If you’re someone who keeps up with the latest business trends from 2021 and now into 2022, then you probably know all about the answering service phenomenon. In fact, I’m assuming that’s why you’re here, right? Because you’ve heard all about what an answering service can do for you, done your research or are in the process and now want an answer to the all important question of exactly how much is this going to cost? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
If that’s not you, don’t stress. I promise you’re still in the right place even if you’re only up to tentatively putting feelers out to see whether this is something you and your business might be interested in. Obviously, money is a huge part of any equation and dictates whether or not this is a viable option for you and your business. I think it is. Personally, if it were me, I’d go for it because it’s just so easy and efficient and cost-effective. Getting the help of an answering service team is a really simple way to take care of draining admin duties and clear some space on your plate for the more important things.
According to our research at Ivy Answering, 25% of the average manager’s time (adjust this statistic to fit your business structure) is spent handling admin. Now, don’t get me wrong, admin is an incredibly important part of business – nothing else can really get done well if there isn’t a working admin structure in place, but it shouldn’t be consuming you. That’s not a healthy or realistic expectation when you already have so much else to be across and are hopefully also striving for that elusive work-life balance.
The least complicated and cost-effective way I can think of, to manage that without fallout or a compromise on the quality of your service is through employing an answering service. In case you don’t know how it works or you need a quick refresher, let me take you through a brief rundown:
An answering service involves people who work for your business externally. That is, they don’t come to work and sit in the same office as you. Often, they’ll work from home, but you can provide them with a detailed script of what to say in any scenario, so your customers will never know that they weren’t sitting at a front desk, as a typical in-house receptionist. Their role can be broad and flexible – they’re equipped to obviously answer, transfer and collect information from calls but they can also schedule appointments, reply to emails, answer questions/queries from existing and prospective customers as well as use web-chat services to communicate with customers, if that’s applicable to you.
Thanks to the technologies at our disposal these days, the actual logistical process of outsourcing to an answering service is smooth and stress-free. As I mentioned earlier with the right structures in place, your customers will never know the difference. In fact, as a result of an answering service taking over those time-consuming admin duties as their sole responsibility, unlike you, who has a million and one things to try and manage, your customer’s experience with your business might even be smoother than usual. Their calls will be answered quickly and professionally, without any fear of appearing rushed or flustered. As I’m sure you’re all aware, a good customer service experience is vital if you want people’s repeat business and even more so if you want that all-important word of mouth, an unrivalled tool for bringing in new customers.
That all sounds great, I hear you thinking but doesn’t the offloading and delegation of time-consuming but important admin mean I’ll be out of the loop? No. Not at all. On top of that customised script structure which allows you to control exactly what your business’s narrative is, you can also request that an email be sent to you at the end of every day with a rundown of what went on, what you need to know and what needs to be acted on if anything. You’re still in the loop but without all the stress, it’s the best of both worlds!
Right, so now that you’ve had a refresher, or an introduction depending on where you are in the process, it’s time to tackle the big question we mentioned earlier – how much does it cost?
Well, put it this way: An answering service is incredibly cost-effective. Importantly, if you employ an answering service, there’s none of the typical overhead costs that you’d have to incur using an in-house receptionist. There’s no maintenance cost. No desk, chair or stationary to buy and keep stocked. They also don’t come with any training costs either, because you don’t take on the job if you’re not already familiar with the role, in these situations. Not only that, but where an in-house receptionist would more than likely be a salaried job, with those working for an answering service, you provide a wage instead. This wage is obviously dependent on how long they work. The fact that this is a cheaper option may also come in handy when it comes time to take a gamble on expanding your business. Expansion can be fraught with uncertainty but an answering service has the tools to handle it, in terms of adjusting to the increased volume of calls and the like. That being said, if for whatever reason your expansion plans fall through or things don’t go how you want them to, there’s less fallout financially and for your team, as there’s less disruption.
Now, admittedly, it’s difficult to give you concrete numbers of cost comparison between one provider and another because it’s not exactly comparing apples to apples. Oftentimes, with our competitors, they’ll present cheaply at the outset but once you’re signed on, they’ll hit you with some hidden costs. You could be forgiven for thinking the same of us here at Ivy Answering but we’re proud to assure you that’s not the case. We offer affordable plans for any and all business types. In fact, our policy says that if you’re investigating our business plans and can’t find one that works for you, we’re open to working together and negotiating until we find a solution that works well for both of us. It’s also unfortunately common that other companies low prices equate to them cutting corners with quality, which is again proudly not our style. We believe in offering quality service at reasonable prices and our business model is structured so that if you’re not happy with how we do things, you can opt out pain-free, losing nothing.
We offer a free 7 day trial with no obligation or lock in contract. The sign up process is simple and straightforward, you’ll be ready to use our services within minutes! All we’d need from you is a script if you want us to use one and then we’d be up and running.
Once the free trial ends, there’s obviously no obligation to continue using us but if you did decide to, you’d sign up with a plan. For example our most popular plan here at Ivy Answering is the “Virtual Receptionist 25” which sees businesses pay a retainer of $55 per month with 25 included calls. After you’ve reached the 25 included calls and move to exceed it, there’s a small fee of $2 per call for every one after that. This rate remains fixed regardless of the duration of a call. And again, if plans like this aren’t for you, we’ll work something out. It’s also important to tell you that if your business’s needs change while you’re in the middle of a plan, things can be easily upgraded or downgraded as needed, to suit you.
OK. That’s that. Hopefully if you were on the fence about whether or not to invest in an answering service, my pitch here has done the trick and convinced you to give it a go. After all, with us at Ivy Answering, you really have nothing to lose and very valuable things to gain. Your time. Your energy. Peace of mind. Focus. Flexibility for your business and your team. Structures that could help you grow, if and when the time comes. And you get all of that at an affordable and reasonable price that doesn’t equate to cutting corners and settling for bad quality service. In fact, as I’ve outlined, it’s quite the opposite. If, with all of these benefits, you’re still not convinced of an answering service’s merit, then I really don’t know what else I can tell you.
Except that Ivy Answering proudly services many businesses across the globe with an exceptional customer satisfaction rate. Our receptionists are highly professional and locally sourced so that they have an understanding of the climate your business is trying to thrive in. This also helps remove any language barrier and has been a recipe for great success for us in the past and will continue into the future.
If you’re interested, give us a call on 866-833-3356 or drop us an email email@example.com