May 4, 2018

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

Your business deserves a top-quality live answering service. But how do you know which company provides the best options to fit your needs? Here’s a comparison between Signius Communications and Smith.ai virtual receptionists.

Setup fees, contracts & trials

Smith.ai

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

Signius Communications

  • No setup or cancellation fees
  • No contract
  • No free trial

Discussion: Signius Communications does not offer a free grace period to try their services before you buy. In fact, there isn’t a lot of information available on their site to help you make a decision, so we had to call them to obtain most of the information on their fees and pricing. Smith.ai, on the other hand, offers a free trial for 10 calls or 30 days (whichever comes first) so that you can feel more comfortable about choosing our services for your business. Both companies offer free setup and customers never incur cancellation penalties as plans are month-to-month.

Monthly plans

Here’s how monthly plans from Smith.ai and Signius Communications compare:

Smith.ai

  • $60 for 10 live receptionist calls and 1 live transfer number
  • $150 for 30 calls and 2 live transfer numbers
  • $450 for 100 calls and 5 live transfer numbers
  • Custom plans available

Signius Communications

  • $45 for 50 minutes
  • $90 for 100 minutes
  • $130 for 150 minutes
  • Custom plans available

Discussion: Signius Communications offers customizable plans and does not display pricing information on their website, so the plans above are just a subset of the full list of plans available. They offer a free consultation during which their sales team will develop a plan based on your business’ call volume. You can change your plan with both companies if your call volume changes.

Note that while most business calls are under five minutes, according to the Invoca Call Intelligence Index, which could mean that Signius offers more competitive pricing on a per-call basis, Smith.ai does not charge for spam, unsolicited sales, and wrong-number calls, so you'll only pay for calls that are legitimate for your business. Consider how many unwanted calls you receive monthly when evaluating the true cost of both services.

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 $400/month plan

Signius Communications

  • $1.00/minute on the $45/month plan
  • $0.95/minute on the $90/month and $130/month plans
  • Lower per-minute rates are available with higher call-volume plans.

Discussion: Smith.ai charges overage at the same cost incurred for calls within the plan, so you'll never be penalized for going over your expected call volume if, say, your marketing campaign goes better than expected. Signius, however, charges $0.90/minute on their $45/month and $90/month plans, and $0.87/minute on their $130/month plan, but increases the per-minute rate between $.10/minute and $.08/minute for all minutes over those allotted in the plan.

Features

Smith.ai and Signius Communications offer the following features:

  • U.S.-based virtual receptionists
  • Bilingual services available
  • Custom call handling procedures
  • Call summary reports
  • Call forwarding

 

Smith.ai has the following additional features:

  • Payment collection

 

Signius Communications offers the following additional features:

  • 24/7 live answering service
  • HIPAA-compliant
  • Integration with Google Calendar
  • Message management system
  • Toll-free number included

 

Discussion: Smith.ai and Signius Communications both offer standard live answering service features. But the value distinctions are in the details: While Signius offers a message management interface where clients can login, Smith.ai instead allows clients to instantly update their status via text message, through simple SMS commands. Life is easier without another app or login to remember.

Smith.ai is also well known for its lead qualification and intake services, as well as its integrations with CRMs, calendaring programs, and Slack, all of which increase efficiency by handing off more duties to your receptionists, and reduce time spent on redundant tasks, such as copying post-call notes into client records in your CRM (with Smith.ai this can happen automatically). 

Moreover, consider whether you really need a 24/7 answering service, or if you prefer only to pay for calls coming in during business hours. And, consider whether you need your receptionists to make outbound calls, capture and qualify your leads, and intake new clients. These are all services Smith.ai provides (note that some of these services may incur extra fees; see our Pricing page for details). If you need HIPAA compliance, however, then Smith.ai is not yet able to accommodate handling calls for your business.

Summary

Smith.ai and Signius Communications are both well know for providing afforable call answering services at price points that small businesses and independent professionals can accommodate. If you need 24/7 live answering services and basic features, Signius may be the right fit. But if you're looking for more than an answering service, a partner that can drive efficiency with streamlined workflows and smart integrations, Smith.ai delivers much more value at nearly the same cost.

Smith.ai client testimonial

Don't just take our word for it. Read what a happy Smith.ai client had to say about our services:

“Professional, intelligent and easy to work with. Highly recommended. We love the daily email summaries and the call data they capture.”

- Max Osbon, partner at Osbon Capital

Try Smith.ai for free

Don’t settle for a live answering service that doesn’t properly integrate with your business. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of using Smith.ai. You can call us at (650) 727-6484 Monday through Friday between 6 AM and 6 PM PST 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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