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What Goes into the Cost of Hiring an Outsourced Answering Service?

Phone Answering

July 09, 2019

If you are on the hunt for a virtual receptionist (or for virtual receptionist services) for your office, you need to understand the expenses involved.

Pricing and packages vary from company to company depending on the services you choose and the coverage you choose.

Do you want Normal Work Hours only (receptionist duties)?  After hours only (emergency services to go to on-call people)? Or are you hiring an outsourced answering service to give you full time, 24/7 phone coverage?  (Let’s come back to this.)

Here are some of the basics to expect to find on your invoice, whether it’s sent every 28 days (an industry standard) or monthly.

  • A Base Rate covers aspects of the availability of our agents to be ready for your calls. It is usually paid up front, the same way the base rate of your regular telephone bill is paid. This may be represented as Calls, Time (Agent Time or System Time), or Units.
  • Additional fees may include:
    • Time or service used, over and above what comes in your base package
    • Custom Scripting
    • Custom Dispatching
    • Appointment Scheduling
    • Secure Text Messaging
    • E-mail
    • Automation
    • Voice mail
    • Reports
    • And more

Remember: when you’re hiring an outsourced answering service, most options are a la Carte when it comes to the “bells and whistles” that can give your service so much more value.

What affects these costs?

  • The training involved to prepare agents to answer your calls.
  • Additional software and programs for the desired results (appointment schedules, etc.)
  • Portal access (allowing clients to make changes themselves).
  • Account maintenance
  • Reports
  • And more!

As mentioned earlier, 24/7 coverage is also a potential factor.

The peace of mind provided by ‘around the clock” coverage to you and your customers if one of the most critical line items associated with hiring an outsourced answering service.  And it’s worth every penny.  A full-time receptionist working a 40-hour week costs in the ballpark of $30K per year.  Only a fraction of that time will be spent answering the phone; and calls will be missed due to high call volume or being away from the desk.  When you factor in the 128 hours when your receptionist is not available and the potential leads that come in after hours – the cost of hiring an outsourced answering service begins to make a lot of sense.  When you couple this availability with custom training, so our agents can give first-level customer service, the value increases greatly while the cost increases very little.  And YOU don’t have to do the training.

At Focus Telecommunications it is important to us to keep our fees as low as possible. Given our quality, we believe cost-effectiveness far outweighs cost.  When you consider the myriad employee resources and hours that are ultimately saved, spending slightly more on a quality answering service can significantly reduce your payroll and overhead costs.

Hiring an outsourced answering service means you can say “so long” to the aggravation of employment, confusing employment laws timecards, missed punches, vacations, sick leave, and the worst – indifference.  Call Focus Telecommunications today, tell us what you want to accomplish, and share your budget, and we will customize a perfect solution for you.  Don’t worry, we don’t oversell – we want you to be thrilled with all aspects of your service.

Call 800-886-6696 and let us show you a more cost-effective way to run your business.