Frequently Asked Questions
How does Hastings Humans work?
Our commitment to you is to help you and your business be successful by handling your incoming clients contacts on your behalf whenever you need us to. When you sign up with us, we will assign you a unique phone number to forward to. When you need us to cover your phones (which can be 24/7, during heavy call traffic, overnight or at any other time you select), you simply forward your phone to that number. We will answer your calls as if we are in your office and either direct the calls to the appropriate person on your team or take a message.
Am I required to sign a long term contract?
No. Our agreement for services with our clients is on a month-to-month basis.
Do you have any cancellation fees?
No, you can cancel at any time for any reason. If you do decide to cancel, your monthly charge will be prorated and you will be billed for any usage from the current month.
I have a very small company. Do you have a package for me?
Indeed we do. We can customize a plan to exactly fit your needs and the volume of calls you typically receive. You can start with our pay-as-you-go plan for a modest amount if you are unsure as to how many calls you might be getting.
I get a large number of calls. Can you handle that?
Yes. We handle incoming contacts for a number of very large enterprises. Give us a call so we can discuss your needs and how we can help you.
How long does it take to establish service with you?
It usually takes 2 to 3 business days to get your account programmed and trained. We want to make sure it is right. It is not uncommon for there to be tweaks as we gain experience on the unique needs of your business. There is typically no charge for these changes.
How do you charge for your services?
Our fees are based on the amount of time that we are working on your behalf. So a business with only a few calls a month will pay less than a business that gets many calls. In all cases we will work with you to find the most appropriate plan for your situation. All of our plans include a monthly fee and usage component.
Who will be answering my phone calls?
All of our Hastings Humans are based here in Austin, Texas. We pride ourselves on only hiring the best people. We make sure that everyone that works for us understands that you are trusting us with your business and when we are in contact with your customers we are representing you and your reputation. The median tenure of our Hastings Humans is 7 years (our longest tenured employee has been with us over 50 years). Our turnover rate is among the lowest in the industry.
Can I upgrade or downgrade my plan at any time?
Yes - and there is no charge to change plans. Situations change and we will always work with you to come up with the best plan for your current needs.
How long have you been in business?
Since 1948. Check out our history.
What businesses do you specialize in answering for?
We can handle incoming customer contacts for ANY business but we have a lot of experience in the following industries: Property Management, Utility Management, Home Builders, Electrical Contractors, Plumbing Contractors, Air Conditioning Contractors, Legal Services, Nonprofit Services, Government, Tech Support and others.
How quickly are my calls answered?
Your calls will be answered within three rings and generally more quickly than that.
How do you prioritize your clients and their customers?
We treat every client's customers with our best attention. We never place callers on hold to take another call. When we are in conversation with your customer we place our full attention on their needs.
How are you different from other answering services?
Well first off is our ethic and integrity. This comes from our founder, Ann Hastings, which she passed down to her family and her two sons who run the company today. For over seventy years in this business we have see a lot of changes and we have adapted, survived and grown. We make sure that the people we have on our team are the right people for you to trust with your business. And we don't nickel and dime you with hidden fees like "holiday charges" and "bad weather days". Also we bill you monthly, unlike some other answering services who instead bill their clients every 28 days which results is one extra billing each year (be sure to ask).
Can I email you my schedule of who in our staff will be on-call after hours?
Yes. If fact we prefer that you email us your on-call schedule as soon as you have it so that we can input it into our system.
Can I input my on-call schedule myself?
Yes. Using our Secure Client Portal you can update your staff on-call schedule on the fly and it is instantly available to our agents.
Can you respond to my business emails for me?
Yes. We will work together to define exactly how you would like us to respond to emails on your behalf. Just like phone calls, customers have a much better impression of your company when they get an immediate personal response to their email inquiries.
What happens when you can't answer my customer's question?
Our priority is to do our best to make sure the customers get the information they need on their first call. When we can't answer the question directly, we'll direct your caller to someone who can or take a message. We work with you to determine where to direct callers depending on their needs.
Do I have control over the answers and information you provide?
When you start working with us, we come up with a gameplan for how customers’ calls should be routed and questions answered. We absolutely encourage feedback and information from our clients. We take the things you tell us and tailor the optimal customer experience.
Do you scale your pricing according to volume of calls answered or length of contract?
Our cost calculator can give you a sense of what you’re likely to pay each month. If you’re not sure how many minutes you’ll need, we can work with you to determine that number. We offer an introductory price for new clients that's less than $3 a day, and you can try us out risk-free for 30 days. We're confident you’ll stick with our services, so all our contracts are month to month.
Do you offer a 30 day money-back guarantee?
Yes. If within the first 30 days it looks like an answering service is not right for you, let us know and we will give you your money back.
Can you take my calls whenever I need you to?
Most certainly! You control when we do or don’t answer your phone. You simply forward your phone to us when you need us to answer and un-forward when you don’t - simple as that. And you can forward ANY TIME! We are standing by 24/7 to take your calls.
How much do you need to know about my business?
The more we know about your business, the better we can effectively represent you. Of course we don’t expect to have all the knowledge of your business you have developed over your career, but we should have at least enough information on your business to competently serve your customers on your behalf.