We have been cautious innovators of technology, which we have used behind the scenes to provide cost-effective services that are still customer-friendly. This is what we refer to as “the humane use of technology.” Our management team has been involved in the National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO), founding one of the first user groups, and chaired one of the first strategic planning sessions in the industry in 1991.
We have constantly committed ourselves to providing cost-effective, reliable and quality services… not just by our words but by our actions over the years. The numbers speak for themselves. Our average customer stays with our call center for over 11 years!
Business Centers started on September 15th, 1974 as a daytime answering service that served sales reps and daytime companies.
In the 70s, there were almost no 24-hour drugstores, grocery stores, or gas stations. As business started shifting to around-the-clock service, we purchased All Brand Answering Service in 1981, giving the company the base to implement 24-hour, 7-day service. In 1981, we were one of the first companies to switch to a paperless answering system; this helped us eliminate misfiled and lost paper messages, illegible messages, and messages that operators failed to remember to page or call out. Paperless systems were the first of three major advancements that greatly improved the accuracy and efficiency of answering services and call centers.
In the 1990s, we were the second answering service in the country that incorporated a Dictaphone call-logger into our process. This type of call logging and recording was the second great advancement in the industry.
The impact of call recording was so dramatic that within one week, our operators who weren’t excited about being recorded were demanding that we hurry up and put a new reel of tape on when it ran out. They were excited because in 99 out of 100 cases, the recording proved the operators were extremely accurate. The call recording feature saved our clients a number of customers because of the thorough documentation.
In 1997, we installed a new system that supported caller ID, caller name display and the ability to transfer calls to other numbers via the telephone company. This greatly reduced wrong phone numbers where the caller was dyslexic or gave their home number rather than the business number. This was the third advancement that greatly improved accuracy and quality.
In 2002, we upgraded our system to allow operators to use SQL databases with additional client notes and information. They also began accessing the Internet to provide additional efficiencies and services for our customers.
In 2006, after 2 major storms in St. Louis, we planned and built a new building that is engineered to be usable after a major storm or earthquake. We equipped the building with an auto start propane generator that can run all critical equipment and air conditioning for approximately 2 weeks without refueling!
This building has 2 diverse cable routes, and an isolated concrete computer equipment room that can continue to operate with remote operator stations if some external event requires building evacuation. Nothing is disaster proof, but we believe we have some of the best facilities in the country.
We are currently developing speech-to-text applications to work in conjunction with the call center or stand alone services for special applications. This gives us the ability to provide a full service call management center that can provide a complete integrated set of enhanced services to meet your needs.