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Best Phone Answering Services & Providers 2022

Think you know the top providers? What if we told you the best phone answering services… don’t rely on live agents?
Olivia Maier

Olivia Maier

10 min read

What we’ll be covering today

We’re going to be getting into all things phone answering today! What that means is describing the best tools to consider when looking at phone answering services. We will even compare live agent solutions to totally automated phone systems. We want to leave you feeling prepared as you search for the best phone answering services for your business. That’s why we’re going to spell out a few of the must have features for your phone answering service.

To help you find the best solution for your team, we will even be comparing a few of the top providers, including:

  1. Yodel.io
  2. Dialpad
  3. Aircall

If that sounds good to you, then we can’t wait to get started!

What is a phone answering service?

A good place to start is by describing what a phone answering service even is. This is simply a tool that many businesses will rely on in order to streamline their phone communication by automating the initial stages of a phone call. A phone answering service will take care of all the basics, such as greeting your caller, figuring out why they are calling, and routing the call to the appropriate person.

While this may seem like a bunch of small and simple tasks, they can add up to a significant time burden for your team. Having a phone answering service can help you save time and effort as you streamline your phone communication.

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The benefits your team could see

We wanted to point out the TWO major benefits that businesses of all sizes and styles can expect to see when implementing a phone answering service. While there are a ton of other great benefits possible, such as reduced phone expenses, these will be more dependent on your specific business.

Improved Customer Care

One of the many ways a small business can benefit from services is through customer service. The best answering services will leave your callers feeling good, as they experience a warm and welcoming greeting. From there, many callers will appreciate their own time being saved by effective call routing.

Team Productivity

Your team won’t have to take on tedious tasks such as determining if an incoming call is spam or not. They also won’t be interrupted unless there is a call that is relevant for them. These simple changes can lead to huge improvements in team productivity. Watch as your team’s efficiency soars just from implementing a phone answering service.

What are the different types of phone answering services?

When you think of a phone answering service, a receptionist may come to mind. That’s because a receptionist will oftentimes provide phone answering capabilities. Phone answering services go beyond a simple after hours, straight to voicemail solution. Instead they work both during and after your working hours to help greet incoming callers, and direct them to the appropriate place.

There are a couple different styles, which we wanted to break down for you now!

Live receptionist vs. an automated system

You can implement a live receptionist who can be either on site or virtual as an option for handling your phone answering needs. With a live receptionist, you are either adding another member to your team, or outsourcing to a receptionist service.

However, a virtual receptionist just isn’t feasible for so many teams. This is because a significant barrier to having a traditional receptionist is the cost. If you have an on-site receptionist who is a member of your team, then you’ll be facing increases to your payroll, budgeting for benefits, and it will require an onboarding and training period.

With receptionists having an average salary of over $35,000 a year, which doesn’t account for every expense associated with increasing the size of your team, it’s easy to see why a receptionist just doesn’t make logistical sense for many businesses.

Even when a traditional receptionist is a good fit, a virtual receptionist may be an even better fit.

Virtual options can be live agents or an automated system. Live virtual receptionists can come with many of the same drawbacks, as outsourcing can still be expensive and may not provide a 24/7 solution for your team.

However, with virtual receptionist software you’re able to rely on an automated system to handle the same tasks as a receptionist to provide a phone answering service . Virtual receptionists are able to field incoming calls, discover customer intent, route calls to the appropriate team members, and more.

The best services? Those are the ones who give your team the ability to still have the benefits that come from having a personable and welcoming start to your incoming calls. That is done through features such as welcome messages, canned responses, and more. This will allow you to access a robust phone answering service, that will be a fabulous tool for your team to take advantage of.

Virtual phone answering services should be easy to use, and easy to get started with. We’re here to help you explore a variety of virtual receptionist services, so you can select the one that best suits your business needs.

Finding the best automated system

When you are searching for the best system for your team, it can be helpful to have a short list of features to help guide your search. We recommend finding a phone system with the following features available to meet all of your phone answering needs.

24/7 capabilities:

Your automated system should be able to offer 24/7 answering capabilities. That way, even outside of business hours, your callers can be greeted appropriately and directed to voicemail. You can even access virtual answering services that will remind your callers of your regular business hours!

Cloud-based:

With a cloud-based system, you’re able to avoid extra expenses that can come with maintaining and implementing an on-site server to manage these systems. Instead, if you take advantage of a cloud-based phone system you can reduce costs and access top-tier phone systems.

