An increasing number of savvy small business owners are recognizing that outsourcing their telephone answering services in the form of an off-site receptionist is an excellent way to control costs and enhance customer service without the headaches of hiring an employee. However, before taking this step it is important to assess an accurate value for such a service so you can budget realistically.
Unlike an old-fashioned telephone answering service, a modern-day off-site receptionist (sometimes called a virtual receptionist or remote receptionist), provides a wide range of services including live telephone answering, real-time call connections, appointment scheduling, order placement, seminar registrations and more. In fact, the core philosophy of these companies differ from an answering service in that they consider themselves YOUR employee for that phone call, and not the third-party service associated with after-hours calls to the doctor’s office.
So, what is the true value of an off-site receptionist and how does it compare with hiring a receptionist to work at your location? Here are some estimated costs associated with hiring that employee including some not so obvious ones you will want to consider. According to Salary.com, the median cost of hiring a receptionist is as follows:
Benefit Median Amount % of Total?
Base Salary; $33,787; 67.4%?
Bonuses; $394; 0.8%?
Social Security; $2,615; 5.2%?
401k / 403b; $1,231; 2.5%?
Disability; $342; 0.7%?
Healthcare; $5,722; 11.4%?
Pension; $1,572; 3.1%?
Time Off; $4,470; 8.9%?
Total; $50,132; 100%
Source: HR Reported data as of March 2009