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The five most significant costs you can avoid by using an answering service

So how much does it cost to answer, say, 300 “after-hours” calls each month? Let’s say that you find an answering service that charges about $.90/minute to answer calls. A live support program designed to answer 300 calls per month will run about $270. GASP! $270 per month!!!! Now let’s compare $270 to the price of keeping a receptionist on the clock all night long. Hold on to your pencil because this is going to get interesting:

1. No Monthly Salary Expense

How much does a good receptionist cost? At least $15/hour or more, right? That’s $2500/month or $30,000 annually. Compare that to spending only $270/month on a professional answering service. Get ready for a promotion because you are now saving your business $26,760 per year. Oh, yeah. And don’t forget the payroll taxes that you would have paid on that salary.

2. No Training Costs

You almost forgot that you have to train your receptionist to properly answer your calls. That takes time. Let’ say it takes 2 weeks. With a $2500/month salary you just spent $1,250 on training. That is the same amount you would have paid for approximately 4.5 of telephone answering service.  Your new telephone answering service would have been running with professionally trained operators in about 24 to 48 hours. But now, you are at least 2 weeks behind.

3. No Paid Vacations

Everyone deserves a vacation (even your receptionist, too). So how much does a paid vacation cost? You will spend at least $1,250 to cover your receptionist’s vacation (again, this is 4.5 months of answering service support which just flew out the window). To make this worse, while you paid the $1,250 to cover your receptionist’s vacation you had to pay SOMEBODY to answer your phones. So you just doubled your costs! And more than likely, it was YOU who had to answer all of the phone calls! If you would have signed up for that answering service you would have quickly learned one of the great truths of the universe: A Great Answering Service Never Goes On Vacation, You Do.

4. No Paid Breaks

What? Your receptionist eats? Probably should, she looks a bit pale and dizzy sitting over there behind her desk. When the receptionist goes to lunch or on a break, who answers the phone? Do you now have to hire a second receptionist? Maybe, if your call volume warrants it. Or maybe you will have to take the calls yourself, since you have SO much extra time on your hands. Now how much does it cost your organization to have everyone but the receptionist answering the phones? Are you properly representing your business image? Is everyone in your company trained to answer the phones properly? Now you are going to quickly learn another great truth of the universe: A Great Answering Service Never Takes A Break, You Do.

5. No Missed Opportunities

It turns out that you are in the residential damage restoration business. You know, you love to fix damage resulting from water, fire and mold. Why do you love to do this so much? Because you can earn a lot of money in the damage restoration business. So you set up shop and start advertising. Then finally, it happens. It’s that call that you have been waiting for! That’s right, the call from the guy that needs his entire basement remodeled because his hot water heater was leaking all night? Yes, that one! That’s probably a $15,000 repair job once it is all said and done. But guess what? You missed the opportunity because your receptionist was using the restroom for 5 minutes and the call went to voice mail. Yep, all that advertising expense and hard work amounted to nothing because when that important call finally came, it went to your voice mail system. Your $15,000 prospect just hung up the phone and called the next person in the phone book because he doesn’t have time to mess around. Ouch! Lost opportunities HURT. You would NOT have missed that opportunity if you had an answering service to take the call. Answering services can handle multiple calls simultaneously and will pick up you calls quickly, with a professional, courteous response.

So, which is the better value? Paying $270/month or paying $2500/month? In this very realistic example, a professional answering service is 1/10th the cost of hiring in-house. Not to mention, you just eliminated all of the recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, management, expense and turnover associated with receptionists. Do the math and start looking for an answering service today.

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This entry was posted in Answering Service, BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), Customer Service, Outsourcing by Brian Gabriel. Bookmark the permalink.

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.