89% of the organizations that offer "significantly above average" customer experiences are more successful financially than their competitors.

This indicates that excellent customer service is a brand differentiator that builds trust and increases customer retention.

So, businesses that want to grow should ensure high-quality support.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the benefits that answering services for small businesses carry, and provide the best agencies you can hire for more repeat purchases.

Let’s dive in!

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Top 10 Answering Service Providers For Small Businesses

These are the best answering services for small businesses that you can hire for more satisfied clients and repeat purchases:

#1: Abby Connect

Answering services for small businesses: Abby Connect
[Source: Abby Connect]

Abby Connect is a Las Vegas-based business answering service provider that offers bilingual receptionists, customized client intake and custom answering hours.

The agency can assist you with:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Call announcement and transfer
  • Custom transfer tunes
  • Voicemail solutions
  • Voicemail boxes and recordings
  • And more

Businesses can use their services during specific business hours or 24/7/365.

Some of the sectors the agency serves are legal, dental and accounting.

Pricing:

Abby Connect has three pricing structures:

  • 100 minutes ($279/month)
  • 200 minutes ($499/month)
  • 500 minutes ($1,089/month)

#2: Smith.ai

Answering services for small businesses: Smith.ail
[Source: Smith.ai]

Headquartered in California, Smith.ai offers superior call answering services. The company was founded by a team from Apple and Google.

They can offer omnichannel solutions, including:

Smith.ai serves small businesses across various industries like consulting, legal and automotive.

Pricing:

The agency offers four pricing plans:

  • Starter ($210/month for 30 calls)
  • Basic ($360/month for 60 calls)
  • Pro ($750/month for 150 calls)
  • Custom (inquire)

#3: VoiceNation

Answering services for small businesses: VoiceNation
[Source: VoiceNation]

VoiceNation is a Georgia-based company offering answering services for small businesses across a range of industries, including legal, medical, real estate and construction.

They have bilingual representatives and can provide 24/7 assistance for the following solutions:

  • Order processing
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Call patching
  • Live chat
  • Disaster recovery
  • Voicemail

Pricing:

VoiceNation has several pricing plans:

  • Basic ($49/month for 20 minutes)
  • Business ($99/month for 50 minutes)
  • Pro ($249/month for 150 minutes)
  • Executive ($449/month for 300 minutes)
  • Enterprise ($799/month for 600 minutes)

#4: Ruby

Answering services for small businesses: Ruby
[Source: Ruby]

Ruby serves as an extension to your in-house teams. Their job is to make the most out of every customer conversation.

The Oregon-based agency partners with small businesses across a range of industries like legal, healthcare, finance and education.

Some of their offerings include:

  • Call answering
  • Cal transfer
  • Text messaging
  • Appointment scheduling
  • And more

Pricing:

  • Call Ruby 100 ($319/month for 100 minutes)
  • Call Ruby 200 ($599/month for 200 minutes)
  • Call Ruby 350 ($999/month for 350 minutes)
  • Call Ruby 500 ($1,399/month for 500 minutes)

#5: AnswerFirst

Answering services for small businesses: AnswerFirst
[Source: AnswerFirst]

AnswerFirst is a Florida-based company, helping businesses provide better customer service and increase client satisfaction.

Their live services are available 24/7 and include:

  • Dispatching
  • Message taking
  • Appointment scheduling and reservations
  • Security monitoring
  • Voicemail
  • And more

The agency serves a range of industries, including healthcare, legal, manufacturing and information technology.

Pricing:

Contact AnswerFirst for custom pricing.

#6: GoAnswer

 GoAnswer website
[Source: GoAnswer]

Headquartered in New York, Go Answer provides professional services that help small businesses capitalize on every opportunity and lead that comes in their way.

The company can handle:

  • Call answering
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Outbound communication
  • Follow-ups
  • Order taking

They serve clients across different sectors like finance, education, government and hospitality.

Pricing:

GoAnswer pricing plans start at $50/month. To see all of their plans, you should ask for a free quote.

#7: Answering Service Care

Answering Service Care website
[Source: Answering Service Care]

Answering Service Care is a Florida-headquartered company serving clients in the medical, real estate, funeral and legal sectors.

