Frequently asked questions – how can we help you?

Find answers to common questions using the search bar or browse all FAQs below. Can’t find what you need? Our customer service team members are ready to assist.

General FAQs

Our clients range from small businesses including sole traders through to large enterprises including multinational corporations. We provide call answering and appointment scheduling services for a variety of industries, including real estate agents, lawyers, accountants and healthcare (such as psychologists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and dentists). We support many businesses with mobile workforces, such as those in trades, building and construction or travel and tourism operators. We also assist a variety of start-up businesses, contractors, franchises, retailers and service providers including IT companies and website design or marketing agencies.

Yes, we have operations in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. We also service Canada and some parts of Europe.

Please contact us for more information on our international services.

OfficeHQ was established in Sydney in 2003. We opened a training and operations centre on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2006 and launched our operations internationally in the US in 2007, the UK in 2011 and New Zealand in 2018.

We now consider our Sunshine Coast office to be our head office.

Virtual Reception Service FAQs

Many callers hang up when their call goes to voicemail, so you can miss out on vital conversations or leads.  Ensuring your calls are answered by a live person, increases customer satisfaction, builds loyalty and improves your opportunity to create a rapport and obtain caller details.

Live call answering also allows you to screen calls, as you can advise your receptionist to transfer or take messages for only those call types you wish to receive.  Once answered, you can see each message as it’s taken and prioritise who you will call back first.

Live call answering increases revenue through better customer connections, reduces costs as you’re not paying for a full time receptionist and helps you to be more efficient with your time.

Yes! OfficeHQ is a privately-owned Australian company. Our head office is on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, with about 90% of our entire Australian team – including our virtual receptionists – based in that region.

Our telecommunications network extends to 66 telephone exchanges, giving us the largest range of local numbers of any Australian virtual reception services provider.

Yes, our receptionist can answer calls you’d usually miss.  You may be on another call or simply unable to answer because you’re busy at the time. Our receptionists will take a detailed message and send to you instantly by email or SMS. Many clients who subscribe to our service are surprised when they learn how many calls they’d been missing prior to having their calls answered by OfficeHQ.

Transferring calls to OfficeHQ is easy. To have our team of virtual receptionists answer your calls, simply:

  1. Decide whether you wish to forward calls immediately to OfficeHQ (the best solution for most businesses) or have calls forwarded after a delay.
  2. Identify the call forwarding codes for your telecommunications provider. Most providers publish these codes on their websites.
  3. Use the codes to enable your calls to be forwarded to the unique phone number that we’ve allocated to you.

For more information, check out our article Forwarding Your Business Phone to OfficeHQ’s Reception Team, which outlines:

Yes. This is referred to as “call overflow”.

A lot of companies require their phone calls to be answered only when they are unable to take the call themselves. For example, if you step out of the office for an hour or your in-house receptionist goes to lunch, is on leave or is busy on another call and you have multiple calls coming in at the one time.

You can set your business phone number to divert (to the unique local phone number we allocate your business during the Free Trial setup process) only when the phone rings for more than a specified period (such as after 5 rings) or if your line is busy/engaged.

In such instances our receptionists will then answer the phone as if we were in your office. You’re always in control and can relax knowing you will never miss another important call again! 

Yes.  Our receptionists are available 24/7 and you can opt-in to receive after hours live call answering on any OfficeHQ subscription.  Without after hours call answering turned on, our receptionists will answer your calls between 8:00am and 6:00pm on weekdays.  If you need after hours call answering, please let us know when you sign up or contact us.

Yes – if you’re on a MyAssistant or MyDiary plan.  For MessageExpress and MyReceptionist plans, calls are always answered by our team in Australia whenever possible – and that’s the case for the majority of calls – with overflow support available from our teams in the UK and the US during unforeseen peaks in call volumes.  This enables us to ensure your calls are always answered as fast as possible, reducing the risk of call abandonment. We know Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is very important to our clients and one of our key differentiators is that we’re able to answer calls in under 10 seconds, on average.

Read more.

Yes, you are able to use our service for an hour, a day, a week, whenever you need our assistance. Many clients use our live call answering for short-term needs, for example, when their own in-house receptionist is at lunch, sick or on annual leave.  Some clients use the service during their busy periods only, as call overflow or for campaigns.  Our live call answering service is like having a casual receptionist who is always available.  It’s reliable and risk-free, as you only pay for what you use.

