Main street businesses have a serious phone problem — and it’s costing them.
Although 80% of business communication takes place over the phone, 62% of calls to businesses go unanswered.
That means your business could be losing out on nearly half of all conversations.
What’s worse, phone calls are 10-15 times more likely to generate a successful sale or follow-up activity than digital form submissions. Missing a few calls per day can translate to hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales each week.
Answering services can help you manage a variable call volume, prevent missed calls and revenue and free your time for tasks that move the business forward. Instead of staffing full-time, underutilized receptionists, you only pay for the call overflow your team can’t handle.
Medical offices, salons and home services companies are just a few examples of organizations that commonly use answering services to save customer conversations, book more appointments and generate revenue.
But can you really afford an answering service?
In this guide, we compare the pricing and features of top answering services to discover the best option for your business.
How Much Do Answering Services Cost?
- Numa: $50 per month per location (unlimited usage)
- Moneypenny: Monthly subscription plus a fee per minute (not advertised)
- Ruby Receptionists: $2.75-$3.09 per minute (starting at $309 per month)
- VoiceNation: $1.67 per minute (starting at $50 per month)
- MyReceptionist: $1.43 per minute (starting at $100 per month)
Calculate Your Monthly Cost
Answering services vary widely in terms of price and features, depending on how you use it.
To gauge the true cost of an answering service, you’ll need to calculate the amount of call overflow support you’ll need monthly (in minutes). Here’s how:
- Determine your number of daily unanswered calls. The average local business misses 13 calls per day, according to a Google study.
- Calculate your average phone call duration. On average, companies spend 4 minutes and 7 seconds on each call.
- Multiply your daily unanswered calls by your average call duration by 30 days. This calculation gives you the estimated call overflow support (in minutes) that you’ll need each month. For example, if you miss 13 calls per day, and each call averages 4 minutes and 7 seconds, you’ll need about 1,600 minutes of overflow support per month.
- Multiply your estimated call overflow by the vendor’s price per minute. If you miss 13 calls per day, averaging 4 minutes and 7 seconds each, you can expect to pay $2,300 to $4,900 per month for a traditional answering service.
5 Considerations When Evaluating Answering Services
Beyond price, you’ll want to understand the features you’ll need from an answering service. When evaluating providers, be sure to ask:
- What actions do I want it to perform? Do you need your answering service to simply take messages, route conversations or perform tasks like scheduling appointments?
- When do I need my answering service to be available? Know that some answering services charge extra for 24/7 availability.
- How much support will I need each month? Beyond the calls you miss during regular office hours, consider the support you’ll need after hours and how that affects your monthly cost.
- How much am I willing to pay? The cost of your answering service might equate to a full-time receptionist. Determine what you’re willing to pay to provide customers with 24/7 access to your company.
- How easy is it to set up and implement? Will the answering service disrupt your normal business workflow or require a significant time investment on your part? Is your team willing to learn and adopt a new system and process?
Comparing Answering Service Pricing & Features
Do you waste time answering basic questions about your business on the phone? Sometimes, it’s easier for consumers to pick up the phone than search for the information they need.
Numa is an AI-enhanced answering service that texts callers back when you’re too busy to grab the phone or after hours. Unlike traditional answering services, Numa responds using your team’s real responses and language.
When customers call your business and you can’t answer, Numa gives them the option to receive a text message (or just leave a voicemail, which it will transcribe). Once someone selects “yes,” Numa texts the customer and can answer common questions about your business. Numa supports multiple languages and assists with taking orders, scheduling appointments, routing conversations to departments and more.
Numa also learns about your business over time, but you have complete control over what it can and can’t answer on its own.
What It Costs
Numa charges a flat rate per location, starting at $50 per month — regardless of whether Numa answers 1 call or 1,000.
Schedule your Numa demo today.
Moneypenny provides traditional live phone answering and chat services. You receive a dedicated receptionist, but all of Moneypenny’s receptionists work in groups to avoid call abandonment. If your receptionist is unavailable, the call is passed to one of three teammates.
One thing to note: In most situations, Moneypenny doesn’t provide a 24/7 receptionist — at least not without paying for an additional service. It will, however, create a customized greeting for customers who reach voicemail.
What It Costs:
Moneypenny doesn’t actively promote its pricing, but the service charges a monthly subscription plus a fee per call. You can get a one-week free trial to test the service.
Similar to Moneypenny, Ruby Receptionists offer both live phone answering and chat features. The service is available to companies 7 days a week: Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. PT and Saturdays and Sundays from and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT. You can also access bilingual receptionists and customize your hold music, greetings and call routing.
What It Costs:
A monthly engagement with Ruby Receptionists starts at $309 for 100 minutes and grows to $1,369 for 500 minutes. You can also test the service with a free 14-day trial.
VoiceNation attempts to lower hold times and increase call accuracy with its 24/7 answering service.
Its goal is to make callers believe they’re talking to someone sitting in the office rather than a remotely located virtual assistant. It also provides bilingual receptionists and can process orders to ensure your sales go through even when your office is closed for the day.
What It Costs
The VoiceNation service starts at $50 for 30 minutes but discounts rates when you pay annually. VoiceNation also offers a free 7-day trial.
My Receptionist is a live, virtual answering service that’s available 24/7.
Its receptionists can answer questions, input client information into CRM software and schedule appointments. Receptionists with My Receptionist can also make appointment reminder calls and send encrypted text messages to customers.
What It Costs
Reception services start at $100 per billing period for 70 minutes.
Scale Your Phone Answering Resources With Numa
You need time to concentrate on growing your business, not answering phone calls. And hiring a receptionist — or two — might not be the right answer for your business.
Instead of losing customers because you missed their call, give Numa a try. The AI-based assistant can help your customers get the answers they need right away, leaving you to focus on your company’s next steps.
And with Numa’s flat monthly fee, you’ll pay a fraction of what traditional answering services charge.
Schedule your Numa demo today.