Price is not the most important consideration when selecting an answering service. Intangible qualities should be the primary determining factors. These include service quality, customer service responsiveness, and overall business integrity, among many others.
However, once you’ve addressed these essential traits, the second item to look at is price.
Yes, answering service rates are important in your decision-making process, but they should come after evaluating the more important service-related characteristics.
When it comes to evaluating the cost of an answering service, here are some key items to consider.
28-Day Billing Cycle
Some answering services bill once a month and others every 28 days. It’s important to understand the difference.
Some months have 31 days and others have 30. Then we have February with 28 or 29 days. This represents a 10 percent variance in length from one month to the next. Why does this matter? It matters because all other things being equal, the amount of usage from one billing to the next will also vary by 10 percent. This means that some bills could incur unexpected overages. This approach to answering service pricing makes budgeting a challenge.
To address these monthly fluctuations, enlightened answering services bill every 28 days. This produces increased consistency from one invoice to the next. Having 13 equal billing cycles reduces billing surprises that occur on the old monthly approach.
America’s Telephone Answering Service is proud to provide you with 28-day billing. This is an objective pricing model.
No Holiday Fees
Most answering services levy a surcharge if you want your phone answered on a holiday. Is this fair? Of course not. But they do it anyway. They see it as a slick way to jack up your bill and increase their profitability.
Progressive answering services see things differently. Their answering service rates do not charge holiday fees. When a holiday rolls around, they answer your phone calls just like always. And they charge you the same rate, just like always.
America’s Telephone Answering Service is pleased to put the kibosh on charging holiday fees.
No Set Up and Programming Charges
Another trick that most answering services do to generate additional revenue is charge a set up or programming fee. You must pay this before they will take a single call. Though this is a one-time charge—unlike the reoccurring holiday fees—it is also much higher.
If your answering service wants to charge you a set-up fee for the privilege of getting your business, factor this amount into your answering service cost analysis. Prorate their programming charges over one year and look at what your overall effective cost is. You could find it being 10 percent higher—or more—than what you expected.
America’s Telephone Answering Service is delighted to serve you without charging a set-up fee for the privilege.
An item related to answering service rates, pricing, and cost is contracts. Contracts lock you in and limit your flexibility. If you switch answering services and have signed a contract with your old provider, you’ll need to pay the contracted amount to your old answering service even though you’re no longer using them.
The only way around this is to not switch. That’s what they’re counting on. If their service isn’t good enough to keep your business, their contract will. That’s no way to operate.
America’s Telephone Answering Service is confident in the quality of their services and will never lock you in with a contract.
As you can see, when it comes to answering service price there are many subtle differences. Don’t just look at the base rate because many answering services inflate their overall price by charging holiday fees, tacking on set up and programming charges, and obligating you through a contract. This is in addition to their unpredictable monthly billing mentality.
Skip the drama. Go with America’s Telephone Answering Service and enjoy their equitable prices and fair invoices.