It’s hard to put a price on the convenience of having your business phone lines answered by personal assistants (PAs). What is clear, however, is that frustrated prospects and customers that can’t reliably reach you are less likely to do business with you. The amount of business revenues lost as a consequence can be significant, as can the damage to your reputation.
With so many benefits to hiring an answering service, you’ll want to have a look at the prices, packages, and of course, the quality of prospective answering service providers before committing.
Below are some considerations regarding the cost of answering services:
Average Answering Service Costs
In the UK, call answering service providers tend to charge either a flat rate or on a per-call basis. Prices vary widely, with some providers claiming to provide answering services for around £5.99 per month and others charging upwards of £200. Obviously, there is likely a wide gap in the quality of service you can expect to receive at either end of the spectrum.
Even at the lower end of many reputable answering service bundles, £200 may seem like a lot of money for simply answering phone calls! Bear in mind that happy customers are more likely to be repeat customers, and answering services can help you achieve this and boost your sales over the long term.
While PAs must meet high standards – they play a hands-on role in dealing with customer enquiries and relaying relevant information to you – for small and large businesses alike, an answering service with quality PAs is still a more cost-effective solution.
Average Receptionist Salaries
The average hourly wage of a full-time receptionist in the UK is just over £9, or approximately £19,000 per annum. This represents a monthly salary of over £1,500, a figure far higher than what you’d pay for a PA from a reputable telephone answering service.
Don’t neglect the time and resources you’ll have to devote to advertising, interviewing, shortlisting applicants, and creating onboarding documents and contracts for prospective receptionists, either. Some figures place the cost of hiring at over £3,200 per employee. Of course, your mileage may vary, but it should be abundantly clear how much you stand to save by opting for an answering service.
Bundles and Additional Features
Telephone answering service providers work hard to entice businesses to choose them and will often offer bundled packages that include features such as:
- Number of answering service talk minutes per month;
- No charges for telemarketing or scam calls;
- Message dispatching and relaying.
Naturally, you’ll benefit most from a package that contains features you’ll use. More importantly, however, is the quality and reputation of the answering service. Premium services that have higher standards for their PAs translate to better representation of your company to customers. Better yet, they’ll appear to callers to be one of your employees with their superior industry knowledge and professionality.