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Houston Answering Service News: New Houston Franchise Makes Traditional Answering Services Redundant With Personal, Affordable Virtual Receptionists


HOUSTON, TX, February 2, 2007 – In Houston, answering services will never be the same again. That’s because Intelligent Office, a new virtual receptionist company has upended the old answering service business model and transformed it into an affordable, upscale and personalized remote service that makes even the smallest companies look big.

“Houston Intelligent Office ( has taken the old-fashioned answering service business model and turned it on its head,” says Iain Clarke, co-owner with his father, Ron, of the Galleria franchise whose target audience is:

• Home-based business owners who want to shake the stigma of officing at home.
• Small companies with no budget to hire a polished, professional staff receptionist.
• On-the-go telecommuters, salesmen and traveling executives who fear being mobile could make them look unprofessional.

Intelligent Office, located next to Neiman Marcus on Post Oak Blvd., is not just another among dozens of answering services in Houston,” says Clarke, who six months ago launched the 21st-century style answering service in Houston. The new company uses the latest in remote technology to provide virtual receptionists who are trained to speak knowledgeably and professionally about a client’s company.

Clarke says most of his clients are Houston small business owners with limited budgets who work out of their homes. “Before Intelligent Office came into the picture, our clients typically handled incoming calls one of two ways: (1) A standard answering service, complete with chaotic background noises and impersonal operators, or (2) an unreliable answering machine that was often shared with the whole family.”

“The very core of this business is the instinctive need we all have to hear a friendly voice on the other end of the line,” says Clarke. “A human voice immediately establishes security, trust and credibility.” Clarke cites research that shows 80% of the new business that comes in goes to those companies whose phones are answered by a professional receptionist.

"Houston is a competitive business market,” he says, “and the old-fashioned answering service cannot provide the level of professionalism the home-based business owner needs to compete for the big jobs.”

Clarke says Intelligent Office is essentially a personal answering service that is finely integrated with the Houston company’s remote communications technology. When a call comes through, he says, six pages of computer screens unfold on receptionist’s computer easily displaying client information and connection points – whether for one person or several.

“With our answering service technology,” says Clarke, “the caller has the impression that a business owner has a full-time assistant picking up the phone from her desk located in the office right next door. In reality,” he says, “the business owner may be dressed in old jeans and a t-shirt working away at his computer in the back bedroom of his home 20 miles away in Kingwood, while the Intelligent Office virtual assistant patches the call through to him from our Galleria-area headquarters.”

Clarke says, unlike the typical Houston answering service, Intelligent Office receptionists take personal messages based on the small business owner’s specific instructions.

He cites an example: “If a client instructs our remote receptionists to ‘put my sister’s calls through to me but don’t tell anyone else I’m in the office,’ that’s what our receptionists do – and they always do it politely. They are professional gatekeepers at the fraction of the cost for a full-time staff receptionist.”

“As far as our clients are concerned,” says Clarke, “our Intelligent Office virtual receptionists don’t get sick, don’t go to lunch, don’t leave the office to pick up a sick child at school and never take a coffee break. They provide personal, individualized service.”

Clarke says no matter where a client happens to be – “even if they’re skiing in Colorado or vacationing in Florida – Intelligent Office receptionists can pass a call through to their cell phone, and the caller is never aware of the high-tech logistics taking place.”

Intelligent Office remote receptionist services typically cost less than $300 a month, says Clarke. “Our phones are answered just as they are in a regular office – from 8:30 to 5, five days a week.”

Clarke asks the following questions of home-based business owners inquire about the company’s remote receptionist services:

• How many Houston answering services do you know where the receptionist is actually personally acquainted with the client whose calls they are taking?
• How many Houston answering services actually invite you into their offices to meet the company owners, as well as the receptionists who will be handling your business calls?

Intelligent Office receptionists develop a business relationship with our client,” says Iain Clarke. “They know their voices and if they saw a client on the street they would recognize them. Unlike many answering services you find around Houston, we are not an impersonal call center.”

Clarke says having a virtual receptionist means home-based business owners can focus on getting their work done and not dealing with unnecessary phone calls. “The calls they do want to receive are announced by the remote receptionist and then connected seamlessly to the client’s home office phone, cell phone or any other connecting device anywhere in the world,” he says. “Calls can also be sent to voice mail and if the caller wants to leave a personal message with the receptionist, that’s OK, too.”

The father and son business team decided to bring the franchise to Houston “because Houston is a sophisticated market with the quality of small businesses that demand the latest in answering service technology" Clarke cites U.S. census data published last September that show more than half of all Houston business owners work out of their homes.

For more information on Intelligent Office-Houston, a 21st century-style Houston answering service company whose virtual services make small companies look big, call Iain or Ron Clarke at (281) 657-3300 or visit

Focus: Houston answering services, Answering service Houston, virtual receptionist service Houston, remote receptionist Houston


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