Smith.ai vs. Clementine: Live Answering Service Comparison

Business owners should never have to worry about missing customer calls.With many options for live answering services, running a business is easier than ever before. Learn the differences in features between Smith.ai and Clementine virtual receptionists to help you make your decision.

Setup fees & trials

Smith.ai

  • No setup fee

  • No contracts

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

Clementine

  • No setup fee

  • No contracts

  • Free two-week trial period

Discussion: Smith.ai and Clementine offer a free trial period to allow businesses to try the service before they buy. However, Smith.ai offers twice the length of a free trial period than Clementine, meaning you can better gauge your call volume and choose the plan that’s right for you. And, because we do not charge a setup fee, it’s even easier to get started with our services.

Monthly plans

Smith.ai and Clementine offer the following monthly plans:

Smith.ai

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

  • $150 for 30 calls and 2 live phone transfers

  • $450 for 100 calls and 5 live phone transfers

  • Custom plans available

Clementine

  • $49.99 for 40 minutes

  • $99.99 for 90 minutes

  • $149.99 for 150 minutes

  • $239.99 for 250 minutes

  • $449.99 for 500 minutes

  • $649.99 for 750 minutes

  • $849.99 for 1,000 minutes

  • Custom plans available

Discussion: At Smith.ai, we charge by the call, while Clementine charges per minute. When virtual receptionist services charge by the minute, it can often lead to more expensive and less predictable billing, since customers are billed not only for time spent on the call with the customer, but also wrap-up time while the receptionist writes notes after the call is completed. At Smith.ai, we offer affordable plans with per-call pricing for more predictable billing. Customers are never charged for spam, sales, or wrong-number calls.

Smith.ai and Clementine’s prices per call are pretty similar if your calls average around five minutes each, which is the average, according to the Invoca Call Intelligence Index. However, you can have a bit more flexibility and predictability of billing each month when you use Smith.ai. Because we charge per call and not per minute, our receptionists have more freedom to take as long as they need to resolve a customer concern, complete a new client intake, or handle other "long-call time" scenarios. It's these longer calls that really allow small businesses to take advantage of live answering services. Those one-minute calls don't throw off your work flow nearly as much as longer calls do. Let virtual receptionists handle these calls for you so you can work uninterrupted.

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

Clementine

  • $1.00/minute for plans up to 249 minutes
  • $0.90/minute for plans of 250 to 999 minutes
  • $0.88/minute for plans of 1000 to 1499 minutes
  • $0.85/minute for plans of 1500 minutes and beyond

Discussion: It’s important to know overage costs, because at some point, you're going to get more calls in a month than you predicted. At Smith.ai, we never penalize you for not perfectly predicting your monthly call volume (after all, how can you possibly know?). If you go over your calls, you’re still paying the same amount of money per call as the rate mapped out in your monthly plan. 

Features

Smith.ai and Clementine offer the following features with their live answering services:

  • Live call transfers

  • Appointment scheduling

  • Custom call handling procedures

  • Call summary reports

 

Smith.ai has the following additional features:

 

Clementine offers the following additional features:

  • Online client dashboard

  • HIPAA certified virtual receptionists

  • 24/7 live answering services

  • Dedicated agents for each business

 

Discussion: Clementine gives you a team of dedicated receptionists to handle your calls. While this may initially seem appealing, it's actually not in the best interest of the business. What happens if your call volume increases or there is inevitable staff turnover? Likely, there won’t be more receptionists available to answer calls immediately, because having dedicated receptionists for a business means training time, and that creates a lag between your needs and your receptionists' ability to address them.

At Smith.ai, each of our team members is equipped to handle calls from any business. Our proprietary software brings up all relevant information as soon as a caller dials your business number, so any receptionist can answer your calls with the scripts and knowledge they need to represent your business like an in-house receptionist would. Our software presents them with the right information at the right time.

Moreover, Smith.ai offers outbound calling for a much more complete service. We can call back leads who completed web forms, call clients with appointment reminders, provide work status updates, and much more. Sure, 24/7 answering services is nice to have for a few folks who call after hours, but for most businesses, the ability to offload outbound calling tasks is far more valuable on a regular basis.

Summary

At Smith.ai, each of our virtual receptionists comes with a background in customer service or hospitality, so you can rest assured that your calls are not simply being handled according to a script, but instead by real people who are well acquainted with American business etiquette, norms, and customs. We take our job seriously in representing your business and your reputation. Whether we're answering calls, returning calls, or simply providing detailed notes in post-call summaries, you can count on Smith.ai receptionists to be thorough and professional. With us, your business is in good hands.

Smith.ai client testimonial

Don't just take our word for it! Read what one Smith.ai client had to say about our quality of service and professionalism.

“[I] have used smith.ai for over a year and have been very impressed. Having a live answer phone service lifted our business to a professional level and gave our customers the confidence that they were dealing with a reputable company.”

- Craig DuAlba

Learn more about Smith.ai

Smith.ai virtual receptionists are trained to learn your business and build a relationship with your customers, just like an in-house receptionist. Discuss your options with us by calling (650) 727-6484 Monday through Friday between 6 AM and 6 PM PST. You can also reach us by email at support@smith.ai. Signing up for our 30-day/10-call free trial is a great way to get started.



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