The Basics Of Answering Service Charges: Understanding The Costs

Posted on: 27 May 2022


As a business owner, answering incoming phone calls is important, but can be a time-consuming interruption when you're trying to do business. Whether you're handling customers in your store or just trying to deal with manufacturing issues, incoming phone calls can be challenging to manage. That's why many business owners opt for answering services to handle those calls when necessary. Here's a look at what you need to know about the costs of those answering services.

Are You Paying Per Call?

Some answering services charge per call, and it's important that you understand the details of that per-call rate. For example, what exactly constitutes a call? Does your call count include hang-up calls or wrong numbers? This is a serious consideration because it can drastically affect your final costs.

If the answering service has to notify you of an urgent call, is that contact also charged as an individual call? If so, you'll need to account for that when you budget your payments. Additionally, there may be charges associated with updating a CRM platform or any other services.

Are You Paying Per Minute?

In other cases, you may be charged for your answering service by the minute. All answered calls are timed, and you're billed based on the total number of minutes that they spend on the phone. Make sure that you know if they'll be counting the time spent on calls to you when necessary so that you can account for that.

You'll also want to find out if there's a minimum time, such as one minute per call. In those cases, a call that only lasts twenty or thirty seconds is still billed at a full minute. Additionally, clarify whether or not time spent on hold is included in that call timer. If so, ask about the average hold times for their calls. 

You might also want to inquire about the per-minute rates. Are there any discounts available for paying ahead? Will you be charged a different rate for holiday or weekend calls? It's important to clarify all of this ahead of time for your budget.

If you're considering an answering service and you're not paying a flat fee every month, these are the two most common pay structures. Consider these points when you're evaluating what you'll pay so that you can be sure to budget accordingly. Reach out to a local answering service today for more help and information.