In the contact center and answering service industries, billing clients by the minute is referred to as time billing.

Time Billing is a fair and reasonable to the client and provider.Time billing is simple: pay for the time you use, as you use it.  The beauty of time-based billing is that it is precise, affordable and fair.

AnswerFirst uses time billing in one second increments – here’s why:

Pay only for what you use – Whether handling calls or updating your account, we only bill you for time spent actually working on your account.  Since we bill using one second increments, if you have a call or update that only takes 15 seconds, you are billed for just 15 seconds.  So, if we are billing you at a rate of $0.99/minute, a 15 second  action costs you less than a quarter.  Additionally, callers that reach your business by dialing a wrong number and callers that hang up on our CSPs only cost you a few cents instead of a few dollars.

No guessing and no surprises – with time billing you don’t have to guess how many minutes you’ll use each month so that you can pick the correct minute plan or bundle.  Also, you won’t be hit with surprise charges like overage fees and penalties for moving between minute plans.

It’s the best value – Minute plans may give you a flat cost every month (if you don’t go over your allotted minutes), but what if you use less minutes?  You end up paying a higher per-minute rate than you would with a simple time-based billing service.  For instance, a plan for $150 that includes 150 minutes is charging you at a rate of $1 per minute if you use exactly 150 minutes.  What if you use only 90 minutes, though?  Your bill is still $150 and your per-minute rate just jumped to $1.66.  Time billing provides the best value by only charging you for what you’ve actually used.

So, what’s the argument against using time billing?

The biggest concern consumers have about using time billing is the unknown cost each billing cycle.

However, just like your electric bill or water bill, once you have been through a few billing cycles you get an idea of what to expect. If your business is seasonal, you can expect the bill to drop in the off season and then rise again during your busy season.  Also, we provide secure online access to your account 24/7/365 through our web portal, Client Web Access.  You can log-in to CWA at any time to check your usage and calculate your cost.

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Teri Erickson

Business Development Coordinator at AnswerFirst
I hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions you can contact me on my direct line at AnswerFirst: 813-636-3975. If I don’t provide our potential clients with top-notch customer service from day 1, then why should they trust my company to provide their clients with the same?