The Limitations of BYOB (Bring Your Own Bandwidth) Hosted PBX #hosted #telecom


The Limitations of BYOB (Bring Your Own Bandwidth) Hosted PBX

published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/31/2017 – 08:19

There are two ways to order Hosted PBX Service. One way is to order the service from an Internet Service Provider/Telephone Company who can provide you with a Dedicated Connection as well as the Hosted PBX Service. The other way is to order a broadband internet connection from an Internet Service Provider, and then order your Hosted PBX Service from a different company and reach your Hosted PBX Service over the public internet. Here we compare the merits of a Dedicated Internet Service, like T1 or Point to Point Fiber, with Shared Broadband Internet Service like Cable with specific regards to Cloud Based Phone Systems.

Summary

In this article we will explore the core differences in reliability between dedicated connections to your Hosted Voip Provider and Cable connections to your BYOB Hosted VoIP Provider. Before we can continue we must define several terms.

Definitions

QOS – Quality of Service or Packet Prioritization

QOS is the process by which certain types of traffic are prioritized over others. Phone conversations are very sensitive to communications issues, and have very stringent requirements with regards to the network transmissions. For this reason, voice traffic needs to “go to the front of the line” any time a line forms in the network. Without this prioritization phone calls can become impossible to understand.

Dedicated Connection – A dedicated connection has the following properties:

  • QOS – QOS is available on dedicated connections
  • symmetric speeds / full-duplex – this means that upload bandwidth and the download bandwidth is the same
  • not affected by traffic utilization at other businesses – this means that your speeds are the same at all times of the day and at all times of the year
  • service level agreement – the above two criteria are guaranteed by your contract
  • predominantly used for business service

Shared Broadband Connection – A shared broadband connection has the following properties:

  • No QOS available
  • asymmetric speeds – the upload speed is significantly less than the download speed
  • resource pooling – all bandwidth is shared between a group of businesses. this means that the usage at a nearby business or residence effects your upload and download speeds
  • best effort contractual obligation – the bandwidth advertised is not guaranteed and is provided as a best effort
  • predominantly used for residential service

BYOB – Bring Your Own Bandwidth

BYOB Hosted PBX Provider – A BYOB Hosted PBX Provider provides a business cloud phone service over the public internet. The Hosted Provider maintains connections to the internet. Business customers procure their own internet connections from a local internet service provider. The Business connects with the Hosted PBX Provider over the public internet. Think of this like how you access many internet services from Netflix to Salesforce CRM.

Illustrated Scenarios

We will illustrate the two scenarios and discuss the various types of failures that each configuration is vulnerable to. An effective way to analyze reliability is to list the specific failures that a system is vulnerable to. Here is a list of the failures that could occur which would disrupt voice service. With each failure there is a description indicating how the failure could be mitigated if possible.

Hosted PBX over Cable

In this scenario a business procures internet service from a cable internet service provider and procures hosted pbx service from a separate hosted voip provider.

(click on the image to enlarge)

What can cause an interruption of the voice service, or a degradation of the quality of voice calls?

  • power at the business premise – this can be mitigated by installing battery backups, and further mitigated by installing a generator.
  • power in manhole along cable route – the cable distribution network contains active electrical components which fail in extended power outages.
  • physical transport problem along cable route – a truck taking down a telephone pole. this can be mitigated by having two network connections.
  • packet delivery between customer premise and cable data center – without reliable packet delivery, the voice calls will degrade. The cable company is not contractually obligated to provide the level of service required for your voip to function. When this fails you have no recourse.
  • internet service provided by cable company – this can be mitigated by having two network connections.
  • power at the cable company
  • packet delivery between cable data center and hosted pbx data center – without reliable packet delivery, the speech in the voice calls will degrade. The 3rd party internet service providers between the Cable company and the Hosted PBX Company have no contractual obligation to anyone to provide the level of service required for your voip to function. When this fails you have no recourse.
  • power at the hosted pbx company
  • hosted pbx service provided by the hosted pbx company
  • telephone network connections at the hosted pbx company

Dedicated Transport Scenario

In this scenario you have a Dedicated T1 or Dedicated Fiber from Monmouth Telecom, as well as Monmouth Telecom’s Hosted PBX service. Here is a diagram of the service being provided.

