's image and branding through each call as if the virtual receptionist was right in your office. Your virtual receptionist will absolutely answer, transfer, take down messages, and interact with your caller as you specify. The real difference between a typical answering service and a virtual receptionist like Abby Connect is that you can trust that the frontline of your business is in well-trained hands.

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Do your receptionists speak Spanish?

Fluently! Most of our receptionists are fully bilingual in English and Spanish, and are able to flawlessly handle your calls in either language.

Do you live answer all of my calls?

With pleasure! Dependent upon the hours that you choose (and we do offer 24/7 service), one of our wonderful virtual receptionists will answer each and every call in a sparkling, lively and inviting tone.

Where are you located?

Abby Connect virtual receptionists are located in our family-built facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What will the receptionist say when they answer the phone?

Abby Connect virtual receptionists greet each of your callers with a greeting that is tailored to your wishes for your company. We keep it personal and welcoming. A common greeting may sound like: "Good Morning/Afternoon, thank you for calling ________. How may I assist you?" Another greeting may sound like, "It's a great day at ____. How may I direct your call?" Regardless, the live call answering greeting is fully up to you and what suits your company best.

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What are your hours?

Abby Connect is available up to 24/7/365! Your base Abby Elite package includes live call answering Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM in your local U.S. time zone. Our virtual receptionist service is also equipped to answer your calls with our Extended Hours and 24/7/365 add-ons for a nominal fee.

Who's answering my phone calls?

Our highly trained virtual receptionists are the only ones in the industry that time after time succeed in creating meaningful connections with your callers. Team Abby (as we call ourselves in-house) is full of dedicated, competent, bright and friendly virtual receptionists that are utilizing our proprietary technology to handle your calls in a seamless and professional manner.

Where do you provide service?

An Abby Connect virtual receptionist can make calls anywhere in the United States or Canada and we live answer calls from international numbers as well. A few of our international clients have found it helpful to either get their own US based phone number for easier call transferring, or opt for our message taking services, like a virtual assistant.

Are my calls outsourced to an overseas call center?

Never! All of our virtual receptionists operate out of the USA, with 99.9% based at our company headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.

How do I receive my messages?

Email or Text (SMS). Depending on which option you choose, you can either have messages left on your voicemail or messages texted or emailed to you, so they are readily available. When you sign up for our free trial, you'll also get to try out our transcribed voicemails add-on. Ask your account manager or business solutions representative for more information.

How do you transfer a caller to me?

We utilize a method called a "warm transfer." Below is a walk-thru of a typical Abby Connect virtual receptionist call-handling (which is completely adjustable to your business needs).

With your personalized greeting, the call is answered by Abby.

After saying such phrases to the effect of "May I say who is calling? Thank you Max Greene, May I tell Susie Smith what your call is regarding?" Abby then places your caller on a brief hold while she tries your line.

Abby then attempts to contact you and, if successful, provides you with the information she acquired. You can then either accept the call in which the caller will be transferred immediately. Conversely, if the call is declined, Abby can offer your caller voicemail or to personally take a message which is then emailed to you instantly.

Can you transfer calls to me while I'm out of office?

Certainly! Abby will transfer your calls to any designated phone numbers you have provided whether it is a home line, your cell phone, an office line, etc. With your guidance, our virtual receptionist team can try your cell phone line first, then your office or vice versa, so we can best ensure that you are speaking with everyone that is vital for you to speak with. This way, you won't miss any potential leads!

How do you know if I'm available to take a call at the moment?

We strive to create a fabulous relationship with you. Keeping open communication is fundamental. For example, if you are stepping out of your office and you will be on your cell phone for a certain amount of time, let Abby know. We have a convenient, mobile-friendly portal that allows you to update your information as needed. We will then call your cell phone to reach you as an alternative. If you are out of the country, unavailable for the day, in meetings, or just not in the mood to answer your phone, we will let the caller know that you are unavailable - keeping up your professional appearance and care for your clients - and offer voicemail or to relay a message.

What if I'm unavailable to take the call?

That’s what we’re here for! Whenever you are unavailable, Abby Connect virtual receptionists will offer callers either your voicemail, which will be sent directly to your voicemail box (psst, we can also transcribe your voicemails and send them directly to your inbox), or Abby will offer to take a message and email or text it to you, or let us know if there's another person available at your organization. Regardless of the method, we're here to be customized to your business needs.

