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The Role and Functioning of an Answering Service

An answering service is a business service that manages incoming calls for other businesses. Essentially, it acts as an intermediary between the caller and the business, ensuring that every call is received and processed, even when the business itself cannot immediately answer.

Multifaceted why your small business should use an answering service:

  1. Availability: Businesses, especially smaller ones, might not have the resources to handle a high volume of incoming calls or to operate 24/7. An answering service ensures that calls are always answered, no matter the time of day.
  2. Professionalism: First impressions matter. Having a trained professional answer calls can enhance a business’s image, making it appear more established and customer-centric.
  3. Efficiency: Instead of juggling primary business tasks with answering calls, the business can focus on its core operations while the service handles the communication.

Answering service Solutions Branded

How it Works

  1. Call Forwarding: Initially, the business sets up call forwarding to the answering service. This can be full-time, where every call goes to the service, or on a schedule, such as after business hours or when lines are busy.
  2. Greeting and Protocol: The service will have a predetermined greeting, often customized for the business. They’ll also have a set protocol on how to handle different types of calls – whether to take a message, forward the call, or provide specific information.
  3. Information Capture: Operators at the answering service are trained to capture essential information from callers, such as their name, contact details, reason for calling, and any other pertinent details.
  4. Dispatching Information: Depending on the nature of the call, the service might:
    • Send messages to the business via email, text, or a specialized portal.
    • Transfer urgent calls directly to the appropriate person or department.
    • Schedule appointments using software integrated with the business’s systems.
  5. Specialized Services: Many answering services go beyond just taking messages. They might handle appointment bookings, provide basic customer support, conduct surveys, or even process orders.

An answering service serves as an invaluable extension of a business, ensuring that no call goes unanswered. It functions by capturing, processing, and dispatching information based on the business’s needs and the nature of the call. In a world where timely and professional communication is paramount, an answering service ensures that businesses stay connected, responsive, and customer-centric.

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Call center professionals serve as your personal receptionist, answering your company’s phone calls, taking accurate messages delivering them in live time.  

Solutions For Small Business Companies Include:

  • 24 hour service
  • Caller ID on Every Call
  • Call Recording
  • After Hours Phone Answering
  • Appointment Setting
  • Call Transfer Service
  • Toll Free 800 Numbers
  • IVR Solutions

How Much Does a Small Business Answering Service Cost?

Small business answering services typically charge between $1.38 per minute to $1.56 per call. Costs vary based on data capture and entry needs. For instance, a medical office just collecting names and numbers may pay only $0.98 per call. In contrast, companies requiring help-desk assistance or handling intricate queries could see rates up to $1.59 per call.

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Top Small Business Answering Service Companies

As with selecting any software, like inventory or accounting for your business, it’s crucial to cater to immediate and future needs. The same diligence applies when choosing an answering service. Start by shortlisting services that broadly meet your needs, then dive deeper for comparison. To assist you, here’s our curated list of the top 13 answering services for small businesses:

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1-MAP Communications, Inc

40 Greenbrier Cir, Chesapeake, VA 23320

map communications logo

Review of MAP Communications, Inc:

MAP Communications, Inc. offers a robust and comprehensive answering service tailored to fit a variety of business needs. With its state-of-the-art technology, the service ensures that no call goes unanswered, reflecting a level of professionalism that businesses seek. Their team of trained operators is adept at handling diverse queries, making callers feel valued and heard. The customizable features allow businesses to fine-tune their service requirements, ensuring a seamless integration with their current operations. The 24/7 availability is particularly commendable, catering to businesses that operate beyond standard hours. Additionally, the reporting and analytics tools provided are insightful, assisting businesses in gauging and improving their customer service metrics. Overall, MAP Communications, Inc. offers a dependable and efficient answering service solution that many businesses can greatly benefit from.

2-Signius Communications

851 Marietta St, South Bend, IN 46601

Signius Communications logo

Review of Signius Communications:

Signius Communications provides a versatile answering service designed to cater to various businesses, both big and small. Leveraging advanced technology, they ensure timely and professional responses, reflecting the commitment they have towards their clients’ communication needs. The service takes pride in its trained representatives who handle calls with efficiency and courtesy, embodying the essence of good customer service. One of the highlights is their 24/7 availability, which is indispensable in today’s always-on business environment. Their scalable plans and customizable features make integration smooth and allow businesses to tailor the service according to their specific needs. The analytics and reporting tools offer valuable insights into call patterns and service quality. In summary, Signius Communications promises and delivers a reliable, customer-centric answering service that can be a valuable asset for any business.

