How Much Does a Phone Answering Service Cost? A Closer Look
Is your receptionist answering phone calls all day and unable to help customers in person? You may be ready to outsource the task and use a phone answering service.
But how much does a phone answering service cost? If your budget is tight, you may not want to spend more than you have to.
Keep reading to understand what can affect the cost of an answering service.
By the Minute
Many phone answering services charge by the minute. This can be an excellent value for your business because you pay for the time that the answering service works for you.
You can usually choose from a few plans that give you a range of minutes, such as 100 to 200, per month. That way, you can predict your monthly cost, so you can budget ahead for the service.
If you go over, you can expect to pay more. But if the phone service spends the same amount of time on your calls each month, the cost should remain steady.
You can expect to pay a little over a dollar per minute. And you won’t have to pay more if you get a few long calls one month and many shorter calls the next month.
By the Call
You may find a phone answering service that charges you per call. This can seem like a good option because it doesn’t matter how long the call is, and that may be the case.
However, companies that charge per call may include callers with the wrong number and spam calls. If you get a lot of spam or similar calls, you may end up paying a lot more for those extra answers.
Still, if you expect a good percentage of your calls will be long, you may want to pay that way. Then, you won’t have to pay more for a call that lasts half an hour than one that lasts five minutes.
If you know how many calls to expect each day, this may be a better option for you. The pricing can vary based on many things.
Factors to Consider
Regardless of if a phone answering service charges by call or minute, a few factors can affect the price. You should take these into account when researching costs and comparing plans.
In some cases, you may not need extra services and can go with a basic option. However, if you want to get the most out of a phone answering service, you should know what’s out there.
Here are a few things that may change the phone answering service cost.
First, you should think about the location of your business and the phone service. If your business is in a small town, but your phone service is in New York, the company may charge you a lot.
The business needs to charge enough to pay their employees and make a profit. You should consider the cost of living where you are versus the cost of living where a phone service is.
Hiring a remote service can be great, but you may need to pay more for businesses in bigger cities. If you need to save money, you can look for a service in a smaller city where it’s not as expensive.
Enhanced Call Reports
Some phone answering services will provide you with call reports. You may get a basic call report included in the price of your plan, which can give you a good idea of the calls you get.
However, you may want more details, such as the area code of callers and what happened during the call. A company may charge you more if you want access to these reports.
Depending on your business goals, paying more for better reports can be well worth it. Be sure to ask if a company can give you the details you want and how much that will cost, so you can make sure it won’t be out of your budget.
You may also want to consider certain extra services that a phone service can offer. If you want to outsource appointment scheduling, you can do that with a good answering service.
But you can expect to pay more for that service than you would if you just needed a call answering service. Before you add extra services, consider if you need them and if you can afford them.
Depending on the services you want and the number of calls you get, the price may vary significantly. However, appointment scheduling might be worth it, especially for medical offices, plumbers, and other service providers.
Another service you may want to consider is if the phone service can use your customer relationship manager (CRM). CRM software can help you track leads and make more sales.
If you use a program, consider if you want the people answering your phones to work with that program. You can give them access to the software, but you may need to pay extra.
Working with a CRM takes time and effort, so it will take more time for the phone answering service. They may charge a bit more or a lot more to use your CRM, so ask the service about the potential costs before you set anything up.
Secure Text Messaging
You may also want to offer text messaging for your customers but not want to manage. Some phone services will take care of this for you, but you’ll need to pay extra for that.
Secure text messaging can be useful for medical offices to help comply with HIPAA. However, any business can use text messages to confirm appointments or send other reminders to clients.
You can do all of this yourself, or you can invest in a separate text messaging service. If you’re already going to pay for phone answering, it makes sense to use the same company.
How Much Will a Phone Answering Service Cost You?
Calculating the phone answering service cost isn’t as easy as it may seem. You have to consider if you’ll pay by the minute or call, and you have to decide if you want to add on other services.
Be sure to compare a few services so that you can get the best deal. Then, your customers will be able to get the help they need, even while you work with other customers.
Are you ready to pay for a phone answering service? Get a few quotes today.