There's too much for a small business owner to do. And you can't delegate expert work. With our answering service for small businesses, you can hand off "the rest" to our receptionists. A live receptionist can handle answering and screening incoming calls, scheduling appointments, and taking payments. While you're busy growing your small business, you can be rest assured that any important caller isn't being sent to voicemail, but instead speaking to a live agent who can guide them in the right direction.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. A virtual receptionist plays a vital role in welcoming a client to your business, and gives you the appearance of being a larger company. By using our 24/7 phone answering service, a live receptionist will be able to answer any important calls outside of your regular business hours. Not only can a live person nurture a potential customer into a client, but they can also delight your current clients-- helping to improve your overall customer satisfaction. Instead of opting for an automated answering service where a robot will answer your inbound calls, choose our live phone answering service and provide a superior customer experience.
Our small business answering service isn’t limited to picking up phone calls. Our virtual receptionists also qualify new leads, schedule appointments, make outbound calls, accept payments, log notes in your CRM, send follow-up messages, and much much more. Giving these tasks to a live receptionist will free up more of your valuable time so you and your team can focus on growing your small business, whether it be going out to service customer calls or planning for your next project.
The best answering services for small businesses do much more than pick up phone calls and take messages for executives, managers, and staff. At Smith.ai, we provide virtual receptionists capable of a wide range of services from call handling, to scheduling, to lead intake, to website chat, and more. Whether you need a virtual receptionist for full-time call handling, overflow support only, after-hours, or triage, here are the answers to the most common questions we receive from owners and operators of small businesses.
Owners and operators of small businesses are often busy working on various business projects and can’t be expected to answer every call that comes in, but providing quality customer support through a reliable small business answering service has been shown to improve businesses in a variety of ways. Here are a few of the benefits small businesses experience with us:
With a phone answering service that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your clients will always have a real person to talk to, whether your business is busy, closed, or on holiday. Your clients’ questions always receive a thoughtful response.
Missed calls means missed opportunities. Don’t miss out on leads just because you’re not always able to pick up the phone. Answering services provide nighttime, weekend, and after-hours availability so your business will never miss another call.
Through outsourcing call handling to an answering service, you’ll be able to spend time where you need it most and focus on more important work to build your small business.
At Smith.ai, we know great customer service and how to deliver it for a range of business types and industries. Our virtual receptionists are trained in customer service and hospitality, so let us put best practices to work for you and deliver an exceptional and professional response that represents your business well every time.
No need to allocate limited time and money towards hiring an in-house receptionist when you can get all of the services you need and then some with an answering service for a fraction of the price. On average, customers who use Smith.ai save upwards of $30,000/year.
Phone answering services can provide your small business with detailed call summaries after each call and even provide your clients with chat, social media, and text messaging so you can stay in contact with your most valued clients.
An answering service can provide your small business with much-needed relief, whether your team is on a budget, overwhelmed by overflow calls, or simply looking to enrich your company’s customer service. With Smith.ai’s answering service, your business can receive even more benefits to help your company accomplish its goals, whatever they may be.
Smith.ai’s answering service can provide small businesses with:
With nearly limitless features, Smith.ai’s answering service is guaranteed to grow your company’s productivity, revenue, and outreach. Smith.ai has offered quality service to small businesses for years and our clients trust Smith.ai to provide their business with premium support. Read our 5-star reviews to learn why business owners prefer Smith.ai.
The price of a receptionist is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding on whether to hire an answering service or a traditional, in-house receptionist. Let’s look at the average price for an in-house receptionist.
The average salary nation-wide for an in-house receptionist is about $37,000 and they often come with hefty, additional fees, such as:
Total Cost, Including Salary: $77,000/year
If your business is located in a highly populated area, that price may be even higher. In-house receptionists can add to that cost when they inevitably come in late, call in sick, request time off, take personal leaves of absence, go on vacation, and so on. Contrarily, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can accomplish the same tasks as an in-house receptionist and then some, barring coffee runs and supply restocks, of course, and are much less expensive, as your company doesn’t have to pay for any time off, benefits, or salaries.
Smith.ai’s answering service costs as little as $210/month, with no hidden or unexpected fees. Your business could save over $35,000/year, not to mention up to $42,000/year in benefits beyond salary payments, by choosing to hire an answering service instead of an in-house receptionist. Not only will your business save money, but your business will also be able to optimize productivity and revenue like never before. Unlike in-house receptionists, virtual receptionists can answer calls outside of regular business, which is far more important than you might recognize, as 27% of leads call after hours. Smith.ai’s agents can answer live chats, texts, and social media messages. SMS answering can be overlooked, but over 46% of customers prefer communicating with businesses through text.
