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Tips For Evaluation Of Live Answering Services

Aug 22, 2008
As a home based small business owner there are several advantages you get but you face several disadvantages. Especially around receiving the calls, you want to sound professional but with so many tasks you are dealing with as a small business owner that may not happen all the time.

Just imagine that instead of you your kid answered the phone, how damaging that will be for the business. Also there is an element of hierarchy involved here, you as CEO of the company answering the phone directly does not sound well to customers ears.

If you look around there are several options to outsource you answering hassles. The companies offer several ways to do this. You can go for a live operator answering the phone and the transferring the call to you or you can have a call center handle all the call for you as well as make sure that your voice mail messages are responded to. The call center option is usually expensive but the service they offer is unmatched in quality.

The cost can vary based on the service you require but here are the basic costs that the companies charge. There is a one time set up fee which can range from $20 to anything like $300.

Also there is a monthly plan you can choose from and if you for the live operator the costs can vary based on what you want the live operator to do once the call received. The live operator can take down the message or can take the call and act upon it which my usually involve getting details of the customers credit card number etc. The costs go up if you need the live operator to take some action as opposed to just taking down the message.

The other fee is the fee of handling each call which is over and above the one time fee and the monthly plan fee. These calls are charged on a per call basis beginning with $1 per call. Some companies throw in some freebies like free 50 calls per month and charge from the 51st call each month.

Based on the above costs you can take an intelligent decision about outsourcing you call handling activities. Make sure that you get a free trial for a month or so and also the contract has some exit clauses. There should service level agreements in the contract so that in case of bad service you are able to get the contact cancelled.
About the Author
The author has written about small business and the pressures they face like small business answering service handling. He has a website dedicated to the review several small business answering services options.
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