Answering Service Case Study: Helping Close the Deal

Jennifer called her husband at work. “Phil,” she said, “you are never going to believe the call I just got.”


“The real-estate agent has three more offers on the house, and…”

“What do you mean? They’ve already accepted ours.”

“Phil, I know, but these offers are higher. If we don’t close in seven days the seller can take the higher offers.”

“No problem. The appraisal is done, and our loan is approved. What are you worried about?”

“Hey, I’m the one who’s done all that, but we still need insurance,” Jennifer scowled. “Our offer was accepted on Monday. Now it’s Thursday. I leave two messages every day for Tim, but all I get is his answering machine, and he never calls back. If we don’t have insurance by Monday, we can lose the house.”

Now Phil scowled. “Jen, things are going to work out. Okay? I’ll make a few calls.”

He called his insurance agent, Tim. Just as Jennifer said, the answering machine picked up. He didn’t leave a message. Next he called area branches of the same company and got more answering machines.

Phil decided to try a branch in the next town. To his surprise a person answered the phone.

“I need to talk to someone about house insurance,” Phil explained, “and I need it by the end of the week.”

The friendly voice asked Phil about his situation and questions about the new house. Then, she said, “Our agents are at training this week, so I don’t have an agent available for you right now.”

Phil’s stomach dropped. It was 3 o’clock.

“However,” she continued “I know how important this is. I will personally contact Norleen, and she will call you as soon as possible.”

Phil hung up the phone and waited. He tried to work but failed. Within an hour, the phone rang. It was Norleen, the insurance agent. Using the information Phil had provided over the phone, Norleen already had a quote. Phil was relieved and surprised. By 10 o’clock the following morning, the insurance would be in place, and they could close.

As they wrapped up their conversation, Phil told Norleen how difficult it was to find an agent to return his calls. “If your secretary hadn’t been there, I don’t know what we’d have done!” Phil said.

Norleen considered her small office. One desk, one chair, two file cabinets, and no secretary. She knew that hers was the smallest and newest branch office in the area, but because of her answering service she had outperformed all the other agents. “We do what we can,” she said with a smile.-