Virtual receptionists can even provide sales assistance by making outbound calls to convert more leads, which has been proven to be helpful as over 67% of clients base their decision to hire a business on the initial responsiveness to their call or email. It’s critical for businesses to respond promptly. Long waiting periods encourage leads to take their business elsewhere and you may not have the chance to explain why you’re the right business to hire. With Smith.ai’s small business answering service, your business can receive all the benefits of an in-house worker without the unnecessary cost. Read our article to learn more about the differences between an in-house vs. a virtual receptionist.
Running a small business can get hectic, from managing projects and tasks to overseeing company development and growth. Small businesses constantly face issues that impact their ability to succeed. The most common scenarios that small businesses use virtual receptionist services for are:
“Front desk” support is an invaluable way to provide small businesses with regular administrative assistance that can help operations run a lot more smoothly. When small businesses have a limited budget, however, they may not be able to afford pricey in-house receptionists, especially when they already have to pay for office rent and supplies, marketing, and advertising.
Calls come in whether your small business is available to answer them or not. When team members have to answer phone calls in addition to their regular duties, they may struggle with falling behind on more important tasks and losing focus. On average, it takes about 23 minutes to get back to a task after being interrupted by a phone call.
Businesses grow and it can be difficult to keep up. With calls that need to be answered, appointments that need to be scheduled, and invoices that need to be sent, it’s easy for teams to feel overwhelmed.
When the work day ends, employees want to go home and enjoy their free time away from clients, but calls don’t stop coming in and leads can often be missed, as over 27% of leads call outside of normal business hours. Businesses may not be able to provide after-hours availability, but may still want to offer accessible customer service.
If your business is experiencing one or any of these scenarios, an answering service can help by allowing you to outsource these tasks directly to a professional agent. An answering service will take on some of the more time-consuming responsibilities, addressing and alleviating the tedious issues your business faces. Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can accomplish the same, whether your company needs assistance handling phone calls, blocking spam, or qualifying leads. By eliminating the need to allocate time to screening calls and answering clients’ questions, your business can get back to focusing on more important work without neglecting your client relationships.
Small businesses, like any business, often find themselves in compromising situations that require outsourced assistance to resolve. Some of the most common scenarios are:
With a limited staff and an endless list of assignments, small businesses frequently struggle to answer phones and respond to messages from clients in addition to their regular duties. Running a small business and providing quality customer service at the same time can prove to be difficult and lead to poor performance in both.
With the price of in-house receptionists being as high as it is, small businesses are often left to delegate daily tasks themselves. Despite spending a large portion of their day performing administrative duties, employees often struggle to balance their important projects with their regular office tasks.
Responding to each call can feel impossible for businesses when they have higher priority assignments to address. Teams can easily fall behind on responding to new inquiries so potential leads can be frequently missed. Leads don't wait for call-backs. They call the next business in the search results. If businesses fail to pick up, they not only lose a lead, they lose ROI, money on marketing campaigns and ad spend, as well as conversion rates from ads.
With the crowded marketplace for small businesses being what it is, it can be a major obstacle for businesses to distinguish themselves and stand out amongst other small businesses. Providing quality customer service through quick and thoughtful responses can place businesses above their competitors, but many small businesses often lack the time to do so.
One of the most crucial, yet challenging, aspects of growing a successful small business is obtaining and keeping new clients. With so much time and effort being spent towards existing clients, businesses may not have the opportunity to seek out and nurture new clients. Businesses who spread their workload too thin may not be able to deliver quality customer service. Slow response times may frustrate customers and hurt client loyalty and retention, as well.
Maintaining detailed phone records and call summaries can be overwhelming for small businesses who disperse client data across a multitude of software platforms. Knowing how, when, and why clients call is significant for any business hoping to successfully navigate client relationships, but unfortunately, is not always easy to accomplish.
If your small business is facing any of these challenges, a virtual receptionist service may be useful. One of the many great things about Smith.ai is that our services fit your business needs, not the other way around. Our virtual receptionists can allocate time where you need it most and address the specific issues your small business faces, whether you need help qualifying and intaking new clients or sending invoices and collecting payments. Sign up risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee and see how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can alleviate the problems your small business faces.
Determining which services are important to your small business is a good place to start. To figure out which services would be best for your business, ask yourself what problems or opportunities you face that a virtual receptionist service can address:
Whatever it may be, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can adjust their service to better suit your business needs.
After that, think about what services would best fit your company’s activity level:
Whether you get fifty calls a month or five, Smith.ai can customize your virtual receptionist service to fit your business activity so you only pay for what you need.
All you have to do next is sign up. Getting started with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service is simple and fast. No annual contracts, no setup fees, and no need to supply scripts.
Follow three simple steps:
Whether your small business is looking for a full-time virtual receptionist or an overflow or occasional phone answering service, Smith.ai can offer customized assistance to your team with quality customer service, lead screening, and sales development. When you sign up with Smith.ai, you won’t just be gaining a virtual receptionist service, you’ll be gaining a professional, reliable, and friendly team who are guaranteed to transform your business by capturing leads and delighting current clients.