Nowhere does your voice calls go over the public internet. Your voice call goes from your premise, over the Dedicated connection to Monmouth Telecom’s data center. Here it is converted to traditional telephony and sent out to the telephone network. The hosted pbx service is being provided by the same company that is providing the internet service, namely Monmouth Telecom.

What can cause an interruption of the voice service, or a degradation of the quality of voice calls?

    • power at customer premise – this can be mitigated by installing battery backups, and further mitigated by installing a generator.
    • physical transport problem – this can be mitigated by having two network connections, for example cable failover .
    • hosted pbx service – carrier grade redundant server cluster, see more details on reliability features
    • power at Monmouth Telecom – gas generator and carrier grade battery plant which provided continuous power through Hurricane Sandy
    • telephone network connections at Monmouth Telecom data center – redundant connections to multiple carriers

    Key Differences

    There are three key differences between these two scenarios.

    1. QOS (Quality of Service) or Packet Prioritization – Voice over IP has very stringent packet delivery requirements. If they are not met you will either hear distorted audio, or no audio at all. Only one of the two scenarios provides you a guarantee that this QOS will be provided.
    2. Division of Responsibility – The Shared Broadband scenario divides the responsibility of your phone system between your cable company and your hosted pbx company. When there is a problem it will not be clear who is at fault. It may even be that no one is at fault, as neither party is contractually obligated to provide the QOS. (See 1) With Monmouth Telecom Hosted PBX there is one completely accountable party for the voice service.
    3. Passive vs. Active Power – Cable is connected to active electrical components in manholes. This can cause outages during prolonged power outages.

    How much should an answering service cost? Sound Telecom Blog #cooking #questions


    #answering service pricing

    #

    Ok give it to me straight. How much should an answering service cost?

    Actually, this is a darn good question. But there is only one way to really answer it you must have your expectations set properly so that you understand my answer. You have to first decide what level of service you are looking for. Most everyone wants the best answering service in the world for next to nothing. I get that. But is that realistic?

    The other day, I spoke to a gentleman for almost 20 minutes. He wanted 24/7 live answering service support. He wanted all of his calls answered by a live person in 3 rings or less. He wanted little to no hold time ever on any of his calls and he wanted us to handle a very complicated emergency message relay involving several different people, email addresses and text message destinations. He finally told me that this critically important answering service would only be needed to handle about 15 to 20 calls per month. This was to be set up as a type of insurance policy to make sure that his new client (the one that was spending thousands of dollars a month on his services) was well taken care of. So I told the prospect I could provide that level of service for $45/month. He told me that my rates were outrageous and he hung up the phone on me. Clearly, this guy did not have realistic expectations.

    There are a couple of primary ways that answering services bill for their service by the call or by the minute. We bill by the minute so I will give you some general guidelines on per-minute pricing:

    Low quality buyer beware!

    Be careful Good services use these rates for VERY high volume customers (over 10,000 minutes monthly)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans (500 to 5,000 minutes per month)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans that are less than 500 minutes per month.

    I have come across several VERY SMALL operations that charge a per-minute rate between $.55 and $.70 per minute and provide very good service. But these telephone answering service operations are usually VERY SMALL operations. This means that you have a family-based business that works out of the basement of their home and they have about 30 to 50 answering customers. Yes, these services can provide great service to their 30 or 50 customers but these operations are NOT scalable for larger volumes. Further, they tend not to have any advanced technical features like, oh, text-to-cell message delivery. Also, they run into staffing issues quite frequently and cannot handle call spikes well. These are very small businesses that can only handle very small volumes of calls. If you are looking for $.55 to $.70 per minute answering service, you are not being realistic because the small mom-and-pop shops are the exception, not the rule.

