Smith.ai vs. Business Connections: Live Answering Service Comparison

If your business needs help handling its call volume, choosing the right live answering service is crucial. You want to maintain a high level of quality customer service, even if you outsource receptionist services. Learn the differences in features, pricing, and quality of service between Smith.ai and Business Connections (a.k.a. BC Answer) virtual receptionists.

Setup fees & trials

Smith.ai

  • No setup fee

  • No contract

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

Business Connections

  • No setup fee

  • No contract

  • No free trial

Discussion: Both Smith.ai and Business Connections offer free setup and do not require you to sign a contract. However, with Smith.ai, you get to try our services for up to 30 days before you make a decision to start. We want to make you feel comfortable that our services are what your business needs. And you can cancel anytime without penalty. At Business Connections, however, you do not get to try before you buy.

Monthly plans

Smith.ai and Business Connections offer monthly plans, where you pay by the call.

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

Business Connections

  • $42.95 for 10 calls

  • $89.95 for 50 calls

  • $163.95 for 100 calls

  • $227.95 for 150 calls

Discussion: Business Connections offers less expensive plans than Smith.ai. However, when it comes down to the amount of features and services, and the fact that you get the experience of an in-house receptionist, Smitih.ai provides the option with higher ROI (return on investment). Our virtual receptionists take the time to learn the ins and outs of your business, so when they take your calls, the conversation will be organic, flow smoothly, and leave the caller feeling like they received the best treatment. There's no comparing this to the scripted, cold nature of cheaper services. If the call ends up in a new customer (or a delighted existing customer who refers their friends), just consider how much that's worth to you.

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

Business Connections

  • $1.95 per call on the $42.95/ month plan

  • $1.60 per call on the $89.95/ month plan

  • $1.40 per call on the $163.95/ month plan

  • $1.40 per call on the $227.95/ month plan

Discussion: Again, Business Connections offer lower prices, but with it comes a lower quality of service. They take a call-center approach, which can distance callers and create an impersonal experience.

Features

Smith.ai and Business Connections offer the following features:

  • Live call transfers

  • Custom call handling procedures

  • Call forwarding

 

Smith.ai offers the following additional features:

 

Business Connections offers the following additional features:

  • 24/7 live answering service

  • Messages from fax, email and text sent to mobile phone

 

Discussion: The features offered are what set Smith.ai apart from Business Connections. While BC provides a simple live answering service, we at Smith.ai take it to another level by giving your customers the experience of an in-house receptionist. We complete lead qualification to help grow your business. We make outbound calls to remind customers of their appointments, collect payment, and provide work status updates. We integration with your CRM and calendar, so we can schedule client appointments, update  client records, and help to manage your schedule. We’re an extension of your team, as opposed to a simple service you hire to answer calls.

Summary

There’s truth in the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” While Business Connections offers lower prices for monthly plans than Smith.ai, they cannot compare to the quality and breadth of our services. Business Connections takes a call-center approach, utilizing an automated response system to answer calls before their virtual receptionists pick up the phone. When you use an automated response system like this, it distances customers from your business. At Smith.ai, a live human being will always be there to answer your calls.

Our U.S.-based receptionists study your business in order to answer calls without a script. Because we learn the details about your company, your callers won’t know the difference between our receptionists and someone you’d hire to answer calls in-house. Likely, that's the experience you and your callers prefer.

Smith.ai client testimonial

Don't just take our word for it. Here's what one happy Smith.ai customer had to say:

“I have been using Smith.ai for about two months and I am extremely pleased. The ease of use, reasonable cost, and very professional staff have made this one of my best business decisions of the past year.”

- Kevin Levine, immigration attorney

Make the right choice for your business

At Smith.ai, we’re dedicated to providing quality customer service for small businesses and individuals. To learn more about our virtual receptionist services, call us at (650) 727-6484 Monday through Friday between 6 AM and 6 PM PST. You may also email us at support@smith.ai. The best way to get started is with our 30-day/10-call free trial.



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