Frequently Asked Questions

We recognize that our clients have numerous questions and valid concerns when entrusting their valuable customers to another company. Our experience with hundreds of clients has helped us compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions across several aspects of our business, which exemplify why Accolade Support is your company’s best choice for all its call service needs. If you have any additional questions, please contact us and a sales associate will be happy to assist you.

Billing
How long is the term of your contract? Am I locked into a long-term agreement?
What are Billable Minutes?
How are my Billable Minutes calculated on calls?
Do I pay for time when people are waiting for an agent?
Are individual call times rounded?
How often am I billed?
What are my payment method options?
How much does it cost to get started?
What if I pick the wrong plan?
I'm concerned about costs being higher than I budgeted (even if I upgrade to another plan to lower my rate). Are there ways to limit the number of calls you take?


Company
Are you a 100% U.S. based company?
Why are you located in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
How long have you been in business?
What kind of sales experience do your Call Center staff members have?


Phone System
Can I get a custom greeting?
Can you answer all my calls, day or night or even in unusual blocks of time?
Can I give my customers options like “Press 1 for Tech Support; 2 for Customer Service”?
How does your phone system route calls to your staff?
How many phone calls can you handle?
Are Toll Free 1-800 numbers included?
If I choose, can I purchase the 1-800 number you provide?
What if I already have a 1-800 number? Do I have to purchase a new one from you?
Can I get a number in my local area?


Quality Assurance
How do you go about hiring new people and safeguarding the high quality of service a new staff member will provide to my customers?
How do you know that your agents are doing a good job? How do you check up on them?


How long is the term of your contract? Am I locked into a long-term agreement?
You can terminate the contract during the first 5 days, or at any time thereafter with only 30 days notice.
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What are Billable Minutes?
Billable Minutes are minutes used for answering calls, e-mails, or online chat.
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How are my Billable Minutes calculated on calls?
You pay only for total accumulated talk time and processing time, which is calculated down to the second.
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Do I pay for time when people are waiting for an agent?
No. You are not billed for the time a customer is waiting for the next available agent.
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Are individual call times rounded?
No. Each call is calculated to the second. At the end of each month, your accounts accumulated talk time is tallied and the total time is rounded down to the last minute for billing purposes.
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How often am I billed?
All clients are billed on a monthly basis. If your call volume significantly increases, you may be invoiced earlier.
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What are my payment method options?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, as well as wire transfer. Payment via checks is available for those accounts signing up for plans higher than $5,000 per month with an additional deposit equal to one month of services.
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How much does it cost to get started?
Getting started is easy. New customers only need to provide: 1) the first month payment and 2) a deposit equal to the first payment. There is also a one time Startup Fee, which is $99.95 for basic setup, but may be adjusted accordingly based on required product training and setup.
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What if I pick the wrong plan?
You can't pick the wrong plan. Accolade Support offers an "auto-upgrade" plan for new clients. If your actual minutes look like they will exceed the minutes included in your plan, we will e-mail you and offer you the ability to upgrade your package, so you will be billed at a lower rate. This way, you never need to be worried if more calls than anticipated come in or about being billed at a higher rate than if you had chosen another plan.
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I'm concerned about costs being higher than I budgeted (even if I upgrade to another plan to lower my rate). Are there ways to limit the number of calls you take?
Yes, there are several methods to limit call volume. The most straightforward way is to limit the hours we take calls. We can schedule our phone system so agents only accept calls during certain hours rather than on a 24x7 basis. We can also charge customers for support on your behalf and have this clearly stated on your custom recorded greeting, complete with a suggestion that they visit your website to avoid the fee. This will help reduce calls by having customers look for information and updates on your website before calling.
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Are you a 100% U.S. based company?
Yes. Accolade Support is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. All of our services are provided on continental U.S. soil. Our company handles 100% of all calls, e-mails, and chat correspondences in the United States, and we never offshore any of our services.
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Why are you located in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
Albuquerque is one of the leading cities in the country for call centers; this provides a large pool of experienced support staff professionals. Albuquerque is regularly in the top 10 cities in the country for high tech outsourcing. We have numerous schools and military installations that provide high tech training. The University of New Mexico is a 5-10 minute drive from our offices, with over 30,000 students. Our location provides very low costs in terms of facilities and salaries due to a significantly lower cost of living index than the national average. Our location provides extremely reliable power and IT services. Albuquerque has an Internet backbone running through the state, which provides excellent connectivity. Our local utility company is continuously in the top five companies in terms of reliability. All of these factors make Albuquerque the ideal location for a U.S. based call center.
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How long have you been in business?
The founding partners have worked together for over nine years, and Accolade Support is in its fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
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What kind of sales experience do your Call Center staff members have?
Our staff is comprised of highly qualified salespeople. Most have significant sales experience before joining Accolade Support. Our sales staff has helped some clients raise sales by over 10 times the previous sales record within just a few months.
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Can I get a custom greeting?
Yes. We create unique, customized greetings, which include your company’s name and any other information you require.
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Can you answer all my calls, day or night or even in unusual blocks of time?
Yes. We provide infinite versatility to meet all your phone system needs. These options include:
· Answering your calls during any hours, day or night.
· Allowing you to answer calls during the day, then switch to Accolade Support at night.
· Answering your calls during certain hours, then switching to voicemail after you leave the office.