    If you really want a quality operation that can handle low, medium and high volume then you should expect to pay somewhere between $.80 and $1.00 per minute based on the call volumes that you send into your chosen answering service. Most answering service calls take a minute and half to process. So let s say you are paying $.90 per minute. This means that an answered call is going to cost you $1.35. Is that too much? Well, if you operate a law practice and a prospective DUI client is worth about $15,000 in legal fees then I would say it is a $1.35 well-spent. What if you are a plumbing contractor? The average after-hour emergency service repair is going to be billed around $300. So is it worth $1.35 to your business to capture a $300 sale? Of course it is.

    You should always strive to get the best value for whatever you spend your money on. But when you are shopping for answering service, don t consider price as the ONLY guideline for making a good decision. There are a number of other factors you should be discussing with your vendor:

    • How quickly do your operators answer my calls?
    • Where are your agents based (USA or overseas)?
    • Is there hold time? How much?
    • Do you offer custom message delivery?
    • What kind of reports can I get?
    • Do your operators sound professional, friendly and courteous?
    • Who do I contact if I need to make changes?
    • Can you handle a complicated on-call list of after-hours personnel?
    • And on, and on

    Look at the WHOLE picture not just price. Use price as a consideration but make sure you are getting a quality service that will properly represent your business.

    Comments

    About Brian Gabriel

    As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.


    CellSite Solutions #telecom #inventory #software


    #

    TELECOM EQUIPMENT
    SUPPLY, INSTALLATION
    SERVICE

    Welcome to CellSite Solutions

    CellSite Solutions is a leader in used telecommunication equipment. products, and services of all types. We are able to manage projects that involve new, used or refurbished equipment. We pride ourselves on being the top used and surplus telecommunications equipment supplier and a turnkey solution for all your installation, decommissioning and logistics needs. Browse our large selection of equipment or view our telecom site and shelter services and learn more about how we can help with your next telecom project!

    We work with your existing site and provide telecom site commissioning, too. If you don’t have a location in place, we can help. We install new or refurbished communications equipment to meet or exceed industry standards. Our experts are comfortable working with the newest, high-tech equipment, as well as older or even obsolete used telecommunications equipment, which requires additional knowledge and care.

    At CellSite Solutions, we do more than install telecommunications equipment; we also offer telecom site maintenance and repair, telecom site decommissioning. and warehousing.

    CellSite Solutions is a full-service company that can help every step of the way — from commissioning to storage, and everything in between. Additionally, customer service is always a priority. From installer to office staff to management, everyone who works at CellSite Solutions is committed to your satisfaction.

    To request additional information on our products and services, to make a purchase, or to lease equipment, contact us or call us at 1-855-CEL-SITE.

    We look forward to assisting you!

    What We Offer

    Guy Anchor Inspections

    We provide anchor rod inspection and protection services to remediate galvanic corrosion and prevent guyed tower failure.

    Shelter Refurbishing

    Choose to refurbish any used shelter from our inventory or increase the life span of your existing shelter with our custom refurbishing services.

    Installation

    Our talented installation experts at CellSite offer full-service quality installation. We cover everything you’ll need for a seamless installation.

    Decommissioning

    Our decommissioning services cover everything from asset disposal to site remediation to ensure an efficient and safe site removal.


    How much should an answering service cost? Sound Telecom Blog #peters #answers


    #answering service pricing

    #

    Ok give it to me straight. How much should an answering service cost?

    Actually, this is a darn good question. But there is only one way to really answer it you must have your expectations set properly so that you understand my answer. You have to first decide what level of service you are looking for. Most everyone wants the best answering service in the world for next to nothing. I get that. But is that realistic?

    The other day, I spoke to a gentleman for almost 20 minutes. He wanted 24/7 live answering service support. He wanted all of his calls answered by a live person in 3 rings or less. He wanted little to no hold time ever on any of his calls and he wanted us to handle a very complicated emergency message relay involving several different people, email addresses and text message destinations. He finally told me that this critically important answering service would only be needed to handle about 15 to 20 calls per month. This was to be set up as a type of insurance policy to make sure that his new client (the one that was spending thousands of dollars a month on his services) was well taken care of. So I told the prospect I could provide that level of service for $45/month. He told me that my rates were outrageous and he hung up the phone on me. Clearly, this guy did not have realistic expectations.