If you prefer to use our service seasonally, you can take advantage of our pause package.

MyReceptionist is a live call answering service where a friendly, professional receptionist answers your phone and handles your calls exactly as you require.  You may instruct our receptionist to take messages for one or more separate staff members or departments, transfer calls based on availability or provide basic information about your business.  Just like having your own in-house receptionist, but without the cost.  To your callers, they will feel as though they are speaking to someone sitting in your office.

When you sign up to the MyReceptionist service or the 7-day free trial, we will allocate an exclusive local telephone number (02 for Sydney, 03 for Melbourne, etc) for you to divert your business calls to.  When we receive calls to your number, we will answer with your customised greeting, take a message or transfer specific calls to you, if requested.  With the MyReceptionist service, our receptionists can answer basic questions about your business, such as your business address, hours of operation or when a return phone call might be received.

The MessageExpress service works best for those clients who just need messages taken for one person or team.  The receptionist will answer with a greeting such as “Good morning,  [your business name].  May I take your message please?” Messages can be instantly sent by email or SMS, however call transfers are not available on this service.  On the MessageExpress service, receptionists are focused primarily on message taking, so are unable to provide general business information to callers.

The MyReceptionist service offers more flexibility and customisation so we can give the impression we are part of your business.  It’s designed for those clients who would like to provide a more personal touch.  When subscribing to the MyReceptionist service, you’ll receive a fully customised greeting, the ability to take different messages or make transfer calls to different people or departments in your organisation, plus receptionists can answer basic questions about your business, such as the location, your website URL, what your business does and when calls might be returned.

If you’re not sure, please speak to our friendly consultants or sign up for a free trial of our MyReceptionist service so you can test it out.  Once you subscribe, you change between package types whenever it suits your business. No penalties apply.

Yes, we are able to transfer calls to any staff member on any phone (landline or mobile).  With our innovative software, we can record availability preferences for each staff member and only transfer when requested.  Individual details can be updated at any time via our online client portal or mobile application.

We pride ourselves in offering ‘warm transfers’, that is, callers are always announced to you before the transfer takes place.  If you’re unavailable, or if you don’t answer the call, our receptionist will go back to your caller, let them know you’re unavailable, take a message then forward it to you.  We do not blind transfer calls (transfer unannounced) unless you request this.  Call transfers are available as an add-on for MyReceptionist, MyAssistant and MyDiary plans.

OfficeHQ offers a month-to-month agreement, which can be cancelled by giving us at least three days’ notice prior to your monthly renewal date.

Yes.  We can answer your calls and advise your callers you are in a meeting, travelling or with a client – you choose.  Our receptionists can then take a detailed message with the information you require and forward this message to you by email or SMS instantly so that you can return the call in your own time.

Yes, messages can be sent to multiple email addresses and mobile numbers – it’s your choice.  We can also attempt to transfer calls to multiple people in sequential order.  How your calls are managed can be updated instantly via your OfficeHQ online client portal or mobile application at any time.

Yes.  Each staff member and/or department can set their own availability status and decide whether to have their calls transferred or a message taken.  All settings can be updated individually and instantly via the OfficeHQ client portal or mobile application.

Yes.  We are able to answer basic questions such as your location, directions to premises, fax number, website, pricing and other general questions. Depending on your plan, you can provide us with detailed call scripts or answers to FAQs to assist your callers.  Just let us know your needs and we’ll set up your account according to your preferred process.

There are no set up fees for the MyReceptionist and MessageExpress services – you can start using these services immediately.

Yes.  You can subscribe just to Live Call Answering plan or you can bundle with a phone number, IVR or virtual address service.

Set up can take as little as a few minutes.  For a MessageExpress or MyReceptionist service, you can start using the service almost instantly. Simply set up an account yourself, using the free trial webform or have our customer service team do this for you.  Either way, it only takes a few minutes to get started.  Once your account is set up, you simply need to forward your phone line to us and we’ll start answering your calls.

If you’re interested in a MyAssistant or MyDiary plan, a short setup may be required, depending on complexity, to train our receptionists on your preferred software, business information or webforms.  Please contact us to find out more.

