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There's an old saying: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It may be a cliché, but it's true. If your business relies on an automated system to make that first impression with potential customers, you may be blowing it.
Many people also find automated systems off-putting, preferring the ability to talk directly to a live person, even if it's just to leave a message. For this reason, many businesses opt to employ an answering service to alleviate some of these concerns and offer their customers better, more personalized service.
Benefits of a Live-Agent Business Answering Service
With a business answering service, a small business is able to offer outstanding customer support that handles every call with efficiency, tact, and care. These services are highly cost-effective for organizations that lack either the need for full-time administrative staff or the wherewithal to employ one.
Most of these services treat the businesses they support as their own. This is because once a business owner hires the service, that service becomes part of the business' in-house team.
The agent or agents develop familiarity with the business, so its customers receive excellent, knowledgeable service. They also have the ability to respond to and address minor, common complaints, reducing the number of issues that escalate up the chain of command.
Points to Consider Before Hiring Live-Agent Business Answering Service
- Capacity: Small business owners must determine the capacity these services can handle. In other words, the number of calls the live-agent business answering service can handle in a day should coincide with the number of calls that the business expects to receive
- Bilingual customer support: If you serve a diverse clientele, you need a service that offers adequate support.
- 24/7 customer support: The service should be offered around the clock, with someone on duty to communicate with customers at all times. This allows the customer to call whenever they desire, which helps increase customer satisfaction.
- The services offered: Whether you want the live agent to provide informative services or to host a complaint panel, you need a team capable of handling your needs.
Sample Prices of Live-Agent Business Answering Service
Different services offer different packages, which affects price. In addition, some rates are based on the number of answering services provided, whereas some business answering services charge for a certain amount of time used. Some common price ranges include:
- Daily rates for short-term contracts range between $2 and $5 per day
- Monthly rates range between $200 and $400
- Services that charge by the number of customers or sales generated each month charge between $5,000 and $6,000 per month
- Services that charge a per minute rate typically offer packages of minutes, such as 100 minutes for $250
You can get these plans in varying levels of minutes, at varying prices:
- 50 minutes averages $150 per month
- 100 minutes averages $200 per month
- 250 minutes averages $250 per month
- 500 minutes averages $450 per month
As you can see, rates per minute go down as the number of minutes goes up