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Here’s why businesses rely on Smith.ai

82
%

of consumers expect an immediate response to a sales inquiry

50
%

of lead generation budgets are wasted on leads who are never contacted

79
%

of marketing leads never convert into sales

67
%

of customers who receive excellent service spend up to 14% more

Keeping up is impossible

Incoming calls are unpredictable

Calls come in, but you're not always available to answer them. We can answer calls, screen leads, book appointments, and send you instant notifications.

MORE LEADS IN LESS TIME

Get work done while we handle the calls

Your team only has so much time. And you can't delegate photography work. Hand off "the rest" to our receptionists. We can screen calls, book appointments, and take payments.

FAST FOLLOW-UPS, DONE FOR YOU

Outreach calls and campaigns speed-up sales and support

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.

KNOW WHICH CONVERSATIONS MATTER

Powerful call intelligence gives your business the lead

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.

46% OF CUSTOMERS PREFER LIVE CHAT

Screen leads faster with live chat, texts & messages

New potential clients come to your site with questions. With Smith.ai 24/7 Live Chat, we respond in seconds to turn website visitors into qualified consults. We answer texts & Facebook messages, too.

integrations

Smith.ai integrates with your software.

Calls, chats, appointments, and payments are automatically logged in your systems. We directly integrate with over 30 programs, including Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zapier.

Trusted by businesses &
the agencies that support them

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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
Indie Law
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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.
Shamia Cottrell
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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.
Littleton Legal PLLC
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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.
Jennifer Fabian-Verzosa

Everything You Need to Know About Photographer Answering Services

The best photographer answering services do much more than pick up phone calls and take messages for home and office. At Smith.ai, we provide virtual receptionists capable of a wide range of services from call handling, to scheduling, lead intake, 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 professional photographers.

What are the benefits of a photographer answering service?

There's a lot of chaos that goes on in the day-to-day life of a photographer, and because of that, it can be easy for slightly more frivolous duties, like appointment scheduling or call answering, to be neglected. Unfortunately, this can directly impact the quality of client relationships, the success of various marketing campaigns, and so many other crucial aspects of running a business. If these responsibilities are neglected frequently, a photographer's reputation and revenue could be at stake. Luckily, a photographer answering service can allow busy photographers to place their administrative duties into the hands of trained professionals so they can get everything they need done without sacrificing any on-the-job time. A reliable answering service provides photographers with all the support they need, wherever they need it. Some of the most notable benefits that photographers tend to experience with an answering service like Smith.ai includes:

  • Expanded availability

With an answering service available around-the-clock, your clients will always speak with a real human being, regardless of whether you're preoccupied, away from your phone, or on vacation. Entrusting a dedicated professional with your calls protects your client relationships by ensuring exceptional customer service 24/7.

  • Increased lead captured  

Missed calls lead to missed opportunities. Don’t let leads slip away just because you can't reach the phone. Answering services provide nighttime, overflow, weekend, and after-hours availability, so more of your leads can be captured and nurtured on your behalf.  

  • Boosted work productivity 

By placing your administrative responsibilities on the shoulders of a trusted photographer answering service, you can recycle the time you used to spend on the phone and put it towards more productive work. This can open the door for a whole bunch of growth opportunities for your business.

  • Enhanced client satisfaction and business reputation

Smith.ai knows how to deliver a stellar customer experience, so whatever your business size, know that our virtual receptionist got you covered. Each and every Smith.ai virtual receptionist is highly-trained in customer service, so let us put our award-winning practices to work for you by delivering the responsiveness your clients will love. 

  • Get more for less

Photographers can enjoy all the benefits of several highly-trained in-house receptionists wrapped into one easy-to-use service for a fraction of the cost. Customers who use Smith.ai instead of hiring in-house receptionists can save upwards of $30,000/year, not to mention on-boarding hours.

  • Keep up with leads and clients

Phone answering services can deliver detailed call summaries after every call, and even offer your clients chat, social media, and text messaging, so your clients have more than one way to get in contact with you, allowing for ten-times as many lead conversion possibilities to come your way.