If you start with the free trial, it gives you an opportunity to understand what call volume or duration you should select ongoing.  Once you’ve selected your plan, you can upgrade or downgrade at any time without penalty.  To help give you confidence you are on the correct plan, you will be provided with an online client portal and mobile application, which allows you to track your usage in real time. You’ll be able to see every incoming call by day and time, the messages received, where they were sent and whether any calls were transferred.

Yes.  We don’t have a minimum contract term and you may cancel your service at any time without penalty.  We simply ask for you to let us know three days prior to your billing renewal date.  If you want to keep your account available, but stop using it for a while, we also have a pause option.  Just speak to our friendly team for more information.

Yes, you have the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade at any time to a more suitable subscription that meets your requirements and budget.  For example, you can change the number of calls being answered by OfficeHQ or you can change the type of package you have subscribed to.  There’s no cost to change plans.  We want you to feel comfortable you are on the right plan for your usage.

Our services are paid for in advance, with the preferred method of payment being direct debit via credit card (AMEX, Mastercard and Visa).  All invoices are sent to your nominated email address, as well as made available to be viewed or printed from your online client portal.  For large clients, we also offer EFT payment methods on request.

The live call answering free trial is based on the MyReceptionist service and is completely free.  We don’t require a credit card and it can be cancelled at any time.  When you sign up for a free trial, you’ll be allocated a local phone number to divert your calls to as well as gain instant access to a client portal and mobile application to manage your service.  At the end of the trial, you can simply add a credit card to continue, or stop using the service if you’d rather not continue with the service.  There is no obligation at all.

With answer all of our clients’ phone calls in less than 10 seconds, on average, which equates to fewer than 4 rings. We take great pride in this, we set the benchmark in our industry and our speed of answer is much faster than the norm.

Yes, we allocate an exclusive phone number to each client so our receptionists know which business the incoming call is for.  If you have an existing phone number, simply forward your calls to the number we provide.  Through your telephone provider you have the option to forward all calls, or have calls only come to us when you’re busy or there’s no answer.  We’ll answer as many or as few calls as you need.

No.  If you have a 1300 or 1800 number, you can request to port it across to OfficeHQ to save costs.  If you already have a local number, simply forward calls from your existing phone number to the unique number we provide.  We can work with any existing scenario, just ask.

Yes, in addition to your free local number, you can add one or more additional business numbers, with the area code of your choice, to give the impression you have localised coverage.  We have phone numbers available in all major Australian cities, including Sydney and Canberra (both 02), Melbourne (03), Brisbane (07), and Adelaide and Perth (both 08).  

Alternatively, if you’d like to give the appearance your business operates nationally, you can add a 1300 number or 1800 number to your service at any time.  Depending on availablity, most phone numbers can be set up for you instantly.  Please contact us for more details.

Call Routing & Business Phone Numbers FAQs

A call diversion service essentially enables you to divert one phone number to another.  For example, if you want to keep your mobile phone number private, but need to use it for your business, you can advertise a business number (like a 1300 number) and divert the calls from this number to your mobile phone.  Your callers will only ever know the advertised number and you’ll be able to see whether the incoming call is personal or business in nature.

The most common reasons for using a call diversion service are:  1) the opportunity for your business to have a presence in another state so you are more appealing to local customers, 2) the ability to keep your mobile number private when you are operating a business from your personal phone (you can advertise a local or national number, and still receive the calls on your mobile) and 3) the ability to run several businesses with different customer facing numbers, but still have all calls answered on one number.  The MessageCentre Divert service includes a local phone number and can be set up instantly for as little as $20/month.  A call diversion service provides a very quick and cost-effective way to appear larger, start up a new business or gain an interstate or national presence.

If you have a live call answering service attached, our professional receptionists will answer your calls (either all calls or only when you are busy).  If you have a voicemail to email service, your voicemail messages will be sent to you via email.  Otherwise, your calls will be managed by your existing call answering solution, for example, on a mobile phone, your calls would typically go through to a voicemail service if unanswered.

Yes.  When you sign up, you’ll gain access to a client portal and moblie application for managing your MessageCentre Divert service.  Using these tools, you can instantly change the number your calls are being diverted to.  Our customer service team is also able to make these changes for you during business hours.

