Contractor Forum

1.  Answering service

Posted 10-16-2017 11:58 PM
Hi All,
I'm wondering if anyone can provide any advice and recommendations for an answering service provider for a small business?
To provide a little background, we are a small, primarily residential service & replacement company.
My initial thought is to use an answering service for overflow calls that our one CSR can't physically answer during normal hours, rather than letting them go to voicemail. Also to provide after hours/weekend call handling.

There appears to be a large number of these companies when researching online, so I am hoping to see if there is any guidance available here to help me narrow down the search more effectively.

My other concern is with the potential cost:
Any advice on what to consider when negotiating services?
Any input on potential monthly cost? (I'm really unsure of the number of potential calls that could come through from a billing standpoint). I've spoken to a few local colleagues who've told me they are often "shocked" by their monthly bill, especially during busier months of the year.

I'm not looking for the answering service to provide detailed customer services or scheduling duties, only to provide "live" answering, to hopefully avoid losing opportunities due to voicemail, and promptly notify us for a timely follow through to the customer.

I'm sure I'm missing a few other important considerations, and I appreciate any input and guidance you all can provide.

Thank you

Anthony Maynor
A. Maynor Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
Apex NC
(919) 361-0993

2.  RE: Answering service

Posted 10-17-2017 10:16 AM
Central Messaging in Houston does a great job and TJ has dozens maybe hundred+ HVAC clients. 866-409-8561 or  We used to use them and they were great, but now we have a former dispatcher who takes our calls after hours.  If we were to lose her, I would switch back to them.

Kevin Walsh
Schaafsma Heating & Cooling Co.
Grand Rapids MI
(616) 458-7304

3.  RE: Answering service

Posted 10-18-2017 09:57 AM
We have used the same answering service for a little over 2 years now and had really good luck with film give us a ring when you have a second I'd be happy to discuss the up's and downs that we have faced.  The answer with the script and send a text message and email with all the customers information which we asked them to gather as well as forwarding to our on call person in case of emergency.  Works well for us the small amount of time that we find ourselves using them.  Josh Campbell - Rescue Air

Josh Campbell
Rescue Air, LLC dba Rescue Air Heating and Cooling
Richardson TX
(972) 964-2665

4.  RE: Answering service

Posted 10-18-2017 12:26 PM

We have used Central Messaging several years with no problems at a reasonable cost.


Thomas L. Tanner


Tanner Heating/Air Conditioning, Inc.

2238 E. River Rd

Dayton, Ohio 45439

937-299-2500 ext. 104


Tanner Heating/Air Conditioning

"Where Design & Installation

Are The Difference"


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5.  RE: Answering service

Posted 10-21-2017 09:49 PM
I would second Central Messaging.  We've used them for a couple of years and so far they've never dropped the ball.  As far as cost it depends on how many calls they respond to.  I think the least expensive is about $75 a month.

Steve Scott
Comfort Technology
Dryden, NY
(607) 844-8787

6.  RE: Answering service

Posted 10-17-2017 10:46 AM
We used to have our CSRs be on call, but they were getting kinda cranky about it....  So based on others' recommendations, we just started using Central Messaging. It's been only a month, but I like their offerings, and so far, so good. 866-409-8561.

Linda Couch
Chief Operating Officer
Parrish Services
Manassas VA

7.  RE: Answering service

Posted 10-18-2017 06:02 AM
We use Answer First and they are great. Another nice option would be to use Ruby!

Kelly Kudla
Chief Financial Officer
Elyria, OH