    There are a couple of primary ways that answering services bill for their service by the call or by the minute. We bill by the minute so I will give you some general guidelines on per-minute pricing:

    Low quality buyer beware!

    Be careful Good services use these rates for VERY high volume customers (over 10,000 minutes monthly)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans (500 to 5,000 minutes per month)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans that are less than 500 minutes per month.

    I have come across several VERY SMALL operations that charge a per-minute rate between $.55 and $.70 per minute and provide very good service. But these telephone answering service operations are usually VERY SMALL operations. This means that you have a family-based business that works out of the basement of their home and they have about 30 to 50 answering customers. Yes, these services can provide great service to their 30 or 50 customers but these operations are NOT scalable for larger volumes. Further, they tend not to have any advanced technical features like, oh, text-to-cell message delivery. Also, they run into staffing issues quite frequently and cannot handle call spikes well. These are very small businesses that can only handle very small volumes of calls. If you are looking for $.55 to $.70 per minute answering service, you are not being realistic because the small mom-and-pop shops are the exception, not the rule.

    If you really want a quality operation that can handle low, medium and high volume then you should expect to pay somewhere between $.80 and $1.00 per minute based on the call volumes that you send into your chosen answering service. Most answering service calls take a minute and half to process. So let s say you are paying $.90 per minute. This means that an answered call is going to cost you $1.35. Is that too much? Well, if you operate a law practice and a prospective DUI client is worth about $15,000 in legal fees then I would say it is a $1.35 well-spent. What if you are a plumbing contractor? The average after-hour emergency service repair is going to be billed around $300. So is it worth $1.35 to your business to capture a $300 sale? Of course it is.

    You should always strive to get the best value for whatever you spend your money on. But when you are shopping for answering service, don t consider price as the ONLY guideline for making a good decision. There are a number of other factors you should be discussing with your vendor:

    • How quickly do your operators answer my calls?
    • Where are your agents based (USA or overseas)?
    • Is there hold time? How much?
    • Do you offer custom message delivery?
    • What kind of reports can I get?
    • Do your operators sound professional, friendly and courteous?
    • Who do I contact if I need to make changes?
    • Can you handle a complicated on-call list of after-hours personnel?
    • And on, and on

    Look at the WHOLE picture not just price. Use price as a consideration but make sure you are getting a quality service that will properly represent your business.

    Comments

    About Brian Gabriel

    As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.


    How much should an answering service cost? Sound Telecom Blog #answer #to


    #answering service pricing

    #

    Ok give it to me straight. How much should an answering service cost?

    Actually, this is a darn good question. But there is only one way to really answer it you must have your expectations set properly so that you understand my answer. You have to first decide what level of service you are looking for. Most everyone wants the best answering service in the world for next to nothing. I get that. But is that realistic?

    The other day, I spoke to a gentleman for almost 20 minutes. He wanted 24/7 live answering service support. He wanted all of his calls answered by a live person in 3 rings or less. He wanted little to no hold time ever on any of his calls and he wanted us to handle a very complicated emergency message relay involving several different people, email addresses and text message destinations. He finally told me that this critically important answering service would only be needed to handle about 15 to 20 calls per month. This was to be set up as a type of insurance policy to make sure that his new client (the one that was spending thousands of dollars a month on his services) was well taken care of. So I told the prospect I could provide that level of service for $45/month. He told me that my rates were outrageous and he hung up the phone on me. Clearly, this guy did not have realistic expectations.

    There are a couple of primary ways that answering services bill for their service by the call or by the minute. We bill by the minute so I will give you some general guidelines on per-minute pricing:

    Low quality buyer beware!

    Be careful Good services use these rates for VERY high volume customers (over 10,000 minutes monthly)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans (500 to 5,000 minutes per month)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans that are less than 500 minutes per month.