No, there are no set up fees for a call diversion service.  The cost of a local phone number is included in your MessageCentre Divert monthly subscription.

Yes. Your MessageCentre Divert service includes the provision of a local number in your preferred location. While there are add-on options available, you don’t need any other services to get started.  Simply signup, tell us which number you want your calls diverted to and you’ll be receiving calls instantly.

Call diversion costs just $15 per month on the MessageCentre Divert package, which includes a local number.  You may add additional local numbers, a 1300 number or a 1800 number to your service at any time for an additional monthly fee.  Call charges also apply, based on call durations.

OfficeHQ offers a month-to-month agreement, which can be cancelled by giving us at least three days’ notice prior to your monthly renewal date.

A voicemail message is simply an electronic audio recording of the message that was left for you by a caller.  Using the Voicemail to Email service, voicemail messages are sent to you via email, so you can hear the original message left and save your messages for as long as you need.

When someone leaves you a new voicemail, you’ll instantly be sent an email with a .wav file attached.  Simply open this email and double click on the .wav file to play your voicemail message through your computer or phone audio.  As voicemail messages are sent electronically, they can be forwarded within your company just as you would any other email message.

Each voicemail message will be sent to you via email as a .wav file attachment.  This means you can listen to the original message through your phone or computer, store your voicemail messages for record-keeping and forward the message to anyone in the company who may need to act on it.  To open a .wav file, simply double click the attachment and it will play through your default audio player.

Yes, you can forward any landline, mobile number, 1800 or 1300 number to us, to be answered by our receptionists. Forwarded calls are seamlessly answered by our receptionists in your company name with the greeting of your choice.

Yes. You will be allocated an exclusive, dedicated local number (02, 03, 04, 07 or 08) based on the location of your company. You can either advertise this number directly, or forward calls to it from your existing business number. When calls are received to your dedicated number, our professional receptionists will be prompted to answer in your business name.

If your business would benefit from multiple numbers or a 1300 or 1800 number, you can add these for an additional cost. Please note, if you wish to port out your number at any stage in the future, this can only done with 1300 or 1800 numbers.

Yes. OfficeHQ can provide you with a local number to match your area code (for example 02, 03, 04, 07 or 08) or we can provide multiple numbers for each state. Advertising local numbers in additional states can give customers the impression your business is more established or has a larger coverage area. For a national appearance, we can provide you with a 1300 number or freecall 1800 number. Contact us to find out more.

Yes, we can instantly add a national 1300 to your account, which gives you a national presence and allows callers to contact you for the cost of a local call.  Similarly, we can obtain 1800 numbers, on request, which allow callers to contact you at no charge.  For these specialty numbers, you’ll be provided with a list of available numbers to choose from, as we understand it’s an important decision and you’ll want to keep your national number for the life of your business.

Specialised Services FAQs

Escalation management in conjunction with a call answering service is designed to ensure urgent matters can be dealt with as fast as possible. This involves the implementation of customised processes to fit your business requirements, but essentially requires your nominated team members to confirm when escalation notifications have been received to prevent a call or issue being escalated any further. You specify the personnel, sequence and contact methods (such as SMS, email or calls) for escalation notifications.

Yes. Our customisable service is fully adaptable to your unique requirements and operational procedures. Through our scripting tool, you have the ability to implement tailored filters, ensuring that only the calls warranting immediate action are escalated. Call filters may include factors such as:

  • The urgency of the issue
  • The type of issues reported
  • The company the caller represents
  • Any other criteria that may warrant triggering an escalation

When calls do not meet the escalation criteria, the receptionist may:

  • Send a standard message to you via email or SMS, without any confirmation required
  • Advise the callers to phone again during standard business hours, if that’s your preference for any such calls received after hours

Absolutely. We can implement time-of-day procedures to ensure that escalations occur only during specified periods, such as after hours and on weekends. However, if you require all calls to be escalated at all times, we can accommodate that as well.

Certainly! We can set up customised scripting to filter your calls to the appropriate procedure every time. Initially, we’ll assess your caller’s issue type and then activate the relevant escalation process accordingly.

With answer all of our clients’ phone calls in less than 10 seconds, on average, which equates to fewer than 4 rings. We take great pride in this, we set the benchmark in our industry and our speed of answer is much faster than the norm.

