An Answering Service Can Help
By Brian Gabriel
There are many reasons for using an answering service. Cutting costs is one of the major factors in play. Several obvious costs that businesses can save on by choosing an answering service over an in-house alternative include no monthly salary expense, no paid vacations, no paid breaks, and no missed opportunities. However, once you dig in a little deeper, there are even more costs that companies can avoid just by using an answering service. Here are seven of them:
1. The Cost of Sick Time
Most employers allow for at least three paid sick days per year. If your receptionist earns $2,500 per month, then sick pay will cost you about $83 per event. If your receptionist is out for two days in a row, then you spend $166 in payroll costs to cover that. While she is away, you and your staff are burdened with the extra work covering the front desk: A great answering service never gets sick. Your staff does.
2. The Cost of Lateness and Absenteeism
She’s late, again. That is the third time this month. Now, you have to take time out of your day to discipline your receptionist and issue a final warning. You might as well run an ad in the newspaper, because she may not last. So, now you take on the burden of finding a new front desk person and deal with the worry and aggravation that she may not show up at all: A great answering service never shows up late for work. Your receptionist might.
3. The Cost of Turnover
Just like you figured, she didn’t last. Now you have to fire her. Be sure you carefully document that dismissal, so you can avoid a possible lawsuit from an aggravated former receptionist. Employee turnover is a significant cost. It is also something you will continue to deal with at the front desk until you hire a professional telephone answering service: You don’t have to fire a great telephone answering service.
4. The Cost of Training
Finally, the perfect candidate just walked in the door! Now you have to train her. You’ll need at least two weeks to get her on board. Oh, and she needs an ergonomic keyboard and a special 36” monitor because her eyes aren’t what they used to be. Now where is all that documentation that you need to get her up-to-speed? You also need to be available at all times to answer the myriad of questions your new employee will have.
5. The Cost of Management
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have just hired someone that already knew how to professionally answer your phones, take an accurate and complete message, and relay that message to the right person at the right time? Had you chosen an answering service, you could have brought them up-to-speed in about 24 – 48 hours and pay them only for the calls that they answer. You don’t have to manage a great telephone answering service. It will manage itself.
6. The Cost of Facilities
Ok, so she needs an ergonomic keyboard. And a very expensive 36” flat-screen monitor. But she also needs:
- An office
- A desk
- A chair
- A computer
- The Internet
- A phone
- And lots more to do the job you are paying her to do
Facilities have a real cost. The more employees you require, the more facilities you will need. Once you pay for and build-out all that facility, you have to maintain it. You have to upgrade it. You have to protect it. You have to insure it. A professional service already has all of that facility built out. A GREAT telephone answering service has state-of-the art equipment and properly trained employees.
7. The Cost of Poor Response
After all of this, you decide to keep the receptionist and SHE STILL MISSES IMPORTANT CALLS! A great answering service has enough staff and resources available at all hours of the day or night to ensure that this never happens to you.
Call an answering service today.
Brian Gabriel is the Chief Operations Officer for Sound Telecom, a leading twenty-seven-year-old call center outsourcer and he is a frequent contributor to the Sound Telecom Blog, http://www.sound-tele.com/blog/ which is designed to impart useful business information to businesses and entrepreneurs. Sound Telecom is a leading nationwide provider of 24-hour Telephone Answering Services, Contact Center Solutions, and Cloud-based Phone Systems professionally serving customers since 1986 with USA based agents. For more information, please visit http://www.sound-tele.com.