3-Sound Telecom

244 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Sound Telecom logo

Review of Sound Telecom:

Sound Telecom offers an answering service that strikes a balance between cutting-edge technology and the human touch. Dedicated to ensuring seamless communication, they cater to businesses that require professional and prompt call responses. Their team of trained operators not only handle calls efficiently but also exude warmth, ensuring callers are treated with respect and understanding. The 24/7 service availability ensures that businesses can cater to clients across different time zones and after traditional business hours. With customizable features, companies can align the service closely with their operational needs. Additionally, Sound Telecom provides invaluable insights through detailed call analytics, aiding businesses in understanding and enhancing their customer interactions. In a nutshell, Sound Telecom provides a comprehensive, efficient, and adaptable communication solution ideal for businesses prioritizing superior customer engagement.


1101 Brickell Ave #800, Miami, FL 33131

LiveAnswer logo

Review of Live Answer:

Live Answer offers a comprehensive answering service designed to streamline business communications. Their platform stands out for its integration of modern technology, ensuring calls are addressed promptly and professionally. The representatives at Live Answer are trained to handle a myriad of queries, ensuring that every caller feels valued and receives relevant information. One of the distinguishing features is their 24/7 availability, which is essential in catering to global clientele and after-hours queries. Customization options provided by the service allow businesses to align it seamlessly with their specific operational needs. Furthermore, the feedback and analytics tools offer a transparent view into the service’s performance and customer interactions. Overall, Live Answer provides a robust, efficient, and user-friendly communication solution for businesses aiming for top-tier customer service.


18th Floor, 112 W 34th St, New York, NY 1012

Moneypenny logo

Review of Moneypenny:

Moneypenny has carved a niche for itself in the realm of answering services, marrying technology with the essential human touch. Their commitment to professional, prompt, and personalized responses ensures that businesses present a stellar front to their clientele. Moneypenny’s team is trained to handle a diverse range of queries, giving callers the assurance of being heard and valued. Their 24/7 availability stands testament to their dedication to seamless communication, accommodating clients across different time zones. The customizable features on offer allow businesses to mold the service to their specific needs, ensuring congruence with their brand voice. Additionally, their insightful analytics empower businesses to gauge and refine their customer interactions. In essence, Moneypenny offers an exemplary answering service that bridges efficiency with empathy, making it a top choice for businesses of all scales.


1033 SE Main St #5, Portland, OR 97214

AnswerConnect logo

Review of AnswerConnect:

AnswerConnect stands out in the answering service industry with its commitment to delivering consistent, high-quality customer interactions. Integrating the latest technology with a skilled team, they ensure that businesses maintain a professional and responsive front at all times. Their 24/7 availability is commendable, making sure no call goes unanswered, irrespective of time zones or business hours. The team’s training shines through in their adept handling of diverse queries, showcasing both efficiency and empathy. Customization options allow businesses to seamlessly integrate the service into their operations, maintaining brand consistency. The added analytics and feedback tools offer a transparent view into call interactions, enabling businesses to continually refine their communication strategy. Overall, AnswerConnect provides a comprehensive communication solution, making it a reliable choice for businesses keen on enhancing customer engagement.


2333 W March Ln # B, Stockton, CA 95207

AnswerNet logo

Review of AnswerNet:

AnswerNet delivers a compelling blend of technology and human expertise in its answering service offerings. Catering to a wide array of business needs, they prioritize seamless and professional communication, ensuring callers always encounter a receptive and knowledgeable representative. Their 24/7 availability underscores their commitment to continuous client engagement, catering to inquiries from varied time zones and beyond regular business hours. The proficiency of AnswerNet’s team in managing diverse calls—from routine queries to more intricate requests—is a testament to their thorough training and dedication. Customizable service options allow businesses to tailor their experience, ensuring alignment with brand identity and specific requirements. The transparent analytics tools further provide businesses with actionable insights into their call interactions. In sum, AnswerNet’s robust answering service, backed by its commitment to excellence, offers businesses a reliable communication partner.

