After-hours answering service

27% of leads call outside of normal 9am - 5pm business hours.

Before you launch new marketing campaigns, first capture every lead with our 24/7 receptionists.
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Quality outsourcing

North America-based agents

Not all 24/7 answering services are the same. Our friendly, professional receptionists, based in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, answer all calls with a smile, day and night.

Our hours can be your hours

Around-the-clock availability

Advertise that your business is available by phone 24/7. When your clients are on the phone with our receptionists, they’ll think they’re chatting with your in-house receptionist.

Accelerate growth

Never miss a lead

You can’t depend on leads to leave a message or even pick up when you call them back. We’ll cover your after-hours business phone calls, and none of your leads will move on to your competitors.

An extension of your team

Appointment scheduling

We don’t just take a message and let your leads wait to hear back the next day. We’ll schedule qualified leads on your calendar. That way, they know exactly when you’re getting back to them.

Accelerate growth

You can’t depend on leads to leave a message or even pick up when you call them back. We’ll cover your after-hours business phone calls, and none of your leads will move on to your competitors.

integrations

We play well with your software

Calls, chats, appointments, and payments are automatically logged in your systems. Here is a selection of our many integration partners.

Trusted by businesses &
the agencies that support them

Everything You Need to Know When Considering How an After-hours Answering Service Can Help Your Business

The best virtual receptionist and chat services do much more than pick up phone calls, answer chats, and take messages for you and your staff. At Smith.ai, we provide professional live agents who are capable of a wide range of services from call handling, to appointment booking, to lead intake, to website chat, and more. Whether you need live staff on duty 24/7, during daytime hours, for overflow support only, or just for after-hours (nights and weekends), here are the answers to the most common questions we receive about our after-hours answering services, specifically.

How can a great after-hours answering service help my business grow?

An answering service, like Smith.ai, can offer your business after-hours answering. In doing so, answering services can take over call handling and answer calls morning, evening. This frees your staff from regular call handling duties to focus on their specific job duties without having to worry about missing calls once they clock out. Your calls will be answered whether your business is open or not. You’ll never miss another lead due to being unavailable again. With after-hours answering services, your business can exude professionalism at all times and grow more successful by the hour.

By enabling after-hours answering through an answering service, your business can:

  • Minimize distractions & protect team’s time: With client calls being answered at all times, your team will be able to focus on more important tasks and avoid constant interruptions.
  • Reduce call handling times: After-hours answering allows phone calls to be picked up immediately so callers won’t hang up, go unanswered, or be stuck waiting on hold. 
  • Improve productivity: After-hours answering gives your staff the flexibility to answer calls when they can and rest easy knowing calls that come in when they’re unavailable are being given the same attention and high-quality service. 
  • Boost client satisfaction & business reputation: With after-hours answering, your client will be immediately answered, whether your business is open or not, displaying the illusion of a larger business. With callers feeling valued, your business will exude professionalism and your company’s reputation will be stronger than ever.
  • Enhance lead conversions: By answering every call that comes in, after-hours answering enables your team to convert more leads at a faster rate without the risk of losing leads when they’re unavailable.

A great after-hours answering service can make all the difference for your business. It's important for businesses to have control over their day to day tasks and not worry about leads being missed when they’re closed. Smith.ai can provide a professional frontline so that your business can appear to be open all hours of the day, every day of the week. We are your phone call guardians and can deliver exceptional service so that even if you aren't able to answer, callers can still have a great experience with your business and not your voicemail box, thanks to Smith.ai’s answering service.

After-hours answering is invaluable to your business’s success. Without having to make up for missed calls and leads, you can improve your team’s responsiveness and productivity and put your business well ahead of your competitors. Whether your business needs lead screening assistance, customer service support, or just help off-setting call handling pressure on your team, an after-hours answering service can transform your business into the best version of itself.

Why should my business hire an outsourced answering service for after-hours answering instead of a call center or in-house staff?

As far as after-hours answering is concerned, call centers and in-house staff can’t perform as well as an answering service. While they may be able to answer calls more frequently and consistently than employees with other duties, call centers and in-house receptionists tend to deliver sub-par quality on the calls that may come in outside of regular business hours.

Answering phone calls isn’t rocket science, yet still call centers and in-house staff often fail to perform after-hours answering in a manner that prioritizes your teams’ time and your callers’ satisfaction. Call centers and in-house staff are often unavailable outside of normal business hours, are not equipped to answer common questions callers have, and come with excessive background noise and basic call handling, leaving callers understandably annoyed. 

Answering services like Smith.ai offer thoughtful accommodations, like qualifying and nurturing leads that call when your team is unavailable. By paying attention to the details, Smith.ai’s answering service can relieve your busy team of call handling pressures, provide your callers with outstanding customer service, and help your business thrive. Hiring a call center or an in-house staff rather than outsourcing after-hours answering to an answering service may risk your reputation, your productivity, and your customer satisfaction. 

If you’re a small business, this rings especially true for you. Over 80% of consumers prefer to talk to a real person over the phone yet call center agents and in-house staff can be unavailable to take their call and when they are available, they can sound rehearsed, impersonal, and unsettling. This can destroy any initial impression a caller may have and erode any trust they may have in your business, which is critical to establish in the initial conversation with a caller. 