A live photographer answering service can revolutionize the way you do business. Smith.ai's virtual receptionist services are specifically designed to fit your business needs, whatever they may be. Whether you're on a limited budget, overwhelmed by growing business demands, or simply looking to enrich your customer service, Smith.ai can provide the unique support you need, wherever you need it. You can receive all the benefits of several in-house receptionists combined into one simple service, and with a seemingly endless supply of features available for you to take advantage of, Smith.ai can empower your photography business to accomplish even it's most ambitious goals.

Smith.ai’s answering service can offer photographers services, like…

24/7 availability

After-hours & overflow answering

Bilingual answering

Outbound call-backs

Spam blocking

Appointment scheduling

Sales development

Payment collection

CRM Integration

Lead development

And much, much more…

With an extensive list of features and resources, Smith.ai’s answering service is the clear choice for photographers hoping to build and strengthen their productivity, revenue, and outreach. Smith.ai has long been dedicated to offering comprehensive administrative support to photography businesses like yours. For years now, our staff has been able to provide our award-winning services to thousands of satisfied clients. Read some of the 5-star reviews from clients like these to learn why photographers from across the nation trust Smith.ai to deliver exceptional virtual receptionist services.

How much money will I save by hiring an answering service for my photography business instead of an in-house receptionist?

"Front desk" support can be a game-changer for photographers looking to simplify their workload, and when considering hiring an in-house receptionist or an answering service, costs tend to be the deciding factor. Keeping prices as low as possible without sacrificing the quality of work is key, but with an in-house receptionist, your dollar might not stretch as far as you might think. To give you a better look at the cost comparisons, we've compiled a brief list of the average expenses photographers can anticipate when hiring an in-house receptionist.

The average salary nation-wide for an in-house receptionist is about $37,000 and they usually come with hefty, often unspoken fees, such as:

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance, costing about $11,000/year
  • Life and disability insurance, costing about $2,000/year
  • 401K’s, retirement and pension plans, costing about $2,000/year
  • Paid sick leave, holidays, and vacations, costing about $5,500/year
  • Commuting reimbursement, costing about $5,000/year
  • Child care subsidy and parental leave, costing about $3,000/year
  • Health and wellness programs, costing about $1,000/year
  • Bonus pay, costing about $2,000/year
  • Company retreats, team bonding events, and employee outings, costing about $4,000/year
  • Free lunch, snacks, and drinks, costing about $3,500/year

Total Cost in Addition to Salary: $77,000/year

If your photography business is located in any large city, that final price tag is guaranteed to be a lot higher. And with all the time you'll have to spend onboarding and training your new hire, the upfront costs will be devastating to say the least. Unfortunately, those costs never seem to balance out over time. When your in-house receptionist inevitably comes in late, calls in sick, requests time off, takes personal leaves of absence, goes on vacation, etc., it's you that will be getting the short end of the stick. On the other hand, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can accomplish nearly the same tasks as an in-house receptionist can, and they're even well-equipped to complete those tasks better than an in-house receptionist can. In addition, our virtual receptionists are much more affordable, both upfront and overall, so your business can get so much more for a mere portion of the cost.

Smith.ai’s answering service costs as little as $240/month, with no hidden fees. Ever. By hiring an answering service instead of an in-house receptionist, your business could save over $34,000/year on salary alone, and possibly up to $41,000/year in benefits beyond salary payments. So not only will you get more bang for your buck, but you'll also gain a virtual team of highly-trained professionals who can work on your behalf to boost your productivity, lead conversion rates, and net profit. Unlike in-house receptionists, virtual receptionists can answer calls outside of regular business hours, enabling you to capture and covert nearly 27% more leads. Smith.ai’s agents can even respond to live chats, texts, and social media messages, which is how 46% of customers prefer communicating with businesses, allowing your business to reach potential leads you may have never even known existed.

Virtual receptionists can also provide additional sales assistance as well by making outbound calls to capture potentially interested leads, providing the responsiveness that over 67% of clients base their decision to hire a business on. With potential clients receiving the timely, professional responses they expect, the amount of leads your team will be able to convert will skyrocket. With Smith.ai’s reliable photographer answering service, you can receive all the benefits of an in-house receptionist and so much more without the unnecessary costs. Read our article to learn more about the differences between an in-house vs. a virtual receptionist.

What kinds of scenarios do photographers need virtual receptionist services for?

