From flat rate billing, to pay per call, or pay the minute, prices for answering services vary. The best way to get an accurate cost is to ask for a free trial of the providers answering service for one week so they can get a clear picture of your usage. Most answering service companies are happy to comply with this offer.
California answering service prices can span a wide range – usually between $0.79 – $1.45 per call, depending on your needs. The exact rate that you end up getting with a specific provider is going to depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to the type of service you contract them for, the number of hours you utilize them for each month, the number of agents you wish working on your project, and any special accommodations you need made. However, it is possible to take a look at some of the price ranges of these services so you can understand the budget range you’re likely going to end up operating within.
The first thing to understand is that your California answering service cost may be assessed in one of two primary means. You may encounter a few alternatives, but these are the industry standards, and most firms you find within the Bay Area will operate under one of these two models. The first way that these companies assess cost is by the minute. The other is by the month.
There are also some additional factors that can impact the exact amount that you pay for your services:
• Higher rates may be charged for special services (such as bilingual operators)
• Companies that include complex message relaying technologies or that offer software integration with your platforms may come at a steeper price.
• Fees for Holidays (averages about $10.00 per holiday)
• Appointment scheduling via your calendar. Fees vary by complexity.
So, what should your California answering service prices look like if billed by the minute? Well, like in any industry, you get what you pay for. If you see a service that is offering you an answering service for less than $0.79 per minute, you need to be very careful. There is a chance this is going to get you a very sub-standard level of service, possibly hosted offshore using agents with little to not training. This type of service might seem cheap, but what you save in fees on your answering service you’ll likely end up losing in sales due to customer dissatisfaction with your answering service team. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including boutique firms that only take on a handful of clients, but it is a good general rule of thumb to go by.
Once you’re above that threshold, you will find that the cost you pay depends on how many minutes you’re planning on using per month. The more minutes you need, the lower your rate will be. $0.80 or a little under is more than possible if you’re a big volume client needing more than 10,000 minutes per month. Most clients fall in between that mark and $.90, and if you’re a small business using less than 500 minutes each month, you’ll probably end up paying closer to a dollar per minute.
Your California answering service cost might instead be assessed on a per-month basis. For a very small business only looking to have a few calls fielded per day, this could be as low as $20 per month. This will usually include a set number of calls that the call center will take, with calls going over your threshold being charged at a per-minute basis.