Overflow call answering service

Don’t lose business or drop calls just because you’re too busy to answer.

We’ll ring you so you have the first chance to answer and pick up your phone if you're away.
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Professional backup

An extension of your office

Think of Smith.ai as an extra receptionist. We help with answering telephone calls, giving directions to your office, scheduling appointments, screening leads, and more. We'll provide a simple-to-use overflow live answering service.

Be a highly responsive business

Never send a caller to voicemail

As a business owner, it is important to capture every opportunity you can get. Every person that goes to voicemail could be a missed opportunity for new business. With our overflow service, you can be confident that a live agent is there to answer your incoming calls. Let us back up your team to ensure no call is left unanswered, and hold times remain low.

Stay connected from a distance

Learn the call details on your time

You don’t have to lose out on key information just because you’re too busy to be on the phone. Smith.ai’s real-time call data allows you to monitor call activities from a distance in our convenient online dashboard to predict business growth and costs, and make better business decisions with superior accuracy. Access everything that happened on a call, including receptionist’s notes and metadata such as actions completed, caller disposition, priority, relevance, and much more.

Capture late-night leads

24/7 call overflow answering

Never miss a call from a new lead - even at 2am. We'll answer all of your after-hours calls for 24/7 overflow coverage. By having a live agent available to answer calls outside of your regular business hours, you can be sure your potential customers are being nurtured through the sales funnel.

We'll handle your overflow

Answer all calls during busy periods

Running a successful marketing campaign? Have a temporary boost in calls all at once? We can answer an unlimited number of calls at once, so you can take full advantage of a peak in interested leads.

Never miss a single call detail

Away from the phone, but always informed

With Smith.ai's call recording & transcription, you can opt-in to have all calls handled by our receptionists recorded, providing you with powerful customer insights and important information from calls where more detail or context is needed. Listen to a full audio recording or view the written transcript of a call, so you can better understand who your callers are, what they want, and how to give it to them.


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Stay connected from a distance

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.

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"Smith.ai is just excellent. My go-to receptionist team that I use and recommend to other law firms... and business owners generally!! They go above and beyond to cater their receptionist and live chat services to the specific needs of my business."
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Joey Vitale
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Smith.ai was stellar. They listened to me and tailored my reception service to my specific needs. They were also very good about helping me stay within my budget.
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My only regret about hiring Smith.ai is that I didn't make the decision sooner. They've been instrumental in helping my team operate virtually during shelter-in-place orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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I love Smith.ai! This has been a really convenient service and enabled me to focus on my work more and screen customers more effectively.
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Overflow Call Answering Service FAQs

The best virtual receptionist and chat services do much more than answer phone calls, respond to live 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 telephone answering, to appointment scheduling, 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 after hours answering services (nights and weekends), here are the answers to the most common questions we receive about our overflow call answering services, specifically.

What are the benefits of an overflow call answering service?

An answering service, like Smith.ai, can offer your business overflow call answering. In doing so, answering services can take over call handling and answer calls when your team is busy and schedule call-backs when they're not. Our live receptionist can handle your excess calls so you don’t miss out on a potential client ever again. 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 incoming calls will be answered by a live agent so clients are always able to talk to a real person and not a machine. Our virtual receptionists will send your staff detailed call summaries so your team won't miss out on any important information. With overflow call answering services, your business can exude professionalism at all times and grow more successful by the hour. Missed calls are missed opportunities and as a business owner it's important to capitalize on every opportunity. With our virtual receptionist available to pick up the urgent calls your team can’t answer, you can be confident your potential customers are being accommodated.

By enabling overflow call answering services through an answering service, your business can:

  • Minimize distractions & protect team's time : With spam and telemarketing calls being filtered out and regular client calls being answered and screened, your team will be able to focus on more important tasks and avoid constant interruptions.
  • Reduce call handling times : Overflow call answering services allow phone calls to be picked up immediately so callers won't hang up, go unanswered, or be stuck waiting on hold. Workers can also be able to dedicate specific periods of time to call clients back, which leads to quicker response times.
  • Increase call resolution : Through giving your team detailed summaries for each call, you reduce the risk of misinterpretations or misunderstandings and your team members will be able to have all the information they need to move clients down the sales funnel.
  • Boost client satisfaction & business reputation : With overflow call answering services, your client will be immediately answered, 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 relieving a portion of your workload, Smith.ai's virtual receptionists can assist your team in converting leads at a faster rate and save them the hassle of screening calls themselves.

