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7 Significant Costs an Answering Service Can Help You Avoid

 

Using an answering service not only grows your business by capturing more sales leads and improving customer service, but it also saves your company lots of money. Check out these seven ways an answering services helps you cut costs significantly…

Image of an answering service agent saving businesses money

There are many reasons for businesses to use an answering service. Cutting costs is one of the major factors in play. Several obvious costs that companies can save on by choosing an answering service over an in-house alternative include no monthly salary expense, no paid vacations, no paid breaks, and no missed opportunities. However, once you dig in a little deeper, there are even more costs that your business can avoid just by using an answering service. Here are seven of them:

1.       The Cost of Sick Time

This is a very real cost. Most employers allow for at least three paid sick days per year. If your receptionist earns $2,500 per month, then sick pay will cost you about $83 per event. If your receptionist is out for two days in a row, then you spend $166 in payroll costs to cover that. While she is away, you and your staff are burdened with the extra work covering the front desk. Are you starting to see a downward trend here? I hope you do, because you are footing the bill for ALL associated costs. You are now learning yet another great truth of the universe: A great answering service never gets sick. Your staff does.

2.       The Cost of Lateness and Absenteeism

Your receptionist is late. Again. That is the third time this month. Now, you have to take time out of your day to discipline your receptionist and issue a final warning. You might as well run an ad in the newspaper, because they may not last. So, now you take on the burden of finding a new front desk person and deal with the worry and aggravation that they may not show up at all. How much does this whole process cost you? A big headache for starters, that is for sure. Now, for another great truth in the universe: A great answering service never shows up late for work. Your receptionist might.

3.      The Cost of Turnover

Just like you figured, your receptionist didn’t last. Now you have to fire them. Be sure you carefully document that dismissal so you can avoid a possible lawsuit from an aggravated former receptionist. Aside from the pending HR headache this creates and along with all the paperwork you have to process, you need to hire and train a new receptionist. Employee turnover is a significant cost. It is also something you will continue to deal with at the front desk until you hire a professional telephone answering service. You can now take this great truth of the universe to heart: You don’t have to fire a great telephone answering service.

4.       The Cost of Training

Finally, the perfect candidate just walked in the door! You found a great one to handle your phones at the front desk. Sure, you paid a lot more than you wanted to for this hire, but after the last experience you just went through, they seem worth the cost. Now you have to train them. You’ll need at least two weeks to get them on board. At least two weeks. Oh, and they need an ergonomic keyboard and a special 36” monitor because their eyes aren’t what they used to be. Now where is all that documentation that you need to get them up-to-speed? Oh, that’s right. You don’t have any because the last receptionist never documented anything (like you asked them to do about 100 times). That training may actually take you a month now that you think about it. And remember, you need to be available at all times to answer the myriad of questions your new employee will have. Another truth: You can get your answering service fully up to speed in just a day or two.

5.       The Cost of Management

Boy, that new receptionist sure asks a lot of questions, don’t they? That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not like you can keep taking 15 to 20 minutes out of your day every hour to explain where you keep the pencil sharpeners. But don’t worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Or is there? Once you get through all the questions and all the other questions and the pile of questions you didn’t even anticipate that your new employee will ask, you still have to manage that person. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have just hired someone that already knew how to professionally answer your phones, take an accurate and complete message and relay that message to the right person at the right time? Had you chosen an answering service, you could have brought them up-to-speed in about 24-48 hours and pay them only for the calls that they answer. And now, for another great truth of the universe: You don’t have to manage a great telephone answering service. It will manage itself.

6.       The Cost of Facilities

Ok, so they need an ergonomic keyboard. And a very expensive 36” flat-screen monitor. But they also need:

  • Office space
  • A desk
  • A chair
  • A computer
  • The Internet
  • A phone
  • And lots more to do the job you are paying them to do

Facilities have a real cost. The more employees you require, the more facilities you will need. Once you pay for and build-out all that facility, you have to maintain it. You have to upgrade it. You have to protect it. You have to insure it. You have to make facilities a daily part of your business management processes. It is a lot to consider when you add up the cost of every piece of equipment that makes your front desk phone operation work correctly. A professional service already has all of that facility built out. A GREAT telephone answering service has state-of-the art equipment and properly trained employees. You can leverage the power of outsourcing and apply it to your business today.

7.       The Cost of Poor Response

After all this, you decide to keep the receptionist. This strategy is employed all the time and usually it ends up something like this: You get so frustrated that you finally decide to stop ripping out your hair and contact a professional telephone answering service provider. You’ve pulled out so much hair that you are now doing a comb-over and your wife doesn’t like that look. Poor response was the final straw. You spent so much time, energy and effort on that receptionist and SHE STILL MISSES IMPORTANT CALLS! But how can that be? Well, they can only answer one call at a time. Maybe they can handle 2 or 3 if they are really good. But eventually, you will send more calls to them than they can handle at one time. Or the call will come in when they are unavailable. Or the call comes in after they have already left for the day. So after everything you have done to prevent this, you are still missing calls and providing poor customer service. A great answering service has enough staff and resources available at all hours of the day or night to ensure that you never miss a call.

You see? It is clear that a professional answering service can help you cut costs in a significant way all while helping grow your business and improve customer service. So stop pulling out your hair and call a great answering service today.

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About Brian Gabriel

As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.