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Can Your Small Business Afford A Call Answering Service? - PATLive - Blog

Can Your Small Business Afford A Call Answering Service?

We know better than anyone that small businesses often come with tight budgets, even as you’re starting to grow. You may be swamped with expenses that you never considered before starting up your own venture like invoicing software, liability insurance, and even pest control for your office if you have one. 

A small budget quickly gets pulled in a million different directions, and that’s before adding on “optional” costs like training, marketing, and employee perks that aren’t actually all that optional.

We understand, therefore, that many small businesses are struggling to manage the incoming calls they’re receiving but assume that they can’t afford a call answering service to help them pick up the slack.

So can your small business afford a call answering service?

While there are several factors that can impact this, the resounding answer is typically “yes.” In this post, we’re going to look at what to consider when deciding if your business can afford a call answering service, including the costs of the alternatives that you’d likely fall back on instead.

How Much Do Call Answering Services Actually Cost? 

Call answering service costs can vary dramatically, and it’s always important to choose a high-quality service. Customer service, after all, should be a priority for all small businesses; it’s not an area where you want to cut corners and suffer the loss of customers as a result.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great, reliable, high-quality call answering services that are also affordable. Many of these services will offer flexible plans, allowing you to use what you need and only that. Services like PATLive, for example, allow you to go month-to-month with no contract, and to be charged only for what you need. 

For example, take a look at our pricing structure. Our plans start at only $39 per month for a pay-as-you-go plan that acts as insurance in the event you’re not able to answer a call or it comes in after hours. If you have an idea of how much call volume you plan to route to an answering service, you may opt for a plan that has included minutes and comes with additional benefits like call transfers and lead collection. 

It’s a good idea to opt into tiered pricing models that reflect your current needs. You can choose a plan based on the features you need and the number of minutes you estimate using. The benefits of a tiered plan that allows for the purchasing of additional minutes, too, can save you money; you don’t automatically need to jump from $269 to $399 per month if you happen to need 201 minutes of call time instead of 200. 

With services like PATLive, you can change your plan as you need it. If you have a slow season, for example, you could downgrade your plan, and scale up again as needed. And if you only host an event once a year, you can upgrade your plan to include order processing or event registrations during the time period you need it, and then scale back again. This works for businesses of all sizes during all seasons of the year, and it starts at just $39 per month as a baseline.

Comparing Costs vs. Cost Savings & Profit Opportunities 

Plenty of businesses might see the cost of an answering service and think “well we just don’t need an additional cost”. Before you do this, though, it’s important to consider what you can save and gain by working with an affordable call answering service. These factors can absolutely determine whether or not you can afford to hire one.

There are two main factors to consider here. Let’s look at both. 

In-House Receptionist Costs 

Many small businesses will rely on in-house receptionists if they choose not to hire call answering services. 

In-house receptionists are great, but they do come with significant added costs. And while call answering service costs may seem a little pricey at first, they pale in comparison to the cost of an employee.

The average in-house receptionist salary is around $27,000 per year, but it can go up to $43,000 a year or more. You’ll be paying the base salary, plus employee taxes, potential health benefits for full-time employees, and the costs of added desks, employee accounts, and more. If your receptionist is paid hourly, you may need to worry about holiday pay and overtime, too.

When you compare this to our most high-priced base plan of $999 per month (amounting to $12,000 per year), the cost savings are clear. 

Even with all of these costs, your receptionist will go home once their shift is over, take weekends off, and have sick leave and vacation. And since customers call on all days and at all hours of the day, sticking with in-person receptionist results in a lost opportunity cost. Which brings us to factor two…

The Lost Opportunity Cost 

If you don’t answer the phone when a potential lead calls or customer calls, you may have missed your chance with them all together. Plenty of customers won’t call back and instead may even reach out to a competitor.

This is a huge risk of lost opportunity costs. Every call that you miss might be a customer that could have converted, eating into your profit before you know it.

With 24/7 coverage from an answering service, however, that is something that you don’t need to worry about. Whenever someone calls and your team isn’t able to answer it directly, we will. Agents can utilize personalized call handling instructions to let help the customer however possible, even if it’s assuring them that someone will be in touch promptly. 

Think about all the calls you might miss during off-hours, when your receptionist is at lunch, or even when they’re on the phone with someone else. That’s a lot of potential customers that you may be missing. 

All small businesses are different, and each one has its own unique needs and budget considerations. As a result, there isn’t one right answer for every business, but in our experience, many small business owners benefit greatly in cost savings and profit gains when working with call answering services.

