February 20, 2018

Smith.ai vs. LexReception: Live Answering Service Comparison

Are you having trouble selecting a live answering service for your business? The virtual receptionist you choose has a huge impact on your customers, so it’s important to carefully pick your provider. Today, we compare Smith.ai virtual receptionists to LexReception.

Setup fees & trials


  • No setup fee

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


  • Free setup

  • No advertised trial period

Discussion: Smith.ai and LexReception both offer free setup for their services. However, it’s beneficial to try out a service before making a purchase, and LexReception does not offer a free trial period like Smith.ai does.

Monthly plans

Smith.ai and LexReception offer monthly plans depending on the call volume your business receives.


  • $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


  • $99 for 75 minutes and 1 voicemail box

  • $199 for 175 minutes and 1 voicemail box

  • $349 for 350 minutes and 2 voicemail boxes

Discussion: Smith.ai charges a flat rate for calls, so you’ll pay the same amount, unless calls are excessively long. LexReception charges per minute, and its smallest plan is just about 50% more expensive than the introductory plan at Smith.ai. According to Invoca call intelligence research, the average business call lasts about 5 minutes. With Smith.ai, you would get 10 5-minute calls per month for $60. With LexReception, you would get 15 for $99, so about 50% more calls for 50% more money. Smith.ai and LexReception are on par here (cost-wise, not feature-wise, mind you; see below for more on that).

Now, if you need one of the other two plans, Smith.ai takes the lead in value. It's $150 for 30 five-minute calls at Smith.ai versus $199 for 35 5-minute calls at LexReception. That's $49 more for 5 calls, or nearly $10 per call. At Smith.ai, the extra 5 calls would cost you just $5 each, for a total bill of $175. Comparing the $450 plan at Smith.ai with the $349 plan at LexReception, we can see that Smith.ai allows for 100 5-minute calls, while LexReception gives you just 70 5-minute calls. For less than $100, you get an extra 30 calls, which amounts to $3.33 per call.

Lastly, Smith.ai offers a custom after-hours voicemail for your business, so you're not limited to one voicemail greeting.

Overage costs


  • $6/call on the $60/month plan

  • $5/call on the $150/month plan

  • $4.50/call on the $400/month plan


LexReception does not advertise overage fees on their site. Inquire for more information.

Discussion: Because LexReception’s overage fees are unknown, it can be difficult to choose the right plan. Businesses may choose a more expensive plan to avoid paying extra for overage minutes. Smith.ai, on the other hand, charges a flat rate per call, so you can easily stay within your budget.


Smith.ai and LexReception both offer these features:

  • Live call transfers

  • Appointment scheduling

  • Customized scripts for each business

Smith.ai offers the following additional features:

  • , 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

  • Custom greetings and

  • Lead qualification & lead intake form completion

  • Payment collection

  • Daily call summary reports

  • No charge for spam calls or wrong numbers

LexReception offers the following additional features:

  • 24/7 answering service

  • Customer call-backs

  • Access to messages online

  • Web chat response

  • Calls under 30 seconds are free

Discussion: While LexReception virtual receptionists are available 24/7, they do not offer outbound calling (only call-backs upon a customer's request), CRM integration, and lead qualification services, all of which Smith.ai handles. Our customers often tell us it's about the depth of services and not about 24/7 broad coverage, especially since most callers will reach you during daytime business hours (unless you are in a very specific niche, like a DUI defense law firm that gets urgent, relevant calls late in the evening).


LexReception and Smith.ai offer similar services, but there are subtle yet important differences between them, and this is where Smith.ai takes the edge. Take "outbound calls" as an example: LexReception calls back customers who input their phone number for a call back on the business' website. But this is not an outbound calling service like Smith.ai's, where receptionists are assigned outbound calling tasks, such as appointment reminders, work updates, outages, and other information your business needs to pass on to its clients. 

Another major difference is the comprehensive integrations Smith.ai offers. Whether it's sending you call summaries via Slack, piping new client information into your customer management software, or scheduling appointments in one of many calendaring programs, we work with your existing systems in real-time, so you're always in sync.

Smith.ai client testimonial

Ok, we've said enough! But you may still like to hear some praise directly from one of our clients:

“Wonderful answering service! I'm a solo practitioner attorney and I can't get to my phone at all times. I know that my phones will be answered professionally at all times. The ability to text updates to Smith without fussing with an app is a huge bonus. I highly recommend."

- Regina Edwards, Edwards Family Law

Learn more about Smith.ai virtual receptionists

Our virtual receptionists are passionate about quality customer service, and we customize our call handling approach for every new business we work with. Learn how our live answering services can help your business by giving us a call at (650) 727-6484 Monday through Friday between 5am – 6pm PT, or email us 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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