Studio portrait of thinking young man writing in copybook scratching head standing on white isolated background. Pensive male student studying, preparing for exam, making notes in paper notebook.

Answering services provide businesses around the country with an efficient and reliable way to stay in contact with their clients.

However, before you sign up for one of these services, you may ask: how much does an answering service cost?

The prices for hiring an answering service vary. Some companies choose a flat-rate subscription, while others prefer an option that charges them by the call or the second.

Explore all of your pricing options by contacting our team at AnswerFirst. You can reach us by calling 800-645-2616.

Flat Rate Billing for an Answering Service

We can review the most common pricing models used by answering services to help you review costs. Companies have the right to charge different amounts, although many live answering service companies offer flat-rate billing plans.

Flat-rate plans allow you to purchase a bundle of either minutes or calls. You receive the number of calls or minutes you want every billing cycle. Many companies offer you blocks of:

  • 150 minutes
  • 300 minutes
  • 500 minutes

You can often reduce your service cost by purchasing more extensive plans, as they usually cost less per minute or call. However, buying far more minutes or calls than you need can cost your business money.

Consider Risks for Flat-Rate Billing

Flat-rate billing makes sense if you can accurately guess how many calls you’ll receive in a billing cycle. However, you may not want to select flat-rate billing if your business’s call volume varies a lot.

If you go over your purchased number of calls or minutes, you may face overage fees from the company, quickly increasing your bill. Keep these factors in mind when choosing a pricing model for phone answering services.

Per Call or Per Message Billing for an Answering Service

Sometimes, you can select per call (or per message) billing for a telephone answering service. These services charge you a specific rate for each call you receive or for the length of the call.

However, you should know that some answering service companies “round up” for the length of each call. This practice means that you could end up being charged more for shorter calls, increasing your overall costs.

Our team at AnswerFirst uses true one-second billing for answering service cost rates. We don’t round up for calls; instead, we charge you for the exact amount of time we spend on the phone with your clients.

Pay as You Go Billing for an Answering Service

Pay-as-you-go represents the final type of answering service pricing discussed in this article. This payment method provides you with a lot of flexibility and ensures that you only pay for the services you use.

You don’t have to worry about perfectly predicting the number of calls you’ll receive with pay as you go billing. Instead, you pay a low access fee to get the services offered by an answering service company. Then, you pay for the calls and messages the service takes for you.

Many answering services will automatically apply volume discounts if you reach a certain number of calls or minutes for your billing cycle.

The pay-as-you-go pricing model often works well for small businesses or large corporations. This model allows you to avoid paying more than you need for a valuable service.

Track Your Current Expenses for an Answering Service

How do you know what your answering service cost will be on a month-to-month basis? In many cases, the overall costs vary based on the volume of calls or messages you receive. This variance can make it hard to estimate your monthly expenses.

Our team makes it easy for you to check your current balance. We offer a secure web portal that gives you a chance to quickly manage your company’s account.

You can check the amount you owe from any computer, any time.

We also provide detailed reports about the calls or messages you’ve received. You can download this information any time of the day or night. We believe in providing transparent information about your expenses.

What You Get for Your Money with an Answering Service

What are you paying for when you sign up for an answering service? First, you get the assurance that all of your customers receive the care they want in a timely fashion. All the representatives from our answering service are based in the U.S., with no outsourcing.

An answering service can set up appointments, forward calls, take messages, and answer your client’s questions. Our team understands the changing nature of communication in the business world, so we also take care of:

  • Web chats
  • SMS messages
  • Emails

We handle all aspects of your company’s communication needs. Solid customer service care helps improve your relationship with your clients, allowing them to feel more confident about working with your company.

Benefits of a Pay as You Go Billing Schedule

Pay-as-you-go billing provides several benefits for your business. If you prepurchase a set number of minutes, technicians at an answering service may end up cutting conversations short to stay within your plan.

Customer satisfaction often drops when people feel rushed on the phone, which you want to avoid. The pay-as-you-go system also allows you to get the best price from an answering service in many cases.

Our company adjusts your rates based on the volume of calls we take for you every billing cycle. So, if you get enough calls to secure a discounted rate, we’ll apply it for the billing cycle. We also take steps to never let your clients stay on hold, providing the best possible environment for your company.

Speak to Us About the Costs for an Answering Service

How much does an answering service cost? The price to hire an answering service varies based on the company you choose, and your costs also change depending on the pricing model you select.

Our team at AnswerFirst often recommends a pay-as-you-go billing model. Find out more about this model by calling us at 800-645-2616.