Smith.ai vs. PATLive: Live Answering Service Comparison

Are the calls to your business becoming more than you can handle? Do you want to work with fewer interruptions? Signing up for a live answering service means gaining more productive hours in your work day. Today, we compare Smith.ai to PATLive virtual receptionists.

Setup fees, trials & contracts

Smith.ai

  • 20-call / 14-day free trial (whichever comes first)
  • No setup fee
  • No contract

PATLive

  • Free 14-day trial
  • No setup fee
  • No contract

Monthly plans

Smith.ai and PATLive offer a range of monthly plans depending on your call volume:

Smith.ai

  • $140 for 20 live receptionist calls and 1 live transfer number
  • $300 for 50 live receptionist calls and 2 live transfer numbers
  • $600 for 120 live receptionist calls and 5 live transfer numbers
  • Custom plans available
  • 15% annual discount when paid up front

PATLive

  • $149 for 75 live agent minutes
  • $269 for 200 minutes
  • $399 for 350 minutes
  • $629 for 600 minutes
  • $999 for 1,000 minutes

Discussion: Smith.ai provides more affordable options for business owners, with plans starting at just $140/month. If the average business call is five minutes, according to Invoca call intelligence research, you are paying more money ($149 vs $140) for fewer calls (15 vs 20) with PATLive. More expensive plans are similarly competitive, and much more so if you have calls that go longer (as most people do). Because we charge per-call instead of per-minute, you will have more predictable monthly bills and can more easily calculate the cost of acquiring new customers (i.e., you know how much you paid for all calls and then how many of those calls turned into new clients).

Overage costs

Smith.ai

  • $7/call on the $140/month plan
  • $6/call on the $300/month plan
  • $5/call on the $600/month plan

PATLive

  • $1.50 per additional minute on the $149/month plan
  • $1.25 per minute on the $269/month plan
  • $1.10 per minute on the $399/month plan
  • $1.00 per minute on the $629/month plan
  • $0.95 per minute on the $999/month plan

Discussion: Remember that the average business call is about five minutes. PATLive’s monthly rates and per-minute overage rates turn out to be a lot more expensive than Smith.ai’s.

For example, Smith.ai's $140/month plan would allow for 20 five-minute calls, but PATLive's $149/month plan would only allow for 15 calls, with those 5 extra five-minute calls adding on another $37.50, bringing the total to $186.50/month.

Looking at a bigger plan? Smith.ai's $600/month plan can deliver 120 five-minute calls while PATLive costs $629/month plan for the same 120 five-minute calls. If those same calls average to six minutes instead of five, you'd have to pay PATLive an additional $120, bringing the monthly total to $749, while Smith.ai remains just $600.

Features

The following features are offered by both Smith.ai and PATLive:

  • Integration with CRMs and scheduling software
  • One free CRM integration
  • Live call transfers
  • Custom call handling procedures
  • Call summaries via email and SMS
  • Lead collection
  • Payment collection
  • North America-based receptionists
  • 24/7 live call answering

Smith.ai has the following additional features:

PATLive offers the following additional features:

  • Bilingual services available for an extra $20/month

Discussion: Smith.ai and PATLive offer many similar features. However, Smith.ai's ability to make outbound calls, qualify leads, log new client information, and map incoming callers to client data means our virtual receptionists are able to handle a wider range of services, more fully replacing the duties of an in-house receptionist. 

Summary

When comparing live answering services, it's important to pay careful attention to the details and features that will have the greatest impact on your business. If you're paying per-minute and your receptionists are spending time with spam calls, wrong numbers, and salespeople pitching the latest advertising product, those are wasted dollars. And if you're running a marketing campaign that's making your phone ring, but your receptionists can't qualify whether they're a good match for your business, it makes no difference if they've successfully booked time for the new client on your calendar. In fact, it's wasteful if that appointment slot could have been filled by a more qualified lead.

Smith client testimonial

Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what a satisfied client of ours had to say:

“I've been using Smith.ai for a few months and I highly recommend them. The service is fantastic and I can't believe the value for money. 10 out of 10.”

- Caemin O’Connor, Karus Chains

One last word

We created the Smith.ai logo in 2015, and then in 2016, PATLive stole it, and put it on their website. We can't make this stuff up! Take a look:

Thankfully, it has now been removed from their site. But this doesn't show good character. If they were comfortable with stealing our logo, what other poor judgments will they make? When you hire an answering service, you're trusting them to represent your business. At Smith.ai, you can rest assured your brand and values are in good hands.

Learn more about Smith.ai

Smith.ai virtual receptionists are trained to learn your business and build a relationship with your customers, just like an in-house receptionist. Discuss your options with us by calling (650) 727-6484 Monday through Friday between 5am – 6pm PT. You can also reach us by email at support@smith.ai. Signing up for our 20-call / 14-day free trial is a great way to get started.

Try Smith.ai for free

Accelerate growth with live receptionists and AI.
Get a 20-call/20-chat trial now!

Contact our sales team today at (650) 727-6484 or schedule a call.

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