Welcome message and greeting:

With a phone answering service, you should make sure that you’re able to have a customizable welcome message that can match your business’ personality. This includes being able to customize your message, music, and routing options.

Intelligent IVR:

One of the most important functionalities of a phone answering service is having a plan to route callers after the phone has been answered.Many callers these days are sick of hearing “press 1 for sales, press 2 for billing” menu options. That’s why we recommend Voice based IVR, which will listen to your callers speak in live time, and route them appropriately.

Smart integrations:

Look for a phone answering service that makes sense with the tools that your team is already using. That includes a phone system that can help your team build an intelligent business tool ecosystem. A phone answering service makes the most sense when it is paired with a business phone system. Look for an intelligent business phone system that allows for integrations into other business tools and software such as your CRM systems.

Let’s compare a few providers…

We wanted to share a few cloud based phone system providers that can offer phone answering services for your business. Hopefully this overview will help you get started on your search!

Not to be bias… but let’s start with Yodel:

Yodel is proud to offer an intelligent cloud-based business phone system that comes equipped with phone answering capabilities. This system is set at an affordable price of between $25/user/month and $35/user/month. The following features and capabilities are available, and can help equip your team with an effective phone answering service.

  • The ability to set customizable greetings, and music or a message on hold
  • Intelligent voice based IVR
  • Office hours: When your callers call outside of your business hours, Yodel will direct them to helpful information about your operating hours before taking them to your voicemail.
  • Smart integrations: Whether your team lives in Slack, relies on your CRM system, or you are looking to streamline your workflow, Yodel will fit in seamlessly with your favorite business tools.
  • Canned responses: You are now able to handle incoming calls without even picking up the phone! Easily select from your list of pre-written customized canned responses, which will be read out to your callers as an audio message. The canned responses can be used to inform callers about average wait times, updates on your product, and more.
  • Yodel offers a plethora of integrations. These integrations range from helping your team keep track of everything within Slack, connect to your favorite CRM tool, and more. Whatever business tool your team is using, it is very likely that there is a way to connect it with Yodel.

Dialpad as a virtual receptionist

Dialpad is a cloud based system that offers auto attendant capabilities, which is included in their pricing for between $15/user/month and $25/user/month. Dialpad’s auto attendant is advertised with the following features:

  • Active during specified business hours (does not appear to be a 24/7 solution)
  • Call routing: It is not specified if this is through traditional or voice based IVR capabilities.
  • Custom messages: This functionality works similarly to canned responses, but it is not clear how they are able to be deployed and when.
  • Traditional IVR: this is the traditional “press 1… press 2” menu. They do not appear to offer voice based IVR capabilities, which may be an issue for some callers or businesses. We’d recommend a more advanced routing system, but this may be sufficient for some teams.
  • Dialpad has a range of pricing options, but be careful because their pricing drastically changes the smart integrations available. The base price plans will come with G Suite and Office 365 integrations. However, if you want to integrate into your CRM and other business apps, it looks like you will need to pay for one of their higher end options.

What about Aircall?

Aircall is a cloud-based phone system that will run your team between $30/user/month and $50/user/month. Aircall is able to offer a variety of features, some of which are able to provide a phone answering service for your team.

  • Customizable greetings, and music or a message on hold. As we’ve said, this is a great way to create a more personal experience, especially as you customize the message to fit your business personality.
  • Their IVR system does not appear to be fully conversational, and instead relies on multi-level IVR routing configurations to be most effective. This may be a bit tricky to set up, and doesn’t eliminate the annoyance of listing to long menu lists.
  • Business text messaging capabilities, which can help you connect with callers even when talking over the phone isn’t convenient.
  • Aircall allows for integrations with more than 80 CRM and business apps, as well as a lot of other smart features.

In the End…

We hope that you can take advantage of our phone answering service advice as you search for your new phone system. We always recommend looking at cloud based systems as they are able to offer some of the most robust systems at some of the most accessible price ranges. The best system for your team will of course equip you with all the features you need, and it will do so at a price range that works well for your team.

With this article in hand, you will be able to easily search through long lists of providers to ensure that the phone answering tools your business needs will be within the provider you are looking at.

If you are looking to get started with a phone answering service today, then we want to encourage you to test out Yodel today! You can get started with a free trial, as well as receive personalized advice through one of our demo calls. Our team is always available to help you along your Yodel journey, as you discover all our amazing features.

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