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Calculating Virtual Receptionist Minutes

So here's a question, we're thinking about using Ruby Receptionists, Answer 1, Vicky Virtual, etc. etc. Some sort of virtual receptionist/scheduling service. But I haven't even the slightest idea where to begin calculating how many minutes we would use to know what tier or type of plan we should get. Last few months, we've averaged 2,000 minutes on incoming phone calls. But obviously, only a very small percentage of those minutes would/should be handled by a receptionist. Most of it was discussions about cases with clients, etc. etc. But should we budget 5% of that time? 15? Translating total minutes used into total receptionist minutes is something I can't seem to wrap my brain around.


  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    Start with the number of calls. Depending on your call instructions, my guess is you'll average 1–2 minutes of receptionist time per call.

  • Adam LillyAdam Lilly Cumming, Georgia

    It's all about the number of calls. I would definitely go more towards the 2 minute side, but that may just be my script.

  • Hrm, so going with 2 minutes per call, we'd need about 600 minutes of receptionist time. Yikes, maybe it's just because we're a non-profit practice with fairly tight margins, but I'm not sure how anyone affords virtual receptionists at those prices!

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    Ruby calculates the average call at about 1.5 minutes. Either way (1.5 or 2) would have you paying about $990 per month with Ruby. If you think you can hire someone else to answer your phones for less money, then that is what you should do. Or if you have calculated that it is cheaper for you to answer your phones yourself, go for it.

  • MajayMajay Union City, CA

    One thing that I love about my current service - and apparently I'm turning into an advocate for it since I'be been so happy with them - is that during their free trial, they allow you to live-monitor the minutes you're using and then work with you to recommend the most cost efficient package there is. A good virtual receptionist company will use a few more minutes each month than a poor quality one, but the overall positives and negatives balance out when you're going with a service like Abby Connect (that's the one we're using).

    As a side note - I'd stay away from Vicky and Answer1. Their receptionists work out of their homes and coffee shops, from what I've noticed when calling.

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