Keep in mind that plenty of answering services allow you to do a free trial to see how it works for you. This can help you ensure that you’re comfortable with the decision, that the service is right for you, and that your customers are happy. Win-win for everyone involved.


Publish Date: July 15, 2020 5:00 AM

2020 Buyers Guide Outsourced Contact Center Services

Page: 123
2P Perfect Presentation

Customer Experience Services
Outsourced contact center services It is one of the most important service that provided by "2P" and specialize to provide services for the establishment and operation of contact centers, customer service and Customer Experience, the most important services provided by this unit are:

• Establish, manage and operate call centers and supply the required systems and applications.
• Customer Feedback Technology
• Social Account Management System (customer interaction, reports, marketing and e-publishing services)
• Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
• Artificial Intelligence Systems and Automation Services (AI & Automation)
• Business Intelligence Technologies and Performance...
(read more)
PH: +9661151099888

31 West Global Services

We offer after-hours, business hours & 24/7 customer support & help desk services. Over the last 17 years, we have helped 130+ small & mid-sized business companies across US & Europe.
PH: 877-262-5030

Abacus Cambridge Partners

Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries and business functions, Abacus works at the intersection of business and technology to help organisations meet their key priorities and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. Headquartered in the United Kingdom and offices in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt, Abacus has more than 800 global customers and over 2800 customer-focused employees working in 30+ countries.

We offer the following services:

Business Process Outsourcing
Customer Experience and Customer Relationship Management
Enterprise Resource Planning
AI & Robotic Process Automation
(read more)
PH: +44 (0) 207 397 8725

Advantage Communications

Our industry is changing fast, consumers want the best service and a seamless contact center customer experience. In response, we've re-invented our contact centers with next-generation technologies and new, improvements to customer service.

Conversational AI. IVR. 100% Natural Language. Operational Intelligence. Social Media Customer Support Services. ChatBots - all supported by our skilled contact center agents to make the customer experience better.

We're now ready to PowerUp your contact center customer service to new levels of excellence with our winning combination of people, passion, and technology.
Are You Ready?

American Help Desk

Help Desk Services
24/7/365, 100% US-based help desk, with phone, chat, sms and email capabilities as well as ticket and alert management/remediation services.
PH: 800-997-0977

Ameridial Inc.

Inbound customer service and sales support
With 25+ years of experience and stability, Ameridial offers clients an unparalleled record of providing reliable, cost-effective inbound and outbound live-voice solutions. We also offer click-to-call services, live chat, social media monitoring and IVR. Ameridial is headquartered in Canton, Ohio with nine call center locations in Ohio, Maine, and North Carolina. Specialists in: Healthcare, Communications, Direct Response TV and Radio, Non-profit. Results-based pricing.
PH: (866) 775-4755

Ballena Media

Business Process Outsourcing
Ballena Media provides near-shore Business Process Outsourcing for Contact Center services to companies seeking to improve quality and efficiency while saving 30% to 40 % for similar services in the U.S. The company’s value proposition is based on its long term relationship with clients showing it can meet or exceed any metrics performed whether in-house or outsourced.
-Contact Center Services
-Customer Service Support
-Sales Support
-Web Data Collection
-Telephone Data Collection
-Data Services
-Infrastructure Design
-Workforce Support
-And More
24/7 coverage, always finding the best solution for your business
PH: (760) 338-7057

Bgcomm Contact Solutions

Our Professional Services cuts across multiple verticals and horizontals. Our services cater to both the Private and Public sectors, providing the technology and resources in the transformation and improvements of our clients’ people, processes, and profits.
PH: +1 213-660-2066

Boomerang Marketing SA

BPO, Financial and Customer Services
Boomerang SA provides BPO, Financial and Customer Services. We are an Outbound Contact Centre with a proficiency of selling Short and Long Term Insurance products, as well as cross-selling Value Added Products. We provide Inbound Customer Services to the International Market. We service both B2B and B2C sectors, ranging from but not limited to Lead Generation, Appointment Setting, and a full sales spectrum.
PH: +27216738100

CallNovo Contact Center

Multilingual Customer Service
Inbound and outbound customer service/after sales support is the two general types of call center services offered globally by Callnovo. Inbound services are performed by reps who field calls from customers. Outbound reps make calls to customers to follow up on or inquire about account issues.