8-CallNet Call Center Services

555 N Morton St, Bloomington, IN 47404

CallNet Call Center Services logo

Review of CallNet:

CallNet stands as a beacon in the answering service landscape, blending advanced technology with well-trained personnel to offer unparalleled communication solutions. Their commitment to ensuring that calls are addressed both promptly and professionally sets them apart. The 24/7 service availability underscores their dedication to assisting businesses in maintaining continuous engagement, catering to callers from different time zones and outside conventional business hours. The team at CallNet consistently displays proficiency in handling a myriad of inquiries, reflecting their rigorous training and commitment to service excellence. Customization options provide businesses the flexibility to tailor the service to their unique needs. Moreover, the provision of insightful analytics empowers businesses with valuable data to refine their communication strategies further. In essence, CallNet’s comprehensive answering service is a reliable ally for businesses seeking to elevate their customer interaction game.


5089 Bristol Industrial Way #c, Buford, GA 30518

VoiceNation logo

Review of VoiceNation:

VoiceNation offers a stellar answering service that effectively bridges businesses with their customers. With a keen focus on melding technology and human expertise, they deliver prompt and courteous responses, reflecting a dedication to high-quality service. Their 24/7 availability ensures businesses remain connected at all hours, catering to global clients and those reaching out after traditional business hours. The team’s expertise in managing varied calls—from simple inquiries to intricate requests—showcases their extensive training and commitment. The customizable features allow businesses to align the service closely with their operational dynamics, maintaining consistency with their brand voice. VoiceNation also offers transparent analytics, giving businesses clear insights into call interactions and patterns. Overall, VoiceNation emerges as a dependable choice for businesses seeking a comprehensive communication solution that prioritizes professionalism and adaptability.

10-Answer Plus

840 E Sahara Ave # 205, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Answer Plus logo

Review of Answer Plus:

Answer Plus has positioned itself as a premier answering service, offering a seamless blend of cutting-edge technology and human skill. Their commitment to delivering timely, professional responses is evident in every interaction, reinforcing businesses’ credibility and reputation. The 24/7 service availability is a testament to their dedication, ensuring businesses remain accessible to clients from varied time zones and outside conventional hours. The Answer Plus team demonstrates an impressive proficiency in handling a range of inquiries, reflecting their comprehensive training and customer-centric approach. Their customizable offerings allow businesses to tailor the service to fit specific operational needs, ensuring alignment with brand ethos. Moreover, the clear analytics provided by Answer Plus gives businesses valuable insights into call patterns, aiding in service optimization. In summary, Answer Plus stands out as a dependable partner for businesses aiming to elevate their customer communication standards.

11-Contact One Call Center

818 W Miracle Mile, Tucson, AZ 85705

Contact One Call Center logo

Review of Contact One Call Center:

Contact One Call Center excels in delivering top-notch answering services that fuse advanced technology with trained human expertise. Their dedication to timely, courteous responses enhances businesses’ professional image, ensuring callers always experience a positive interaction. The 24/7 service availability is a testament to their commitment, providing uninterrupted connectivity for businesses and their diverse clientele. The team at Contact One demonstrates adeptness in handling various calls, showcasing their extensive training and focus on client satisfaction. The service’s customizable features allow businesses to fine-tune their communication needs, ensuring a seamless fit with their operational dynamics. The clear analytics offered by Contact One grants businesses valuable insights, aiding in communication strategy refinement. All in all, Contact One Call Center emerges as a reliable choice for businesses prioritizing effective, high-quality communication.

12-Message Plus

7 Elk St, New York, NY 10007

Message Plus logo

Review of Message Plus:

Message Plus stands out as a top-tier answering service, offering businesses a harmonious blend of technology and human touch. Their unwavering commitment to delivering prompt and professional responses ensures every caller feels valued, enhancing brand credibility. The 24/7 service availability showcases their dedication to ensuring businesses remain reachable at all times, catering to a global clientele and after-hour inquiries. The Message Plus team, with their adept handling of diverse queries, underscores their thorough training and a deep-rooted customer-centric approach. The customizable offerings empower businesses to adapt the service to their specific communication needs seamlessly. Additionally, the insightful analytics provided by Message Plus give businesses a clear window into their call interactions, aiding in continual service refinement. In summary, Message Plus is a trusted ally for businesses keen on maintaining impeccable communication standards.

