It’s no secret that sometimes things can get overwhelming for small businesses. If you’ve ever owned or managed a business, you know what it’s like to manage time, cash flow and customers all at the same time.
There’s no doubt that you’ve got a lot your plate and oftentimes you don’t have time left to do what matters the most to your business – customer service. It somehow slips through the cracks, resulting in significant damage the company’s reputation and results in customer attrition.
In the case of small businesses, 60% of the clients prefer to contact customer service through phone calls, which echoes the importance of an effective answering service. Remember, higher customer retention rates are critical to large and small businesses alike, so letting a professional service handle client communications may just be the key to your success.
Interestingly, 69% of consumers express that they are more likely to shop with a brand that offers a consistent experience across in-store and online services.
Of course, merely a pleasant greeting and a cheerful voice doesn’t amount to providing quality customer support. You need experts who know just how to enhance customer interactions for the benefit of your business.
This also mandates the need for an answering service that offers a team of virtual receptionists, customer service agents, and sales representatives to handle inbound calls for your business.
And now, you might wonder, “How much does an answering service cost?”… We have all the answers!
How Much Do Answering Services Cost?
Since most start-ups and small businesses have a budget to follow, you would want to find an answering service that is affordable and also delivers on your lead generation benchmarks. Efficient answering service can help you yield better results maximize customer satisfaction compared to the in-house phone call services.
Fortunately, answering services like Nexa, don’t break the bank. However, it is important to understand here that the cost of an answering service depends on various factors.
Expect to pay anywhere between $0.65 to $1.19 per call subject to the service plan you subscribe to. That’s why, it is crucial to determine your phone call traffic requirements before selecting a plan.
You can obviously select a plan and/or provider with lower rates but make sure you aren’t doing it at the expense of quality. That’s because selecting the plan with the lowest pricing often means compromising customer service.
Pricing should be one of the many determinants you should consider before you finalize one.
Furthermore, an efficient answering service can directly impact your bottom line, as there is a strong connection between your customer experience and return on investment. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider the big picture and opt for a cost-effective answering service plan from a proven-reliable service.
Nexa offers a top-notch answering service with the most affordable rates that give the best value for your investment. It also provides services to cater to your diverse needs, such as NexaProfessional, NexaMedical, and NexaSupport, to name a few.
A Guide To Answering Services Plans And Pricing
If you are still unsure after that answering service pricing comparison, then you are not alone! So far, the good news is that answering services are available with different pricing models, and you can easily find one that fits your budget.
While comparing your answering service options can be challenging, a little guidance can help you make an informed decision that can benefit you in the long run.
Here are the three ways that are consistent across all answering service plans:
- Per-minute billing
- Per call billing
- Per unit billing
Let’s dive deeper into each.
Per Minute Billing
Per-minute billing is one of the most common methods to determine the price of an answering service. It charges customers on how long the calls are i.e., by the number of minutes. This is considered the appropriate method for assessing the cost as the client is billed for the time spent on their customers and prospects.
Furthermore, most answering service providers have different plans with standard minutes, and an additional rate is charged for minutes used over the plan’s limit.
Clients can opt for a plan depending on their anticipated call volume, and the answering service providers scale the program according to the needs of the business.
Per Call Billing
Per call billing method refers to where customers are charged for an answering service on the total number of calls they receive. However, the rates can vary depending on the call volume usage.
For instance, users often have to pay for the wrong numbers and hang-ups, which may increase the charges of the answering service.
Per Unit Billing
Per unit, billing is yet another way of charging the customers that answering service providers use. Per unit, the charge approach takes into account a call, message, a call transferred, or any other tasks in the call managing process. Apart from the inbound calls, you are also charged for other calls under per unit billing.
The industry-standard billing method of answering service is per-minute billing and for the right reasons. It is a reasonable method that works out for both the clienteles and the service providers. At Nexa, we offer different plans that cater to niches with our knowledgeable and dedicated agents.
Consider Excess Costs
Now that you have the basic idea of pricing plans of an answering service, know that you may incur additional costs based on the provider you opt for. Be mindful of some of these additional charges that can add up to your bill.
While some answering service providers plan every month, others bind clients into long term contracts. Though they may offer an attractive deal, in the long run, the costs can increase massively with the hefty penalties associated if a client terminates the contract before the agreed-upon term-end.
Account Set-Up Or Activation Fees
Typically, the service providers charge a certain amount as an account initiation fee in the beginning. The prices are charged to compensate for the efforts put by answering services to script and start your account.
Sometimes answering services design a deceptive pricing plan that costs customers more than the actual amount. Even though their rates look enticing, but it charges customers a lot more, charging unfairly for calls transferred and messages.
Furthermore, at times fee is also charged for accessing the account or call reports. And some costs are associated with interactive voice response and voice mails.
Therefore, make sure that you know what the answering service plan covers and what you’ll be charged for as the extra costs can quickly add up to your expenses.
The Downsides Of Answering Services With Lowest Rates
When you are on a limited budget, the cheap answering service providers may appeal to you. While you may save money upfront in the short run, ultimately, it would not provide good value for money and is not an effective option.
Also, the low-cost providers that offer the cheapest deals, their quality of service suffer as the staff and receptionists are often inexperienced.
Furthermore, the helpdesk services provided at rock bottom rates often put the company’s customers on hold for long hours. Their representatives lack the skill to handle the callers with respect and patience. Hence, it can put the business’s reputation at stake and dissatisfy their customers.
With businesses losing $75 billion in a year because of poor customer service, the importance of investing in a quality answering service can’t be overlooked.
It is imperative to ensure that you invest in quality service to build and maintain your brand reputation and to enhance the customer journey as 73% of the customers consider their overall experience as an essential factor that impact their purchasing decision.
Initially, it may be difficult for budget-conscious small businesses, but professional and reliable answering services prove to be a more cost-effective decision in the long run.
Never Miss A Customer With Nexa
It’s almost inevitable for business owners to neglect the growing need and demand of the answering services, especially small businesses. And when you outsource the answering service operations with Nexa, you have a dedicated team of agents who take care of all your customers like it’s theirs.
Moreover, we provide timely and reliable answering services with a full-time receptionist that ensures that your phone calls are taken in real-time and foster a customer-responsive culture.
We have answering services offerings ranging from NexaMedical to NexaHomeServices at affordable rates that can be scaled to fit your specific business needs. Our live receptionists take the incoming calls with utmost care and attention.
Never miss a call with Nexa’s call center solutions! Browse through our website to see how it works.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Nexa Take Care Of My Business Calls Outside Of The Work Hours?
Our answering service answers all your calls in real-time. This means that whether your businesses operates in one time zone or 24/7 internationally, our answering services will be there to answer your calls during non-business hours as well.
Can I Get A Free Trial Before Using Your Services?
We offer something much better. You can purchase a plan according to your organization’s preferences and if 21 days later you’re still not satisfied, we’ll refund 100% of your money! (Rest assured, you will be satisfied well before 21 days!)
How Will Your Answering Service Know How To Handle The Calls?
Once you’ve decided to sign up for our answering services, our specialists will get in touch with you to learn more about your business and understand your needs. Once everything is programmed, our answering specialists will create a specific script to handle your calls, that will delight and nurture your clients.