8 BEST Answering service for Small Business (2022)

Answering services provide agents specialized in sales to answer phone calls for your businesses. They can respond to calls at high volume times when your team needs help handling overflow. They can also act as a contact center, eliminating the need for full-time employees. Their services are available in multiple languages both during and after business hours. Answering services also offer live receptionists.

We analyzed 20+ tools to find the top small business answering service. The research took an extended period of 20 hours to ensure we recommended the right tools. Our service selection is based on client satisfaction rates, scalability, features, and value for money.

Best Small Business Answering Services

Tool Name Supported System Billing increment Service Support Free Trial Link
Go Answer SaaS, Android, and iOS One-second increments Answering service, Call center services, Legal intake services, Virtual receptionist 30 Days Learn More
VoiceNation SaaS only 6-second increments Answering service, Virtual receptionist 7 Days Learn More
Ruby SaaS, Android, iOS 30-second increments Answering service, Live web chat, Virtual receptionist 21 Days Learn More
Davinci SaaS, Android, and iOS one-second increments Answering service, Live web chat, Virtual receptionist, Live web chat, Virtual office space No Learn More
PatLive SaaS, iOS, and Android 6-second increments Live call answering service, Virtual receptionist 14 Days Learn More
Expert advice:

β€œ Responding to phone calls at high volume times can be very tedious. You require help handling overflow during business hours and after hours. That is why choosing the right answering service is critical. Choose wisely, putting your budget and business size into consideration. ”

1) Go Answer – Best Affordable SMB’s Choice

Go Answer streamlines the day-to-day operations and ensures business continuity after hours when your team is out of the office. This call center service gives callers a personalized experience to establish trust and build rapport. Go Answer delegates all outbound matters to expert agents and does follow-ups to customers’ requests.

Moreover, the service plans are customizable to fit the business needs. They include month-to-month services with no underlying binding contract. Go Answer supports property management, medical, contractors, attorneys, emergency restoration, hospitality, and financial services.

Go Answer

Features:

  • Businesses can get real-time email alerts and text notifications on account updates.
  • The answering service can book appointments with clients according to your calendar availability.
  • It includes roles like upselling, cross-selling, and order taking.
  • The platform offers live chat services to provide immediate responses to customers.
  • Go Answer agents can take messages, capture the reason for the call, and take basic caller information.
  • It offers custom, friendly, and professional greetings to address clients after hours.
  • You can develop a script through the client portal that agents will read when answering calls.
  • This service can patch calls directly to the business’s relevant contact points at no extra charge.
  • Go Answer supports SaaS, Android, and iOS platforms.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
It provides customers with FAQs to assist in answering questions and is HIPAA-compliant. The live chat support does not work when all agents are busy.
Agents handle client requests without consulting your company’s representatives.
Go Answer offers discount vouchers and mail coupons to keep customers contented.
It has a Legal Intake service that handles potential leads and cases by deploying outsourced experts.

Key specs:

Billing increment: One-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Answering service, Call center services, Legal intake services, Virtual receptionist
Pricing: Plans start at $50 a month.
Free Trial: Yes – 30 Days

Visit Go Answer >>


2) VoiceNation – Best Smart virtual PBX solution.

VoiceNation is the best phone answering service for small businesses with USA-based agents. The services also work across construction, real estate, and medical firms. Their team of agents can start taking your calls as soon as you finish the sign-up process.

VoiceNation plans include short message service, email, and message delivery by voicemail. The platform offers custom call scripting and a dedicated account manager. Moreover, it has live chat and answering services 24/7/365 for low pricing with no contracts or setup fees.

VoiceNation

Features:

  • This phone answer service offers call blocking, on-call scheduling, and custom on-hold music.
  • It has online reports that check call duration, volume, and location.
  • This answering service can screen calls, process orders, and set appointments.
  • The platform’s mobile lead collection captures callers’ information and prioritizes callbacks.
  • Users can use the dashboard to customize the call script for their operators.
  • You can keep an existing phone number by porting or going for a local/toll-free number to get started.
  • VoiceNation has a client portal where businesses can track minutes and view call logs.
  • The analytics feature provides insights into the average response time, call rates, and pins top 25 callers.
  • VoiceNation supports Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
The month-to-month plans do not charge extra fees for holidays or after-hours calls. Placing outbound calls through the mobile app is charged 10 cents per minute.
Call patching and transfer forward the client to knowledgeable representatives. It does not offer professional scripts for customizing greetings.
VoiceNation has a disaster recovery to keep the business going when the lines are down.
It is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant.

