BPO American is our best pick for a customizable answering service. It offers both answering services and call center services, as well as a unique instant activation option that can get you up and running on the same day you sign up. BPO American has six different pricing plans for various call volumes and can develop custom packages for clients with specific needs. It also offers a three-day, full-featured free trial following instant activation.
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Answering Service Features
BPO American offers an easy-to-use instant activation service, with an online tool that automatically builds out a script based on how you fills out a series of required fields. You can immediately get up and running with the instant activation, which allows for basic answering services. You can add on other common services like appointment setting, live web chat and order taking. All calls are answered by BPO American agents in the company's South Carolina-based call center.
- Live answering: BPO American offers 24/7/365 live answering by agents who work off scripts generated based on details you provide. Agents can answer basic questions, capture caller information, transfer calls and take messages for your business.
- Order taking: BPO American agents can help callers navigate e-commerce platforms and create new orders, reducing the risk of cart abandonment or customer confusion.
- Transfers: Live transfers can be set up so that agents can directly transfer a call to the relevant party if a caller needs to speak to a member of your organization.
- Lead capture: BPO American allows you to set five custom questions to ask callers in order to obtain lead information. You can change these questions and other details, such as your script for agents, on the fly in the client portal.
- Appointment setting: You can add appointment setting to your answering services so agents can automatically schedule appointments on a digital calendar and alert you when a new appointment has been set.
- Email response: BPO American offers email management services and will respond to email inquiries as well as phone calls.
- Web chat: BPO American can implement live chat features on your homepage so customers can ask questions of an agent directly on your company's website.
Call Center Features
BPO American's call center features expand on the answering service to include complaint handling and full-scale customer service. Call center agents can also make outbound calls on your company's behalf and engage in market research such as surveys and polls. These are some of BPO American's key call center services:
- Sales: Inbound call center agents can act as your company's sales department, handling all sales inquiries and helping customers start the buying process.
- Technical support: BPO American call center agents offer Tier 1 technical support to customers who need assistance troubleshooting your products or software.
- Upselling and cross-selling: BPO call center agents are trained in upselling and cross-selling to boost your sales and increase revenue.
- Lead generation: The call center agents can generate new leads and drum up business for you.
- Market research: Market research, including polls and surveys of your customers during both inbound and outbound calls, is available through BPO American's call center services.
- Database scrubbing: If you have a database or list of contacts, you can employ BPO American's call center agents to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
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BPO American offers six main answering service plans, starting at $29 per month and topping out at $369 per month. Custom packages are available for clients with more specific needs. There is no setup fee for answering services, and all plans run month to month with no penalty for cancellation. BPO American's answering service plans are as follows:
- Plan A: $29 per month includes 25 minutes with text message delivery, email delivery, transfers and a $1.09 per-minute overage rate.
- Plan B: $89 per month includes 75 minutes with all the features of Plan A plus online reporting, with a 95 cent per-minute overage rate.
- Plan C: $109 per month includes 100 minutes with all the features of Plan B and a 90 cent per-minute overage rate.
- Plan D: $139 per month includes 125 minutes with all the features of Plan C, with an 85 cent per-minute overage rate.
- Plan E: $229 per month includes 250 minutes with all the features of Plan D, with an 80 cent per-minute overage rate.
- Plan F: $369 per month includes 425 minutes with all the features of Plan E, with a 75 cent per-minute overage rate.
Call center services require a special quote from a company sales representative and a $750 setup fee. For our hypothetical business, we required about 6,000 minutes of call center services per month, which BPO American offered at a competitive rate of 80 cents per minute. Including the $750 setup fee (which covers scripting, agent training and technology setup), the total initial cost came to $5,500. Unused minutes roll over month to month and never expire, unless you are inactive for six months. All service is month to month and can be canceled with no fees. BPO American bills in one-second increments, which means calls are never rounded up to the nearest minute and you only pay for time that is used. This is superior to the industry standard of six-second billing increments.
We were also offered a monthly billing option, which demanded less upfront expense but charged a higher per-minute rate. That option included a monthly minimum of $2,000 for 2,105 minutes per month, plus the $750 setup fee. The per-minute rate came to a high 95 cents.
BPO American's call center services require a relatively steep setup fee, which can make upfront costs a bit high. However, setup fees vary based on the complexity of your needs, so more straightforward businesses might find that BPO American's setup fee is lower than the one in the proposal we received for our hypothetical business. The answering services do not include call recording, which is an $89 monthly charge on top of the monthly subscription, as well as a one-time setup fee of $100. Services like live web chat and email management are not included in the subscription price either and represent additional fees.
Our customer service experience with BPO American was positive. While the representative we worked with was not overly friendly, he was extremely helpful and responsive, and he followed up with additional information immediately upon request. We received a detailed proposal that the representative walked through with us, but he never pushed us to make a buying decision. Even after we expressed that we were not yet ready to subscribe to a service, he remained fully engaged and helpful in each of our interactions. He broke down the pricing model and explained clearly when additional fees would be incurred if we added on services such as call recording and detailed monthly reports.
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