Dazed, Bill Mason cradled his head in his trembling hands. Five minutes before, his line supervisor had rushed into his office reporting that the LM-1100 had broken its diamond saw blade, and they did not have a backup on site. Bill had just made an emergency call to his supplier and left an anxious message on their answering machine. At 2 a.m., Bill knew it was unlikely anyone would respond to his message before 9 a.m. For every minute the machine was down, he had to idle the entire line, with each hour of downtime costing several thousands of dollars. In desperation, Bill called supplier after supplier looking for a replacement blade. Unfortunately, all his calls were answered by voicemail or answering machines – or nothing at all. Finally, he called Pendergast Industrial Supplies. To his surprise, a person answered the phone. He poured out his story to the representative, who assured him she could help. Although Mr. Pendergast was not in the office at that early hour, she would have someone call Bill back as soon as possible. Bill hung up the phone and waited, hoping to hear back soon. What Bill didn’t know was that his call had been answered by a telephone answering service, which Pendergast Industrial Supplies set up to address emergencies just like his. Immediately, and in accordance with instructions, the answering service operator called Mr. Pendergast at his home. Five minutes later, Bill’s phone rang. He spilled his predicament to an empathic Ken Pendergast. Ken, an experienced industrial professional, knew how costly the down machine would be. He also knew he had a replacement blade in stock. The next morning, Ken Pendergast called his answering service to share some great news. Thanks to their quick handling of the call, just as he instructed, he took Bill’s order over the phone and personally delivered the saw blade. By 4 a.m., the plant was back in production, and the plant’s employees were back at work. “What could have been a nine or ten-hour shut down turned into a couple hour maintenance operation, all because a person answered the phone at 2 a.m.,” said Ken. In addition to getting the plant up and running, he also secured a $20,000 contract from a new, satisfied customer. “We weren’t the first place he called,” said Ken, “but we answered when he did, and that made all the difference.” Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.Contact us to learn how a telephone answering service can answer your calls 24/7 to better serve your customers.