Regardless if you are looking for a telephone, email, live chat or email customer service/after sales support, Callnovo outsourcing call center team is right here to help. With more than 10 years’ experience, Callnovo one-stop multi-language customer service/after sales support call center team takes care of clients’ every single detailed customer service/after sales support need. We are happy to pr...
(read more)


CGS is a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning, and outsourcing services that support clients’ most fundamental business activities.

With optimized call center resources to serve global clients, CGS offers a unique hybrid approach through automation and live agents in its contact centers located in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Its AI-enriched chatbot and RPA technologies complement the customer support services provided by thousands of multilingual call center agents. CGS supports many of the world's industry-leading global brands from retail, hospitality, healthcare, technology, and telecom. The company's innovative, scalable and...
(read more)
PH: 1 (212) 408-3800

CLCA Call Direct

Virtual Assistant Services
Ensuring you have an efficient back office team is vital to running a reliable and cost-effective business. Our virtual PA services allow you to have either a live call answering solution that will transfer a call or take messages in absences or a non-voiced option for back-end operations meaning your business is always available to customers.

Your dedicated virtual PA will be matched to your business and your requirements and will answer any calls or emails with your company name and a tailored script that you will approve before our team take live calls.

This means that non-essential business or personal tasks are taking off your plate which can only benefit your essential business p...
(read more)
PH: 0333 600 5005


Conectys delivers a wide range of contact center services and call center outsourcing solutions. We service clients in over 35 languages from our locations in Romania, Belgium, Philippines, United States, Poland, Turkey, Portugal, and Taiwan as well as through a robust Work from Home team.

We speak English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Russian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and more – all for seamless communication across cultures.
PH: 646-381-1599

Connecta Center

- Prospecting, commercial appointments
- Collection
- Surveys
- Customer Care
- Technical Support
PH: 5222690888

Consilium Software

Consilium UniCare™ Professional Services
As technological change occurs at a faster pace than ever before, organization with the industry-leading Cisco contact center platform need to get outcomes quicker, better and more predictably. By bringing in the subject matter experts from Consilium's advanced professional services, you get unparalleled knowledge which has been trusted for over 33 years, consistency and a global footprint. Give your Cisco platform a turbo boost by investing in Consilium UniCare™ professional services when it is time to design, implement, upgrade, or add / optimize third-party integrations.
• Cisco UCCE, PCCE & UCCX design, implementation and upgrades
• Cisco CVP VXML application development with PCI compl...
(read more)


We specialize in all aspects of customer contact services:
• Customer Service
• Technical Support
• Employee Help Desk
• Customer Acquisition / Retention
• Order Processing / Administration
• Quality Monitoring
• Consulting
PH: 512-220-2200

CPM Group

Sales, Service and Support
Sales: Customer Acquisition, Lead Generation, Cross Sell, Retention, Intervention and Win-Back

Service: Care Lines, Customer Service, Product Recall and Data Breach Notification

Support: Analytics, Data Entry, Quality Assurance, Fulfilment, Receivables Management, Social Media Management and Mystery Shopping
PH: +61 3 9211 2300


Retention Outsource Services
Ec3 is an recognized boutique outsourcer based in Durban, South Africa. Focusing on client retentions, reactivations and cross-sales Ec3 has set the standard in outsourcingwith emphasis on guarding client data through rigorous systems and checks and balances.
Neutral English accents and only GMT+2 time zone means campaigns can be easily implemented worldwide. For quality standards, highest conversions and data integrity Ec3 has become the de facto standard for customer retentions through outbound voice, AVM and webchat.
PH: +279418000


Contact Centre Services
Our agents can supplement your existing contact centre by providing help with taking Secure Payment, donation requests, overflow and out-of-hours calls, IVR support, Web Chat and Social Media responses. We ensure your customer card data is completely secure, thanks to our PCI DSS compliant environment.

Unified Agent Desktop solution brings together disparate solutions into one user-friendly interface. It improves efficiency and enhances both the agent and customer experience.
PH: 01442 458300


EMS provides a complete offering of customer support services:
Inbound/Outbound Abilities
Email/Text Solutions
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
FAQ/Knowledge Base Maintenance
Live Chat
Preemptive Chat
Web Call Back/Co-Browsing Services
Social Networking
Forum Monitoring
Foreign Languages

Methods of communication and support can vary widely for each unique program. Different goals need to be addressed with different customer support strategies. Many of our clients take advantage of multiple support strategies to provide superior service for their end-users.
PH: 800-233-8811
Page: 123

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