By Adam C. Uzialko, business.com Writer | Updated May 19, 2020
Ansafone Contact Centers offers both answering services and call center services, with a variety of plans and features to suit a wide range of business needs. Ansafone creates custom programs for its clients, including both inbound and outbound services. Live answering is available around the clock at each of Ansafone's contact centers, which are located in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida and California.
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Answering service pricing varies by call volume and level of service required. We obtained a quote from Ansafone for a hypothetical business that received roughly 500 minutes' worth of calls each month and needed message taking, basic customer service (such as answering FAQs) and order taking.
For a 500-minute plan, we were quoted $410 per month, which works out to a rate of 82 cents per minute, with an overage rate of 83 cents per minute. Ansafone also quoted us a $35 setup fee for one hour of initial programming, along with a $10 monthly per-location fee for use of its basic online client portal. It also provided estimates for other plans in case our business required an upgrade or downgrade based on changes in call volume:
- Plan A: $90 per month for 90 minutes with an overage rate of 90 cents per minute
- Plan B: $245 per month for 275 minutes with an overage rate of 85 cents per minute
- Plan C: $410 per month for 500 minutes with an overage rate of 83 cents per minute
- Plan D: $675 per month for 850 minutes with an overage rate of 81 cents per minute
- Plan E: $775 per month for 1,000 minutes with an overage rate of 80 cents per minute
Ansafone's plans run month to month, with no long-term contractual obligations. The setup fee may depend on the services you require. All plans include text and email delivery of any messages taken by Ansafone, as well as local call forwarding. For extra fees, you can select add-ons, including a secure HIPAA- and PCI-compliant web portal, a premier client portal with reporting, fax delivery, an auto-attendant and IVR tree, live transfer and call patching, and bilingual service.
If you require a plan that isn't listed above, Ansafone offers custom plans and pricing based on your needs and call volumes. To get an estimate for a custom plan, contact a company sales representative.
Call Center Features
Ansafone offers a strong selection of call center services, including outbound services that many other companies in our review don't perform. These are some of the key call center services Ansafone offers:
- Sales and product support: Ansafone's call center can manage your company's sales calls, as well as callers who are looking for help using your product or interested in learning more about it.
- Technical support: Ansafone offers Tier 2 support to callers who need technical assistance, such as help with software implementation or troubleshooting.
- Complaint hotline: Ansafone agents are equipped to handle complaints from callers in a way that assuages their concerns and keeps your business looking professional.
- Customer care and retention: In the event your potential or past customers are no longer interested in your service, Ansafone agents can engage in win-back and retention activities. This feature also helps prevent the loss of current customers.
- Telemarketing: Ansafone is one of the few call centers that engages in cold calling, attempting to drum up new leads for your business without a list of collected names and contact information.
- Market research: Understanding customers is key to success. Ansafone agents can gather data for you, such as by conducting customer satisfaction surveys.
- Social media monitoring: In addition to managing the phones, Ansafone agents can monitor your company's social media accounts, engaging users and moderating comments accordingly.
For all our call center service recommendations, visit our best picks page.
Answering Service Features
Ansafone works with your business to develop a custom plan that suits your specific needs. These plans include a variety of services in a monthly subscription price and package of minutes. Each service counts toward your total minute usage, so, generally, the more services you require, the more minutes you will use each month. These are some of the key answering services Ansafone offers:
- Live answering: Agents are available to answer phone lines 24/7/365.
- Message taking: Ansafone agents will take down a caller's name and contact information and the reason they called, and forward that message to you or a point of contact in your business by text, email or web portal.
- Order taking: Agents can walk through a caller's order with them and place it in your e-commerce store.
- Appointment setting: Callers can set appointments, which agents will automatically put on your preferred calendar tool.
- FAQs: Armed with a list of up to 20 questions and answers you provide, agents can field the most common questions from callers without alerting you to each one.
- Call forwarding: If a caller reaches an agent with an urgent or complex matter that requires your company's individual attention, the agent can forward the call to any phone number you provide.
The specific services your company needs, as well as the script or guidelines agents will use for your company, are determined with an intake form and a kickoff call when you are onboarded with Ansafone. You can alter the agents' script at any time by contacting the company with updates or requested changes.
Ansafone bills in 12-second increments, meaning it rounds up the time agents spend on your calls to the nearest 12 seconds. If an agent spends two minutes and 15 seconds on a call, that time would be charged to your account as two minutes and 24 seconds. Incremental billing is common in the answering service industry, and it can quickly eat into your minutes.
Moreover, Ansafone charges for agent work time, or the time an agent spends working on your account after a call. This includes activities like taking notes, forwarding a message or anything else an agent might need to do after disconnecting from the call. Many companies bill in increments and charge for agent work time, but it's a cost factor to be aware of when you're selecting a plan.
Ansafone also charges additional fees for some features that often come standard in other services. For example, it charges $35 per month for a client portal with detailed reports, as well as an additional fee for bilingual support. If you add on features beyond simple message taking and customer support, there could be associated charges on your bill each month. Ansafone's proposal clearly spells out which fees are not included in the base price and which charges would recur monthly.
Our customer service experience with Ansafone was satisfactory. The representative we spoke to was thorough and forthcoming. When we received the proposal, we were not surprised by any of the details, as the representative explained the service well and prepared us for what to expect. The representative also walked us through the typical onboarding process and made good recommendations for starting small and growing into the service, rather than purchasing a large plan with a lot of add-ons from the beginning. The representative was not pushy or overly salesy and promptly followed up with the additional resources we requested, including a proposal and breakdown of pricing.
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