Imagine the year 2010.
You’re a small business and what matters the most to customers is low prices and high-quality.
Now, jump back to today’s world. It’s not the case anymore.
In 2020, the companies are getting more customer-oriented, focusing on providing a positive customer experience. This, in turn, improves their customer retention, recurring sales, and helps get free word-of-mouth advertising.
According to American Express, 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.
Also, since the competition is so fierce, you’ve to make sure the customer has a positive and happy experience at all times. Else, it’d take less than a blink of an eye for them to switch to another company.
Another study reveals that, when faced with complex situations, 63% of the customers look to a real person to solve their problem – 40% over the phone and 23% prefer in-person visits.
As you can notice, phone support is essentially the most common way customers prefer to talk to a business.
But, as a small business, it can be challenging and expensive to set up a proper phone answering setup that’s available at all times.
What’s more worrisome is that you may spend more resources and time dealing with customers than focusing on growing the business.
This is where phone answering services can help!
Quick Tip: If you offer online customer support, the best solution is to create Animated explainer videos for frequently asked questions and add them to your website’s knowledgebase. It’ll reduce customer inquiries by a huge margin. Read this article to check how Toonly can help you achieve this.
How Can Phone Answering Services Help A Small Business?
Third-party phone answering services (also known as virtual receptionist) can take a range of tasks off your employee’s plate.
It includes but not limited to:
- Automated responses to frequently asked questions
- Automatically put callers on hold when the lines are busy
- Transfer calls to human if the customer requests it
- Create tickets based on customer’s input
- Call screening and call whispering
- Integration with other business apps
- Bilingual customer support
- 24/7/365 live receptionist
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
Now, the next question is – how do you choose the best phone answering services from the hundreds of options available in the market?
We’ve field-tested dozens of phone answering services and picked out our top 5 choices that will provide customer support for you at less than the cost of a full-time in-house employee.
Top 3 Best Phone Answering Services in 2020
Let’s get started.
RingCentral is one of the most popular and respected phone answering service providers. It’s a cloud-based solution that has organized its services in two tiers: for small businesses and for enterprises.
Their plan starts at just $19.99 per month per user which is one of the most affordable in the industry.
With the lowest plan, you get access to business phone or toll-free numbers, unlimited calls within US/CA, Unlimited business SMS, Voicemail-to-text, team messaging, and document sharing.
For small businesses (less than 20 users), it’s a great plan and offers everything you need to run a phone answering system.
If you need more features, you can choose a higher-priced plan which costs $49.99 per month per user.
However, what it doesn’t offer is a live receptionist to answer calls. It uses advanced re-routing functionality to route the incoming calls to the correct department or desk in your company.
RingCentral also allows you to customize greetings so that you can greet customers in your own unique way.
2. Ruby Receptionists
Next on our list is Ruby – a premium live virtual receptionist and chat company that comes with advanced features.
With Ruby, you get a live phone answering service with a phone system that can do personalized greeting for incoming calls, take messages, route calls by type of call (new vs existing), and schedule appointments.
It also offers customizable intake forms and FAQ sections and the ability to incorporate your own hold music.
Their pricing starts at $199 per month and allows up to 50 receptionist minutes. The highest plan is set at $1369 per month with up to 500 receptionist minutes.
Each plan offers 24/7/365 coverage, local area phone number, toll-free numbers, and Voicemail transcriptions.
If you need more features, you can contact Ruby and discuss a custom plan based on your needs.
If you have ever tried calling the customer support of mega-companies like McDonald’s, Adobe, or Dell, chances are, you’ve interacted with VoiceNation’s phone answering service.
VoiceNation is USA’s #1 live receptionist service and has won several awards. They primarily work with top companies but have plans that cater to small businesses too.
In fact, their plan is so affordable that they’re often recommended to budget-conscious businesses. This is because they don’t charge every time a live receptionist answers a call.
Instead, each of VoiceNation’s plans comes with a bucket of minutes that are used to cover the time of a live receptionist that he/she spends taking phone messages and delivering them by email or SMS.
In addition to the availability of a live receptionist, you also get to use other important features like order processing, call patching, scheduling services, and customizable scripting to increase leads.
Also, they are one of the few best phone answering services that offer a free trial. You can test the service for 7 days and come in 30 minutes.
If you like it, you can pick one of the premium plans that start at $39 per month (20 minutes) and goes all the way up to $799 per month (600 minutes)
What’s more, they offer 24/7/365 answering service by live receptionists at no extra cost clubbed with each of the plans.
You can also avail of bilingual English/Spanish virtual receptionist service without paying any extra dimes.
There you have it! Top 3 best phone answering services in 2020 for small businesses.
For as low as $20, you can get started with one of the above services and provide a great customer management system.
It’ll definitely help you improve customer retention and position yourself as a customer-oriented company. Besides, you’ll be saving a lot of money and resources when compared to hiring manpower.
Now, let me ask you:
Do you think an automated call answering system is the way to go or you still prefer the old-school solution? Let me know in the comments.