    I have come across several VERY SMALL operations that charge a per-minute rate between $.55 and $.70 per minute and provide very good service. But these telephone answering service operations are usually VERY SMALL operations. This means that you have a family-based business that works out of the basement of their home and they have about 30 to 50 answering customers. Yes, these services can provide great service to their 30 or 50 customers but these operations are NOT scalable for larger volumes. Further, they tend not to have any advanced technical features like, oh, text-to-cell message delivery. Also, they run into staffing issues quite frequently and cannot handle call spikes well. These are very small businesses that can only handle very small volumes of calls. If you are looking for $.55 to $.70 per minute answering service, you are not being realistic because the small mom-and-pop shops are the exception, not the rule.

    If you really want a quality operation that can handle low, medium and high volume then you should expect to pay somewhere between $.80 and $1.00 per minute based on the call volumes that you send into your chosen answering service. Most answering service calls take a minute and half to process. So let s say you are paying $.90 per minute. This means that an answered call is going to cost you $1.35. Is that too much? Well, if you operate a law practice and a prospective DUI client is worth about $15,000 in legal fees then I would say it is a $1.35 well-spent. What if you are a plumbing contractor? The average after-hour emergency service repair is going to be billed around $300. So is it worth $1.35 to your business to capture a $300 sale? Of course it is.

    You should always strive to get the best value for whatever you spend your money on. But when you are shopping for answering service, don t consider price as the ONLY guideline for making a good decision. There are a number of other factors you should be discussing with your vendor:

    • How quickly do your operators answer my calls?
    • Where are your agents based (USA or overseas)?
    • Is there hold time? How much?
    • Do you offer custom message delivery?
    • What kind of reports can I get?
    • Do your operators sound professional, friendly and courteous?
    • Who do I contact if I need to make changes?
    • Can you handle a complicated on-call list of after-hours personnel?
    • And on, and on

    Look at the WHOLE picture not just price. Use price as a consideration but make sure you are getting a quality service that will properly represent your business.

    Comments

    About Brian Gabriel

    As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.


    How much should an answering service cost? Sound Telecom Blog #what #is


    #answering service pricing

    #

    Ok give it to me straight. How much should an answering service cost?

    Actually, this is a darn good question. But there is only one way to really answer it you must have your expectations set properly so that you understand my answer. You have to first decide what level of service you are looking for. Most everyone wants the best answering service in the world for next to nothing. I get that. But is that realistic?

    The other day, I spoke to a gentleman for almost 20 minutes. He wanted 24/7 live answering service support. He wanted all of his calls answered by a live person in 3 rings or less. He wanted little to no hold time ever on any of his calls and he wanted us to handle a very complicated emergency message relay involving several different people, email addresses and text message destinations. He finally told me that this critically important answering service would only be needed to handle about 15 to 20 calls per month. This was to be set up as a type of insurance policy to make sure that his new client (the one that was spending thousands of dollars a month on his services) was well taken care of. So I told the prospect I could provide that level of service for $45/month. He told me that my rates were outrageous and he hung up the phone on me. Clearly, this guy did not have realistic expectations.

    There are a couple of primary ways that answering services bill for their service by the call or by the minute. We bill by the minute so I will give you some general guidelines on per-minute pricing:

    Low quality buyer beware!

    Be careful Good services use these rates for VERY high volume customers (over 10,000 minutes monthly)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans (500 to 5,000 minutes per month)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans that are less than 500 minutes per month.

    I have come across several VERY SMALL operations that charge a per-minute rate between $.55 and $.70 per minute and provide very good service. But these telephone answering service operations are usually VERY SMALL operations. This means that you have a family-based business that works out of the basement of their home and they have about 30 to 50 answering customers. Yes, these services can provide great service to their 30 or 50 customers but these operations are NOT scalable for larger volumes. Further, they tend not to have any advanced technical features like, oh, text-to-cell message delivery. Also, they run into staffing issues quite frequently and cannot handle call spikes well. These are very small businesses that can only handle very small volumes of calls. If you are looking for $.55 to $.70 per minute answering service, you are not being realistic because the small mom-and-pop shops are the exception, not the rule.

