23 Aug Analyzing the True Costs of Hiring Professional Answering Services
For any business, cutting costs and increasing profits is an unending sequence of events. It’s a well-known fact that a service provider needs to answer customer calls. Because if you don’t, someone else will! You could opt for an answering machine, but statistics go the other way on this – studies show that more than 80% of callers will not leave you a message. So, if you want to grow and retain existing business, consider a professional answering service.
Getting around to making profits, you will need to know just how answering service prices are actually set, let’s have a look at its true costs:
Costs of Hiring an Employee vs. Costs of Answering Services:
Hiring an answering service should cost you less than hiring a full-time receptionist. In effect, the answering service should provide 24/7 call answering while a receptionist’s time is limited and is after all just one person. So, here’s a snapshot of what it would cost if you hired a receptionist yourself (courtesy: salary.com):
- Base Salary; $33,787
- Bonuses; $394
- Social Security; $2,615
- 401k / 403b; $1,231
- Disability; $342
- Healthcare; $5,722
- Pension; $1,572
- Time Off; $4,470
- Total; $50,132 annually
On the other hand, an answering service price should range anywhere from $360 to $12000 a year, depending on the plans or services you opt for. On the whole, regardless of what plan you choose, the cost should still be vastly lower than that of employing a receptionist.
Differences in Service Plans:
You should understand the differences in pricing plans offered to you. Some are call-based plans while others are time-based plans. Per-call plans, initially, appeal to businesses, but take time to find out what the “call” includes for the answering service. If it includes wrong numbers, blank calls, answering text messages, emails, and faxes, the charge is unnecessarily higher than required.
Time-based or per-minute call pricing includes the time spent on each call, which includes the time spent gathering information, replying to emails etc. This gives a more accurate picture of what you are charged for.
Know About the Add-On Costs:
Special add-ons such as being HIPAA compliant, providing lead generation, or appointment scheduling services, having integrated CRM, and call reporting services will add to the overall costs of the answering service.
Apart from having just a call based or time-based pricing, you could opt for pay on the go package, or a standard price which includes a standard number of minutes spent plus any additional charges if extra minutes are incurred.
So, now that you know the basic ins and outs of analyzing the cost of an answering service, go ahead and get some quotes, explore available pricing plans and special packages, you’ll be glad you did the field-work before deciding on the best-suited service for you.