Whether they're shooting a special events or a one-on-one shoot, photographers have jam-packed schedules. With bustling work environments like these, it can be challenging for photographers to find the time in their day to get everything done, let alone tackle less urgent projects, like sending off invoices. That's where an answering service comes in. By bringing in professional outsourced support, photographers can better manage their massive workloads and effectively tackle any problems that may sneak up. Common scenarios that we've noticed photographers experience that have required a virtual receptionist service for are:

  • I need administrative support, but can't afford it

"Front desk” support in any form is an absolute must for just about every business. Entrusting a trained professional to take on your tedious administrative duties can be a huge help. But with limited office space and budgets, many smaller photography businesses simply can't afford to bring in expensive in-house receptionists, and without that invaluable administrative support, there's no telling how many lead conversion opportunities they'll miss out on.

  • Constant phone calls distract from work

Calls come in whether you're available to answer them or not. When photographers repeatedly have to step out from clients appointments to answer the phone throughout their day, it can lead to a number of problems. And when it takes, on average, about 23 minutes to get back to a task after being interrupted by a phone call, clients receive subpar service and photographers can wave their productivity, and possibly their reputation, goodbye.

  • Growing business demands are overwhelming

Without a doubt, growth can be a major sign of success for any business, however, growth can present a unique obstacle for small or independent photography businesses. Growth means more: more calls to answer, more consults to book, more clients to meet with. More and more gets added to those pesky to-do lists by the hour, leaving already overwhelmed photographers struggling to catch up on their ever-growing workload.

  • I can't offer the around-the-clock availability clients want

When the work day ends, photographers should be able to enjoy some much-needed time away from clients. But just because you clock out for the day doesn't mean calls stop coming in. And when you're unavailable to answer their calls, you miss the over 27% of leads who call outside of regular business hours. Despite being interested in offering after-hours answering, many photography businesses just can't afford multiple in-house receptionists or pricey call centers.

If any one of these scenarios sounds like something you've gone through, this is your reminder that there's no need to fight through these sticky situations alone. Allow a group of highly-trained virtual receptionists to take those overwhelming administrative demands off of your shoulder and finally receive the support your business has always needed. Your clients will be thrilled about the top-tier customer service they can come to rely on each time they contact your business, and you'll be freed from the weight of the growing list of administrative duties that have so often dominated their workdays. So whether your business could use an extra hand responding to leads, collecting deposits, or answering texts, our team of well-trained virtual receptionists can provide you with the unique support you need to keep your clients happy and your work days stress-free.

What are some of the common problems that indicate my photography business could use a virtual receptionist service?

There is so much that falls on your shoulders as a photographer. And while it would be nice to be able to get everything done yourself, it simply isn't realistic. Inevitably, issues will come up that you won't be able to resolve on your own, and you shouldn't have to. Outsourced support, like an answering service, can give you the support you need to make your way out of even the toughest spots unscathed. Some of the most frequently reported problems we've seen photographers need virtual receptionist services for are:

  • I can't offer the responsiveness leads demand

Tight schedules and intense workloads leave photographers little time to cater to potential customers. Responsiveness has time-and-time again been proven crucial for any business interested in converting leads, but small photography businesses usually don't have the flexibility in their schedule that allows them to provide the exceptional and reliable customer service that leads want.

  • Productive work falls to the wayside under growing administrative demands

Rising prices for in-house receptionists force many photographers to try and tackle administrative duties themselves. But with a never-ending list of responsibilities falling on their shoulders, and theirs alone, small or independent photographers frequently buckle under the endless administrative pressures. It's completely impractical to expect a photographer to complete all their regular duties and still find the time and energy to answer calls, book consultations, and respond to web leads.

  • I can't get to the phone in time to answer leads, and it's costing me money

Whether they're preoccupied servicing an existing client or simply away from the phone, photographers can't be expected to answer every call that comes in. Juggling existing projects with customer service demands can be a hurdle even the most skilled photographer can have trouble clearing, and when the work days get down to the wire (which they often do for photographers), call handling and lead screening duties are the first of many priorities to be sacrificed, leaving leads unanswered and unconverted.

  • My competitors are responding to potential clients faster than me

There are plenty of photographers in the job market, which unfortunately leaves smaller businesses and solo photographers at a major disadvantage when it comes to setting their services apart from their competitors. Providing superior customer experiences through immediate, thoughtful responses can place any professional in good standing with potential clients, but high-quality customer service takes time that many busy photographers just don't have.

