While our professional receptionists are handling calls for your business, we're also capturing key data on the caller, including the caller type (e.g., new lead, existing client, spam), the time of the call, the priority, and the disposition. When you log in to your call dashboard, these data appear in easy-to-review bar charts, making it easy to see how your call volume and budget match to your expectations.
Charts tell an important story of your call history, but the individual call summaries display precisely what happened with each individual caller. See whether the call was inbound or outbound, read the receptionist's summary notes, and view key data points captured from the call.
The pie chart in your call dashboard shows the most important actions that occurred on your calls. For example, if you've asked our receptionists to schedule a phone consultation every time we speak with a new potential client, you'll see the number of meetings booked for any given time period. This chart helps you understand if the actions taken on calls align with your expectations, which may be based on marketing campaigns you're running, call handling instructions you've provided to our agents, and other factors.
Smith.ai provides free spam-blocking for every business we serve. That means blocking 20 million known spammers and robocalls automatically, plus more we can block for just your account, based on your specific requests. But just how many calls does that amount to over time? In the same chart that shows your relevant calls (e.g., calls from leads and clients), you can also opt to see the spam, sales, and wrong-number calls we've eliminated for you 100% free of charge. Be warned: The volume might shock you, with spam calls sometimes even exceeding your relevant call volume!
The best virtual receptionist and chat services do much more than pick up phone calls, answer live chat inquiries, 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 scheduling, to lead intake, to website chat, and more. Whether you need a live person or staff on duty 24/7, during daytime hours, for overflow support only, or just after hours answering services (nights and weekends), here are the answers to the most common questions we receive about our 24/7 answering services, specifically.
A professional answering service, like Smith.ai, can offer your business 24/7 availability for phone answering--no more missed calls or missed business opportunities. Live answering services can take over answering any incoming call and can provide open availability so that callers can have a memorable and positive experience with your business, whether your office is open or closed. This frees your staff from regular call handling duties to focus on their specific job duties without having to worry about interrupting work to pick up the phone. Your inbound calls will be screened so that your team will be able to talk to callers who are real leads or clients and never have to waste their time weeding out spam calls or telemarketers. Smith.ai's virtual receptionists can also qualify leads and transfer them directly to your sales team whenever they're available so that your experts can send them down the sales funnel and convert more leads into loyal clients. With 24/7 virtual answering services, your business can exude professionalism at all times and grow more successful by the hour.
By through utilizing a 24/7 answering service, business owners can:
A great 24/7 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 be constantly interrupted by random phone calls. Smith.ai can provide a professional frontline so that your business can rest easy knowing that your clients will receive top-tier service any time they call. 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 answering machine, thanks to Smith.ai's answering service.
24/7 professional phone answering services are invaluable to your business's success. Without having to deal with call interruptions, spam blocking, or appointment setting, 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 around-the-clock answering service can transform your business into the best version of itself.
As far as 24/7 answering is concerned, call centers and in-house staff can't perform as well as a virtual receptionist service. While they may be able to answer calls more frequently and consistently than employees with other duties, call centers and in-house staff tend to deliver sub-par quality on the calls they answer.
Answering phone calls isn't rocket science, yet still call centers and in-house staff often fail to perform in a manner that prioritizes your teams' time and your callers' satisfaction. Call centers and in-house staff often cannot provide 24/7 availability, are not equipped to answer common questions callers have, and often come with excessive background noise and basic call handling, leaving callers understandably annoyed.
Answering services that utilize live professional virtual receptionists like Smith.ai offer thoughtful accommodations, like scheduled call-backs to adhere to your team's schedule. We even offer options such as our bilingual answering service so your callers can speak in the language they prefer. By paying attention to the details, Smith.ai's phone 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 24/7 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 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:
With over 82% of customers wanting their issues resolved quickly , call centers fall short of providing satisfactory service to callers. Incoming calls answered by call center agents take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes , whereas calls answered by a virtual 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 live answering services, 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:
Even with a full-time in-house receptionist, 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 a virtual answering service, such as Smith.ai, instead, your team can avoid losing out on clients by having a knowledgeable and friendly dedicated receptionist available at all times to answer clients' questions, screen leads, and send the most important calls directly to your staff whenever they're ready for them.
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:
Outsourcing 24/7 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 24/7 answering.
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 24/7 answering can be simple and painless.
When signing up for Smith.ai, there are:
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, or hidden 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 24/7 answering, among other features, are incredibly affordable. Monthly plans start at as little at $240/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 10% 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 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 live 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 24/7 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 your callers with 24/7 phone coverage. Customers will run to your business for your reliable customer service, quick answering, and well-prepared staff.
To see if Smith.ai is the right fit for your business, sign up today risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee.
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 24/7 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. With over 20% of calls being spam , it can be even more difficult to determine which callers are real clients or leads. Answering Calls consistently and correctly is crucial for your business's success, but 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 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 support in some way, shape, or form, your business can lose out on leads and dismantle client relationships. Businesses can benefit from utilizing a temporary answering service during the times they expect an uptick in call volume.
My staff has difficulty finding and capturing leads
Staff members may not have the time or expertise to convert leads consistently. When a representative can't provide open availability to callers, struggles to portray confidence in your company's services, or forgets to schedule a consultation, 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. Businesses regularly struggle to find the time to answer clients' questions in a quick and efficient manner. Whether staff members have limited availability and either can't get to the phone in time or leave clients on hold, clients can get irritated and hang up, going to the next company they find in their search results. It is important that phone calls from leads are returned in a timely manner, which is why we also offer a call-back service to help drive more sales.
If your business is facing one or any of these challenges, an answering service that provides 24/7 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 long waits or holds and help your team answer calls when and how they prefer. 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.
Businesses of every size can benefit from outsourcing call handling and enabling 24/7 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, 24/7 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 screening and qualifying leads or their narrow budget on hiring front desk support, which is why they can benefit from using an answering service for small businesses. 24/7 answering gives small businesses the opportunity to answer every call, nurture every lead, and schedule every appointment without any effort from their overworked staff. 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 struggling to answer every call, text, and Facebook message.
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 24/7 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 neglecting callers.
For large businesses, 24/7 answering means personalized customer interactions and no spam or telemarketing call interruptions
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. 24/7 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, schedule appointments, and qualify leads for them, larger businesses no longer have to choose between interrupting work to answer calls or neglecting callers.
Having a well-informed team of virtual receptionists who are trained in customer service represent your company when you're busy or closed 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 24/7 answering can help accomplish your company's goals and get your team back to focusing on their work.
Use our best practices to hit the ground running with Smith.ai virtual receptionists, and achieve results from Day One.