7 Best Answering Services for Small Businesses in 2024

7 Best Answering Services for Small Businesses in 2024

Want to make your customers come back for more?

Better service? 

High-quality products? 

Amazing marketing?

You can do all 3, but if your business offers a bad customer experience, you’ll lose out on a lot of customers. Imagine you’re on a tight deadline and need quick answers, but you’re met with an endless ring or, worse, a robotic voicemail. I’ve been there. It’s frustrating.

Businesses, especially small businesses, need to ensure they’re always available to their customers. An answering service can be a game-changer, providing professional customer support, capturing leads, and booking appointments.

This is where answering services come into play. Let’s go through what these services are, how they benefit your business and what the best answering services for small businesses are – let’s dive into it!

What Exactly Are Answering Services?

Think of answering services as an extension of your business, offering professional call handling and customer support 24/7. They ensure that every caller receives prompt, courteous attention, helping to enhance your brand’s reliability and customer satisfaction.

Whether it’s fielding calls at midnight, booking appointments, or ensuring no query goes unanswered, answering services ensure your business is always within reach.

Now, let’s go over the top 7 best answering services for small businesses in 2024.

  1. HiredSupport

HiredSupport has been elevating customer experiences for a multitude of clients, with CSAT scores skyrocketing to over 92% – beating industry averages by a mile. These case studies, like this one, are a testament to HiredSupport’s commitment to being more than an outsourcing company. They aspire to be partners instead of just a company that you can outsource your customer service to.

Why It Stands Out

HiredSupport in the business of boosting your brand through stellar customer experiences. They also offer a free trial for those who want to test the waters.

Key Features

  • Exceptional Customer Satisfaction Rates
  • Dedicated Partnership Approach
  • Comprehensive Outsourcing Solutions

Pricing

Starts from $99/month (50 minutes) + $1.98/min.

  1. Map Communications

Map Communications offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to providing answering services for small businesses. They also pride themselves on scalability – offering solutions for businesses of every size. If you’re at a stage where your company is growing rapidly, Map Communications is the perfect pick!

Why It Stands Out

They offer the kind of flexibility and scalability that makes them a perfect partner for small businesses on the up and up. If your business is hitting its stride and you’re looking to keep that momentum going, MAP’s got your back.

Key Features

  • Flexible Answering Services
  • Scalable Solutions for Any Business Size
  • 24/7/365 Live Support

Pricing

Starts from $47/month + $1.37/min

  1. Abby Connect

Abby Connect offers a surprisingly good combination of human and AI-assisted answering services. While hearing the words AI in customer service often puts a bad taste in customers’ mouths, it does work for some businesses. 

Why It Stands Out

Abby Connect blends the human touch with AI efficiency in a way that just clicks. It’s like having a super-smart, always-on team member who knows when to step in and when to let human empathy lead the way.

Key Features

  • Human and AI-assisted answering
  • Customizable call handling
  • 24/7 availability

Pricing

Starts from $299/month (100 minutes) + $2.99/min.

  1. Moneypenny

People love personalized customer service – this is where Moneypenny shines. You want your customers’ calls answered by someone who cares rather than yet another person reading a script. Moneypenny offers answering services globally, making them a very enticing choice for answering services.

Why It Stands Out

Moneypenny is highly praised for its bespoke service options and flexibility, allowing small businesses to tailor services exactly to their needs.

Key Features

  • Dedicated receptionists
  • 24/7 support
  • CRM integration

Pricing

Starts from $129/month (up to 30 minutes).

  1. VoiceNation

VoiceNation takes simplicity to a whole new level with a setup process so simple you’ll love it. They offer a dashboard as well to control the way calls are handled. VoiceNation is the perfect answering service company for those looking for both English and Spanish receptionists.

Why It Stands Out

VoiceNation is recognized for its quick setup and scalability, making it ideal for small businesses looking to grow. They offer immediate activation and flexible plans.

Key Features

  • Instant activation
  • Real-time message delivery
  • Custom scripting

Pricing

Starts from $49/month + pay-as-you-go minutes.

  1. AnswerConnect

AnswerConnect is among those few companies actively trying to fend off the AI trend in answering services. Voicemail and bots are often annoying for the customer. If you’re in the same situation, AnswerConnect is the way to go!

Why It Stands Out

AnswerConnect is well-known for its reliability, consistency, and agent professionalism. This service operates 24/7/365, offering phone and live chat answering services in English and Spanish.

Key Features

  • Customizable call handling
  • CRM integration
  • No voicemail policy

Pricing

Starts from $350/month + $2.50/min. $49.99 setup fee.

  1. Specialty Answering Service

Specialty Answering Service (SAS) is one of the oldest players in the answering services industry. They’re perfectly suited for small businesses who are looking for a reliable live telephone answering service.

Why It Stands Out

SAS brings a wealth of experience to the table. They’re not just an answering service but a cornerstone for small businesses aiming to build strong customer relationships.

Key Features

  • Live Telephone Answering
  • Customized Call Handling
  • 24/7/365 Service Availability

Pricing

Starts from $38/month + $1.39/min. $50 setup fee.

Top 10 Live Chat Support Outsourcing Companies

Key Features to Look For in an Answering Service

It’s not just about picking any provider. It’s about finding a partner that can truly sync with your business rhythm and customer needs. 

24/7 Availability

Why limit your business hours when the world doesn’t sleep? 

With 24/7 availability, your business becomes a global presence, accessible at any time. Imagine your customers being able to reach out and get a real, live person on the line whether it’s midnight or dawn. 

This constant availability is a significant game-changer, especially for customers in different time zones or those who keep unconventional hours. It’s about making your business always present, always ready to engage.

Bilingual Support

Language should never be a barrier to business. Bilingual support opens your doors to a broader audience, ensuring that no customer feels left out. 

Whether it’s Spanish, French, Mandarin, or any other language, having an answering service that can communicate effectively with your diverse customer base is invaluable. It’s not just about speaking the language; it’s about connecting cultures.

Integration Capabilities

A great answering service should blend smoothly into your existing ecosystem, whether that’s syncing with your CRM to keep customer records up-to-date or integrating with your scheduling software to book appointments without a hitch. 

This seamless integration means less manual work for you and more streamlined, efficient processes. It’s about making your tools work smarter, not harder, to provide a better customer experience.

Flexible Plans

Every business is unique, and your answering service should reflect that. Look for flexible plans that can grow and adapt to your business. Whether you’re experiencing a seasonal peak, scaling up your operations, or just starting out, having the ability to adjust your service level means you’re never paying for more than you need – or getting less than you require. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Absolutely! Many answering services offer flexible plans tailored for small businesses, ensuring you only pay for what you need. This makes it a cost-effective solution for improving customer service without hiring additional staff.

It ensures no call goes unanswered, improving customer satisfaction and potentially increasing sales. Plus, it allows you and your team to focus on core business tasks without being interrupted by phone calls.

Yes, many answering services are equipped to handle emergency calls, immediately providing urgent messages to you or designated team members. This particularly benefits service providers like plumbers, electricians, and healthcare professionals.

Look for services that offer 24/7 support, have experience in your industry, and are highly recommended by other businesses. Additionally, consider their technology capabilities, scalability, and whether they can provide a personalized experience for your customers.

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