  • Capturing and converting leads is increasingly challenging

Generating and converting new clients is undeniably time-consuming. Many photographers are, unfortunately, hard-pressed for time, often struggling to balance their everyday duties with their growing lead conversion demands. With so many important projects and events to focus on as it is, photographers simply don't have the time to provide the quality of customer service leads expect. Consistently poor responsiveness and customer service, however, can cost photographers more leads than they may realize.

  • I'm unsure of how to properly track and store my clients’ data

Maintaining detailed phone records and call summaries can be incredibly confusing for photography businesses who, like many client-facing businesses, often distribute client data across a few different software platforms. It goes without saying that knowing exactly how, when, and why clients call is crucial for photographers growing their client base, but when information about a customer's experience is improperly stored or mismanaged, photographers can easily miss out on valuable lead generation and conversion opportunities.

Any of these ring a bell? If so, a virtual receptionist service can be just the fix. Smith.ai is well-equipped to help business of all kinds and address and resolve common problems just like these. Smith.ai's services aren't a "one-size-fits-all" – our virtual receptionists adjust their service to deliver unique and customized assistance that fits your needs. This means that our virtual receptionists will spend their time on the problems you need the most help with, whether that's something as straightforward as call handling or something more complicated, like deposit collecting. Smith.ai caters to your business needs, no matter how simple or complex, so you get the most for what you pay for. Sign up risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee and experience first-hand how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can help you tackle all of the common problems your photographer businesses faces.

What do I need to prepare to get started with a photographer virtual receptionist service?

When considering a virtual receptionist service, a good place to start is to consider what administrative tasks tend to be the most demanding for you and your team. To better understand which services you might benefit from, consider the on-going issues that impact your photography business's ability to remain productive. For instance:

  • Do call handling responsibilities overwhelm you? 
  • Could lead screening support help you convert those leads you've been neglecting? 
  • Do you have a hard time collecting deposits from new clients? 

Whatever you struggle with, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists prepare to make changes to their service so they can pick up wherever you leave off. 

Once you've pinpointed a handful of the issues that Smith.ai receptionists can help you with, consider your agency's activity level: 

  • Does your agency receive more social media inquiries than phone calls?
  • Could you use more hands on deck to reach out to potential web leads?
  • Would your agency benefit from 24/7 phone answering or would you prefer a particular time frame, such as 9-to-5, for answering calls? 

Whether you get twenty calls a month or 2,000, Smith.ai can customize your virtual receptionist service to fit your business activity so you only ever pay for exactly what you need. 

All you have to do next is sign up. Getting started with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service is quick and simple. No annual contracts, no hidden setup fees, and no scripts required. 

To sign up with Smith.ai, follow these three easy steps:

  1. Customize your instructions – Just answer a few, quick questions about your business and the preferences you have, and we’ll get you started. We’ll use your answers to customize the way our virtual receptionists answer your calls and your clients’ questions. 
  2. Send your calls to us – We work with every major phone system and can set up customized rules for when we answer your calls, or we can answer every call, 24/7!
  3. Try risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee – Fully experience our call answering, scheduling, payments, and other phone services completely risk free for 14 days. If you find that we're not the right fit for you, you can receive up to $1,000 back within the first 14 days.

So whether your photography business could benefit from a full-time virtual receptionist or just an overflow or after-hours call answering service, Smith.ai can check off all the boxes to fulfill each and every one of your administrative needs. From lead screening and consultation booking, to payment collecting and call handling, our team of virtual receptionists are available around-the-clock to give your business the comprehensive support it needs. And when you sign up with Smith.ai, you aren't just gaining a virtual receptionist service, you’re gaining a professional, reliable, and friendly team of well-trained experts who can transform the way you do business for good. And once you start using Smith.ai's virtual receptionist service, you'll wonder how you ever got anything done without us.

Learn how to get started with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service.

Recent Client Testimonials

"Smith.ai is our inbound sales team. Having a trained and personable voice has transformed our ability to answer the phone and convert callers to clients."
Jeremy Treister
CMIT Solutions of Downtown Chicago
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