What is the Cost for an HVAC Answering Service?
Answering service pricing for HVAC companies is very similar to pricing for any other small business. Here’s everything you need to know to budget for one.
When you have an HVAC service business, time is of the essence. People are likely to call you when they have an emergency.
It could be that the heat suddenly shut off in the middle of winter or the A/C stopped working during the hottest day of the year. When people call, they need you NOW. They also expect a high level of service.
You can’t afford to miss those calls, so you consider hiring a receptionist or an answering service for your business.
Find out more about answering service pricing and how you can get the best answering service for your HVAC business.
What Do HVAC Answering Services Cost?
The cost of HVAC answering services depends on the type of plan that you have with your answering service provider.
It also depends on your needs. You may find that you need to have a lot of customer information documented or you just need a name and phone number. That will affect your pricing.
In most cases, the typical price can be between $.74 and $1.52 per call.
Compare that to the cost of hiring a receptionist. You can probably hire a receptionist for minimum wage. In some places, that’s about $15 an hour at the high end, so let’s assume that’s what you’ll pay an employee.
For a full-time receptionist, that’s $600 a week, or $2400 a month. There’s also the cost of benefits and you have to pay an additional percentage in taxes for that employee.
On top of that, there are payroll costs and hiring costs. That can add up quickly.
What Determines Answering Service Pricing?
Why is there such a broad range in costs in answering service pricing? There are a number of factors at play, and it depends on your plan and your needs. These are the most common types of answering service plans.
Flat Rate Monthly Plans: With flat-rate plans, you pay a set fee a month, which could be $100 to $400 a month. That would depend on the number of minutes you have in your plan. In most cases, you’ll get between 100 – 250 minutes. Some plans allow you to go up to 500 minutes per month.
If you sign up for one of these plans, you want to have an idea as to how many minutes you usually spend on the phone each month, and if you plan to do any major marketing campaigns that would result in more calls.
You’ll need to know the costs for any minutes over your plan because that can vary by company and you don’t want to be caught by surprise.
Pay as You Go: This type of plan is good for HVAC companies that are first starting out and they don’t get that many calls per month. This is usually for a low flat rate and then an additional per-minute rate.
For example, let’s say that the monthly rate is $49 and you have a $1.15 per minute rate. If you had 125 minutes in calls, your monthly would be $192.75 for the month.
Custom Plans: You can always have an answering service plan tailored to your needs. These plans will vary in cost. This may be a good option if you get a lot of calls each month or you are probably going to use more than 500 minutes a month.
Answering Service Pricing Per Call and Per Minute
One thing that you’ll need to get clarification on is whether or not your answering service plan is per price or per call.
Per Call Pricing: These are for all calls, including wrong numbers and standard questions that can be answered quickly. A voicemail or a text message could also be counted against your allotment of calls.
Per Minute Pricing: This is the total amount of time someone spends on your company. It could be for doing additional research, answering a call, sending an email, and more. With per minute calls, you’re going to get charged a full minute whether or not a call was 45 seconds or 20 seconds.
Finding an HVAC Answering Service
There are a few ways to find an HVAC answering service for your business. You can start with a standard Google search. That might give you a few results, but there’s a good chance that there will be answering services that don’t specialize in working with HVAC companies like yours.
You want to make sure that you get a specific HVAC answering service, and your best bet is to start with a directory of answering services for HVAC companies.
If you’re trusting an answering service to talk to your customers and potential customers, you need to make sure that they’re going to be in good hands. Interview companies and test them out. See how they answer the phone and how they handle the best and most challenging situations.
Ask About Add-Ons
HVAC answering service companies have their plan rates, and they may have other charges that you might not be aware of at first. You’ll want to ask about these charges before you sign up with an answering service.
For example, you’ll want to know if they charge per text. Are there more charges for 24/7 and holiday services? Do they charge you per minute if a call is put on hold?
Getting clarification in advance can help you select a service and budget accordingly.
The Benefits of HVAC Answering Services Outweighs the Costs
Your business depends on speed and reliability. The best way that you can give both to clients dealing with HVAC issues and emergencies is to have an answering service available to take calls 24/7.
You’ll demonstrate to your customers that you take your business seriously and you can help give them peace of mind. That’s priceless and can give you a customer for life.
Are you ready to get started with your new answering service? Contact us today for a quote for HVAC answering services.