    If you really want a quality operation that can handle low, medium and high volume then you should expect to pay somewhere between $.80 and $1.00 per minute based on the call volumes that you send into your chosen answering service. Most answering service calls take a minute and half to process. So let s say you are paying $.90 per minute. This means that an answered call is going to cost you $1.35. Is that too much? Well, if you operate a law practice and a prospective DUI client is worth about $15,000 in legal fees then I would say it is a $1.35 well-spent. What if you are a plumbing contractor? The average after-hour emergency service repair is going to be billed around $300. So is it worth $1.35 to your business to capture a $300 sale? Of course it is.

    You should always strive to get the best value for whatever you spend your money on. But when you are shopping for answering service, don t consider price as the ONLY guideline for making a good decision. There are a number of other factors you should be discussing with your vendor:

    • How quickly do your operators answer my calls?
    • Where are your agents based (USA or overseas)?
    • Is there hold time? How much?
    • Do you offer custom message delivery?
    • What kind of reports can I get?
    • Do your operators sound professional, friendly and courteous?
    • Who do I contact if I need to make changes?
    • Can you handle a complicated on-call list of after-hours personnel?
    • And on, and on

    Look at the WHOLE picture not just price. Use price as a consideration but make sure you are getting a quality service that will properly represent your business.

    Comments

    About Brian Gabriel

    As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.


    How much should an answering service cost? Sound Telecom Blog #answer #a


    #answering service pricing

    #

    Ok give it to me straight. How much should an answering service cost?

    Actually, this is a darn good question. But there is only one way to really answer it you must have your expectations set properly so that you understand my answer. You have to first decide what level of service you are looking for. Most everyone wants the best answering service in the world for next to nothing. I get that. But is that realistic?

    The other day, I spoke to a gentleman for almost 20 minutes. He wanted 24/7 live answering service support. He wanted all of his calls answered by a live person in 3 rings or less. He wanted little to no hold time ever on any of his calls and he wanted us to handle a very complicated emergency message relay involving several different people, email addresses and text message destinations. He finally told me that this critically important answering service would only be needed to handle about 15 to 20 calls per month. This was to be set up as a type of insurance policy to make sure that his new client (the one that was spending thousands of dollars a month on his services) was well taken care of. So I told the prospect I could provide that level of service for $45/month. He told me that my rates were outrageous and he hung up the phone on me. Clearly, this guy did not have realistic expectations.

    There are a couple of primary ways that answering services bill for their service by the call or by the minute. We bill by the minute so I will give you some general guidelines on per-minute pricing:

    Low quality buyer beware!

    Be careful Good services use these rates for VERY high volume customers (over 10,000 minutes monthly)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans (500 to 5,000 minutes per month)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans that are less than 500 minutes per month.

    I have come across several VERY SMALL operations that charge a per-minute rate between $.55 and $.70 per minute and provide very good service. But these telephone answering service operations are usually VERY SMALL operations. This means that you have a family-based business that works out of the basement of their home and they have about 30 to 50 answering customers. Yes, these services can provide great service to their 30 or 50 customers but these operations are NOT scalable for larger volumes. Further, they tend not to have any advanced technical features like, oh, text-to-cell message delivery. Also, they run into staffing issues quite frequently and cannot handle call spikes well. These are very small businesses that can only handle very small volumes of calls. If you are looking for $.55 to $.70 per minute answering service, you are not being realistic because the small mom-and-pop shops are the exception, not the rule.

    If you really want a quality operation that can handle low, medium and high volume then you should expect to pay somewhere between $.80 and $1.00 per minute based on the call volumes that you send into your chosen answering service. Most answering service calls take a minute and half to process. So let s say you are paying $.90 per minute. This means that an answered call is going to cost you $1.35. Is that too much? Well, if you operate a law practice and a prospective DUI client is worth about $15,000 in legal fees then I would say it is a $1.35 well-spent. What if you are a plumbing contractor? The average after-hour emergency service repair is going to be billed around $300. So is it worth $1.35 to your business to capture a $300 sale? Of course it is.

