Don’t Let Winter Put A Freeze On Your Customer Service — Part I

Here we go again! We’re sliding into winter weather, and this time with an arctic blast. And all of us in the Tri-State region certainly know how wintry conditions can wreak havoc on running a business. Heavy snow and ice conditions can bring down power lines and shut down roads, making it difficult to for employees to get to their offices. In addition, school cancellations keeps many parents home rather than in the workplace. Productivity stalls at best, and at worst all systems shut down.

While customers may be understanding of these circumstances to a degree, their patience runs thin when it means they aren’t able to access services or products they need. And if there is no or very little communication from the business they’re trying to reach, they’ll likely go elsewhere.

We’ve seen how this scenario could have played out that way several times at Towne Answering Service. But because our clients had a voice answering system in place, wintry weather didn’t put a freeze on their customer service.


  • 1993 ‘Storm of the Century’ brought 3 feet of snow over 2 days. Every airport was shut down, but we were open.
  • The blizzard of 1996 dumped a record 30 inches of snow on Philadelphia, but we never missed a beat.
  • The 2006 blizzard dumped 26 inches on New York City, but we were taking calls through it all.
  • Winter Storm Jonas in 2016 ranked at 4th worst in history, with up to 3 feet of snow. Meanwhile, we were working.
  • While not a winter storm, during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, there were thousands and thousands of people in the Tri-State area with no electricity for up to 10 days. We were never down and we tripled and quadrupled the number of calls we processed for 11 days.

At Towne, we are serious about disaster preparedness and providing services when our clients cannot provide service for themselves. We work with multiple phone companies, multiple internet companies, and our building is fed by cables from different companies that come in on opposite sides. All of this cross technology ensures that if line one is cut, there are back-ups with back-ups for all our systems.

In the event of power loss, we have an UPS (uninterruptible power supply) that starts working immediately to ensure computers don’t go blank. Power then switches automatically to one of two generators, each powered by a different fuel in case one source of fuel becomes unavailable.

For our clients, it’s simple—all we ask is that they communicate with us when they need us to cover their phones, and have a plan in place before weather strikes for a smooth and successful emergency shutdown of their business. Together, we can work out the message they want their customers to hear, whether it’s that customers shouldn’t attempt to drive to their office for appointments, or when they should expect attention, service, or an appointment for their issue.

We are here for our clients, 24/7/365. And in the event of dangerous weather, we stay open so they don’t have to.

If you’d like to know how the professional receptionists at Towne Answering Service will keep the lines of communication with your customers open no matter the circumstances, call us at 800-660-4316 for a free consultation. You can also visit our website to learn more about our various business solutions and service commitment, and how we can partner with your business to provide personalized, exceptional customer care that meets your specific needs and goals.


Deb Crown

About Deb Crown

Towne Answering Service was established in 1968 to provide answering services for medical and commercial clients in the southeastern Pennsylvania area. Utilizing the best technology available at the time (the time was 1968 and the technology was a switchboard), Towne was able to establish a very faithful clientele, the majority of whom are still with us today. As time passed and technology advanced, so did the equipment. The answering service equipment evolved from switchboards to a basic computerized system with handwritten messages. From that, we were able to move to a fully computerized, paperless, state-of-the-art messaging system with digital lines and switching and were able to partner with our clients and provide a higher level of service.