The monthly billing cycle for Professional Answering Service consist of 2 parts. Part 1 is a $45 monthly base charge that includes monthly account maintenance, continued operator training, & equipment usage. This fee never changes. The second part is your monthly minute usage which is charged at $0.09 per tenth of a minutes. As always the first 6 seconds of each call is not charged. Part 2 will vary by how many calls you receive each month.
I would like to share some tips on decreasing your minute usage in order to increase productivity, while reducing overhead. We are not only interest in serving your company but also we would like to be as efficient as possible.
When an account switches the phone lines over to the answering service I have found that most let the operator know it is the office & that they are switching the lines over. It is one way to check the lines as well as inform the operators that they will be taking over. However, as the operators become more familiar with your organization they tend to know when you are switching over especially if it is at a consistent time daily. I have focused on the time it takes for an office to say “this is the office & we are switching over”. In doing so I have found that the phrase accompanied by the operator say “ok thank you” usually last longer than 6 seconds resulting in a $0.09 charge. The most economical way to check out is to switch the phone line over, then call the number to make sure it forwarded. Instead of stating who you are simply hang up after the operator answers to insure you are not charged for the call. This may seem like a small saving but every penny adds up to a bigger savings over time.
A few years back we introduced secured text messaging. The results: It really reduced overall billing by almost one third in 2 months time. Bad news for us but good new for you! In the years past our most popular for of connection between the account holder & the caller was patching. Patching consist of keeping the caller on the line while connecting them to the contact person for each account. “Patch Time” is the time that the caller is on the phone with the operator as well as the time with the contact person. The patch time would be charged per tenth of a minute for the entire duration of the call. With our everyday form of communication shifting more towards email & text messaging due to the convenience it fits right in with what we do here. By switching your method of connection to your caller to text messaging you not only get the opportunity to screen your calls one step further but also you eliminate the “patch time” cost. Email works the exact same way. With Professional Answering Service we do not charge anything extra for text message or emailing. We also have the feature to have 1 message or every message go to as many different contacts as you would like. This opens up opportunities to inform your entire company right away in the event of an emergency. We also offer a verify text format which requires confirmation that the text message was received to guarantee your contacts get every message.
These features save minutes in order to reduce overall cost of your answering service. Everyday we look for anyway to reduce your cost so that your company can grow in productivity, efficiency, & profits. I will continue to update clients as we add new features. If you have any questions on how to set up your service with text messaging call us at 940-720-2550