    You should always strive to get the best value for whatever you spend your money on. But when you are shopping for answering service, don t consider price as the ONLY guideline for making a good decision. There are a number of other factors you should be discussing with your vendor:

    • How quickly do your operators answer my calls?
    • Where are your agents based (USA or overseas)?
    • Is there hold time? How much?
    • Do you offer custom message delivery?
    • What kind of reports can I get?
    • Do your operators sound professional, friendly and courteous?
    • Who do I contact if I need to make changes?
    • Can you handle a complicated on-call list of after-hours personnel?
    • And on, and on

    Look at the WHOLE picture not just price. Use price as a consideration but make sure you are getting a quality service that will properly represent your business.

    Comments

    About Brian Gabriel

    As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.


    How much should an answering service cost? Sound Telecom Blog #cryptic #clue


    #answering service pricing

    #

    Ok give it to me straight. How much should an answering service cost?

    Actually, this is a darn good question. But there is only one way to really answer it you must have your expectations set properly so that you understand my answer. You have to first decide what level of service you are looking for. Most everyone wants the best answering service in the world for next to nothing. I get that. But is that realistic?

    The other day, I spoke to a gentleman for almost 20 minutes. He wanted 24/7 live answering service support. He wanted all of his calls answered by a live person in 3 rings or less. He wanted little to no hold time ever on any of his calls and he wanted us to handle a very complicated emergency message relay involving several different people, email addresses and text message destinations. He finally told me that this critically important answering service would only be needed to handle about 15 to 20 calls per month. This was to be set up as a type of insurance policy to make sure that his new client (the one that was spending thousands of dollars a month on his services) was well taken care of. So I told the prospect I could provide that level of service for $45/month. He told me that my rates were outrageous and he hung up the phone on me. Clearly, this guy did not have realistic expectations.

    There are a couple of primary ways that answering services bill for their service by the call or by the minute. We bill by the minute so I will give you some general guidelines on per-minute pricing:

    Low quality buyer beware!

    Be careful Good services use these rates for VERY high volume customers (over 10,000 minutes monthly)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans (500 to 5,000 minutes per month)

    Market rate you should expect to pay this rate for most usage plans that are less than 500 minutes per month.

    I have come across several VERY SMALL operations that charge a per-minute rate between $.55 and $.70 per minute and provide very good service. But these telephone answering service operations are usually VERY SMALL operations. This means that you have a family-based business that works out of the basement of their home and they have about 30 to 50 answering customers. Yes, these services can provide great service to their 30 or 50 customers but these operations are NOT scalable for larger volumes. Further, they tend not to have any advanced technical features like, oh, text-to-cell message delivery. Also, they run into staffing issues quite frequently and cannot handle call spikes well. These are very small businesses that can only handle very small volumes of calls. If you are looking for $.55 to $.70 per minute answering service, you are not being realistic because the small mom-and-pop shops are the exception, not the rule.

    If you really want a quality operation that can handle low, medium and high volume then you should expect to pay somewhere between $.80 and $1.00 per minute based on the call volumes that you send into your chosen answering service. Most answering service calls take a minute and half to process. So let s say you are paying $.90 per minute. This means that an answered call is going to cost you $1.35. Is that too much? Well, if you operate a law practice and a prospective DUI client is worth about $15,000 in legal fees then I would say it is a $1.35 well-spent. What if you are a plumbing contractor? The average after-hour emergency service repair is going to be billed around $300. So is it worth $1.35 to your business to capture a $300 sale? Of course it is.

    You should always strive to get the best value for whatever you spend your money on. But when you are shopping for answering service, don t consider price as the ONLY guideline for making a good decision. There are a number of other factors you should be discussing with your vendor:

    • How quickly do your operators answer my calls?
    • Where are your agents based (USA or overseas)?
    • Is there hold time? How much?
    • Do you offer custom message delivery?
    • What kind of reports can I get?
    • Do your operators sound professional, friendly and courteous?
    • Who do I contact if I need to make changes?
    • Can you handle a complicated on-call list of after-hours personnel?
    • And on, and on

    Look at the WHOLE picture not just price. Use price as a consideration but make sure you are getting a quality service that will properly represent your business.

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    About Brian Gabriel

    As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.