Irrespective of the size your company, ensuring that your clients can contact you whenever they need your services is very important. For start up businesses, it is easy to stay on top of incoming calls yourself or with your staff.
However, as business grows, the demands for running the company can leave you with less and less time to dedicate in answering the rising number of client phone calls. This often leaves you with two options: either hire a receptionist or hire a call answering service.
While both options are very similar with respect to quality service and professionalism, it is vital that you understand the real cost comparisons involved based on your budget.
Which one costs more? Let us look at some statistics
According to a 2015 report by the US Labor Statistics Bureau, the average cost of hiring full-time, on-site staff was $13.12 per hour translating to $27,300 per year excluding payroll taxes or benefits.
On the other hand, call answering services typically charge between 0.8 cents and $1.20 per minute depending on your plan. So, assuming that your program is designed to answer about 10 calls per day (about 200 calls per month), with each call lasting between 30 seconds to 1 minute, your phone answering service will pay about $200 to $300 per month.
This means that in a year, your company will have to pay somewhere between $2400 and $3600 or slightly higher per year for professional live answering services. Compare that to the cost of on-site staff.
Now, let us see some other costs that you can evade by hiring an answering service as opposed to on-site staff.
No Salary Expense
With professional full-time staff costing about $ 27.3 per year, the cost does not stop there. Remember there are payroll taxes, benefits package, pension, paid breaks, vacations, and bonuses. This means that your receptionist’s budget would need to be in excess of at least $ 2,000 per month. However, with an answering service, that costs $3,600 you will be saving your company $ 23.7 per year without additional expenses.
No Hiring and Training Cost
When hiring on-site staff, you may need to consider more than just the wage you will have to pay. The hiring costs, training costs, as well as the effort into ensuring that your new hires are doing a great job and are happy in their new role must also be considered.
Finally, it is vital to consider how long a receptionist will hold their position before moving onto another job leaving you with the pressure of finding, interviewing, hiring, and training another one.
With an answering service or a virtual receptionist, you can get rid of all the added responsibilities and stresses of signing up committed full-time staff.
No Missed Opportunities
Let’s say your receptionist is inevitably out of work due to illness or does not work on weekends. Who will answer the phones calls? The odds are people will try to reach your company with no response. That means loss of business.
However, with a professional answering service, you can rest assured that your calls are answered 24/7, messages taken, and orders placed even when your business is closed.
Sales calls are the livelihood of your company. Hiring a professional answering service is undoubtedly the cheapest option regardless of the business size. Not to mention the removed cost of training, recruiting, training and turnover associated with receptionists.