How to Understand Answering Service Costs
When you’re in the market to hire an answering service, there are multiple factors to consider. Quality, professionalism, and the services that are being offered are merely a few. Of course, the answering service cost also plays a major role in your ultimate decision.
Answering services can offer several different styles and tiers of pricing, and when you’re educated about the different pricing scenarios, it’s easier to make an informed choice that will pay back on your investment.
You first need to determine how the answering service defines the term “call.” Each service may define this term differently.
Here are a few questions you can ask to get clarification:
- Is a wrong number or a hang-up considered a call?
- Are texts, emails, or faxes counted as calls?
- Is it considered an extra call when they need to notify you of an urgent call?
- What’s the charge for other services, like CRM management or appointment scheduling?
Another answering service cost model is per-minute pricing, which focuses on time spent by the service on each of your incoming calls.
Before you sign a contract, here are a few questions to ask:
- Is a call considered to be a minute, even if it only lasts 10 seconds?
- Are you charged for the time callers are on hold? If so, what’s their average hold time?
- Are texts, emails, or faxes also counted by minutes?
- If they offer pricing based on monthly bundles of time, like 100-150 minutes for example, what happens if you go over the bundle you’ve signed up for? What happens if you’re under that monthly time bundle?
- How do they charge for other services, like CRM management or appointment scheduling?
- Are holidays or weekends billed at “overtime” rates?
Flat Rate Pricing
With this type of pricing, it doesn’t matter how many calls you have answered per month, you should be charged the same amount.
This answering service cost sounds manageable and budget-friendly, but in some cases, the fee might change based on if you alter your schedule or you need to have calls forwarded to someone besides yourself.
The Ideal Package
When shopping for an answering service, you’ll have different needs, but a few of the more common include:
- Calls answered 24 hours a day 7 days a week
- Calls answered on all holidays
- Professionally trained staff
- Month to month service agreements
- State of the art facilities
If you’re looking for this type of professional service and reliable answering service costs, contact Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. We have an 82% referral rate among local businesses and provide live answering services that exceed your expectations.