This Valentine’s Day, fall in love…with your call center.


The first time you talked to each other, there were butterflies. You had to admit it was a thrill to meet someone who listened to you, and  knew exactly what you needed. However, I am not talking about your soul mate. I am talking about your call center.


Okay, falling in love with a call center is a bit of a stretch. However starting a new business relationship is just like starting a personal relationship. There is that initial stage of getting to know each other, a honeymoon period where everything seems great, and possibly even a “first fight.” Eventually the problems are resolved, and hopefully your connection is stronger than ever. Your call center becomes a source of support, helping you grow your business as the years progress.


Now the trick to a good relationship with your significant other is the same as a good relationship with your vendor—communication. You want a call center provider who listens, who likes to check in regularly and talk about the health of the program and who cares enough to invest time into your business.  Inversely, a bad call center is like a bad date. They trick you into thinking you are going to have a great time but then ignore you and eventually stick you with the bill.


So how do you pick the right call center for you? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking for “the one”:


1)    Are they part of an accredited call center association?

Most reputable call centers are members of the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) or the Canadian Call Management Association (CAM-X). Both organizations were created to represent the needs of the call centers and telephone answering services across North America, and they provide many regulatory and educational services. You know you have a good catch when the call center is an active member.


2)    Do they have a quality assurance process?

Every call center is going to tell you that quality is their number one goal, but what are they doing to assure quality standards? A call center worth your time will be able to articulate the quality assurance process in place at their site. It can include things like hiring and account training testing, compliance with industry standard key performance indicators (KPIs) and even quality checklists they might use to monitor calls.


3)    Do they have a business continuity plan?

If a disaster happens, will your call center run and hide, or will they ride up on a white horse and save the day? Well, maybe we are exaggerating a bit. However, a good call center should have a business continuity plan to cover all their bases. It should include a failsafe process (where your calls will go in case the site loses power), if they have backup generators at their site and protocols for when they need to run updates to their system.


So for this Valentine’s Day, don’t be blue if you haven’t found your one, true call center. A great relationship with a new vendor is right around the corner. If you are in the market, you can rest assured that these tips will help you find the right telephone answering service or call center for you.

Gary Pudles Selected For 2013 ATSI President’s Award


(June 11, 2013) Willow Grove, Pa. – Gary Pudles, President and CEO of AnswerNet, has been awarded the 2013 Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) President’s Award. The award was presented by ATSI President, Maryann Wetmore, during the 2013 ATSI Conference. The President’s Award is reserved for those who have demonstrated continuing exceptional service and support to companies and colleagues in the call center industry.

Pudles has been involved with ATSI since AnswerNet opened its doors in 1998. He is an active member in the organization, having been a presenter at their annual conferences over the years, hosting their annual conference red carpet event and sitting on several committees including the Annual Convention, Government Relations and Learning by Association (LBA) Award Committee. He credits ATSI for helping him grow as a call center leader.

“I am honored to receive this award,” says Pudles. “The ATSI organization has always been a great resource for me and my company. I am inspired by the people and the opportunities it provides for those in the telecommunications industry; I am always happy and grateful to be invited to participate and provide guidance or feedback when asked.”

This was not the only honor AnswerNet received at the 2013 ATSI Conference. AnswerNet’s Phoenix, AZ office won the ATSI Award of Excellence for the 16th consecutive year. The award is given to call centers that consistently provide outstanding service to their clients.

To learn more about ATSI and its award programs, please visit To learn more about Gary Pudles or AnswerNet, please visit

About AnswerNet:

AnswerNet is the world’s largest privately held telemessaging (telephone answering) firm and full-service provider of inbound, outbound, electronic and business process outsourcing (BPO) call center services. AnswerNet operates over 50 contact centers within North America and has one near-shore location. AnswerNet provides a wide range of services, from its core capabilities of telephone answering, hotlines, customer service sales, lead qualification and market research to a variety of business process outsourcing options including CRM hosting, email management, and order processing. The company processes more than 60 million contacts every year, for a client base of 35,000. AnswerNet’s award-winning approach has been recognized many times, including in Inc. Magazine’s annual “Inc. 500 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies,” Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine’s “Top 50 Teleservices Agencies” and SmartCEO Magazine’s “List of Best-Run Companies.”