Can you walk me through what happens after I sign up?
After you sign up and pick your plan, we give you a phone number for clients, both new and old. The number is toll-free or local (whichever you prefer), and provisioned within seconds so you can post this new number to your online profiles (web site, Facebook business page, etc.).
Want to keep your existing number? No problem — simply forward your calls to us, and we’ll handle the rest.
Why aren’t you up 24/7?
None of you answer client calls at 4am. We’ve spent months interviewing folks like you: contractors, accountants, real estate agents, electricians, insurance agents, carpenters, handymen, you name it. You care about missing calls during your working hours. The services that do answer calls at all hours usually do so in the event of an emergency (think doctor or plumber). Plus, if we were to support you 24/7, we’d have to transfer the cost to you, and that’s no good for your bottom line.
The good news is we offer instant voicemail-to-MMS after-hours, or simply rely on getting our human-transcribed call summaries at 9am the next business day.
Can you tell me more about your receptionists and how they handle calls?
When a call comes in during business hours, our super smart technology routes your calls to your personal Smith receptionist. No robots here, but rather a real person who knows you and your clients, assisted by our software mapping your client history (a profile that grows with each and every call). Your Smith receptionist engages in authentic conversation for as long as your client wants to chat. No script and no time limit. By charging per call, not per minute, real connections happen, and customers stay happy.
What do you do with information from calls?
All your calls are prioritized and the messages delivered instantly to you via text. If you can’t respond right away, don’t worry — we email you a complete history and transcription of your calls at the end of each day. You won’t miss a thing.
We also gather leads on potential new customers, and block spam calls for you. Our system learns over time — this is the magic sauce that allows for deep, personal engagement between your customers and your Smith receptionist.
What happens after hours? Can you forward calls?
During the business week, and on the weekends and holidays, our system can either take voicemails and send them to you as MMS or email, or forward them directly to a number you specify.
How is a text message not just another interruption?
A text message is both less intrusive and more actionable. It’s less intrusive than your phone ringing while you are on a job, in a meeting, or with a client. You can read it at a glance and make a decision on how to handle it. If you choose to act upon it later, you don’t have to worry about forgetting it. The message will appear in your daily summary. Nothing gets lost.
What about multi-person calls or conference calls?
We do offer transfer destinations for calls! When an urgent or high priority call comes in, your Smith agent will attempt to connect you directly. If you are not available, we will send you an instant call summary via SMS or email.
In addition, we provide an Operator service, where we can organize group conference calls for you.
Are the calls answered live 100% of the time? Is it always the same person?
Calls are answered by a real, live receptionist during the hours of your plan. You'll receive support from a rotating group of receptionists, which allows us to easily scale-up when your business receives a higher volume of calls (e.g., if you run a marketing campaign). (Sorry, no, you cannot choose which receptionists answer your calls.)
How do you determine if calls are spam or sales?
Our receptionists have years of experience in handling spam or sales calls. We also keep a record of all the spam and sales calls received — and the numbers associated — we receive for pros. As a last measure for certainty, we cross-reference potential spam calls with known public databases. We will only mark a call as spam if we are 99% sure. In the case that we misclassified a call (e.g. someone called in to see if you are interested in a business loan at a 30% interest rate and you do need a business loan), we can update the system to reflect that.
How is this better than my existing voicemail?
Voicemail is a service for you, not for your customers. It can make your client feel ignored or unimportant. Your Smith receptionist takes care of your customers as you would. Furthermore, voicemails become a routine chore often out of sync with the schedules of your customers. By the time you’ve listened to a call from a new lead when checking voicemail that evening, it’s likely they’ve already called someone else.
As your client history and business profile continues to grow (thanks to our smart technology), these client calls result in deeply personal engagement.
I do all my business over email. Where is that feature?
Good news. We turn phone calls into emails for you. But if you’re looking to have someone read and answer your emails for you...well, that is trickier. Do you want someone (even someone you trust with your business) having access to your entire inbox? Probably not. Start out with the phone plan, then we’ll work on this together to meet your specific needs.
Why are you better than hiring a call center staffed with many receptionists?
Call centers are expensive — between the hardware and the people hired to man the centers, they have about a 50% efficiency rate. Most of those people-hours are spent sitting around waiting for calls. Yes, these centers take messages but they aren’t mapping you a relationship, or providing you with a client history. They won’t know you or your business, and they use a script for every call. The high costs of these centers are transferred to the client. You’re charged by minute, so it can cost thousands.
Smith bills for the call, not the minute. Your Smith receptionist can build a relationship with your clients, can have friendly chitchat and it doesn’t cost you extra. Your Smith receptionist is a real person who gets to know you and your clients.
How do your receptionists get to know my business?
We used the best technology had to offer by building a platform based on Twilio — the most advanced VOIP service currently available. We also have client profiles that gather client information with each call, giving you powerful data analytics.
Do you work on weekends?
Our receptionists don’t answer calls on the weekends, but we can do one of two things: send voicemails to you via MMS or email, or forward the calls directly to you. Your daily call summary still arrives every day.
Can you book reservations or make appointments for me?
Yes. Smith integrates with most calendaring software, including Google Calendar, YouCanBookMe, Calendly, and many more.
Can I personalize my greeting or how you answer calls?
You determine your greeting. Some pros want to have a casual tone, some wanted a professional greeting with their company name, and it's entirely up to you. You can choose your own tagline and greeting. We make sure to clarify the pronunciation of your company/name/brand with you, as well.