Key specs:

Billing increment: 6-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Answering service, Virtual receptionist
Pricing: Plans start at $59 a month.
Free Trial: Yes – 7 Days

Link: https://voicenation.com/


3) Ruby Receptionists – Best Overall live answering solution.

Ruby is a small business answering service that is helpful for the growth process. It is an Oregon-based agency that partners with small business owners across several industries, including education, finance, realtors, healthcare, and legal firms.

With its advanced mobile app, you can take messages in the form of voicemails and forward calls to virtual representatives. The app can also access messages from the in-house receptionist and get all call records. Moreover, you can receive texts and make calls from the business line while keeping the number secure and private.

The Ruby platform has an auto-attendant with a barge and calls whisper features to ensure caller satisfaction. Furthermore, it offers chat services that can bundle chat and set the business status.

Ruby

Features:

  • It schedules appointments depending on your calendar availability, ensuring no double-booking.
  • The platform offers a chat call connection and call routing to help connect with the most receptive prospect.
  • Businesses can personalize greetings to allow Ruby receptionists to represent your business values.
  • The services include call holding with seven on-hold music options to keep callers entertained.
  • Ruby screens out solicitors and captures new customers using the lead information collected.
  • You can get messages and call notifications on any device via email, text, or the Ruby app.
  • Stay connected to clients with real-time usage alerts and voicemail transcriptions.
  • Third-party integrations include Clio, Grasshopper, Nextiva, Rocket Matter, and Mycase.
  • It supports SaaS platforms, Android, and iOS devices.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
It has HIPAA-compliant services to protect the business and patients’ information. The bilingual agents are only accessible during standard business hours from Monday to Friday.
Ruby offers free consultations with their account executive. Users have to pay extra for outbound calling services.
They do not charge after-hours services or a setup fee.
The platform filters Robocalls and sends them to the Ruby voicemail box.

Key specs:

Billing increment: 30-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Answering service, Live web chat, Virtual receptionist
Pricing: Plans start at $219 a month.
Free Trial: 21 Days Money Back Guarantee

Visit Ruby >>


4) Davinci Virtual – Best Administrative task assistance

Davinci virtual has an automated answering service meant for completing administrative tasks. It also provides toll-free 888, 855, 866, and 877 or a local number with your area codes. It allows you to select these numbers from an existing phone or fax line and enjoy unlimited long-distance calling.

With Davinci Virtual, callers can reach you anywhere using the virtual phone locating service known as the Find Me Follow Me feature. It also offers solutions like meeting spaces, catering services, and virtual business addresses. Davinci offers customizable Business and Premium packages for businesses.

Davinci

Features:

  • Virtual assistants can screen callers before your business can answer incoming calls.
  • It can screen calls and forward them to the company business phone number.
  • The auto-receptionist uses professionally recorded messages to answer calls after hours.
  • This platform uses an online calendar to schedule appointments in real-time.
  • You can take and process orders using a web-based commerce solution.
  • It can hold audio conference calls with up to 99 participants on the online portal.
  • The advanced call routing feature can direct calls to a different virtual office phone number.
  • Davinci supports SaaS, Android, and iOS platforms.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
The platform can handle follow-up, and lead generation calls with ease. It charges a one-time setup fee, and the activation can take up to two business days.
You can set custom hold music to entertain callers while on the line. Davinci Virtual does not provide live after-hours phone answering services.
It has trained virtual receptionists who can handle customer FAQs and other complex inquiries.
Users can receive the live chat history and transcripts.

Key specs:

Billing increment: one-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Answering service, Live web chat, Virtual receptionist, Live web chat, Virtual office space
Pricing: Plans start at $50 a month.
Free Trial: No

Link: https://www.davincivirtual.com/


5) PatLive – Best Live answering service.

