Each month your answering service invoice arrives and hopefully it all makes sense before you pay it. Here are some things that the invoice from your answering service should include.
First, your answering service should be sending you timely invoices each month. They should arrive roughly the same time month in and month out with plenty of opportunity to pay before any late fees are assessed. Whether you receive your answering service invoice via mail, email, or through an online portal, paying your bill should be a pretty straightforward task.
Now, let’s make sense of what you see once you have a look at your answering service invoice. It is typical for an answering service to charge a base rate for the month prior to your invoice date. Your base rate normally includes x number of minutes based on how your answering service plan was set up and how many minutes you usually use in a month, sort of like some cell phone plans. Then, any overage minutes you used beyond that base rate (if any) will be indicated and charged at small rate per minute.
If it is your first month of service, there may be an account set up fee indicated on your invoice. Some answering services will act as a virtual receptionist and transfer calls to the right person in your office. There may be a call patching fee associated there, so be sure to keep an eye out for that if your business answering service provides that feature for you. Another thing to be on the lookout for is any holiday charges. There are some answering services that will charge you an inflated rate for the calls they handle on big holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving. This is a way to offset the extra pay they must provide their employees for working those holidays.
No matter what, your answering service invoice should clearly spell out exactly what you are being charged for. There should be no hidden fees or areas where you are getting nickled and dimed to death. If you have any questions about your bill, you should call up their customer service department and get them answered. And if you’d like to audit your answering service bill, you can have them send you the usage reports. Perhaps you’ll even discover some ways you can make your answering service more efficient through better scripting or message routing so you can decrease your monthly bill.
A good answering service is your business partner. They must keep pace with your business and even help increase conversion rates along with providing phenomenal customer service to both your callers and you. Delivering a timely and accurate invoice is just part of the way they should be serving you.