13-Aardvark Answering Services

1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

Review of Aardvark Answering Services:

Aardvark Answering Services distinguishes itself as a dependable solution in the answering service sector. Blending state-of-the-art technology with a personable touch, they ensure businesses offer consistent and prompt responses to every caller. Their 24/7 service availability is a testament to their dedication, accommodating a wide array of clients with diverse needs and timelines. The team at Aardvark demonstrates proficiency in managing various call types, a reflection of their comprehensive training and commitment to client satisfaction. The customizable service options enable businesses to fine-tune the communication process to match their specific requirements. Moreover, the insightful analytics that Aardvark provides offer businesses a clear perspective on call interactions, enabling continuous improvement. Overall, Aardvark Answering Services stands as a reliable partner for businesses prioritizing seamless, quality communication.

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Small Business Answering Services: The Key to Unlocking Business Growth

For many small business owners, time is a precious commodity that often seems to be in short supply. As your business grows, so do the demands on your time and resources. One way to alleviate some of the pressure is by utilizing a small business answering service. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages that these services can deliver to help you stay focused on what matters most: growing your business.

Advantages of a Small Business Answering Service:

  • Elevate Professionalism & Customer Relations:
    • First impressions are pivotal; an answering service offers professional, efficient, and courteous interactions.
    • Enhances brand image, aids in retaining existing clients, and attracts potential customers.
  • Always Accessible:
    • 24/7 availability ensures customers can always reach out, showing them they’re valued, even outside regular hours.
  • Economical Solution:
    • More affordable than hiring in-house, with savings on salaries, benefits, and other costs.
    • Many services offer budget-friendly, customizable plans.
  • Efficient Time Allocation:
    • Delegating call handling permits you and your team more time for essential business activities like strategizing and expansion.
  • Streamlined Call Management:
    • Call screening and prioritization ensure urgent concerns are immediately addressed, letting you handle critical issues and leaving routine matters to the service.

Investing in a small business answering service not only refines customer interactions but also bolsters business management, allowing you to concentrate on growth and success.

Is an Answering Service Right For Your Small Business?

In today’s fast-paced world, where immediate responsiveness is paramount, many businesses are seeking ways to ensure they never miss a call. A missed call can equate to a missed opportunity. Here’s where small business answering services step in as an indispensable tool. They help diverse business types maintain constant, professional, and effective communication with their clients. Let’s explore some of these businesses and understand why they particularly benefit from such services:

  1. Doctors’ Offices:
    • Why: Medical practices are high-pressure environments, often with a flurry of calls ranging from appointment bookings to emergency queries.
    • Benefit: An answering service ensures all patients’ calls are addressed, whether to set appointments, provide medical advice, or handle emergencies. It ensures seamless communication, which is vital in the healthcare industry.
  2. Attorneys:
    • Why: Legal practices deal with a myriad of calls daily, from clients to court officials.
    • Benefit: The answering service guarantees that no essential communication is missed, ensuring clients feel valued and crucial legal deadlines or updates aren’t overlooked.
  3. HVAC Contractors:
    • Why: HVAC businesses often get emergency calls, especially during extreme weather conditions.
    • Benefit: With an answering service, HVAC contractors can be available 24/7, ensuring customers’ urgent needs are addressed, and they aren’t left in the cold (or heat!).
  4. Property Management:
    • Why: Property managers must juggle communications from tenants, contractors, and property owners.
    • Benefit: An answering service ensures consistent communication, handles tenant complaints, emergency maintenance calls, and other vital interactions, keeping the operations smooth.
  5. Dentists:
    • Why: Similar to doctors, dentists receive a plethora of calls related to appointments, billing inquiries, and occasional dental emergencies.
    • Benefit: The answering service ensures every patient query, be it for an urgent dental issue or a routine check-up booking, is catered to, promoting patient satisfaction and efficient practice management.
  6. Plumbers:
    • Why: Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time, and customers expect quick responses.
    • Benefit: With 24/7 availability through an answering service, plumbers can assure clients of prompt attention, even during off-hours, thus building trust and reliability.

Small business answering services aren’t merely about taking calls. They’re about ensuring consistent, professional communication, enhancing customer trust, and optimizing operational efficiency. Whether it’s a medical emergency, a legal deadline, a heating malfunction, or a plumbing disaster, these businesses know that their calls will always be handled with utmost proficiency, thanks to their answering service.

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