The pricing of an answering service depends on various factors relevant to your business and its requirements. Instead of cutting the corners, you should choose a competent service available at highly competitive prices.
The answering service providers have a team of offsite sales representatives, receptionists, and customer service representatives who are trained to handle the inbound business calls for the clients. they can offer flexibility and cost-effectiveness when compared to an in-house staff. However, the pricing of these services is a matter of concern and deliberation for the business owners. Different types of plans and packages are available to suit the specific requirements of clients. You need to do due diligence research to compare the plans and make informed decisions. Here are some basic factors that matter:
Types of Answering Service Plans: Fixed Monthly Rental
There are some answering companies providing their services for a fixed monthly rate while others charge on the usage basis. In the fixed monthly rental, a flat rate is charged from the customers. It is suitable for the businesses that do not receive a lot of calls in a month.
Types of Answering Service Plans: Usage-Based Pricing
On the other hand, charging based on usage is a preferable choice for most of the business owners. Here, the billing is done on the basis of calls received in a month. However, it can be hard to plan the answering service pricing under any of these methods. Therefore, the reliable service providers prefer a combination of both these strategies. The usage-based pricing is further divided into two main categories, viz.
It is based on the amount of time given by the representatives of answering service providers on your behalf. Here, you are required to pay only for the services you use. This answering service pricing model evaluates the usage on the basis of time actually spent on customer services like placing the calls, answering the calls, looking for information, call escalation, and lots more.
It is based on the number of calls received by the representatives in a month. You should select this plan if you can estimate the number of calls that you receive in a day. In this pricing system, many companies trick the customers by classifying the calls that aren’t actually received by them. These include wrong numbers and hang-ups. Sometimes, they may also include the email, text, or fax sent by their representatives in the pricing model.
The Hidden Costs of Answering Service:
As a business owner, you should know that some answering service companies may charge additional fees beyond their usage charges and base rate. These are the hidden costs that may escalate your final invoice. You should be aware of them. In some cases, a minute is not exactly 60 seconds long in their billing. For example, if a call lasted 1 minute and 1 second, you may be billed for 2 minutes as an incremental costing.
Some companies have a 28-day billing cycle due to which the customers are charged for 13 monthly plans instead of 12 monthly bills. Additionally, you may be charged for holiday surcharges if you take their services on the major holidays.
These are some specific factors that you must know when choosing answering services.