It’s well known that call centers customarily:

  • Are unavailable outside of regular business hours
  • Engage in poor phone etiquette 
  • Leave callers on hold for absurd amounts of time
  • Have trouble screening and qualifying leads
  • Fail to set adequate expectations for callers being transferred

Call centers fail to provide 24/7 availability, costing your business the 27% of leads that call outside of regular operating hours. Even during regular operating hours, with over 82% of customers wanting their issues resolved quickly, call centers fall short of providing satisfactory service to callers. Phone calls answered by call center agents take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, whereas calls answered by an answering service usually only take anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes. And with only 44% of callers reporting call centers to be helpful compared to nearly 76% of callers reporting non-call centers, like answering service, to be helpful, it’s clear to see that hiring a call center will result in longer call times and unsatisfactory customer service.

In-house staff also regularly:

  • Are unable to answer calls after regular business hours
  • Can't offer evening, nighttime, weekend, or holiday availability
  • Come unequipped to address customer service concerns
  • Have extremely limited customer service knowledge
  • Are unequipped to provide sales assistance to capture leads

In-house receptionists are unable to answer calls outside of regular business hours. Even during regular business hours, over 62% of calls go to voicemail or are left unanswered. Despite being their sole purpose, in-house staff still fail to answer phone calls, which can cost your business potential customers, as up to 50% of sales go to businesses that answer first. With many in-house staff having limited customer service knowledge, current clients are lost as well since over 71% of clients will end a business relationship due to poor phone etiquette. Hiring an in-house staff to answer calls is arguably counterintuitive to your business’s success. 

All of these common issues with call centers and in-house staff can lead to clients hanging up the phone and potential prospects taking their business elsewhere, resulting in your company losing leads, customer loyalty, money, and time. By hiring an answering service, such as Smith.ai, instead, your team can avoid losing out on clients by having a knowledgeable and friendly representative available at all times to answer clients’ questions, screen leads, and schedule appointments any hour of day, any day of the week.

If that isn’t enough, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that on average, answering services cost only about 20% of what an in-house staff or call center costs despite offering more features and better quality services. 

As a matter of fact, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can:

  • Provide reliable 24/7 phone coverage availability 
  • Answer texts, social media messages, and web chats at any time
  • Foster leads with personalized, friendly customer service
  • Schedule appointments and consultations
  • Build a foundation of trust between you and your clients
  • Prepare clients with information about your services

Outsourcing after-hours answering to an answering service like Smith.ai instead of a call center or in-house staff can save your business from overextended budgets, embarrassing client interactions, missed lead-capturing opportunities, and frustrating workplace complications. Rather than risk your revenue and client relationships on inexperienced or ineffective call center agents or in-house staff, trust Smith.ai’s reliable service to nurture callers, capture leads, and take the pressure off of your busy staff. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of our clients’ reviews to see why so many businesses trust Smith.ai to handle their after-hours answering.

How do I estimate the cost of an after-hours answering service for my business?

Cost is an important factor when deciding whether your business should sign up for an answering service or not. Many answering services often hide their true prices to trick you into signing up. Luckily, Smith.ai’s pricing is always clearly advertised upfront so that determining the cost for after-hours answering can be simple and painless.

When signing up for Smith.ai, there are:

No set-up fees

No cancellation fees

Free spam blocking

No hidden fees/pricing

You shouldn’t have to go bankrupt to receive high-quality services that can set your business apart from the others. With Smith.ai, you’ll never be charged with random, unrecognizable fees or stuck paying for something you didn’t sign up for. You can rest easy knowing what you see is always going to be exactly what you get.

Even better – Smith.ai’s after-hours answering, among other features, are incredibly affordable. Monthly plans start at as little at $140/month or, if you prefer, you can create a customized plan that fits your business needs. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll never have to spend more than you should, since Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist pricing follows a per-call rather than per-minute pricing model. That way, you don’t have to pay for someone to sit around while your phone isn’t ringing as you would with an in-house staff member. You only ever pay for the plan you sign up for – nothing more. 

To save you even more money, Smith.ai offers 15% off when you pay upfront annually. You’ll be able save money and receive the exact same services as you normally would on a monthly payment plan. It’s a win-win. 

If your business might benefit from bundling call-handling and after-hours answering with live website or text message answering, Smith.ai also offers a 5% bundled discount for receptionist and chat services. This’ll put money back in your pocket and give your business the opportunity to take advantage of unique services other answering services don’t offer, granting your business a leg up in your industry.

Whatever your business can afford, investing in an answering service that offers after-hours answering will be well worth it. While other businesses may be stuck spending massive amounts of time and money on front desk support or call centers, you’ll be able to save both by utilizing an inexpensive and flexible service that provides you with high-quality after-hours answering. Customers will run to your business for your around-the-clock availability, reliable customer service, and quick answering.

To see if Smith.ai is the right fit for your business, sign up for a 14-day/20-call free trial – no credit card required.

What common business problems indicate that I need after-hours answering?

