February 20, 2018

Smith.ai vs. MAP Communications: Live Answering Service Comparison

If you’re a busy business owner, choosing the right live answering service is critical. We’ll help you make the best decision for your company. Today, we compare Smith.ai virtual receptionists to MAP Communications.

Setup fees & trials


  • No setup fee

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

MAP Communications

  • 7-day free trial

Discussion: Although MAP Communications offers a no-strings-attached free trial, it only lasts for seven days. Smith.ai’s 30-day/10-call trial period allows businesses a lot more time to judge the quality and efficiency of services before making a decision.

Monthly plans

Both companies offer various monthly plans for live answering services.


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

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

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

  • Custom plans available

MAP Communications

  • $39, including 0 minutes (This plan requires you to pay per minute; see below.)

  • $149, including 125 minutes

  • $249, including 225 minutes

  • Custom plans available

Discussion: Both Smith.ai and MAP Communications allow businesses to choose a monthly plan depending on their call volume. MAP Communications charges by the minute, while Smith.ai charges per call. If we're on the phone with a new client inquiring about your services, we can ask them questions to qualify if they're a good lead for your business at no extra cost to you. Are they in your service area? Do they agree to your standard fees? Does what they need fall under your list of services? We can get answers to these questions and more. You won't pay extra, as long as the call is not excessively long (see Smith.ai's Reasonable Use policy). 

Overage costs


  • $6/call on the $60/month plan

  • $5/call on the $150/month plan

  • $4.50/call on the $400/month plan

MAP Communications

  • $1.15 per minute on the $39/month plan

  • $1.09 per additional minute on the $149/month plan

  • $1.07 per additional minute on the $249/month plan

Discussion: Again, MAP Communications charges by the minute. Smith.ai gives you a flat rate for calls, so you can more easily calculate the value and cost of leads who convert by phone into new appointments and clients, which gives you a better handle on your marketing spend. Moreover, it's often easier to estimate the number of calls your business receives each month, than the number of minutes they'll take to handle. With Smith.ai, your phone costs are more predictable.


MAP Communications and Smith.ai both offer the following features:

  • Customized scripts for answering calls

  • Appointment scheduling

  • Call summary reports via text and/or email

  • Custom voicemails

Smith.ai has the following additional features:

  • Lead qualification & lead intake form completion

  • Payment collection

  • , like Clio, Lexicata, Capsule CRM, and more.

  • Integration with helpdesk ticketing software programs

  • Ability to map client history to the incoming number so clients receive personalized attention

  • Messages texted to you or

  • No charge for spam calls or wrong numbers

MAP Communications offers the following additional features:

  • 24/7 call answering

  • Bilingual services

  • HIPAA-compliant for healthcare businesses

  • Online portal access to analyze call volume and other data

  • Interactive voice response (IVR) services

Discussion: Smith.ai and MAP Communications offer similar features for their monthly plans. However, Smith.ai utilizes live receptionists to answer all calls; MAP Communications takes a call-center approach with an IVR system first, and then a receptionist may answer. The IVR-first approach distances callers from your live receptionists and reduces personalization. With Smith.ai, your callers get the sense you have an in-house receptionist. They don't need to know you're paying a fraction of what an in-house person would cost you!


If all you need is a live answering and appointment booking service, MAP Communications may be the right fit for your business. However, if you could benefit from a service that makes outbound calls, qualifies your leads, initiates live transfers, and handles other duties a real in-house receptionist would take on, Smith.ai is by far the preferable option.

Smith.ai client testimonial

Don't just take our word for it that Smith.ai customers are happy. Check out what one of our clients had to say about Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists:

“I've used Smith.ai for about a year and have been very pleased with the service. I love that my calls are always answered by a human being as I am often out in the field as an entrepreneur.”

- Jamie Bennett, The Lifestyle Group, LLC

Learn more about Smith.ai virtual receptionists

Smith.ai virtual receptionists are dedicated to providing both you and your callers with a friendly, personalized experience. To learn more about our call answering services, you can call us at (650) 727-6484 Monday through Friday between 5am – 6pm PT. Or, you can send us an 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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