Call Answering Service Cost: A Comprehensive Guide

You may be wondering about call answering service cost. It’s a great question, and it’s one of the first ones most people ask when looking to hire a telephone answering service or to switch from one provider to a new one.

Answering service rates consist of three things: a reoccurring base rate, included time (work), and a fee for additional usage, if any.

Based on these three parameters, you can see that the amount of each invoice will vary with the number of calls taken (the amount of time used) in the billing cycle. For a small business that might receive 5 to 6 after-hours calls each day, the cost would be about $100.

This is an incredibly small price to pay for the immense value that a call answering service provides. Quite simply, using a call answering service is the most cost-effective way to professionally handle your telephone calls. It’s that simple.

When looking at call answering service cost, consider the following three essential goals and desirable outcomes.

Retain Business

What happens when the customer calls your business in the evenings, on weekends, or during a holiday? The treatment they receive on these phone calls will go a long way to keeping their business or driving them away.

If you force a loyal customer to leave a message on an answering machine or interact with infuriating voicemail prompts, you’re sending a clear message that you don’t care about them.

Even worse yet is to not answer the phone at all and expect them to call back during regular business hours. It’s not going to happen. They’ll call your competitor instead.

Yet when you treat your customers to a listening ear and an empathetic response from a real person at your call answering service, they’ll be delighted in you, knowing that you care about their business.

Gain New Customers

Prospects will call your business when they have a felt need. This can occur during two common situations.

One is when an issue arises, and their first thought is to pick up the phone in search of a solution. They want answers right away. That’s why it’s so important to have a real person answer your phone when you’re not in the office.

The second scenario is when a prospect calls another business and encounters a mediocre response or no response at all. They hang up in frustration and call you. This is an excellent opportunity for you to win new business. But to gain them as a customer, you’re going to need the personal responsiveness of a call answering service.

What is a new customer worth to you? Quite likely it’s many times the call answering service cost for the entire month, even a year. This is why it’s foolish not to hire an answering service to handle your after-hours phone calls.

Realize Life-Time Value

Last, look at the lifetime value of a customer. This varies from industry to industry: thousands of dollars, to tens of thousands of dollars, to even more.

One bungled phone call in the evenings or weekends could put the lifetime value of your customer in jeopardy. Don’t send your best business to your competitor. Instead, strive to retain that value for the life of the customer. It starts with your call answering service.

Customer Retention: The Backbone of Any Business

The Role of a Call Answering Service in Customer Retention

When customers know that they can reach out to a real human being regardless of the hour, their loyalty to your brand solidifies. A responsive, empathetic call answering service keeps existing customers delighted and ensures that they don’t stray to competitors.

The Economics of Retention

It costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. Therefore, an efficient call answering service can not only retain your existing customer base but also substantially save on your customer acquisition costs.

Gaining New Business: The Frontlines of Growth

Immediate Response Equals Business

When a prospective customer calls your business, it’s usually because they have an immediate need. Having a real person answer your phone significantly increases the chances of converting a lead into a client.

Cost vs Reward: The ROI

When it comes to the cost of a call answering service, think about what a new customer is worth to you. The lifetime value of a new customer can often outweigh the monthly or even yearly costs of the service.

The Importance of Answering Services: More Than Just a Receptionist

24/7 Availability

Your availability to answer customer queries is not limited to business hours. An effective call answering service will represent your business 24/7, even on holidays.

Emergency Handling

An efficient answering service can differentiate between general inquiries and emergencies, forwarding only crucial calls to you, as per your instructions. This means you can react in real-time to urgent situations, further enhancing customer satisfaction and trust.

Features to Look For: Maximizing Utility

Multi-Channel Support

Modern call answering services offer more than just phone support. They can manage emails, texts, and even web chats.

Data Analytics

Some services provide insights into call patterns, which can be invaluable for your business planning.


Choose a service that can scale with your business. Paying a little extra for a scalable service today could save you the hassle and cost of switching providers as your business grows.

Evaluating Different Providers: Beyond the Price Tag

Credibility and Reviews

Always look for customer reviews and ratings, and if possible, opt for a service that has experience in your industry.

Free Trials

Many providers offer a free trial period. Use this time to evaluate if their service aligns with your business needs.

Contract Terms

Be wary of long-term contracts unless you are absolutely sure about the quality of the service.

Cost Considerations: Hidden Charges, Packages, and More

Transparent Pricing

Make sure the pricing is transparent. Check for any hidden fees or additional costs for extra services.

Package Deals

Some services offer bundled packages that include additional services like appointment scheduling or customer follow-ups, providing more value for your money.

How to Implement the Call Answering Service

Integration with Existing Systems

The service you choose should easily integrate with your existing business software for a smooth transition.

Staff Training

Inform and train your staff on how to use and get the most out of your new call answering service.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How quickly can the service be set up?
    • Usually within a few business days.
  • Are there any setup fees?
    • This varies from provider to provider. Always ask upfront.

The Next Step

Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive call answering service options and how we can provide these key outcomes to help you retain existing business, gain new customers, and maximize customer lifetime value.