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 customer, so it’s important to carefully pick your provider. Here we compare Smith.ai virtual receptionists to LexReception.

Setup fees & trials

Smith.ai

  • No setup or cancellation fees
  • No contract
  • 30-day/10-call free trial (whichever comes first)

LexReception

  • 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.

Smith.ai

  • $70 for 10 live receptionist calls and 1 live transfer number
  • $180 for 30 live receptionist calls and 2 live transfer numbers
  • $500 for 100 live receptionist calls and 5 live transfer numbers
  • Custom plans available
  • 15% annual discount when paid up front

LexReception

  • $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. Assuming a 5 minute call, Smith.ai's prices are slightly lower. However, our lowest plan is lower as well. So if you only have the need for 10 calls each month, you will still be over-paying for LexReception minutes. And you are also compromising for fewer features; see our features comparison below.

Now, if you need more calls, Smith.ai is a comparable price at $180 for 30 five-minute calls at Smith.ai versus $199 for 35 5-minute calls at LexReception. The prices are nearly comparable for a 5-minute call, but go over a minute here and there and you'll start to see it add up. Comparing the $500 plan at Smith.ai with the $349 plan at LexReception, the prices are the same, but as you'll notice below, overage costs can add up.

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

Overage costs

Smith.ai

  • $7/call on the $70/month plan
  • $6/call on the $180/month plan
  • $5/call on the $500/month plan

LexReception

  • $1.47/minute on the $99/month plan
  • $1.29/minute on the $199/month plan
  • $1.15/minute on the $349/month plan

Discussion: If you go over on your plan with the lowest plan at LexReception, which may not seem like much but it can start to add up. A 5 minute call at LexReception is already an extra 7.35, which doesn't even include if you have a longer call, at around 7 or 8 minutes. The math may not seem to add up until you see it on your invoice. With Smith.ai you know exactly how you're being charged for that next call and the one after that, regardless of length. Sometime businesses choose what seems like a less expensive plan but end up paying more. And the more expensive plans where you get unnecessary minutes isn't the solution. Smith.ai charges a flat rate per call, so you can easily stay within your budget.

Features

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:

  • Calendar and billing systems integration
  • CRM integrations with Clio, Clio Grow, Hubspot, 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
  • Custom greetings
  • Lead qualification & lead intake form completion
  • Payment collection
  • Daily call summary reports
  • No charge for spam calls or wrong numbers
  • Spanish-speaking receptionists

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).

Summary

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.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.

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