They have bilingual operators who can provide you with business answering services 24/7.

Their key solutions include:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Email marketing
  • Disaster recovery
  • Custom on-hold music
  • On-call schedule
  • Call recording

Pricing:

Answering Service Care has six pricing plans:

  • Starter ($49 for 40 minutes)
  • Small business (149/month for 150 minutes)
  • Business ($229/month for 150 minutes)
  • Corporate ($449/month for 500 minutes)
  • Enterprise ($859/month for 1,000 minutes)
  • Supreme (3,899/month for 5,000 minutes)

#8: MAP Communications

MAP Communications website
[Source: MAP Communications]

Based in Virginia, MAP Communications offers professional live answering services for small businesses across a range of industries like transportation, hospitality, finance, government and property management.

The agency offers bilingual agents and 24/7 coverage. It can assist you with:

  • Disaster recovery
  • Message dispatch
  • On-call answering service
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Call routing
  • RSVP
  • Customized phone scripts
  • Free online tools AND reports

Pricing:

  • Standard ($39/month for 0 minutes)
  • Business ($149/month for 125 minutes)
  • Executive ($249/month for 225 minutes)

#9: AnswerConnect

AnswerConnect website
[Source: AnswerConnect]

AnswerConnect is an Oregon-based agency helping small businesses capture more leads and providing their customers with great service.

They offer 24/7 coverage to clients from different sectors, including healthcare, finance, eCommerce and legal.

The agency can assist you with:

  • Call answering
  • Call transferring
  • Message taking
  • Booking appointments
  • Qualifying leads

Pricing:

Contact AnswerConnect for a custom quote.

#10: AnswerForce

 AnswerForce website
[Source: AnswerForce]

Headquartered in Oregon, AnswerForce provides small businesses with professional call answering services.

Their industry-trained agents are available 24/7 and serve clients across a range of industries, including real estate, cleaning, IT, healthcare and legal.

The company can handle:

  • Live call answering
  • Web chat
  • Appointment setting
  • Order taking
  • Video calls
  • Outbound lead follow-up calls
  • And more

Pricing:

AnswerForce offers three pricing plans:

  • Intro ($129/month for 100 minutes)
  • Basic ($279/month for 200 minutes)
  • Best value ($299/month for 300 minutes)
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What Makes Answering Services For Small Businesses Unique?

Similarly to other business answering services on the market, answering services for small businesses handle inbound and outbound calls to help organizations:

  • Improve their customer service
  • Increase client satisfaction rates
  • Drive more repeated purchases

However, what makes these agencies different is their focus and experience in helping small and medium-sized businesses create meaningful, personal connections with their callers aiming to grow their list of clients.

Their offerings include:

  • Screening calls
  • Recording calls
  • Delivering messages
  • Taking orders
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Managing emergency calls
  • Processing outbound marketing campaigns
  • Providing customer service and technical support
  • Communicating with clients via text and email

For small business owners, making the best first impression can make all the difference.

This is where industry-trained call answering agents can come in handy, providing each caller with professional assistance while presenting your brand in the best light possible.

How Much Do Business Answering Services Cost?

There are a few factors that can influence the cost of answering services for small businesses:

  • The agency reputation and size
  • The time coverage
  • The number of services the business needs

Typically, these companies design their subscription plans based on per minute, per call and per month pricing.

Small and medium-sized businesses can come across prices starting at $30 and going up to a few hundreds of dollars per month.

Most of these agencies offer custom pricing, so these services may be cost effective, considering that organizations can pay based on the number of calls they receive.

How Can Small Business Answering Services Benefit You?

These are the key reasons to invest in answering services for small businesses:

#1: Cost Reduction

As your business grows, your expenses will increase. You’ll need to hire more people to perform various operations, including a receptionist to take care of your client communication.

However, considering that an in-house receptionist is worth about $2.800-$3,500 per month, outsourcing answering services can help you cut front desk-related costs.

If we calculate the cost for payroll taxes, sick days, holidays and office equipment, then it will go up.

These solutions will cost you between $30 and a few hundreds of dollars per month, allowing you to direct these savings towards other more important areas of your business.

