Smith.ai vs. Answer 1: Live Answering Service Comparison

Are you missing calls and letting your leads and clients reach your voicemail? Don't miss out on new business or the opportunity to give your current clients a great experience with your business. It may be time to consider a virtual receptionist service. Discover the differences in features and pricing between Smith.ai and Answer 1 virtual receptionists.

Setup fees, contracts & trials

Smith.ai

  • No setup fee

  • No contracts

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

Answer 1

  • $90 setup fee

  • No contracts

  • 21-day money-back guarantee

Discussion: Smith.ai is the better option when it comes to getting started. With us, you never have to pay a setup fee, and we also let you try our services for up to a month for free. Answer 1 does not have a free trial period, and each of their plans requires a $90 upfront activation fee.

Monthly plans

Here’s how Smith.ai's and Answer 1’s monthly plans compare:

Smith.ai

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

  • $150 for 30 live receptionist calls and 2 live transfer lines

  • $450 for 100 live receptionist calls and 5 live transfer lines

  • Custom plans available

Answer 1

  • $239 for 100 minutes

  • $399 for 200 minutes

  • $749 for 500 minutes

  • Customs plans available

Discussion: Smith.ai offers plans that are a lot more affordable for both small and large businesses. If an average business call is five minutes (according to the 2015 Invoca Call Intelligence Report), then Answer 1's 100-minute plan allows for only 20 calls; with Smith.ai, you can get 10 more of those five-minute calls for $89 less per month. Even if your calls are just three minutes each on average, that will get you 33 calls for $239. 33 calls with Smith.ai would be $150 for the 30-call plan, plus $5 for each of the additional three calls, amounting to an extra cost of $15 and a total cost of $165 per month, still far less costly than Answer 1.

Also, some features offered by Answer 1 (like CRM support, calendaring, and secure text messaging) have added fees. With Smith.ai, you'll only ever pay extra for calls if you exceed the Reasonable Use policy.

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 $450/month plan

Answer 1

  • $2.39/minute on the $239/month plan

  • $1.99/minute on the $399/month plan

  • $1.49/minute on the $749/month plan

Discussion: Both Smith.ai and Answer 1 charge the same per-call and per-minute rates for overage as they do on the base plan, so you'll never be penalized with higher unit costs if you exceed your monthly plan allottment.

Features

Smith.ai and Answer 1 both provide the following features:

  • Lead qualification

  • Appointment scheduling

  • Integration with popular CRMs

  • Bilingual receptionists available

  • U.S.-based receptionists

  • Custom call handling procedures

 

Smith.ai has the following additional features:

 

Answer 1 offers the following additional features:

  • 24/7 live answering services

  • Industry-specific virtual receptionists

  • Mobile app and desktop portal

 

Discussion: Smith.ai and Answer 1 both offer a robust set of services for businesses and solo professionals, but there are a few features that don't fit neatly within bullet points. One example: When you choose Smith.ai, we give you access to our whole team of virtual receptionists. At Answer 1 your business will be assigned to a team of dedicated receptionists depending on your industry. While this initially appears to be a benefit to your customers, it is not always advantageous during busy seasons or when you start receiving more calls as your business grows or you launch a new marketing campaign, as you must allow time for new team members to be trained to handle your calls. At Smith.ai, because any receptionist can answer your calls (thanks to our proprietary software presenting them with key information on your business at the right time during each call), we can scale up instantly to handle your higher call volume.

Additionally, with Smith.ai's per-call pricing, you get a predictable bill every month that is far easier to tie to your operations than per-minute pricing. For example, you can see how many calls you paid for, how many of those were from new leads or existing clients, and the result of those calls, whether that's new clients, appointments, or happier customers who have sent you more referrals. 

Consider also whether you really need 24/7 phone coverage, or if you could save money by opting only for Smith.ai's Monday through Friday coverage, which includes calls made between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm PST (9:00 am and 9:00 pm EST). It may be more prudent to set a custom after-hours voicemail, which Smith.ai provides, and have your receptionists return missed calls in the morning during business hours.

Summary

Nearly every business owner who is in the market for a virtual receptionist service wants to give callers the experience of an in-house receptionist at a fraction of the cost. That’s why Smith.ai provides services that support all of the receptionist functions that a business needs, like lead intake and qualification, appointment scheduling, and integration with the tools you use every day, like your CRM and Slack. Don't settle for services that force you to take post-call notes and input them into your systems. That's more work for you at the end of the day. At Smith.ai, we become a part of your workflow and can seamlessly integrate with your business, so not only are your calls handled and you're freed from distractions and side-tracking tasks, but your operations run more smoothly, too. 

Smith.ai client testimonial

Don't just take our word for it. Read what a long-time Smith.ai customer had to say:

“I've been using them for awhile and they invaluable to my law practice. Everyone says how great my receptionists are and I'm paying a fraction of the cost of an in house receptionist.”

- Regina Edwards, Edwards Family Law

Try Smith.ai for free

The team at Smith.ai is dedicated to helping your business run smoothly, enabling you to capture more leads, and making your existing clients even happier. To learn more about our virtual receptionist services, contact us Monday through Friday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm PST at (650) 727-6484, or 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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