PatLive is one of the best answering service companies with professional virtual receptionist services. The remote team is US-based and offers flexible month-to-month plans with no contract. PatLive delivers 24/7 customer services from Monday to Friday, standard working hours to increase your customer’s satisfaction.

Every PatLive plan comes with a dedicated phone number and helps customers with frequently asked questions. It offers additional services like customized call scripts, patching, and a history of every call. PATLive allows business status updates on the online website or mobile apps to change how receptionists handle calls.

PatLive

Features:

  • It offers live receptionists who can record contact information, including the caller’s location.
  • The team uses order processing to place direct orders from your e-commerce storefront.
  • Users can screen calls and find out who is calling before answering the call.
  • The platform can reschedule appointments, book new appointments, and process cancellations.
  • PatLive transfer calls to the business representatives whenever you are available.
  • The agents take messages when you are away and let customers know when you are available to take calls.
  • It has custom forms for lead collection to get important details from callers.
  • Third-party integrations include Insightly, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, Google Calendar, Shopify, and more.
  • PatLive supports SaaS platforms, Android, and iOS devices.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
PatLive can take attendee registrations to maximize attendance if you host an event. The call timer for entering call notes is too short.
The platform provides customers with FAQs on its dashboard.
It offers fast replies with an average speed of just 8 seconds.
You can use the built-in reports to visualize call trends and patterns.

Key specs:

Billing increment: 6-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Live call answering service, Virtual receptionist
Pricing: Plans start at $59 a month.
Free Trial: Yes – 14 Days

Link: https://www.patlive.com/


6) AnswerFirst – Best Pay-as-you-go services

AnswerFirst provides small business owners and customers exceptional 24/7 call answering service solutions. This tool serves industries, including information technology, manufacturing, legal, and healthcare. It also offers advanced solutions including online order fulfillment, inbound email processing, and business management.

Moreover, AnswerFirst offers a free Client Web Access (CWA) for every Live Operator account. This account allows businesses to access their information in real-time by securely logging in to the web server. The web interface offers account screen reviews, voice log access, live status updates, and form review.

AnswerFirst

Features:

  • It has virtual receptionists that take messages and transfer calls to your cell phone or office extensions.
  • The live call transfer and patching the caller directly to the right extension, person, or department.
  • Virtual assistant staff can take and deliver customer messages.
  • AnswerFirst offers system monitoring to track phone alerts or email notifications.
  • The receptionists can place orders directly on your e-commerce platform.
  • It has an on-call schedules feature those book appointments according to your calendar availability.
  • Third-party integrations include Freshdesk, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, ServiceNow, TimeTap, and Zendesk.
  • AnswerFirst supports SaaS, Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS platforms.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
It offers affordable pay-as-you-go services with no contracts or long-term commitments. The service cancellation terms are not consistent with the industry standard.
AnswerFirst is HIPAA and Security Standards Council (PCI) compliant.
Businesses can access call reports and recordings in real-time.

Key specs:

Billing increment: One-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Answering service, Virtual receptionist, Call center services
Pricing: Plans start at $30 a month.
Free Trial: No

Link: https://answerfirst.com/


7) Abby Connect – Best Streamlined live receptionists

Abby Connect is among the best small business answering services with a successful manager and team to answer business calls. It is a Las Vegas-based company offering custom answering hours and customized client intake. They save on time so that you can focus on other important tasks and purpose towards increased returns on investment.

Each group of Abby’s team includes up to seven receptionists for more consistent customer experiences. Abby Connect offers advanced features like custom tunes, call recordings and client data updates.

Abby Connect

Features:

  • You can ban customers or visitors by using their IP addresses.
  • Block spam or unwanted callers from reaching the company lines.
  • The dedicated virtual receptionist function as an extension of the business
  • Agents can get the caller’s information before answering a call using a call screen.
  • The team can schedule appointments via Google or Outlook according to your availability.
  • The call announcement feature enables representatives to pick the right calls.
  • Third-party integrations include Zapier, HubSpot, Clio Grow, Lawmatics, and Clio.
  • It supports Android, iOS devices, and SaaS platforms.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Businesses can set custom voicemails for their customers via Abby Connect. Abby Connect does not have any call barge and call whisper.
Abby users can call and text on the AbbyGo mobile app.
It can schedule recurring live call handling rules on your account.
The number of team members you can set on the account is not limited.

