Edwards Answering Service Celebrates 65 Years of Teamwork
Edwards Answering Service president Gary Edwards remembers when the company was just nine rotary telephones on his family’s dining room table. He was only 4 when his mother and father – Betty and Fred Edwards – founded the company in 1954. As a toddler, he was fascinated by all of the wires crisscrossing their home. Exemplary customer service was paramount even then. “Even the dogs were trained not to bark.”
Edwards Answering Service celebrates its 65th anniversary on April 1. Telecommunications technology has come a long way since the rotary phone days. Hard drives and backup systems guarantee that customer calls never go unanswered, while an uninterrupted power supply with a large capacity gas-line fueled generator allowing staff at Edwards HQ to remain fully operational even during the worst weather.
The company’s signature customer service, however, remains the same as when Betty Edwards fielded her very first phone call from her dining room.
“We have a staff that really cares about clients and their well-being,” explains Gary. “People call us who need help, and we have a staff that wants to provide it to the best of their ability.”
Never Settling for Mediocrity
Edwards Answering Service has been helping Charter Painting & Restoration by answering phones and providing voicemail services since 1967.
Owner Jim Charter says the call center has been instrumental in his company’s own longevity. The Manchester, CT-based painting and restoration business will celebrate a landmark 50 years in 2019.
Most importantly, Edwards Answering Service afforded Jim and his family privacy at home and allowed him to keep his home life and his business life separate. Messages were consistently accurate, he notes, operators were receptive and respectful, and potential customers were provided with a reliable overview of his business.
“Phone calls… That’s when the initial seed is planted,” he says of owning a business. “The first voice [a customer] hears casts the initial first impression of a company. And we all know how important first impressions are.”
Taking Care of Business – and People
In more than six decades of operation, Edwards Answering Service has never shut its doors, says Human Resources Manager and “Edwards Mom” Tammy Cosper.
“I think it’s really important we’re here 24-7. We’re here when [everyone else in the world] is home and offices are closed.”
Not only is Edwards Answering Service dedicated to its customers, but it is dedicated to its employees.
“Everyone pitches in,” says Operations Shift Supervisor Donna Taylor. “It’s family-oriented. A great place to work. I would say the secret to our longevity is that everyone works together as a team.”
A Strong Connection
Edwards’ “all for one” commitment to providing exceptional customer service remains as important today as it was 65 years ago.
It’s as important as it was in 1963 when Edwards moved into the building that continues to serve as its home in 2019.
And it’s as important as it was when Gary officially joined the company in 1980, when he and his mother formed an enduring partnership that would take the answering service industry by storm.
“My mother and I both had the same outlook,” Gary says of the duo’s efficacy. “We had the same style of management. We were in sync about where the company should go, and what was important. One of our customers used to [describe us as], ‘Same words, different voice.’”
With the advent of call forwarding, Gary and Betty Edwards took great pains to grow the company and break into new markets. When Gary opened his own answering service office in Milford, CT, Edwards Answering Service took its first steps into expansion, and when he later merged a Guilford, CT enterprise he had purchased and operated – Edwards became a true force to be reckoned with.
Gary credits this proactive nature for much of the company’s success.
The Edwards Answering Service team’s cumulative knowledge and credentials offer businesses of all shapes and sizes peace of mind that their calls are in good hands, and live phone operators help industries from real estate to medical practices manage their accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
According to Gary, there are no plans to hang it all up any time soon.
“People keep asking me when I’m going to retire,” he says. “I tell them, ‘When I forget to come to work.’ We’re going to keep moving forward. There are no plans not to see 70 years, or 75.”
For more information, visit www.edwardsansweringservice.com.
“Andrews Oil & Gas Services began using Edwards Answering Service in 1967! WOW! Wonderful company with employees to match. They have always been professional, efficient and friendly. We would highly recommend Edwards Answering Service for those looking for a reputable 24-hour answering service company. Our preference is always to support local, family owned businesses…just like us!
-Andrews Oil & Gas Services, South Windsor, CT
“Your organization’s service has been extraordinary. It has surpassed my expectations and I am very grateful. Yourself, your staff have been very supportive and patient in my new adventures of beginning my practice. Congratulations to Edwards Answering Service for 65 years!”
-Ines Zemaitis APRN, Connecticut Primary Care and Wellness