The 5 Best Small Business Answering Services of 2022
October 15, 2021 | Last Updated on: March 29, 2023
October 15, 2021 | Last Updated on: March 29, 2023
Paying for business answering services can actually earn your small business money. Yes, hiring a virtual receptionist does cost money, but having a live person answer your business phone and route calls, take messages, and schedule appointments for you can massively increase customer happiness and retention. All of that means more money for your business, which is great. Even better is that all 5 of the services below will provide that for you at less than the cost of a full-time in-house employee.
RingCentral is a cloud-based phone system (that offers business answering services) that structures their service offerings in 2 tiers: for small businesses and for enterprise clients. The small business tier offers a fairly comprehensive small business phone system that includes an auto-attendant to route your incoming calls, messages, and online meetings, all within a very secure environment. RingCentral’s auto-attendant functions like an AI virtual receptionist, connecting incoming calls to the correct department or desk in your company through an automated menu of options. While it’s not the same as having a live person answering your calls, it can be much more efficient for a growing small business where the call volume is too high for just one person. As your small business grows and you need a call answering service with more features, you can easily add specific features, including additional users, within minutes and from any device. RingCentral also offers 24/7 support if you’re ever stuck. With over 100 app integrations, including Google, Salesforce, Okta, Microsoft, Amazon, and Box, RingCentral is pretty versatile and integrates into most company workflows seamlessly. RingCentral’s small business pricing ranges from $20 per user per month to $70 per user per month, depending on several factors including the number of users, whether you pay monthly or annually, and which features you need your answering service to include.
Abby Connect is an incredibly popular live answering service for small businesses that offers English/Spanish bilingual receptionists, voicemail to email, custom transfer tunes, and unlimited voicemail boxes and recordings. Live call answering is available day and night, 7 days a week, and allows your customers to speak with a live person without disrupting your employees’ days. Abby Connect offers new clients a free 14-day trial. After the trial, the cost of having an Abby Connect live receptionist answer your phone calls will depend on the number of business calls you get each month. It’s $279 per month for 100 minutes, $499 per month for 200 minutes, and $1089 per month for 500 minutes. While that might seem expensive, it is far more cost-effective than hiring an in-house receptionist full time to answer calls, and that’s before considering the evening and weekend coverage that Abby Connect offers.
Pat Live is a popular phone answering service that offers a 14-day free trial and several service packages. The bigger the package that you purchase every month, the more services that are included with those minutes. Even the smallest package comes with several important features like a phone number, 24/7 telephone answering service, real time call summaries, lead collection, call transfers, and online reporting. The largest package includes up to 15 phone numbers, and features like a dedicated account manager and monthly performance calls. Your business might not need 15 phone lines, so choosing the biggest package you can afford is probably not the best way to choose your telephone answering service package. Instead, look at the number of minutes and features you actually need and choose your package based on those factors. Pat Live’s receptionist services costs $149 per month for 79 minutes, $269 per month for 200 minutes, $399 per month for 350 minutes, $629 per month for 600 minutes, or $999 per month for 1000 minutes. Additional minutes are available and cost anywhere from $0.95 to $1.50 per minute, depending on your initial package.
VoiceNation is rated the number one live receptionist service in the United States and has won several awards, including Top Call Center Services 2019 by Clutch. While VoiceNation works with megacompanies like McDonald’s, Dell, Adobe, and Delta, they have service packages that are structured specifically to meet the needs of small businesses like yours. 24/7 call answering services by bilingual English/Spanish virtual receptionists, order processing, a mobile phone app to manage your account, appointment scheduling, and call patching are some of their most popular service options. (Call patching is when their receptionists answer the phone for you and, when necessary, employ call forwarding to get you on the line. This allows you to only deal with the calls that really need your attention, not every single query.) VoiceNation offers a special deal for your first year of service, which is 20% off most package prices. Your first year of call answering service will cost $30 per month for 30 minutes, $75 per month for 50 minutes, $225 per month for 150 minutes, and $525 per month for 350 minutes.
Ruby Receptionists offers live virtual receptionists and chat services. Responding to customer queries in real time is an important part of a good customer experience, and Ruby Receptionists enables you to engage with your customers, whether they’re messaging you online or calling your business phone number. Managing your Ruby Receptionists service is easy enough that you can do it all from your cell phone. You can manage everything from holding your calls, setting up a customer message, checking incoming calls and messages, and syncing your contacts and calendar on the go. You can even choose to host your business number with Ruby Receptionists. Virtual Receptionist pricing is $299 per month for 100 minutes, $559 per month for 200 minutes, and $1269 per month for 500 minutes of phone answering services. If you’d like to add on chat services, it will cost $249 per month for 15 chats, $349 per month for 30 chats, and $549 per month for 50 chats. Serving over 10,000 happy small business owners, Ruby Receptionists knows how to handle customer queries and complaints on behalf of a broad range of businesses.
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