How Much Does a Phone Answering Service Cost?
A phone answering service is a professional services vendor that answers telephone calls for their client companies. To provide the most effective communication solution, they hire people to handle this critical work. Though some businesses make the mistake of attempting to automate this task through technology, such as an answering machine or voicemail system, the reality is that most callers expect to talk to a real person, not fight with technology. They judge any non-human interaction as second rate.
This is where a quality phone answering service comes in. Their carefully screened and highly trained team members answer phone calls for their clients. Though the need for their services is great, you may wonder about the expense. Just how much does a phone answering service cost, anyway?
You may assume that this labor-intensive effort would be quite expensive. But it’s not. It’s most affordable. For a smaller company with modest phone-answering needs, the cost is less than a coffee a day. Think about that. You buy coffee with little thought about the price, yet too many business leaders agonize about spending the same amount—or less—for a telephone answering service that’s critical to their business’s present success in future viability.
So, how much does a phone answering service cost? There are three parts to consider.
Each answering service client pays a base rate each billing cycle. This allows the answering service to plan for the collective phone answering needs of all their clients. Answering services offer multiple tiered service packages, with base rates that reflect a client’s anticipated usage each billing cycle.
The lower your projected usage, the lower the base rate. Companies with higher projected usage pay a commensurate base rate. It’s simple and it’s fair. This is the first element of phone answering service cost.
Each service package includes a preset amount of phone answering work, measured in minutes, with each base rate providing a corresponding amount of time. The goal is to pick a service package that will accommodate your projected usage each billing cycle, getting as close as you can without going over it.
But what happens when an unexpected number of calls come in and you exceed your rate plan’s included time? Don’t worry. Nothing bad happens. Your phone answering service will continue answering your calls as usual, delivering the same personal and professional service as always. They’ll simply charge you a small additional fee for the added time. This is the second element of phone answering service cost.
Possible Overage Charges
Though the goal is to not exceed the number of minutes included in your phone answering service package, it does happen on occasion. When this occurs, your phone answering service will simply add a small extra charge for the additional time.
You may wonder what happens if you consistently exceed your plan’s allotted time? If this situation occurs, you can easily switch plans to one that better meets your new usage.
You can upsize to a plan that includes more time. In the same way, you can also downsize to a plan that includes less time. You can make this change whenever you need to, as often as you want. This is the third element of phone answering service cost.
What to Expect for Phone Answering Service Cost
Putting these elements together, the basic package is only $79.99 per billing cycle (every 28 days). This includes 100 minutes of usage, with additional time priced at only $0.79. One hundred minutes per billing cycle is about three and a half minutes a day. For a typical-length phone call this equates to four or five calls a day.
As we said in the opening to this post, this is much less than the cost of a coffee a day. Answering service isn’t expensive. It’s a veritable bargain, one too good to pass up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the cancellation policies?
Check your service agreement for details on cancellation policies, as they vary from provider to provider.
Can I update my plan?
Most services offer scalable plans that can be updated as your business grows.
If you want to realize the full lifetime value of every one of your customers, contact us today to discover how we can serve your existing customers and your potential customers too.
The Next Step
Now that you have an idea about phone answering service costs, contact us to learn more about our 24/7 phone answering service.