July 21, 2008

A Real Person at Absolute Communication Answers These Calls

By Stowe, Gene

In a world of leave-a-message voice mail, Absolute Communication Center Inc. offers live operators 24/7 to help clients, especially small businesses, make sure they don't miss customers' calls.

"We've got live operators that are connected to multiple telephone lines," says owner Tom Cook. "We purchase 100 numbers at a time. We give them a phone number. They use call forwarding when they're not in their office"

The forwarded phone number activates the system to show the operator necessary information about the customer.

"It comes up on a computer system with all their information," he says. "The live operator can take a message," then call or fax information to the client as desired. "We do alphanumeric paging for people who still have pagers."

The service means customers will always have a chance to be in touch with clients' businesses.

"It works great for small businesses that can't afford to have someone answer the phone all the time," Cook says. "A lot of people don't leave messages. You depend on that to get a customer.

"We have a lot of plumbers, heating and air conditioning people. We do quite a bit in the medical field, too."

Operators, including many longtime employees, can screen the calls, alerting customers in emergencies and holding others for the ordinary business day.

"There's a lot of filtering," he says. "It depends on what the client wants to have done."

Absolute Communication also provides alarm monitoring and residential service.

"Along with doing the messaging, we can answer for alarm systems," Cook says. "We've got the personnel here 24/7. We notify the proper authorities and call the contact list the customer has provided."

Cook started an alarm business, T.C. Security Co. Inc, 27 years ago and opened Absolute Communication five or six years ago to support TC Security and add more services. "We used different monitoring services," he says. "Eventually, we just started our own."

By that time, the industry, once dependent on handwritten, pigeonholed notes, had become automated. Absolute Communicalion,which has 12 employees, has backup generators to guarantee that the service is uninterrupted.

"There's always two or three operators on, depending on the call volume," he says. "Certain holidays are really busy," such as Christmas Eve when workers leave early and forward the phone calls.

For more information on Absolute Communication Center Inc. call (574) 282-4920 or see the company's Web site at www.absolutecci.com.

Copyright South Bend Tribune Corporation Jun 16, 2008

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