Smith.ai vs. Back Office Betties: Live Answering Service Comparison

Many business owners consider getting help from live answering services to run a more efficient operation. However, it can be difficult to find the right one to fit your needs. Do you need lead qualification? New client intake? Outbound calls? Discover the differences in features and benefits between Smith.ai and Back Office Betties virtual receptionists.

Setup fees, contracts & trials

Smith.ai

  • No setup fee

  • No contract

  • 30-day/10-call free trial (whichever comes first)

Back Office Betties

  • Setup fee ranges from $0 to $129

  • No contract

  • 7-day/250-minute free trial (whichever comes first)

Discussion: With Smith.ai, you never have to pay a setup fee. At Back Office Betties, however, the setup is only free with the premium $439/month plan. The lowest tier plan has a setup fee of $99, while the medium plan has a $129 setup fee.

Back Office Betties offers a 7-day/250-minute free trial period compared to Smith.ai's 30-day/10-call free trial period. If the average business call is five minutes, according to Invoca call intelligence research, that means you could test more calls with Back Office Betties (50 calls compared to 10), but keep in mind that this generous offer also leads into much more expensive monthly plan options once you do begin paying for the service. As you'll see below, Back Office Betties plans start at nearly $200/month compared to Smith.ai plans that start from $60/month.

Monthly plans

Here are the monthly plans offered by Smith.ai and Back Office Betties:

Smith.ai

  • $60 for 10 live receptionist calls and 1 live phone transfer

  • $150 for 30 live receptionist calls and 2 live phone transfers

  • $450 for 100 live receptionist calls and 5 live phone transfers

  • Custom plans available

Back Office Betties

  • $189 for 75 minutes and 3 employees

  • $349 for 150 minutes and 5 employees

  • $439 for 200+ minutes and unlimited employees

  • Custom plans available

Discussion: At Back Office Betties, the two lower tier plans limit how many receptionists are dedicated to your business. If your call volume increases due to a marketing campaign, only those individuals will be able to answer your calls. This doesn't give you much flexibility. An answering service should be able to move fluidly with your business and scale up with no delay as your call volume increases. Having dedicated receptionists means new receptionists must be trained before your higher call volume can be addressed. The result is either missed calls or calls that go to voicemail, or having to remember to coordinate with your receptionist service every time you add or change a marketing channel. It's yet another thing to keep track of and manage.

With Smith.ai, every receptionist is available to take your calls. Our receptionists use our proprietary software, which presents them with your greetings, custom messaging, and business FAQ, so that they can respond to your callers just as an in-house receptionist would, but without needing individual training. If your calll volume suddenly increases, more of our receptionists answer your calls. It's as simple as that.

Beyond offering better answering capacity, Smith.ai provides much more affordable plans than Back Office Betties. Recall that an average business call is five minutes. Back Office Betties charges about $2.40 per minute, on average, resulting in a $12 five-minute call. For that same five-minute call at Smith.ai, you’d only be paying about $1.20 per minute, on average. 

Let's say your calls are shorter, though, at just three minutes each. With Back Office Betties, you'd pay between $6.60 and $7.56 per call, depending on your plan tier. With Smith.ai, you'd pay $4.50 to $6.00 per call.

Moreover, when you pay per call and not per minute, you get a more predictable bill each month, and you can more easily tie your virtual receptionist calls to your business metrics. Meaning, it's easier to see how many calls answered by your receptionists resulted in new clients, so you can estimate the total cost of acquiring new clients. If you have multiple business numbers for your various marketing channels, you can even see which channels provided the best leads and the total new-client cost per channel. With per-minute pricing, you'll have to wrestle with the added variable of talk time.

Overage costs

Smith.ai

  • $6.00/call on the $60/month plan

  • $5.00/call on the $150/month plan

  • $4.50/call on the $400/month plan

Back Office Betties

  • $2.52/minute on the $189/month plan

  • $2.33/minute on the $349/month plan

  • $2.20/minute on the $439/month plan

Discussion: The overage prices for Back Office Betties were calculated based on the following statement from their website: “Additional minutes are prorated at your plan's per-minute rate.” This is how Smith.ai charges for overage, too — the per-call rate on overage is identical to the per-call rate for calls included in the plan. 

Features

Smith.ai and Back Office Betties both offer the following features:

  • Live answering service Monday through Friday
  • Custom script building

  • Outgoing calls

  • Live call transfers

  • Lead qualification

  • New client intake

  • Bilingual service available

 

Smith.ai has the following additional features:

 

Back Office Betties offers the following additional features:

  • Integration with Lexicata

  • No charge for calls under 15 seconds

 

Discussion: Smith.ai and Back Office Betties offer many similar services, and both companies go beyond the standard answering service features, with outbound calls, lead qualification, and new client intake services. However, some of Back Office Betties’ features, like appointment scheduling and payment processing, are only available on the more expensive plans. At Smith.ai, we give you the experience of an in-house receptionist no matter the size of your business. Our primary concern is helping you run a more efficient and profitable operation, even if you're a team of one. 

Additionally, while both Smith.ai and Back Office Betties receptionists are available to handle calls Monday through Friday, Smith.ai offers an extra hour of support, answering & returning calls until 6:00 p.m. PST instead of 5:00 p.m. PST.

You can also text status updates to your Smith.ai number if you want to temporarily change your call handling procedures. For example, if you're headed into a meeting for an hour, just text "DND" to your Smith.ai number and we won't attempt any live transfers. With Back Office Betties, you'd need to login to your client portal to change your settings.

Summary

Back Office Betties offers virtual receptionist services, but they focus their service on law firms. Thus, they do not have the flexibility — or capability — to serve other industries. At Smith.ai, however, our team is fully capable to handle calls for a range of different businesses, though we do serve many attorneys, as well. Our receptionists have backgrounds in various fields, including customer service, hospitality, and helpdesk support. Both Smith.ai and Back Office Betties put new receptionists through a rigorous two-week onboarding program before they're approved as new receptionists able to handle calls on their own.

With free setup and affordable monthly plans, Smith.ai is an excellent value and comprehensive service that easily grows with your business, no matter the size or industry.

Smith.ai client testimonial

Smitih.ai offers superior live answering services for law offices and more:

“I've used their services since 2015 and don't know how I could live without them now. A live person answers each call with the greeting I select, hands the call over to me with an introduction, and prepares a summary of each call sent by email… I have an IP boutique practice, so my new leads call with pretty much patent, trademark, or copyright needs. The Smith receptionists are better at classifying some lead's IP needs than the lead themselves. Smith.ai also screens out solicitors or anyone else I don't want to take calls from. It's all so customized that it feels as if I have a dedicated receptionist. The prices are super affordable, too. Highly recommended!”

- Scott Nyman, Nyman IP

Try Smith.ai for free

We’d love to show you how Smith.ai can help your small business. Contact us Monday through Friday between 6 AM and 6 PM PST at (650) 727-6484 or reach us by email at support@smith.ai, and we'll be happy to answer all of your questions. Ready to get started? Sign up for our 30-day/10-call free trial.



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