Keeping a business up and running is no simple task. That’s why it’s easy to see how quickly businesses can run into problems they struggle to resolve themselves. Common problems that indicate your business may benefit from an after-hours answering are:

  • My team struggles to keep up with phone calls and remain productive

Business calls don’t just come in when your team is ready and available. For teams that already have enough on their plate, the amount of phone calls that need to be properly answered can be overwhelming to say the least. When teams clock out for the day, calls go unanswered and leads are missed, leaving your team struggling to balance answering calls that come in during regular business hours with responding to voicemails and calling back leads that went unanswered after your office closed. Team members might have to neglect more important work to do so, leaving your staff with a growing list of tasks they can’t seem to get done. 

  • I can’t afford to hire front desk support

Front desk support, whether it’s in-house receptionists or call centers, can cost tens of thousands of dollars and with slimmer budgets set in place, business can often be left desperate for phone answering and after-hours assistance. Paying more than you can afford for services you need can put your business in a dangerous position and trying out free services, such as Google Voice, can be just as detrimental to a business as having nothing at all. Without call handling and after-hours support in some way, shape, or form, your business can lose out on leads and dismantle client relationships.

  • My staff has difficulty finding and capturing leads

Staff members may not have the time or expertise to convert leads consistently. When a representative fails to answer calls or respond to inquiries in a timely manner or forgets to mention their reply to a clients’ voicemail, clients may lose interest quickly and feel less secure about entering into a relationship with your business, costing you not only your revenue, but your reputation as well.

  • Clients are frustrated with our slow response times

The only way a business can succeed is when clients are happy so when clients inevitably have questions about their services or concerns about their products, businesses need to be prepared to answer them. When businesses shut down for the day, calls go unanswered and leads are missed. Whether staff members have limited availability and either can’t get to the phone in time or leave clients on hold, clients can get tired of waiting to have their call answered or their voicemail returned and end up going to the next company they find in their search results. 

If your business is facing one or any of these challenges, an answering service that provides after-hours answering can help you convert more leads and deliver excellent services to clients who call. An answering service, such as Smith.ai, can take the pressure off of your team and allow your business more flexibility in time and in budget without compromising your client relationships. Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can assist your callers by getting them the answers they need quickly with no hassle and help your team answer calls and nurture leads even after they’ve clocked out for the day. Smith.ai’s answering service offers the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to resolve your business’s issues and leave your callers with a smile on their face.

What are the ways after-hours answering can help small, medium, and large businesses?

Businesses of every size can benefit from outsourcing call handling and enabling after-hours answering, whether it helps to take the load off of a small, family owned business or to increase efficiency in a large corporation. For example:

  • For small businesses, after-hours answering means a professional “big company” phone presence and not having to pick up every call

Small businesses are often up to the necks in tasks that need to be done. They don’t need to spend more of their restricted time responding to voicemails or their narrow budget on hiring front desk support. After-hours answering gives small businesses the opportunity to have their clients’ calls answered and their leads nurtured even after their business shuts down for the day. This allows small businesses to maximize their productivity without sacrificing their much-needed time, money, or outreach towards current and potential clients. No more wasted days replying to voicemails and attempting to call back leads.

  • For medium businesses, after-hours answering means scheduled call-backs and calls answered anywhere, anytime

With an endless amount of projects that need to be done, calls that come in to medium sized businesses are often left unanswered or mishandled, resulting in missed leads and frustrated clients. Balancing daily tasks with call handling is difficult for any company, let alone a company with limited staff, availability, and resources. Outsourcing call handling and permitting after-hours answering enables medium sized businesses to place the responsibility of customer service and lead screening into the hands of a trustworthy agent so that their team can get back to running daily operations without worrying about missing calls once they clock out.

  • For large businesses, after-hours answering means personalized customer interactions and no more full voicemail boxes

Many larger businesses have staff that are far too busy to answer calls themselves. It can be tedious for sizable staff to focus on the smaller details, like providing personalized one-on-one customer service, when there are such vast operations to run. It’s also very costly to hire in-house staff and, for companies at the enterprise level, scaling at lower cost is a core objective. After-hours answering can make it easier for large businesses to function at a high volume without neglecting the details that can separate a good company from a great one. By allowing answering services like Smith.ai to answer calls when they’re closed, larger businesses no longer have to await full voicemail boxes every morning.

Having a well-informed team of virtual receptionists who are trained in customer service and who can represent your company when you’re busy can transform your business’s efficiency for the better, no matter what size your business is. Whether you want to improve your company’s customer service or increase your business’s lead conversion rate, an answering service that delivers after-hours answering can help accomplish your company’s goals and get your team back to focusing on more important work.

Smith.ai offers worldwide receptionist services, 24/7.

Here are a selection of the top cities we serve.

Smith.ai offers worldwide receptionist services, 24/7.

Here are a selection of the top cities we serve.

"Smith.ai is a plug-and-play intake process and a built-in sales machine."
Gyi Tsakalakis
AttorneySync
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How Do The Best Businesses Make Use of Smith.ai?

Use our best practices to hit the ground running with Smith.ai virtual receptionists, and achieve results from Day One.