Medical Call Volume, Longer Talk Time, Small Business Struggles

Columbus, Ohio, April 2020 — As an outsourcing call center tasked with manning the phones for thousands of organizations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, CMS hears a lot. And as the nation has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS has heard the impact first hand—experiencing erratic call volume as the virus has had a varied impact on businesses and consumer behavior. 

Changing Call Patterns

One noticeable change: Calls are taking longer. The average talk time per call is up over 15%. This is the result of calls being more complicated due to the virus’ impact on business operations, more business being done by phone, and caller’s frustration/fear dealing with the unknowns of the pandemic and social isolation. 

Call volume for medical clients, health departments, and food chain clients is way up. Calls for these industries include everything from patients trying to reach their doctor’s office to after-hours health department hotline inquiries and call-off lines for manufacturing firms. Many of these companies are stretched thin or limiting on-site personnel and thus use CMS to supplement their staff.  

“Medical practices may not have staff in the office but their patients still have medical issues to attend to during the pandemic, and we are helping to facilitate that,” said Richard Titus, CMS Chief Strategy Officer. “Our role is to focus on the communication while providers remain focused on their patients.”

Small Business Fallout

While some industries are experiencing higher volume, call volume for many industries including commercial and residential service providers is down. Less business is being done and fewer calls are being made. Many small business customers have closed indefinitely, unsure whether they’ll be able to reopen their doors. 

“That’s been a really sad part of this. Many of the small businesses closing have been clients of ours for 10-20 years,” Titus said. “Each small business is made up of hard working individuals that depend on their paycheck to provide for themselves and their families. We know that if their phones go unanswered that they will miss critical opportunities to keep their business afloat. We work with each business individually to help keep their doors open.”

Discount Relief Programs Available

In response to seeing so many businesses impacted, the company has unveiled new COVID-19 discount relief programs for small businesses, medical companies, and essential businesses. 

While CMS has seen the pandemic impact businesses in a myriad of ways, their own operations have continued uninterrupted. The company already had 33% of staff working remotely prior to the onset of the virus, with 95% going remote within a week of stay-at-home orders being issued. The company is based at 41. S. Grant Avenue in downtown Columbus, Ohio with a second location in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

About CMS (Continental Message Solution)

CMS (Continental Message Solution) is a leading provider of live telephone answering services, automated IVR systems, and custom software solutions. The U.S. based call center operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, offering solutions that include after-hours telephone answering, employee-call off systems, ethics and compliance hotlines, mass notifications, automated IVR, and other custom contact center solutions. The company takes calls from thousands of clients nationwide including medical offices and hospitals, property management companies, manufacturing firms, government agencies, small businesses, and more. Founded in 1967, the company is based in downtown Columbus, Ohio and with a second call center location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Learn more by visiting


Richard Titus
Chief Strategy Officer
(614) 596-4266