Key specs:

Billing increment: 30-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Answering service, Live web chat, Virtual receptionist
Pricing: Plans start at $299 a month.
Free Trial: Yes – 14 Days

Link: https://www.abby.com/


8) Answering Service Care – Best Professional answering service

Answering Service Care offers 24/7 live answering services. This Florida-based firm offers virtual receptionist services for businesses of all sizes. The company serves clients in the legal sectors, real estate, medical homes, insurance agencies, and funeral homes.

They offer toll-free numbers to local, national, and global businesses to attract more calls and text messages. You can also deliver messages from phone, fax, SMS, or other wireless devices.

Answering Service Care offers inbound call forwarding, voicemail to email, and live call transfer. It also provides multichannel communications and manages calls after hours, on holidays, and on weekends.

Answering Service Care

Features:

  • The custom on-hold music plays music or relays important information when clients wait on a call.
  • It offers email marketing that follows up phone conversations after the caller hangs up.
  • Users can screen calls and direct them to available representatives.
  • You can filter out spam or Robocalls using the spam blocker.
  • The team can schedule, cancel, and reschedule appointments with callers on your behalf.
  • Answering Service Care can digitally record telephone calls and access them for later reference.
  • It has an on-call calendar that updates the staff about on-call schedules.
  • Third-party integrations include Salesforce, Slack, Webex, Google Calendar, MEDX, and Google Suit.
  • It supports SaaS, Android, and iOS platforms.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
This platform offers a customized disaster recovery plan to businesses. It only provides one fax to email number on the enterprise plan, which is expensive.
It has a same-day setup with no long-term contract.
The receptionists handle communication with HIPAA-compliant care and privacy.
Tracks your inbound email tickets and alerts you on time.

Key specs:

Billing increment: 60-second increments
Languages: English and Spanish
Service Support: Answering service, Virtual receptionist, Automated services
Pricing: Plans starting at $49 a month.
Free Trial: 21 Days Money Back Guarantee

Link: https://www.answeringservicecare.net/

FAQs

❓ What is an answering service?

Answering service companies offer commercial telecommunications services. They are often employed to process and answer incoming telephone calls on behalf of businesses. The professional answering service providers consist of well-trained human beings who act as receptionists. They get knowledge of your products and engage the customers according to your instructions. By doing so, they can take messages, answer calls, settle customer issues and increase sales to your company.

⚑ What is the best answering service for small businesses?

Here are the best small business answering services

πŸš€ What to look for in an answering service for small business?

Picking the right virtual answering service for your business can improve customer retention and success. Here are essential factors to consider.

  • Type of Operator: The type of agents/operator you require for the business is one of the most critical areas to consider. The agents provide a sense of personal touch to keep the customers satisfied. For instance, funeral home operators are calm and composed, while medical operators need to be lively and energetic.
  • User Interface: A professional telephone answering service should offer businesses an easy-to-use online interface. Users should be able to check fax or text transmission of messages online or via a mobile app.
  • 24/7 support: The best answering services for small business owners should offer 24/7 coverage for a full day of operations. However, some businesses need comprehensive after-hour services.
  • Features: Ensure the answering service features work well with your business structure. Focus on the analytical reports, response time, courtesy, and all dispatching systems.
  • Security: A professional answering service should be HIPAA-compliant if it handles medical practices. The call agents should be able to handle payment information for businesses that process orders. While handling client data, the answering service needs top-notch privacy and security.
  • Billing increment: Answering service billing structures includes per-minute and per-call billing. Depending on the call volume, choose an answering service with different plans and ensure not to exceed the usage threshold.
  • Integrations: The system may need to be compatible with other third-party Software you currently use in your company, making it easy to drive operator information across existing Software, thus cutting the workload.
  • Bilingual Support: Top answering services should offer bilingual receptionists. The agents should manage the calls to ensure effective communication with foreign clients.
  • Budget: Most services charge based on online activity and do not have a flat rate structure. Depending on the budget and call volume, you can dictate the best pricing model for your business.
  • Customization: Outsourced answering services should not use generic call handling templates. Make sure you can customize their call scripting to the specific business needs.