The September 2020 Issue of TAS Trader


Streamlining Your Answering Service, Summary

Roundup of Articles on Fine-tuning Your TAS Processes

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

Over the past several months we have addressed several ways to optimize your telephone answering service and help position you to increase your efficacy and enhance the service you provide to clients. 

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

Here’s a recap:

  1. Optimize Your Sales: How long does it take your staff to respond to a sales inquiry? Now make it faster.
  2. Optimize Client Onboarding: Once a client signs up for service, how long does it take you to set up their account and begin answering calls? Do they find this acceptable or frustrating?
  3. Optimize Customer Service: How long does it take you to acknowledge and correct a customer service issue? Do you ever lose clients because of it?
  4. Optimize Agent Hiring: Do you measure your hiring process in terms of weeks, days, or hours? How often do you lose a promising employee because you didn’t react quickly enough?
  5. Optimize Operational Processes: What does your policies and procedures manual look like in your answering service? If you don’t have a manual, how’s that working for you?
  6. Optimize Agent Training: What steps can you do to make your agent training more efficient and more effective?
  7. Optimize Billing: How many steps are involved in producing invoices? How much time do you take between billing cut off and sending invoices? The longer it takes, the more you hamper cash flow.
  8. Optimize Collections: What is your average days payable (also known as days payable outstanding)? Seek to collect more of what’s owed to you faster.
  9. Optimize Accounts Payable: How quickly do you turn around invoices? Seek to pay faster to win your vendor’s appreciation and build a buffer for times of tight cash flow.
  10. Optimize Tech Support: Is the technical aspect of running your answering service a strength or weakness? Regardless of your answer, look for ways to make tech support better.
  11. Optimize Admin: When it comes to overhead effectiveness, look for what you can eliminate, delegate, or streamline. Make sure everything you do counts.

Pick the item on this list that deserves the most attention and will produce the biggest positive change for your answering service. Then pursue it. Once you have one item done, pick another one to work on. Work through this list until you have streamlined your entire answering service.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader. Check out his latest book, Sticky Customer Service.

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Industry News

Telescan Announces Auto-Patch of Client Calls Using Secure Apps: Telescan, a division of Amtelco, announced a new feature in development for the Spectrum system for users of the Genesis Prism application: the ability to auto-patch client calls through Prism and present a pre-programmed phone number as the caller ID to the called party. This feature will provide a straightforward way for clients to make calls directly through Spectrum’s secure messaging apps from their cell phones without revealing their personal cell phone numbers. Support for both Spectrum secure delivery and miSecureMessages will be through a common interface. To learn more: 800-356-9148,, or

Quotes for the Month

“Go to where the silence is and say something.” –Amy Goodman

“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” -Tom Stoppard

“I was addicted to the hokey pokey; but, thankfully, I turned myself around.” -unknown