A business answering service will give you all benefits a traditional receptionist would, at a fraction of the cost.

#2: Improved Business Efficiency

With several employees wearing many hats, it can be particularly difficult for small organizations to manage their client communication.

Responding to each call and email with professionalism can be a time-consuming process, especially if you receive a higher volume of calls.

Outsourcing business answering services can take this task off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on more value-added responsibilities and larger sales drivers.

This will reduce your workload and ultimately increase your business efficiency.

#3: High-Quality Customer Service

Unlike in-house receptionists who can assist your clients during working hours only, business answering service providers work 24/7/365, covering weekends and holidays.

They can increase your company responsiveness which is the key to maintaining a professional image and reinforcing strong customer relationships.

So, you won’t have to worry about missed calls or sales opportunities.

Additionally, these experts can ensure each caller receives high-quality support and personalized attention which contributes to enhanced customer service and increased satisfaction.

Why Choose Small Business Answering Services Over A Machine Reply

Sales calls are the lifeblood of every small business. When not answered properly, they can lead to missed opportunities.

Having said that, despite technology improvements and artificial intelligence, machines cannot replace the quality of service a live answering receptionist would provide.

And organizations need to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences to achieve their goals and drive business growth.

Though machines may be less expensive, customers prefer to talk with a human being.

Data supports this fact, and according to NICE inContact, agent-assisted methods of communication bring a higher level of satisfaction among customers.

The logic behind this may come down to the higher level of personalization that live agents can bring. It also allows callers to explain complex problems and lets agents gain better recognition of the callers’ emotions.

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How To Choose The Best Business Answering Service Provider For Your Needs

To choose the best business answering service provider for your small business, consider the following aspects:

  • Industry experience: Find out if the prospective companies have agents trained to serve your specific industry. This is important because experienced representatives will have a wider knowledge of your customer groups. They will better understand the callers’ needs and provide relevant answers to their questions while representing your brand in the best light possible. On the other hand, agents that have no previous experience in your sector will take longer to learn the ins and outs of your market and the FAQ your clients may have.
  • Call recording: Learn if the best answering services for small businesses on our list offer call recording. This is a vital process that will ensure important client info is collected. However, call recording is also beneficial in making certain that your agents are meeting your quality standards as well as in protecting your business just in case any legal issues come along the way.
  • Service quality: Discover how each prospective company can ensure the quality of its services. Customer support can make or break your business, so this is a key step to take to make certain your partner delivers exceptional service. Most reputable companies will have their own internal call evaluation programs and follow certain processes focusing on courtesy, response time and accuracy.
  • Bilingual receptionists: Learn which business answering service providers have access to bilingual resources. Consider that Spanish is the most common foreign language in the U.S. and some Hispanics are not fluent in English. This highlights the fact that you need to have Spanish-speaking agents handling your calls to ensure effective communication.
  • Analytical reports: Make sure you only consider answering services for small businesses that can offer monthly reporting. Analytical reports matter in collecting key data of your customers like their names, emails and phone numbers that you can use for sales purposes. Additionally, they are also useful in understanding how well your agents are performing as they can give you valuable info on their average response time, number of solved issues and more.

10 Questions To Ask Answering Services For Small Businesses Before Hiring One

  1. Which industries are your agents trained to serve?
  2. What tools and technologies do you use to handle customer communication?
  3. Where are your agents located and what is their level of experience?
  4. Do you have bilingual resources?
  5. What is the time coverage you can offer?
  6. What is your emergency backup plan?
  7. Will I receive performance reports? Which metrics will you track?
  8. How closely will you collaborate with my team?
  9. How much will you charge me?
  10. Will we sign a contract? Can I see the terms before signing it?

Takeaways On Business Answering Services

Answering services for small businesses can help startups and medium-sized companies improve their client satisfaction and drive more repeat purchases.

Their solutions may cost you between 30 and a few hundred dollars per month.

The benefits of investing in business answering services are:

To choose the best agency for your organization, consider these factors:

  • Industry experience
  • Call recording
  • Service quality
  • Bilingual receptionists
  • Analytical reports
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