Over the years, answering services have evolved. They have become competitive not only in service quality but also in terms of their pricing. As a small business owner, you always want to know what you are paying whenever your service partner raises an invoice. It is important to see if you are getting the desired ROI or returns on your investments. Here are given some crucial ways to determine the same:
Understand the Pricing Models:
There are different pricing models used by answering service companies when determining their service charges. You must know about these models and services included in them. Remember, not all live answering service for small businesses are similar. They may charge on a per-minute, per-call, monthly, or tiered basis. Each of these models has specific pros and cons for businesses.
For example, per-minute billing is appropriate for businesses that do not receive many calls. In this model, charges are levied in increments for all inbound and outbound calls. If you opt for this system, ask the service provider how they calculate call times and round them up.
In a per-call pricing model, you pay a flat rate for every received call. If you go for this model, you must know about charges for disconnected calls, hung up calls, and wrong numbers.
Monthly charges are tricky. They are suitable if your call volumes are quite low. Lastly, tiered pricing is a straightforward method where charges vary as per levels of services provided.
Whatever be the model selected, verify your plan before jumping the gun.
Compare Apples to Apples:
It is extremely important to determine if you are paying the right price for services opted by you. This is where price comparisons can be a huge help. But, be cautious and compare apples to apples for getting better insights.
For example, you should compare live answering services for small businesses from one company with another provider offering the same services. Instead of going for a low-cost service, prefer affordable pricing. A low-cost service may entail several pitfalls that affect your reputation in the long run.
Use the Right Metrics:
Transparency in monthly bills and reports helps in determining the true ROI of answering services for your business. Some important metrics that you must use are:
- The number of secretarial calls answered by call agents on behalf of your business.
- Call-outs made by agents to follow-up or complete a task assigned by you.
- Patches for calls routed to another person.
- Check-in calls made by your employees to verify information, receive updates, or messages.
- The number of non-live calls and additional duties performed by agents.
- Data related to inbound or outbound calls.
- Charges for hold times.
With all these considerations, you’ll make the right decisions when it comes to determining your ROI on answering services.