A virtual receptionist plays a vital role in welcoming a client to your business, and gives you the appearance of being a larger company.
Smith.ai receptionists make calls on your behalf, improving your speed-to-lead and unburdening staff who need to reach out to clients. We'll call-back online leads who complete web forms, contact donors for donation renewals, chase down payments on unpaid invoices, and more. We'll even send follow-up emails and texts after every call to ensure a connection is made. Learn more.
Make better business decisions with real-time call data, visualized in every Smith.ai client dashboard. Every call summary is enriched with metadata including actions completed, caller disposition, priority, relevance, call recording and transcription, and more. See the big picture with historical tables and charts to predict business growth, costs, and ROI with superior accuracy.
The best answering services for solo businesses do much more than pick up phone calls and take messages for entrepreneurs. 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 solo businesses.
Entrepreneurs are often busy working on business management projects and can’t be expected to answer every call that comes in, but providing quality customer support through a reliable solo business answering service has been shown to improve businesses in a variety of ways. Here are a few of the benefits solo businesses experience with our virtual receptionists:
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 solo business.
At Smith.ai, we know great customer service and how to deliver it for a range of business types and industries. Unlike most entrepreneurs, 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 solo 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 solo 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 solo 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 solo 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 $240/month, with no hidden or unexpected fees. Your business could save over $34,000/year, not to mention up to $43,000/year in benefits beyond salary payments, by choosing to hire an answering service instead of an in-house receptionist. Not only will your solo 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 solo 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 solo business can get hectic, from managing projects and tasks to overseeing company development and growth. Solo businesses constantly face issues that impact their ability to succeed. The most common scenarios that solo businesses use virtual receptionist services for are:
“Front desk” support is an invaluable way to provide businesses with regular administrative assistance that can help operations run a lot more smoothly. When businesses have a limited budget, however, they may not be able to afford pricey in-house receptionists, especially when owners already have to pay for office rent and supplies, marketing, and advertising.
Calls come in whether teams are 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 business owners to feel overwhelmed.
When the work day ends, business owners 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 can’t provide after-hours availability, but may still want to offer accessible customer service.
If your solo 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.
Solo 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 one-person staff and an endless list of assignments, solo business owners frequently struggle to answer phones and respond to messages from clients in addition to their regular duties. Running a 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, solo businesses are often left to delegate daily tasks themselves. Despite spending a large portion of their day performing administrative duties, business owners often struggle to balance their important projects with their regular office tasks.
Responding to each call can feel impossible for solo businesses when they have higher priority assignments to address. Solo business owners 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 solo businesses being what it is, it can be a major obstacle for businesses to distinguish themselves and stand out amongst other similar businesses. Providing quality customer service through quick and thoughtful responses can place businesses above their competitors, but many solo business owners often lack the time to do so.
One of the most crucial, yet challenging, aspects of growing a successful solo 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 solo 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 solo 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 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 solo business faces.
Determining which services are important to your solo 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 solo 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.