While it is a difficult question to answer precisely, how much you will pay for telephone answering services for your small business will depend a lot on what you want from it.
There are a lot of different options to choose between with many telephone answering services, so what is enough for one small business may not quite meet the needs of another. Therefore you might need to take some extra services to cover your incoming business calls that may cost a little more than simply taking a basic level service package.
Different answering services on offer
You may do an online comparison between two telephone answering service providers and see that they are not offering the exact same packages. One provider may offer live call answering during regular office hours Monday to Friday with an out-of-hours answering machine service to record calls received outside of normal hours. Another provider may offer 24/7 live call answering services, which can be very useful if you have international customers or clients in different timelines around the world.
Obviously, with the two different examples above, you can expect to pay more for the 24/7 live call answering service than the combined live call and answerphone service.
You may have to dig around to discover how some call answering services operate. For example, some providers will offer a service where their call handers will read from generic scripts, but others will allow you to personalise how your business calls are answered. Some providers will simply offer a basic switchboard service where your calls are intercepted and numbers recorded, but the call operator takes no messages.
It is said that you get what you pay for, so you must choose wisely if you want a service that creates the right customer impression for your business. While a basic call answering service where a call is acknowledged and recorded may be fine for a small business owner who may only need minimal coverage, many business owners need a service where the call handlers are trained with knowledge about your business and can answer with some understanding of what you do and how to help your callers.
These differences are very much reflected in the price tag – the question is how much do you value your business calls and your company image?