A great overflow call 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 buffer and frontline so that your business has the option of answering or not, saving you time. 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.

Overflow call answering services are invaluable to your business's success. Without having to deal with frequent call interruptions, 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 relief from call handling pressures when your team is busy, an overflow call answering service can transform your business into the best version of itself.

What’s the difference between an overflow call answering service and a call center or in-house staff?

As far as overflow call answering services are 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 they answer.

Answering phone calls isn't rocket science, yet still call centers and in-house staff often fail to perform overflow call answering in a manner that prioritizes your teams' time and your callers' satisfaction. Call centers and in-house staff are often not equipped to answer common questions callers have and 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 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 overflow call answering services 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:

  • Engage in poor phone etiquette
  • Leave callers on hold for absurd amounts of time
  • Fail to check your teams' availability before transferring calls
  • Have trouble providing high-quality customer service
  • Fail to set adequate expectations for callers being transferred

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 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:

  • Come unequipped to handle overflow calls
  • Have limited phone coverage availability
  • Have difficulty scheduling call-backs that adhere to your teams' time
  • Have no availability during office hours due to being busy themselves
  • Have little to no ability to answer more than one call at a time

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 telephone 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 virtual receptionist available when your team is busy to answer clients' questions.

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 and open availability
  • Answer phone calls immediately and consistently
  • 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 overflow answering services 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 overflow answering services.

How much does an overflow answering service cost?

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 overflow answering services 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 overflow call services, among other features, are incredibly affordable. Monthly plans start at as little as $255/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 to 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 overflow call 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 a virtual receptionist service that offers overflow answering services 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 overflow answering how and when you need it. Customers will run to your business for your reliable customer service, quick answering, and convenient call-backs.

To see if Smith.ai is the right fit for your business, sign up today risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee.

How do I know if my business needs an overflow answering service?

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 overflow answering service 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 phone call 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 busy representative fails to provide reasonable response times, struggles to demonstrate time efficiency, or forgets to answer a client they left on hold, 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. Companies of any size regularly struggle to find the time to answer client calls. Whether staff members have limited availability and either can't get to the phone in time or leave clients on hold for far longer than acceptable, 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 overflow answering services 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 when they're overbooked or understaffed. 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 overflow answering services can help small, medium, and large businesses?

Businesses of every size can benefit from outsourcing call handling and enabling overflow answering services, 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, overflow answering services mean 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. Overflow answering services give small businesses the opportunity to connect with clients without detracting from important work. This allows small businesses to maximize their productivity without sacrificing their much-needed time, money, or outreach towards current and potential clients. No more full voicemail boxes and no more lost leads during busy hours.

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 overflow answering service 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, overflow answering services mean personalized customer interactions and no 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. Overflow answering services 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 teams are busy, larger businesses no longer have to choose between interrupting work to answer calls or disregarding callers. The benefits of overflow call answering services are especially useful for educational institutions during enrollment and application periods. With our answering services for colleges and universities, current students and prospective students are able to be accommodated even during high call volume times.

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're looking to improve your company's customer service or increase your business's lead conversion rate, an answering service that delivers overflow answering services can help you 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.

Recent Client Testimonials


Here are a selection of the top cities we serve.

“One of the big reasons we chose a virtual receptionist was after looking at the statistics of the number of phone calls that go unanswered, [...] we wanted to be proactive in making sure we weren’t responding in the way that the industry standards appeared to be. We wanted to be on the front of that wave to increase the accessibility of our services.”
Beau Atkins
Evolve Family Law
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Take the Faster Path to Growth.
Hire Smith.ai Today.

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we deliver blue badge.