A Breakdown of An Answering Service and Cost

Voice Link - answering service cost

A common misconception of hiring an answering service to help with your business’s phone calls is that this type of service will break your company’s budget. But, that simply isn’t true. 


Let’s take a look at the typical costs of installing and utilizing a phone system for your business and the different kinds of pricing options an answering service, like Voice Link, offers. 


The Costs of a Business Phone System


According to Home Advisor, the cost of installing and using a phone system for your business will vary greatly depending on many different factors:


  • The size of your company
  • The number of lines you will need
  • The number of company locations 
  • The type of system you want installed:
    • PBX Systems
    • VOIP Systems
    • Key Systems
    • KSU-Less Systems
  • Any add-ons you need
  • Your existing infrastructure
  • Any system maintenance fees

Atlantech Online estimates that a lower-end phone system may cost your company about $200 per handset. Middle of the road systems typically run between $400 and $600 per handset. And, high-end systems with many popular add-ons included can add up to about $1000 per handset.

The Cost of Supplying Cell Phones for Your Employees


According to, if you need to supply cell phones for your employees, your costs will vary depending on:


  • The type of cell phones you buy
  • The type of plan you get, which can run anywhere from $20 to more than $55 a month
  • Any add-ons you need, like unlimited data or mobile hotspot access


Answering Service Cost and Pricing


Hiring an answering service to assist your business with phone calls might not be as expensive as you think. There are two main types of answering service pricing:


  • Per-minute pricing
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing


Per-Minute Pricing

Per-minute pricing allows a company to purchase minutes in bulk. Then any inbound or outbound calls are billed in increments. These increments will vary depending on the answering service company you are working with, but they typically include 1-second, 8-second, 15-second, 30-second, 1-minute, and so on. The answering service company will add up the time of your calls based on the amount of time one of their staff members is engaged on the call, including any transfers, hold times, and taking any necessary notes after the call. If your business goes over the bulk minutes you purchased, then you will be charged overage fees. And, per-minute pricing usually includes some kind of base rate that you pay per billing cycle.  


Per-minute pricing is great for companies that would need an answering service to answer more than 10 calls per day. It is also great for companies that rely on operating costs to stay around the same each month. As long as you don’t go over your minute allotment, your monthly bill will be consistent. 


One thing to keep in mind about per-minute pricing is that if you go over your minutes, you can rack up the overage charges. And, if you don’t use all of your minutes each month, you could end up wasting money in the long run. 


Pay-As-You-Go Pricing

Some answering services, like Voice Link, offer pay-as-you-go pricing. This kind of service is very similar to using a prepaid cell phone. You simply add a credit to your account each month, and anytime the answering service fields a call on your behalf, they deduct the funds from your account balance. 


One great thing about per-minute pricing is that most answering services don’t charge a base rate for this type of plan. And, the fee for each call is usually inversely related to the amount of credit you have on your account. So, the more credit you have, the less each call will cost. 


Per-minute pricing is great for companies that just need help with their incoming calls a few times a day or are on a tight budget. One thing to keep in mind about per-minute pricing is that if something happens to the payment method you have on file, and they can’t automatically replenish the monthly credit to your account when the balance is low, you may encounter an interruption in your service. 


Voice Link’s Answering Services


At the end of the day, utilizing an answering service can be a cost-effective way to ensure you don’t miss any calls. And, Voice Link of Columbus, Inc offers plans to meet your budget. 


We have over 30 years of experience in complete telecommunication solutions, and our live answering services can become an extension of your business. Find your plan, check out our pricing options, or give us a call at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.