One of the biggest positive features of having a telephone answering service is its transparency. Its pricing is simple and anyone can find a comprehensive overview of the available plans right on the company’s site. There are no hidden fees. Furthermore, most companies offer a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.
So, how much does it usually cost to use a specialty business answering service?
Here at Magellan Solutions, we offer a 24 hour answering service. Rates apply on weekends and after-hours as well. There would not be many changes during holidays as the company is not affected by the slightest.
Hiring an answering service can help you boost your customer service quality and bring so many benefits to your business, such as:
Call center costs might be the single most important factor in the whole outsourcing process. There are many variables involved in call center prices. Here are some general guidelines to call center pricing in our industry:
|Shared – “Shared Inbound” is defined as services in which a pool of agents answer calls for 1-3 dozen clients. The client then pays only for the time used on a per minute basis. These rates range from $.35-$.45/minute at low cost international agencies to $.75-$.90/minute in the US/Canada. Shared Services are ideal for applications with wild volume swings or low overall activity.||Hourly – Answering service companies proposals from our agencies will typically include hourly rates for outbound sales, lead generation and appointment setting. In general, rates vary based on the location of the agency. Smaller agencies in India or The Philippines normally charge from $6-$10 per hour. Furthermore, call centers in Eastern Europe or Latin America normally feature rates from $9-$14/hour. Finally, call centers in mature western countries (like the US, UK, Germany & Canada) typically charge $22-$32. Very specialized, high-level agencies in these countries can occasionally be hired for $35-$50 per hour.|
|Dedicated – This type of phone answering service involves a dedicated group of agents that handle calls exclusively for one client.
Our call center typically prices this service on a per-hour basis.
Rates range from $8-$15 internationally to $22-$28 in the US/Canada for “normal” agents.
Dedicated Services are ideal for complicated applications or when volume is significant and predictable.
|Commission – On certain sales or lead generation applications, a full commission structure makes sense for both parties involved.
The amount of commission is completely dependent on the situation.
However, the amount earned per hour by the online answering service should provide at least a 10% to 20% premium over their normal hourly rates to account for the additional risk to the call center.
|Monthly – This type of call center pricing is basically a subset of “dedicated”. Simply compiled into a monthly rate instead of an hourly rate.
Many low-cost international virtual phone answering service offer this type of pricing. However, it is rare to find it in North America or Europe.
|Hourly + Commission – This might actually be our favorite call center pricing structure for sales programs. Just like you pay an internal salesperson in this manner, a combination structure provides that both parties have “skin in the game” and often works quite well to maximize performance.|
According to statistics provided by Nextiva, customers want what they want when they want it and want to speak to a live phone answering service who will solve their problems or questions.
If your business is not ready to answer that call, that same customer will call another answering services near me.
Take a look at some of the businesses that outsourced their call answering service:
A consumer product distributor was extremely dissatisfied with their call center. The call center used an auto attendant to answer calls and placed callers on extended hold, waiting for an operator to get to the call. Many callers hung up in frustration. The operators at this center did not appear to be very familiar with the company’s products and were not helpful in assisting callers with their purchases.
The distributor chose a call center to become their order-entry center. A key reason is that, with a call center, all calls are answered by their customer service representative (CSR). Each CSR receives extensive training and a thorough orientation to a client’s products.
The distributor now enjoys the advantages of live CSR response to callers. Callers are not put on hold and they get the detailed product information and order fulfillment they expect.
A local plumbing company was caught in a familiar dilemma. They needed a capable answering service but had a limited budget. After trying several answering services, the plumbing company learned that some of the answering services simply could not provide the level of service they needed. Others were too expensive.
By fully understanding the plumbing company’s requirements, the provider was able to give them the service they expected, within their budget.
A proprietary automated communication system takes care of non-emergency calls while directing emergency callers to a CSR provider. The CSR then uses their providers’ Message Receipt Verification Service to send emergency calls to an on-call plumber via text to his cell phone. The on-call plumber then replies by text that he has received the message.
By combining live answering services and using a Message Receipt Verification Service, the call center provided the quality the plumbing company needed at an affordable price.
A consulting company analyzed communications for a national homebuilder. Results showed an abandoned call rate of 33%. Another 33% of calls never received follow-up. Clearly, poor communications were having a devastating impact on sales.
Working closely with the client, a call center provider developed a two-tier approach. The first tier overflow calls that had been routed to a National Call Center are now directed to the call center. CSRs are provided with contact information for the various communities around the country. This information is passed on to the callers. The operator can also access information related to a specific community.
The second tier of the call centers’ solution involves specific communities. Using a toll-free number assigned to each community, callers connect with a CSR.
The call center has access to complete information about the community and its amenities and can answer specific caller questions accurately. They make daily calls to sales representatives in each community, providing them with the information gathered from the calls for timely follow-up. Contact information is also maintained in a database for the homebuilder’s use.
When the consulting company performed a subsequent analysis, results were dramatically improved. 100% of the calls were answered and received follow-up.
A large commercial real-estate management company was concerned about their answering service bill. Charges that were once acceptable were now rising steadily – and without explanation.
The company contacted a call center agency for a review. After careful analysis of their after-hours calls, the agency discovered two items that could be controlled. First, although up to 74% of the messages were non-emergency, their call center was still attempting to deliver them as though they were emergency calls; this added significantly to their bill. And second, two accounts were performing the same function, but for different properties.
By combining the two accounts and adjusting the manner in which calls were processed, the call center provided superior service and lowered the client’s bill by 20%.
A two doctor medical office had a full-time office manager but they were not able to manage office visits, insurance forms, and patient calls when the office decided to offer additional services to provide blood work.
The call center has a number of medical practices as clients and knew immediately that they could help the situation with their 24/7 call service. The telephone answering service could help with scheduling appointments and managing emergency calls.
The call service and the interface streamlined the appointment scheduling process and allowed the office manager to manage the office.
Magellan Solutions‘ specialty telephone services were created with your organization in mind. Whatever your needs may be, our support staff is trained to assist you.
Its details include account usage in real-time. This includes the number of calls coming in, the duration of each call, the result of each call, and more. You can delve further into the statistics to learn who is calling, the common reasons behind calls, and where callers are located. Last, you can easily make adjustments to your script, which are then updated in real-time for us.
81% of companies who deliver strong customer service outperform their competition. Whether you work in the HVAC industry, the medical industry, the plumbing industry, or any other yet-to-be-created industry in the universe, we have the experience and the tools to help your company rise above the rest!
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