What’s The Cheapest Answering Service in 2024?

The cheapest answering service plans range from $39/month – $139/month, or between $1.30 to $1.39 a minute of operator time used.

For businesses looking to hire an answering service without spending a lot of money upfront, this guide will be of value. While there are a few ‘pay as you go’ options, base rates typically start at as little as $39 per month for a low-cost answering service if you’re dealing with a small volume of calls. Busier companies will end up paying more in total, but the higher the volume of calls you deal with, the more discounted you will find the prices on a per-call or per-minute basis.

Many factors affect how much you actually end up paying for an answering service. If you’re looking for the most affordable option, keep these points in mind while you are shopping:

  1. What calls need to be handled by the service, and which can be handled internally?
  2. What hours do you need coverage of your lines?
  3. What languages do you need to have available to your callers?
  4. What type of system do you need in place to have messages distributed to you or your team?

These are all factors that can affect the price. The higher the volume, obviously, the higher the cost, so if you ensure that you only use the service in scenarios where you need it, you can control your costs quite easily. 24-hour and multi-lingual services often come at a higher price but also allow you to reach a wider client base. Finally, more technologically advanced providers may charge higher rates, but the convenience factor of being able to manage scripts, messages, and call forwarding through a simplistic electronic portal more than makes up for the costs in many cases.

Three Tips to Getting the Cheapest Answering Service

Low Cost Answering Service Providers

Finding the most cost-effective answering service requires a balance between affordability and the quality of service provided. Here are three tips to help you secure a budget-friendly yet efficient answering service:

  1. Opt for Shared Agent Services: Shared agent services, where agents handle calls for multiple businesses, are generally more affordable than dedicated agent services. This option is cost-effective for small businesses or those with lower call volumes, as it allows you to pay only for the time the agents spend on your calls, rather than a full-time wage.
  2. Negotiate Flexible Plans Based on Call Volume: Look for answering services that offer flexible plans which can be tailored to your call volume. Some services offer plans where you pay per call or per minute, which can be more cost-effective for businesses with fluctuating call volumes. This way, you only pay for what you use, avoiding the expense of an unlimited plan that you may not fully utilize.
  3. Leverage Technology and Automation: Modern answering services often use technology and automation to reduce costs. Features like automated greetings, voicemail, and basic interactive voice response (IVR) systems can handle simple inquiries without human intervention. This reduces the number of live agent minutes you’re billed for, leading to lower overall costs. However, ensure that the level of automation aligns with your customer service standards and doesn’t negatively impact the caller experience.

These tips focus on reducing costs without sacrificing the effectiveness of the service. Remember, the cheapest option may not always provide the best value for your business, so it’s important to consider both cost and quality when choosing an answering service.

A bargain answering service will work with you to provide you with the exact package that you need to meet your needs. For instance, you may only need calls answered outside of your normal operating business hours. In that instance, a cheap answering service will ensure that you’re only paying to have calls handled during those hours – you pay for what you use in these scenarios, helping to save you money on the one hand and helping you to increase your profits via satisfied customers on the other.

What to Look for in a Low-Cost Phone Answering Service?

What To Look for in a Cheap Phone Answering ServiceThe first thing that you want to look for is a service that is flexible, and which will work with you as we have described above to find a plan that meets your needs exactly. What you should avoid are so-called, “bundled” or “package” services that include additional services and features that you might not really need at purported savings. Of course, if that type of package offers you exactly what you’re looking for, then you may have in fact stumbled upon a great deal. Just make sure that you never end up paying for a service that you don’t really need.

Next, you want to look for a company that has no or low minimum service commitments. For many companies in this industry, you pay for what you use only, but there may be a minimum threshold that you have to meet, otherwise, you have to pay the amount for that many calls regardless. Make sure this is low enough that you don’t end up paying for extra services that you’re not actually utilizing.

  • National Average Answering Service Cost: $1.39 per minute
  • Typical Billing Increments: Minimum 60 Seconds, then in 30-second increments
  • Average Cost For Holidays: A fee of $15 per National Holiday is generally charged.
  • Website Interface Fees: If the call center processes orders on your website a fee of up to $100/month may apply.
  • 24/7, Bilingual, Appointment Setting: These services are usually included at no extra cost.
Also, pay attention to what types of additional fees they may charge for after-hours or holiday services. If those are the times when you plan on relying on your answering service more frequently, you should focus on this particular pricing as opposed to the more generalized prices that a company lists.

Bargain 24/7 Answering Service Companies with Discounted Prices

Find The Cheapest Answering Service Company

Best Value Per Dollar Invested:

Our team reviewed 48 answering service companies across the US and found two companies that really stood out offering the best service for your money. In this review we looked at set-up fees, cost per minute, and added services such as order processing, appointment setting, and industry-specific solutions. While we suggest getting at least 4 quotes to compare, here are two of the best answering service companies you should consider in your search for a value-based solution:

Answer America LogoAnswer America: Answer America is a pay-as-you-go system, ensuring that you never have to pay for more than you use when hiring their service to field your calls. The minimum credit you need to purchase is industry-leading, with $30 being the minimum, with only one call minimum charge being assessed per month.

From that minimum credit, you will be charged a maximum of $1 per call that the company fields for you. Of course, if you opt for a larger package because you have a greater call volume coming in, you may be able to get your rates down as low as $.75 per call. The real affordability of Answer America comes in the fact that they don’t charge any monthly service fees, or delivery fees, or assess any additional surcharges on top of their basic rates.

PCMSI LogoAnsafone: Ansafone stands out as a budget-friendly answering service provider, offering some of the most competitive rates in the industry. Their monthly base rate starts at $139, which is notably less expensive than what many of their competitors charge. For those looking to obtain a precise estimate tailored to their specific service needs, Ansafone provides an easy solution. By visiting their website, you can quickly fill out a straightforward form to receive a complimentary quote that accurately reflects the services you need.

Telephone Answering Services Don’t Need to be Expensive

As you can see, with a little careful shopping you can find a very inexpensive answering service that will meet your needs perfectly. Just take the time to do some research and to carefully identify how you see the service fitting into your current business operations, and you should be able to find an excellent fit at a reasonable price.

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