Can you make outgoing calls on my behalf?

Need to confirm your appointments for the following work day? Have vital information you need to gather or relay to a client? Abby Connect virtual receptionists can help lighten your load. These calls are billed along with your monthly plan.

What if I don't have a phone number - will you provide me with one?

Absolutely! We are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you. For this reason, we offer and designate either a toll-free number or a local number that you are welcome to use, even if you choose to discontinue your services. Ask your account manager for more details if you do need this option.

Can I use the same phone number I already have?

Sure thing. It’s typically as simple as dialing a number on your phone to get your current number forwarded into our answering service.

Do your virtual receptionists know how to work with a CRM?

Each Abby Connect virtual receptionist is trained on the basic usage of most CRMs and other similar systems. We have a few tips and tricks to make that process simpler, so speak with your account manager and we can definitely get you set up for some essential CRM support.

How can I start a Free 14 Day Trial?

It's super easy and we're here to help along the way. Either fill out this nifty signup form for a free trial of our live call answering service, or just give us a call! Our business solutions team will be happy to get you set up for your no obligation trial. And you're sure to have a fabulous experience - each of our business solutions representatives were once a virtual receptionist themselves.

Do you need my credit card for a Free Trial?

Nope. We don't take down your credit card information until you're ready to move forward with our live answering service following your Free 14 Day Trial.

Can I hear how your service sounds without signing up?

You certainly may! Just give us a call at 877-303-5757 and you'll reach one of our friendly virtual receptionists in office. This is a great example of how we'd answer your calls. Unlike others who offer a "call and try us" option, you'll always get an answer from an actual virtual receptionist and not from a trained sales rep.

How do I forward my lines?

It's often as simple as dialing a number from your phone. We'll send you a step-by-step guide, and a customer delight manager will walk you through the process.

Is there a long-term contract?

Not at all! Initially, you are able to cancel within the first 30 days without any notice. After those initial 30 days, we do require a 30 day cancellation notice to smoothly transition out of live answering your calls.

What is a "receptionist minute?"

A receptionist minute refers to only being charged for the time in which a virtual receptionist is directly involved in the call. For example, you will not be charged additionally per message, per transfer or the time in which you speak with the caller.

What happens if I go over the minutes on my plan?

If you happen to go over your plan, any additional minutes used will be prorated. If further down the road you feel the need to add more minutes, you are more than welcome to adjust your current plan without penalty or wait period.

I have more than one business; can they share an account?

Of course! Our live answering service is available for your businesses to share the minutes you have for just a small fee.

What if I want to adjust my plan?

It's not a problem to adjust your plan, mid-service. Just give a quick call or email over to your account manager to make the switch. We'll prorate it for you.

How can I monitor my usage?

We provide a portal for our clients that has all of the information you need about your usage. However, if you have any specific questions or are not so keen on the technology, you're always welcome to give your account manager a call or shoot over an email for details.

What does the setup fee cover?

It's our mission to make your life easier. Part of this requires some intensive initial programming on our end, plus getting you onboarded and your dedicated receptionists trained specifically on your account. This is all just part of getting your account to go live, and it's our goal to make sure that it's a simple process for you.

Are you an accredited business?

We are accredited by both the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Affairs. Our rating on BBB is an A+, and our rating on Consumer Affairs is a 5 out of 5 stars.

How secure is my information?

The Abby Connect technical team goes the extra mile in ensuring that all of our devices, connections, and software are completely secure.

I no longer worry about losing potential customers because they have up when they heard an answer phone, nor do I have to make call backs for appointments after a long hard day. My telephone is answered efficiently and with enthusiasm, My clients remark how much they like the Abby staff. My appointments are posted to my online appointment calendar so that I receive them in "real time" and they send me any messages promptly by e-mail. They have increased my business and my productivity!

Lenore Sussman | Micro Current " Electrolysis Services

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I have been with Abby for almost 4 years. In that time they have given me superlative service as well as to my clients. They attend to all of my issues and concerns and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a virtual receptionist.

Cathie Pappas | Good Dental Care

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