We will work with you to create the best plan possible to meet your needs. There are virtually no limitations!
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Can I give my customers options like “Press 1 for Tech Support; 2 for Customer Service”?
Yes. To maximize efficiency, you can have up to nine options on one level of the tree with additional options below. Accolade Support even supplies reports on how each option is used to help you identify which aspects of your business are generating the most calls.
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How does your phone system route calls to your staff?
Our phone system uses ACD (Automatic Call Distribution). This begins when a Tech Support agent logs into the phone queues. Once an agent is logged on, the system automatically sends them a call. If they are busy, it routes the call to the next available agent. The system will then send calls to the person who has been idle the longest, then the next longest idle time, etc., until the call reaches the representative who has been idle for the shortest time. This ensures that calls are balanced and agents have adequate time to wrap up each call and record all pertinent information into our database.
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How many phone calls can you handle?
There is virtually no limit to the calls we can receive. When necessary, our phone system can expand to thousands of lines, which can accommodate thousands of simultaneous calls. Of course, the more advance notice that we receive about an upcoming advertising campaign or anticipated call spike, the better that we can be prepared to service your customers.
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Are Toll Free 1-800 numbers included?
Yes. 1-800 numbers are included in all our pricing so long as at least 90% of your calls originate within the continental United States.
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If I choose, can I purchase the 1-800 number you provide?
Yes. We understand that brand name with telephone number association is a valuable commodity. At your request, we can submit paperwork to transfer the 1-800 number we provide into your name. Currently, there is a $199 charge for this service, in addition to any applicable fees from the provider.
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What if I already have a 1-800 number? Do I have to purchase a new one from you?
If you have an existing 1-800 number, we can provide a toll free telephone number to point your current toll free listing to. If your toll free provider cannot point to another toll free number, charges may apply for providing a local number to point to.
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Can I get a number in my local area?
Yes, but that is something you will need to setup with your local telephone company. Accolade Support cannot initiate this procedure since we are (probably) not located in your area and the phone number would have to be in your name. However, once you contact your local phone company and get a local number, you can have the phone company automatically forward that number to us. Since the number we provide to you is a 1-800 listing, you won’t pay for any long distance charges on the calls that are forwarded to us.
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How do you go about hiring new people and safeguarding the high quality of service a new staff member will provide to my customers?
A variety of procedures are in place to ensure that only the highest caliber of personnel become members of Accolade Support. The process often begins with our own staff members who refer a significant number of new leads to us. These potential candidates are then carefully screened and their references are checked in full. They are then trained by a senior staff member for several days and listen in on live calls. This is followed by additional one-on-one training with a manager who coaches the new prospect as they first begin to take calls.
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How do you know that your agents are doing a good job? How do you check up on them?
Quality Assurance is our highest priority. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction, and we constantly employ numerous methods to ensure that calls are handled in the most professional manner possible. To accomplish this, we regularly record most calls across clients for later review. Managers also listen into live calls and make regular test calls to our staff members to experience the service they are providing on a first-hand basis. We also randomly contact customers to receive feedback. Additionally, our phone system closely tracks hold time, talk time, and several other statistics, which are reviewed by management on a daily basis.
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