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AIBA Member: Hastings Humans

 

HASTINGS HUMANS PHOT 5 15

It’s 1948 in Austin, Texas, and Ann Hastings, a resourceful G.I. Bill wife, is sitting at her kitchen table, tending to a half dozen heavy, black telephones. Her home answering service came about as a way to make money while her husband earned his engineering degree. Sixty-five years later, Hastings Humans is a thriving, family-owned and operated business with over 1,000 clients, 17 consecutive industry awards for excellence, and a strong belief in the power of warm, intelligent, caring service.

“Voicemail is not customer service,” says Mark Hastings, Ann’s son, who handles Hastings Humans’ marketing and finance. He mentions a Forbes magazine study that found 80 percent of callers hang up when they get voicemail. “If you let calls go to voicemail you’re losing business. We are the voice at the end of the line, the warm, courteous, and helpful human your customers want to talk to. We are that first good impression you want your customers to associate with your business,” Mark says. 

If you are a business owner and you can’t get to the phone yourself and don’t have the resources to hire an employee to answer your calls, Hastings Humans can help. Mark says, “Our service pays for itself. We help you capture sales leads, provide customer support and courteous, efficient service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Hastings Humans works with a range of clients, including doctors, attorneys, online merchants, and service companies. Larger enterprises also look to Hastings when they have specific divisions that need answering service assistance. “Sometimes companies just need additional coverage after hours or weekends. Often a small business owner doesn’t have the resources to hire another employee just to answer the phone. We take all the calls that need to be taken,” Mark says. 

The secret to Hastings Humans success and longevity can be said to be its training program, which prepares call center workers to handle everything from routine service calls and sales to urgent medical situations. “Our clients love us because we are more than just a warm, caring voice at the end of the line. We provide consistency from call to call, we follow strict procedures, and our people understand that courteous, accurate, efficient service is our bread and butter. It takes about six weeks for someone to be qualified to take calls. We take our training program very seriously,” Mark says.

With a staff of 35 people covering the phones 24/7, 365 days a year, Hastings Humans is able to provide clients with peace of mind as well as excellent service. “We have backup facilities, generators, and batteries to ensure we are always up and running,” Mark says. “We are a locally owned, family operated business that really loves working with other local companies. My brother, Scott, and I are here in the office everyday, overseeing operations. We know what it takes to run a successful business, and we enjoy helping others,” Mark says. 

Hastings Humans has received nineteen consecutive Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) Awards for Excellence. Candidates are evaluated for six months on criteria such as caller experience, courtesy, response time, accuracy, and overall service. Mark says the exclusive honor “is a validation of the hard work and culture of quality that our staff puts into their work every day.”

 

Hastings Humans can be reached at 825 W. 11th St., 512-472-1122 or www.hastingshumans.com.

 

—Story and photo by Ann Guidry