You sure can! We have a dedicated rostering team who can assist with these requirements. Our team can manage rosters on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to align your service with escalation staff availability. Additionally, we can utilise time-of-day routing if different staff members are assigned to different parts of the week.

Yes! Australian-based receptionists answer all calls for businesses with an escalation service. About 90% of our receptionists are located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Companies or organisations typically choose to utilise a lone worker monitoring service to ensure the safety and security of employees or contractors operating in solitary or remote settings, where direct supervision is limited. Its implementation demonstrates their commitment to employee well-being, fulfils legal obligations regarding occupational health and safety, and mitigates potential risks associated with lone working scenarios.

Having workers check-in by a phone call is a risk management solution tailored to the unique challenges of lone working environments, providing real-time monitoring and capacity for emergency assistance when required.

Our receptionist team will receive a notification of their login details and, unless you have requested an immediate escalation of the issue to your team, will immediately attempt to contact your contractor or employee via an outbound phone call. If your lone worker answers our call, great! We will confirm whether they need to be logged out or if their time needs to be extended. In the event of no response from your employee, according to your procedures, we may attempt another phone call to an alternative number or initiate an escalation process by sounding the alarm with their supervisor or manager so that they can investigate.

Yes. Our customisable service is fully adaptable to your unique requirements and operational procedures. Through our scripting tool, you can tailor filters to route each employee through to their department or location’s procedure. This may result in us requesting additional information from your staff member or contacting a different set of managers/supervisors if the staff member fails to log out of our system.

Yes! Australian-based receptionists answer all calls relating to our lone worker safety management solution. About 90% of our receptionists are located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Virtual Address FAQs

With an OfficeHQ virtual address, you can advertise your new business location without the expensive overhead.  Virtual addresses can provide privacy protection for home businesses, while at the same time creating the impression that a business is larger or in a better location.  Depending on the address, we may also offer mail notification, mail collection services and mail scanning/forwarding.

A virtual address enables you to advertise a prestigious business address, without having to sign up to an expensive lease.  Any mail sent to your virtual address is seamlessly redirected to you, or if you prefer, scanned and emailed.  Some examples of how virtual addresses can be used are:  start-up companies who wish to appear larger, home-based business owners who’d like to keep their personal address private, expanding businesses who are keen to promote a local presence (for example an address in each state) or businesses who want to demonstrate an affinity with a particular area, for example a financial precinct.  Some virtual addresses also have the option of occasional meeting rooms, desk space by the day and  longer-term serviced offices.  Just let us know what you’re interested in when you enquire.

Simply submit a request noting your preferred virtual address locations, then our friendly team will contact you to get started.  We’ll ask for your business name, contact details, preferred payment method and forwarding address details.  Once these details are confirmed, your service will be ready to use and any mail sent to this address will be forwarded to you.  You don’t need to do anything else – it’s that simple.

We’ll confirm with you when your new virtual address is ready to use.  Usually, it’s ready to use on the same day as setup.

While we don’t provide a free trial of our virtual address service, we do offer month-to-month subscriptions with no lock-in contract.  To complement your virtual address service, we also offer a free trial of our call answering service – which you can try free for 7 days.

Yes, you can have as many virtual address locations as your business needs.  Clients may advertise multiple virtual address locations to appear larger, to test their brand in a new location or to imply they have a broader regional, state or national presence.  Please ask about our bundle discounts.

Depending on your preferred virtual address location, you can choose to have your mail physically sent to you or scanned and sent electronically.  At some locations you also have the option to collect your own mail.  Please note, some locations don’t support parcels.

Yes, that’s the beauty of a virtual address service.  You can opt to have your mail automatically forwarded to you anywhere in the world.  All plans include a ‘fair use’ allocation for mail forwarding or scanning.  Beyond this allocation, a small handling fee may be charged, plus postage.

Yes.  Once you’ve chosen your preferred virtual address, we can allocate a phone number with an area code to match.  You can choose between a local, regional or national phone number and either answer your calls personally, by diverting your new number to your mobile or business phone, or have your calls answered by our virtual receptionists.  There’s no lock in contract, no credit card required, and you can cancel any time.  Simply contact us to discuss the best option for your needs.

Support FAQs

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